Hey On The Mat!
Gaming has often been thought of as a waste of time. A source of entertainment, or a diversion from whatever else our kids may have been doing. We are now starting to understand that there are many cognitive benefits to these games as well! Think of it as a workout for the brain! We want our kids to be active so that they are fit and healthy so we enroll them in physical activities! So shouldn’t we be making sure they are getting a mental workout too? Martial Arts programs like SKILLZ are at the forefront of child development programs. This is why it is able to help hundreds of children all over the world! But we can’t always be at the dojo (albeit we would love the dedication 😉 ). So the correct video games could be the next best thing!
The following are 3 ways video games can help your ninja level up in life:
Enhanced Memory and Retention
Video games need the player to read or listen to instructions. Players also should be able to recall them at different points throughout the game. This forces the player to pay attention. They also to have to retain the information for indefinite periods of time. Enhanced long term memory can be demonstrated when by remembering where special items spawn (appear). This is because they tend to do so in the same spot(s) the majority of the time. Enhanced short term memory can be seen when remembering where to go to complete a quest or find an important object. These are all great skills to develop. Together they can show better memory in school and on the mat; especially with forms!
Improved Problem-Solving Skills
In short, a video game is a set of rules by which a player must abide by to solve a multitude of challenges. The player begins by figuring out how to complete smaller challenges. But eventually they will build and be able to solve increasingly harder challenges. Improved problem-solving skills can help our ninjas think outside of the box. Which can apply to grappling, sparring, or handling bullies without using their Martial Arts!
Improved Brain Speed
When kids play video games their brains are being stimulated both visually and audibly. Imagine processing all these different stimuli as a workout for the brain. The ability to respond faster than others to these and other stimuli is also a great skill to have at any age. This applies to martial arts by being able to apply your self-defense moves! Especially when under pressure.
Remember, the next time your ninja wants to jump on the iPad or console they are actually improving and developing their cognitive ninja skills while having FUN! I also recommend picking up a controller yourself and joining in! Have them show you the ropes! You may be surprised at how fast their brain works, as well as, how much information they can retain!
Finally, it is important to know that even though things may be beneficial we should do them in moderation. This is true for diet, physical exercise, AND video games. Choosing the correct game is important as well! Games don’t all have the same content and cognitive benefits. So have a talk with your ninja and figure out what is the best fit for your family and game on!