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Computer games, console games, and internet-hosted games can all have benefits for their users — a statement some might not believe, but let me explain for the doubters. Firstly, I am a middle-aged man who has only recently had access to his first decent console for games playing and only played Facebook-hosted games on the computer. I have, in my time, played numerous arcade-based games, so I know the genesis of many of the more popular console games. Some have been recreated from arcade-based systems or have been developed from similar games.
For me, the arcade playing was usually done on family holidays and involved walking to the nearest pier that housed arcades. Usually, the games were ten pence a time or occasionally twenty pence. So, a pound’s worth of pocket money went a fair way if you were good at the games. I played some which you see now in more modern formats such as Outrun and Pacman. It gave me fresh air, exercise to get to the location, and of course the hand-to-eye coordination practice many games give you. This was pre-console so there wasn’t a lot of options other than the arcades.
Once the consoles came out, then the exercise and fresh air were less part of the experience. From the most basic tennis or football game of my youth through to the most complicated multi-level platform game, there are still remaining benefits, though factoring in the fresh air and exercise is still crucial at some point. The games started with only a couple of keyboard letters to press or a simple hand-held controller, these needed only so that you remember their role. As time moved on, the control became more and more complicated and needed more thought.
The hand-to-eye coordination needed was more important as time went on. You simply don’t have time to keep looking at what your hands were pressing. You need to know what input will cause what reaction, and even what degree of input is needed. Driving games can include gear changes, acceleration, brakes, and power boosts, among other things. On old computer games you could twist your fingers to hover over relevant keys. Now, there can be more controls then you have fingers, though you can do similar things with handheld controllers.
The games can have a degree of educational benefit, as well. Also, they can help with a child’s general development. Learning colours and counting, for example, are in simple games where you must get a set amount of coloured objects in a row to remove them fill Facebook. I play Train Station occasionally, mainly because it was my old job. Though, as it involves planning and calculating, it could be of benefit to younger players as well. I also play one of the many war strategy games which can stimulate the brain while planning tactics with the myriad items available in the game.
Children often learn best through experience as opposed to simply writing things down and trying to remember them. This applies especially to children with learning delay. Educational games can encourage reading, writing, math, and history. Kids will need to follow instructions to achieve what they want in many games. History games give them an idea of what the period depicted was actually like. Slso they can interact with a period in time through games.
This isn’t an excuse to stick your child in front of a computer or console and leave them to it. They need plenty of the real world as well, but time on a game or two can be beneficial. Playing games could also lead to wanting to know more about the games and how they are made. This might mean a career with computers which is the future they need to be aiming for.