Gaming gets a bad rap at times. Supposedly sitting at the computer or on the couch playing games of wit and strategy means weíre going to be fat, unhealthy and lazy. While this may be true for some, for the gamers in my life, almost the opposite is true. But if your parents complain about the time you spend playing games, you can respond quite diplomatically with some truths about the gaming world
Strategic Play Stimulates the Brain
When youíre playing something with strategy, your brain is truly reaping the rewards. Just like solving a mystery in a novel, your brain is puzzling away at the twists and turns of your character as your choose the right bride or try to defeat the alliance single-handedly.
If your parents are threatening to ban the Xbox, encourage them to try out some of the more academic games in your mix. Skip the killing machines, but let them experience the kinds of games where you must memorize maps, learn directions and take on quests. Riddles, plans and forming out plans of attack all use parts of the brain that your parent might actually think are lying dormant.
Rapid Play Builds Coordination
Take on one of the Wii sports
games and your parents canít say much about your lack of physical activity or the wasted time in front of the television. Even with a traditional remote, playing something rapidly on screen will help build your hand-eye coordination. Finite movements and tiny adjustments on the screen using remote devices are actually the same techniques heart and brain surgeons are now using, although they work slowly of course.
Catching and throwing items onscreen or flipping and fitting puzzle pieces together helps to build coordination and endurance. Tuning down your gross motor skills into the fine motor skills you need to master most of these games is a physical training of a whole new kind.
Active Games Keep You Active
Not surprisingly, if you like to play active games such as the Wii sports games, Dance, Dance Revolution or any of the other myriad of games
that make you get up and go, youíre obviously not sitting around anymore. In fact, just five minute of intense electronic dancing is enough to work up a healthy sweat for most people. If Mom and Dad are criticizing your lack of activity, load up the PS3 and let them experience just how lazy you really are with a few rounds of combative dance steps.
Educational Games Can Really Help You Learn
Of course, what is defined as educational can vary, but some games can help you learn things without you actually realizing whatís happening. For example, if you play a game based on famous artwork or set in a historical environment, youíll learn about those things simply by having a character in that arena. Some game companies are even coming out with trivia and other quiz and learn style programs designed to bring us up to speed on all kinds of topics. Pretty soon your parents might be asking to join you at the controls for a bit of stimulating fun.