Home News Life Playing online games are actually useful for developing social skills

Playing online games are actually useful for developing social skills

4 min read

Now that we are increasingly confined to our homes due to the coronavirus, children are increasingly playing video games. Not all parents are happy about this, but gaming can also be good for the social development of young people.

Research shows that children are particularly interested in games in which you play with each other, or against each other. In games you often have to work together and you have a lot of interaction. Children can learn a lot from it, for example, how to communicate with others. They also learn to work together and how to deal with winning and losing. Gaming is a positive incentive to learn these kinds of skills.

Research by Geert Verheijen of Radboud University shows the same thing. During one of the studies, players were filmed playing Mario Kart. Duos played the Nintendo racing game in three different ways: alone, against each other and collaborating. Especially in a competitive game, that led to a better friendship if they gave each other compliments and advice.

Gaming can also help children who are normally shy or have difficulty connecting. Connecting with another person through a game is easy. You play with like-minded people; namely with people who also like the game. That creates a bond.

The social skills that children learn online can then also be applied offline-in real life. But it’s also important to have friends offline. You learn a lot from gaming, but not a lot. Non-verbal communication does not take place during gaming, for example, while that is important. Online contact is not a substitute for offline contact.

Social or not, some parents are afraid that their children will get square eyes from all that gaming. They prefer to see their children play football outside with friends. Of course there is something to be said for that, but it makes no sense to stare blindly at screen time as a parent. Due to the lockdown, they see few boyfriends, but through games they can still keep in touch with each other. Of course, you have to keep an eye on whether it does not get out of control and whether it does not become an addiction. School, exercise and good sleep are important. Actually say: you can play unlimited games, but these things also have to happen or first.

It also helps you understand the games your child is playing. You don’t necessarily have to play along yourself if you don’t like that, but it helps to show interest in the games. For example, you can ask your child what kind of game they are playing and what is fun about it.

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