This is a guest post from Abhijit Rawool, he likes to address the necessity of balance between video(computer) games and physical games. Not all games are educational, parents or educators need to be selective in choosing games for kids’ learning.
Have you as a parent been worried about your child being grumpy and not at all being social with other people because of excessively playing with video games?
Have you as a parent been worried about your child not studying at all because he/she is always out playing with friends?
If you have had any of these concerns at any point in time then welcome to the debate between Video vs Physical games.
Playing any sort of game is extremely important for Child Development. Read this article: Why playing is important for Child Development to know the reasons.
We can classify games into Educational Games and Non-Educational Games at a broader level.
Every parent should always try to make his child play educational games as much as possible. These are the games which develop some kind of skill in the child or teach the child a particular subject. More on this in article: How Educational Games help in Child Development.
Primarily every parent should ideally be trying to develop his child’s Physical Skills or Cognitive Skills.
Let us know evaluate Video Games and Physical Games on the following 2 criteria:
1. Do they develop Physical Skills?
2. Do they develop Cognitive Skills?
Do video games help in developing your child’s Physical Skills?
The answer is “No” to a large extent. Most of the video games do not encourage any kind of Physical activity.
Though now-a-days we do have some video games which involve physical activity. Particularly games on PS4 and Wii.
However not all video games are designed to encourage physical activity. And so Video Games lose this debate.
Let us give -1 point to video games for this criterion.
Do video games help in developing your child’s Cognitive Skills?
The answer is “Yes” to a large extent. Most of the video games be it Arcade Games , Strategy Games, Racing Games etc. do involve a lot of thinking and imagination.
So let’s give +1 point for video games on this criterion.
Verdict for Video Games: -1 for Physical Skill development and +1 for Cognitive Skill development.
Do physical games help in developing your child’s Physical Skills?
The answer is “Yes”. Most of the physical games involve a lot of physical activity and there-by result in developing the Physical Skills in children.
Let us give +1 point to physical games for this criterion.
Do physical games help in developing your child’s Cognitive Skills?
The answer is “No” to a large extent.
Surprised with the answer?
The answer is “No” because not all physical games are geared towards developing Cognitive Skills.
Though there are still many physical games available today like LEGO bricks which help in developing Cognitive Skills.
There are also many physical games which are designed to teach a particular subject to the child.
Despite of them being very educational in nature, they are really not designed to improve Cognitive Skills in children.
So let’s give -1 point for physical games on this criterion.
Verdict for Physical Games: +1 for Physical Skill development and -1 for Cognitive Skill development.
Alright, so we do not have a clear winner. I guess that is expected.
What we parents have to keep in mind is that not all games are designed to develop a particular skill nor are designed to teach a particular subject and also that not all games are educational in nature.
We as parents have to hit the right balance for our kids. It is our duty to take keen interest in the type of games our child is playing.
To conclude this debate, there is no particular type of game which comes on top and we as parents have to mix and match between video and physical games so that our child’s development is complete.
About the Author: Abhijit Rawool is an active parent and owner of Best Educational Games for Children which evaluates and reviews some of the most popular educational games available for children in the market today from brands like LEGO, LeapFrog, Elenco, Thames and Kosmos etc.