What do football, hopscotch, Monopoly, Atari, Nintendo, the Wii and the iPad have in common? Games! We all have grown up with games so everyone loves to play them, but just how positive can they be on your brain development and learning? I had the incredible experience of hearing Jane McGonigal (The Gaming Guru) speak at the ISTE Conference this summer in San Antonio. She shared insightful information about the world of gaming.
Since many people have negative feelings about all the digital games currently out there, I thought I would spin the issue around to promote the positive side of gaming. There is extensive research which shows playing games is actually not wasting time or trying to escape reality. Although, is there really anything wrong with either of those from time to time? Whether you are avoiding blinking ghosts, catapulting an angry bird, shooting a basket, or playing Uno, gaming can challenge you with a variety of obstacles to push you past your personal best.
Here are some interesting stats:
- 25% of gamers are over 50 years old.
- Gamers fail 80% of the time which increases their motivation to be risk takers.
- 92% of two year olds are gaming.
- 65 % of gamers play with a friend.
- By the age of 21, a person has played about 10,000 hours of games
- Kids who are gamers perform 23% higher on creative tests than non-gamers.
- To cure Amblyopia, researchers have found that one hour of playing the right action game is more successful of a treatment than 400 hours of wearing an eye patch.
These are 10 skills video games develop:
- Problem solving skills and negotiation
- Strategic thinking
- Improved attention and vision
- Transmedia navigation
- Non-linear thinking patterns
- Hand-eye coordination
- Character development
- Independent learning
- Communication skills
10 Positive emotions released when playing games:
- Awe & Wonder
So, get ready... no token or quarter needed...go out there and score!
This is your brain. This is your brain on games. Any questions?
Jane McGonigal: The Gaming Guru!