The global video game industry is bigger than the global movie industry as well as North American sports combined, as per the data shared by IDC. To give you perspective, the video game industry was estimated to be around USD $159.3 billion in 2020 and is expected to grow to USD $200 billion by 2023.
Meanwhile, the global movie industry peaked in 2019 when it touched USD $100 million in revenue for the first time. Since then, the pandemic brought a disastrous spell for the industry at large.
But why are dolling out these statistics you ask?
We just want to tell you that the seemingly inconsequential video games that you play have a major impact on the global market. In fact, not just in terms of revenue but studies have found playing video games have a better effect on your child’s growth and development than watching movies.
Video Games For Kids To Play: Why You Should Encourage Them
Image Source: iStock
In the time of the pandemic when kids are following home-based learning, it’s only natural that you would want to keep their screen time in check. However, with so much content – both in academics and entertainment – at your child’s disposal, it’s understandable if your child often chooses the latter.
But the question is what does your child do for entertainment? Are they passively watching a show on Netflix or engaging in an interactive game that puts their cognitive functions, analytical abilities and creative skills to test.
Turns out interactive video games for kids to play help them improve hand-eye coordination and problem-solving skills. There are also video games for kids to play that require children to actually move and get some of that physical exercise.
Even researchers back this theory. A 2017 study by the University of Rochester and Brock University examined scientific literature that framed video game use through the lens of Social Determination Theory (SDT).
The study suggests that well-being increases when people engage in activities that promote competence, autonomy and relatedness.
Researchers found numerous benefits of video games and concluded, “The studies supported the hypothesis that video game players may experience enhanced autonomy while playing if they feel free to choose and carry out activities that interest them, and competence if they feel capable and effective at overcoming the game’s challenges. It also helps with relatedness when playing games with others, since they feel close and connected to the other players.”
Contributing To Holistic Development
For instance, a child playing Minecraft for an hour will help in the overall development than watching a show.
Similarly, the phone-based interactive game Pokemon Go increased the sense of competence in children and also encouraged them to step outside and incorporate some physical activity into their daily lives, additional screen time notwithstanding.
It also makes sense for some parents to allot extra screen time for video games like Rocket League, Fortnite or PUBG than a standard show on TV.
This also helps children offer to build a connection with parents on a common theme if the parent takes interest in what the game is and how to play. In a way, it’s a role reversal where your child becomes the tutor.
In a world where we are increasingly surrounded by screens, it makes more sense to embrace the technology and use it for our benefit, rather than thinking of it as a vice in your child’s life.
Going forward, the virtual world will increasingly overlap with our lives especially as video games become more and more interactive with technologies like Virtual Reality (VR).
5 Video Games For Kids To Play
Image Source: Minecraft/Mojang Studios
Simple and effective. Minecraft manages to really get the creative dial turning in children. In fact, it’s so effective that several schools use it to help with creativity and problem-solving.
Minecraft can be time-consuming though, so do keep an eye on the clock when if your kid is hooked on it.
Image Source: Towerfall
A game for all ages. TowerFall is a same-screen multiplayer game that offers a lot of depth than it shows. Join in on the fun and make it a family game night every week.
Image Source: Nintendo
3. Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker
If you are on the lookout for games that challenge your child intellectually, try Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker.
The puzzle game definitely puts your child’s brain through a workout session, and you too can be a part of it to solve the different tricky parts. It just might be the game that you and your child can bond on.
Image Source: Pysonix
4. Rocket League
Rocket League is the kind of unadulterated fun that kids expect from video games. It’s also a same-screen multiplayer game, so the adults can also join in on the fun.
Moreover, the kids play against bots when not against a person, so they will have to work hard to score a goal. That’s a good way to build their competitive side.
Image Source: Nintendo
5. Super Mario 3D World
A game that transcends through (and maybe space and time), Super Mario works on different levels for your kid. It remains friendly, approachable and gets interesting enough for children to be engaged for a long time. Moreover, it hits all the right buttons on the nostalgia trip for you to get your hands on a controller.
And finally, it’s old enough to get your parents engaged in the game as well to bring back some memories of their own from playing the 8-bit version of this game.
So the next time you see your child invested in a video game, take the time out and join them for a session.