Rather than talk about a specific game or a bit of news I thought today I would spread the words on the good influence that video games can be on a child.
Ever since I was a kid I had to listen to people say that video games were bad for you. That they rot your brain, make you overweight, make you have no friends or that they can make you develop a million health issues! Well, I am now in my 30’s and what I consider to be a pretty well-adjusted gent and I am also a parent. A parent who honestly believes that video games are good for kids.
Now let me start by saying that any addiction no matter if it is video games, smoking or whatever is bad. That is not what I am talking about, I am talking about video games in general and how they can be really beneficial to a kid.
My son is now 10 and his latest school report said that he reads and writes at a level that is far more advanced than his age. I attribute a large portion of this to….. The Legend Of Zelda: Skyward Sword!
When my son was 3 and Skyward Sword was released he was already playing video games. He would have a basic understanding of what to do and he played a lot of GameCube games like Super Mario Sunshine, Mario Kart Double Dash, Billy Hatcher, Ultimate Spider-Man and Sonic Heroes which were his favorite games back then. However, he would love to watch me play more complex games. He had a real love for Link and he would dress up as him with this little green hat and any sword that we got from the local £ (dollar store to my American friends) would become his Master Sword.
He loved to watch me play Skyward Sword and it got to the point where I was actually praying for a break. What made me realize just how good video games can be for kids was the story of Skyward Sword. Now I think the story is great, but Skyward Sword like the other previous Zelda games has no voice acting at all. So while I played I would have to read everything to him…… and I mean everything! I will admit that sometimes I would paraphrase a tiny bit, but he knew. Well, he thought he knew, he was sure that I was missing parts of the story as he would recognize words and then realize that I did not say them.
This is what led my son on a quest to want to read. He was adamant that he wanted to learn to read so that he could know the story for himself and also so that he could read his books on his own. So we started to do some practice with words and he picked it up really fast, something I give Nintendo and The Legend Of Zelda: Skyward Sword a lot of credit for as when I was saying the words he would make it a point to remember them. His love for reading turned into a love for writing which in turn turned into a love for learning in general. He was able to read and write before he even started his first year of primary school!
So I will always stick up for video games when I hear someone say that they are bad for kids or that they rot their brain. Because in my experience it was quite the opposite!