Raise your hand if you’ve ever had these thoughts:
- My kid spends too much time playing video games.
- Video games are mostly a mindless waste of time.
- Video games are putting distance between us as a family.
- I wish I were parenting in a pre-video game era.
If you’ve been plagued by one or more of these thoughts, this new article in the NY Times is a must-read. Not that we’re trying to convince anyone of the ultimate benefit or detriment of Garage Band, Minecraft and Tetris, but there is some pretty compelling, researched-back evidence on the potential good that can come from your kids’ time spent gaming.
Among the findings captured in the article:
- Video games can mute pain signals and lower anxiety (this applies to games kids are already familiar with, not new ones).
- Research has found a correlation between co-playing of video games among family members and higher levels of family connection.
- Learning new video games gives kids confidence.
- Some studies suggest that playing the same game increases physical synchronicity between two players, which could also increase empathy.