For generation Alpha, playing games on a mobile, tablet, or pc has become an integral part of growing up.
They are totally justifying the cliche that kids are smart nowadays. Parents are often taken by surprise while watching their kids play numerous challenging games with sheer skill.
Adults are still apprehensive about letting kids play games. But, they do realize that limited exposure to gaming is actually proving to be beneficial for kids. A lot has been said about the negative impact of gaming. Yet, psychologists are also highlighting the improvements that are showing up as a result of playing certain types of games.
A study published in Journals Plos suggests that those who play games build resistance to effective interference. Their perceptual learning is significantly improved, and they quickly understand the given task.
Another research which got published in the Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology revealed the effects of video games on spatial abilities, like understanding of distance, measurement, and navigation of participants.
The increased spatial performance was observed in both boys and girls while they were immersed in the game. The same study also concluded that action games were more effective than word games in enhancing spatial abilities in the subjects
Let’s divert our thoughts towards the reasons due to which kids literally love to play games. From a toddler to a 12-year old, kids are passionate about games due to various reasons. Developers nowadays are fully aware of the features which kids love, and they are adding more and more of these aspects in new games.
We have come a long way since pixelated images and graphics are improving day by day. Many developers are aware that the game features need to be appealing to the eyes if it is meant for kids.
Children of all age groups get fascinated by the game’s graphics even before they play it. The ever-popular game Subnautica has top-notch graphics, and it helps them get immersed in the game story.
Quickly Scalable Levels
Children lack the capacity for long term thoughts, and they get attracted by instant fulfillment that games offer. They want to reach a higher level quickly. So, if a game is designed in such a way, it becomes popular with the younger lot almost instantly. Simple games that can be accessed quickly, like the Angry birds, can bring improvement in the kid’s mood.
The psychology behind the attraction of this feature is that children love to feel that there is no constraint, unlike real life. The jigsaw puzzle game by Roomrecess is the most fun as it’s quick to place the pieces in order and move on to a puzzle with more pieces than before.
All kids love to take over everything and control it as per their desire. Various online games that offer a firmer control to the player satiate this desire of kids.
Shooting games not only give children control over the use of a weapon, but they also teach them hand-eye coordination and quick decision making.
Deciding what to do next and how to use your supplies is indeed a stimulating experience for kids.
You thought only adults love to get a reward? Kids do the same, and they prefer playing games that offer bonus points or collectibles besides the usual score.
The reward system is a core aspect of games like Subway Surfer, and it enhances the fun for kids as they celebrate their success even more.
Learning Real-World Skills
“Reality is broken, and game designers can fix it.”
― Jane McGonigal
Your five-year-old aims to become a pilot, but you can obviously not send him to a flying school yet. Don’t you think if a game teaches him how to fly a plane in a fun way, he will adore it?
There is a game called Pilot Training by Unlimited Gamez Mo, which makes kids feel they are learning a real-life skill of flying a plane. There are various other games available that teach kids how to drive a car, how to shoot with a sniper, or how to play a sport.
Tough and thrilling challenges in a game are something that keeps the younger lot hooked. High-level reasoning is required, which makes the kids feel pre-eminent. They enjoy the quick thinking needed in games like Candy Crush Saga, Fireboy and Watergirl, and Kerbal space program. In the words of Henry Jenkins, “The worst thing a kid can say about a game is that it’s too easy.”
What’s better than several hints that you get while your gaming experience. Not only helps you with scores, but it also saves time, and player kids are quickly done with the game. The fun game Connect 2 Matching offers free hints to the players if they get stuck somewhere.
Favorite Sports in the Form of Game
Give a cricket lover a cricket game to play, and he will be over the moon. The developers have been incorporating several popular sports like soccer, basketball, and running marathons in games. Kids feel they are getting into the likes of their favorite celebrity sports personality.
Favorite Cartoon Characters in the Game
The love of superheroes is all the rage in kids nowadays. They will love a game that shows their favorite character doing heroic tasks. Rope frog ninja hero and lego star wars are a couple of games in this category, and over 10 million people have downloaded it.
Favorite Hobby in the Form of Game
depending upon their personal preferences, many kids develop hobbies such as arts and crafts, baking, cooking with mum, or gardening. Many great cooking games are available online, and several arts and crafts games nurture these hobbies, and kids absolutely adore playing them.
Fun Facts and Interesting Knowledge
Older kids love those games that give them constant knowledge and exciting facts updates. The National Geographic challenge is quite an interesting game where you need to answer quizzes related to animals. Math quizzes, space quizzes, and even dinosaur quizzes can trigger the reasoning in kids.
Chance of Competency
It is a human psychology fact that children love to compete. Health experts say a little competition helps develop empathy in children. Therefore, multiplayer games highly appeal to kids.
Even some single-player game like Temple run allows one to compare his or her score to the players worldwide. And when there are group efforts involved in a game, kids love to play there part and help fellow players.
Game designers should frequently incorporate the above features in kids’ games. To put it shortly, if a game has many of the features that attract children, parents will worry less. These games will not harm a child’s cognitive capability.
If the exposure is limited, and the child does other activities as well, such games could actually benefit him with enhanced mental abilities.