Kids & Technology

30 surprising benefits of video games

How video games help kids learn valuable skills, cope with their emotions, and other positive effects of video games.

From the moment that video games became an everyday part of our culture, people have debated whether they’re harmful to kids or even to society at large. Video games have been at the center of accusations that they lead to violence or foster an antisocial environment. However, this discounts the sheer variety of video games available today and the potential of video games as an educational tool. In this article, we’ll take a more holistic view of the way video games impact children and list 30 benefits of video games to address why video games are good for kids.

  1. Develops fine motor skills
    Whether the video games are on a computer, console, a handheld device, or something else, the movements of many games help fine tune your motor skills.
  2. Develops hand eye coordination
    Even the least sporty video game will help develop hand eye coordination from repeated movements following the action on screen with your hands.
  3. Boosts response time
    Professional gamers have world class reflexes, and even playing games casually can assist your response time to stimuli on screen.
  4. Encourages patience
    One of the biggest social benefits of video games is the patience you gain from taking time to complete objectives, especially in games that require a lot of time to finish.
  5. Encourages resilience
    Some games are hard! The ongoing challenges of a game help build the resilience needed to keep going forward.
  6. Encourages teamwork
    You can probably picture a gamer with a headset on – what are they talking about? Well if it’s a team-based game, they’re coordinating tactics during the game, and teamwork is a crucial part of many games.
  7. Develops understanding of risk and reward
    In many games, you can’t proceed until you take a risk! This mechanism of risk and reward is easily demonstrated in video games, and it’s a useful lesson.
  8. Develops understanding of incremental progress
    Games are often organized into stages where you need to make progress little by little, and that’s an important part of life as well.
  9. Develops pattern recognition
    Whether it’s visual pattern recognition or something more abstract like recognizing themes or motifs, games can heighten your awareness of your surroundings.
  10. Boosts motivation to finish tasks
    The reward mechanism of video games provides a lot of incentive to finish tasks, which you can take into your everyday life.
  11. Reinforces the value of practice
    Practice can be tedious, but the fun of video games makes it way more doable.
  12. Helps develop problem solving skills
    Problem solving in video games takes many forms. The trial and error and adaptation of games improves your critical thinking.
  13. Fosters multi-tasking ability
    Multi-tasking in games means using your controller while looking on screen, but also about handling multiple priorities in the game at the same time. Take a look at professional real time strategy game players to see how many tasks they can focus on at once!
  14. Stimulates creativity
    One of the positive effects of video games that’s brought up the most often. Games can boost your creativity by introducing new ideas, actions, and visual scenes.
  15. Boosts attention to detail
    Sometimes the difference between happily moving forward in a game or staying stuck on a level is a little detail, and playing games helps you to see these details more often.
  16. Boosts long term attention
    Some games may feel repetitive and short, but there are plenty of expansive games that require days of attention.
  17. Assists in working memory
    Another one of the benefits of playing video games that researchers have dug into recently. Working memory is the ability to retain information in your head to use in future tasks. Video games often require that you use information from previous parts of the game in order to move forward.
  18. Fosters decision making
    Video games force rapid decision making, which can be useful in high pressure situations in real life.
  19. Develops turn-based thinking
    Like chess or any good board game, video games can also be turn-based, which encourages strategic long-term thinking.
  20. Relieves stress
    This is an easy one. Having fun playing games is an immediate stress reliever!
  21. Boosts mood
    The relief of a video game can boost your mood and help you manage your emotions.
  22. Facilitates friendships
    Online video games can help bridge oceans and form the basis of meaningful friendships.
  23. Fosters love of technology
    Games can be mesmerizing in and of themselves, and the devices we play them on can inspire a love of technology that can yield practical applications later in life.
  24. Tells compelling stories
    Like any artistic medium, video games can tell amazing stories that hold important lessons or just simply entertain us.
  25. Acts as a vehicle for information
    Video games can be packed with information that’s delivered in a fun and interactive way that’s unique to the medium.
  26. Supplements school education
    The educational benefits of video games can come directly from the subject matter, as games help little kids practice math, spelling, or reading.
  27. Slows down aging
    Games help us stay young! No one’s too old to enjoy the childlike joy of playing video games.
  28. Aids in adoption of new technologies
    The hands-on nature of video games is a great way for people to get used to new technology like VR.
  29. Encourages learning
    The incentives in video games are uniquely positioned to encourage learning.
  30. Encourages openness
    There’s way more to video games than mindless entertainment, and the sheer variety of games encourages openness.