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Be a Believer: Gaming�s Good for You and Your Kid
on January 09, 2011 at 02:24 AM
According to Kate Connally of AddictingGames.com, 78% of teen girls and 82% of teen boys play online games. Most probably, your kid is included in that percentage. Every parent with kids ages 6 and up should consider that this generation is a new gaming era. Gaming today is very different from how it was developed decades ago. For a lot of parents, gaming is perceived as a distraction and is not a helpful tool in the education of their children. Not today, online games can actually help kids in different aspects without them realizing it because they�re having too much fun. There are tons of studies today that show how this generation is able to think faster and gaming has helped with this. Here�s a story that you may want to read if you�re still not a believer of the good side of gaming for your kids �I am a dad and I travel a lot for business. I used to call home and talk to my son on the phone and get grunts or short answers. It was always expensive and the calls just made me feel further away because I would ask how he was and not really get any answers it always sounded like he was texting at the same time or something. When I was between trips one time I saw him playing Command and Conquer and asked to play with him. We figured out that I could play anywhere with an Internet connection and you can chat with head phones through the game or text chat in the bottom of the game about strategy. So, when I travel now we log on to a game together and play a mission and talk and chat during the game. Not only is it a great break for me, but he looks forward to talking to me and we actually chat during the game.� This is a true example of the positive effect of the new form of gaming. Check out some other ideas 1) This is not the video game talk Online gaming is different than the talk about video games 5-15 years ago. 5 years ago, gaming was mainly in your TV with your Play Station, Sega or Nintendo. Gaming is now mobile, in the cloud and on the desktop and the type of gamers has changed. 2) Casual Gaming The majority of kids are casual gamers, meaning that they play games 1-2 times at least per week and often game when -they want to pass time -they are bored -there is nothing good to watch on TV -they want to talk with friends They do not necessarily trade tips or take their gaming very seriously. Yet, just because someone is a casual gamer, does not mean they do not necessarily spend a lot of time gaming. Casual gamers can spend 12 hours a day gaming, it just means that they do not compete regularly in the same forums or on levels of a game. 3) Socializing Through Games Games are social. Of course, there are many games that kids play alone with an electronic competitor. But games are social in a number of ways -Chat rooms with the games -Playing a game while your friends watch (often happens on desktops at schools) -Background to a party. When your kid has friends over, the Wii is always on. They still talk and eat and communicate but someone is always playing in the background. -Social networks built behind the games. There are many game websites that have whole social networks and profiles built behind their games where users can list their hobbies and favorite games and tips. 3) Socializing Through Games Games are social. Of course, there are many games that kids play alone with an electronic competitor. But games are social in a number of ways -Chat rooms with the games -Playing a game while your friends watch (often happens on desktops at schools) -Background to a party. When your kid has friends over, the Wii is always on. They still talk and eat and communicate but someone is always playing in the background. -Social networks built behind the games. There are many game websites that have whole social networks and profiles built behind their games where users can list their hobbies and favorite games and tips. 4) Movies and Games as One �We are the 16 candles of online games,� says Connally of AddictingGames.com. Gaming sites are trying very hard (and succeeding) to tie together traditional entertainment and games so that they are seamless. Almost every movie out has a component online game and this is a way that young people experience more of the movie, by playing a version of it. 5) Games with Statements There are many games that make some kind of statement and might even teach a lesson. For example �Barry Bonds Game� is a game where you can give steroids to your baseball playing avatars where they will play well, but if you choose to give them steroids then, after the game you run the risk of having them get really bad press and have to switch teams making your next season bad. There is also Trillion Dollar Bailout, it has little AIG employees running around New York City cartoon buildings. Escape the Oval Office is another popular one featuring a cartoon Bush. There are many attack and kill mode games but also some that are pro-social. 6) Homework Games There are online games or dashboard games which are very popular on Mac laptops where there are mini-games like tic tac toe and Bedazzle. They are literally one click away when the teacher decides to breathe in between points. 7) Double Time Games This generation�s middle name should be multi-task. Teens often are gaming while doing something else. Especially casual gamers, they almost never just do gaming. They play games while watching TV, while in class, while at a party, while on the bus, while hanging out with friends. 8) Mobile Games Mobile games are on cell phones as opposed to dashboard games (on a computer) or games in the cloud (games online). These are so popular. If a teen is bored and they have their cell phone on them (which of course they do), they will have some sort of game on their phone and play it to fill any gap times. Tips for Parents of Gamers -Make time limits -Identify the �No Electronic� zones in your house -Make no electronic times during your week where they have to find something else to do -Spend some time gaming yourself, gaming can be really positive and the best way for parents to make relevant rules is to understand the appeal and the types of games they are playing -Ask them to show you what they are playing -Make it a bonding thing. Play with them!
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