Games That Can Help Improve Class Work
We often hear a lot about how gaming can affect students negatively. The image that comes to mind is kids staying up at all hours of the night playing Call Of Duty, missing their homework assignments, and being unprepared and sleepy for class the next day.
Nevermind that classes start too early to begin with, making this even more of a problem than otherwise first intimated.
But there’s more to video games than that. It just takes a shift in perspective, and attentive parenting.
Wielding games as tools for further growth.
When you engage with the interests of your children, they feel heard and appreciated. They can build confidence around a hobby, and perhaps go forward and use what they learned to spark their career choices.
Help children learn the value of delaying rewards and planning ahead.
I’ll be the first to admit I am an absolute sucker for card games. I still have a massive selection of Pokemon cards, a buttload of Magic: The Gathering sets, and even some actual Triple Triad cards from Final Fantasy VIII that Newbury Comics sold back in the early 2000s.
I’m digressing, so let’s get back to the point.
When it comes to playing a game like Gwent–which is a multiplayer card game created from the mini-game found in Witcher 3–you need to be patient and plan ahead.
In the age of digital noise and disruption, attention spans are fractured and reward-seeking behavior is high.
I’d argue that a game like Gwent can teach strategy, planning, build confidence, and nurture delayed gratification in favor of making smart choices.
In your child’s life there will be a time when they want to succeed but miss the mark.
Maybe they didn’t do the history project they needed until last minute and got a poor grade on the assignment.
They aren’t thinking about their “future you” in this case, which is the most valuable life lesson I’ve probably ever learned.
Setting Up for Future Success in the Present
With Gwent, you have to think about “future you”.
Your opponent’s cards cannot be seen unless you use a special card. You aren’t sure just what move they’re going to make. You may want to go in with your strongest cards, but who knows what your opponent may have in store for you later?
If you use all your best cards in the first round and have nothing for the subsequent rounds, you’ll most likely lose. Your child has to make a decision now, that will affect an outcome later. That’s an incredibly powerful thing to teach the young loved ones in your life.
When you start to frame the interests of your child in ways that can help them grow and take a direct approach to use the games they are already interested in as tools for growth, your child wins.
If your child isn’t interested in sports, Rocket League might be their first step.
If you ask many kids about gym class, they might bemoan how boring it is. But physical activity is incredibly important for young people (and everyone, really). Especially since children and adolescents are recommended to partake in 60 minutes of relatively vigorous physical activity each day.
A game that I always point to, when it comes to fun exercise, is soccer.
Soccer requires a lot of strategy, pretty intense amounts of running (in short bursts) and incredible amounts of teamwork and collaboration.
Rocket League is described as being a “vehicular soccer video game”. It has multiplayer modes in addition to a single player mode, which as we know creates camaraderie and strengthens teamwork skills.
Later updates for the game also included new game modes based on ice hockey and basketball.
Now, you may be thinking to yourself, “I don’t just want my kid to play virtual games of real sports!”, and that’s a fine objection to make here. But what if you could engage with your child around the sport itself, and get them interested in Gym class again?
There’s an opportunity here that you just can’t miss.
When it comes to the ELA, look no further than RPGs to find the stepping-stone for your child
My interests in writing came directly from playing RPGs (known as role-playing games) on older gaming consoles.
In order to portray a story accurately, the writing had to be generally awesome. We only started getting movie-quality graphics at the end of the PlayStation 2 era, so all these shiny games your children are invested in are light years beyond what I played as a kid.
By the time I was 11 years old I had already been reading 500-700 page books, and I owe much–if not most of that talent–to gaming itself.
It’s incredibly difficult for me to name just one RPG for this section. But for something more modern–with an old-school emphasis on reading and roleplaying–Stardew Valley is perfect.
It’s one part roleplaying game, one part farming simulator, and one part slice of life. It’s available for many platforms now and has the charming pixel-art aesthetic that is commonly found in older titles. There is absolutely no voice acting, plenty of text to read, and your child will need to learn how to take care of animals, grow and plant crops, complete quests, and follow the storylines of various townspeople.
If your child has an interest in modding their games, Stardew Valley has an ample library of mods and it’s also incredibly easy to do so since the game is very basic in structure.
Games Help Kids Learn Life Skills
Programming and tech are both incredibly in-demand fields, so I’d specifically encourage you to examine that as an option to pair gaming with an applicable life skill.
Suffice to say, Stardew Valley is pretty wholesome, very family-friendly, and is definitely a game much younger children can enjoy and understand.
When you get a chance, please try buying some older titles for your children, especially if your children or child struggles with the English Language Arts. Because of the limited technology present in older titles, your child will have to make up some of the difference in their own mind. And reading can now be gamified so that your child can grow and succeed.
That’s an incredible gift of imagination and skill to bring to your young loved-ones, and will definitely help them as RPGs have helped me.
Now’s the time to take something they’re interested in and run with it. I guarantee you that they’ll thank you for it.