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Many recent games, such as Bakugan: Defenders of the Core , involve planning and problem-solving. Video games don't have to be labeled "educational" to help children learn to make decisions, use strategies, anticipate consequences and express their personalities.

The content of certain video games can encourage kids to read and to research. Video games such as Age of Mythology , Civilization , and Age of Empires may spark a child's interest in world history, geography, ancient cultures and international relations, especially if parents are alert to opportunities. To quote researchers David Shaffer and James Gee, "When children have parents who help turn Age of Mythology into an island of expertise, tying it to books, Internet sites, museums, and media about mythology, cultures and geography, the children pick up a wide range of complex language, content and connections that serve as preparation for future learning of a highly complex and deep sort.

In contrast to their parents, most young kids see video games as a social activity, not an isolating one.

Gaming can improve many skills

Video games create a common ground for young kids to make friends; allow kids to hang out; and provide structured time with friends. In our research, boys were more likely to play video games with a group of friends, either in the same room or online. Plus, young boys said games were a frequent focus for conversation among their peers: One boy revealed that his peers at school mostly talked about "girls and games -- the two Gs.

In my own research, players specifically boys talked about learning new moves from sports video games and then practicing them at the basketball court or on skateboards. Some took up new sports after being introduced to them in video games. As one boy revealed in a research focus group, "In the games that are real, which are mostly the sports games, you see them do amazing plays.

Videogame Developers Are Making It Harder to Stop Playing

If you go outside and try them and keep practicing, you could get better. It's normal and healthy for kids, especially boys, to compete with their peers as they jockey for status and recognition. In my surveys and focus group studies with young teens , "I like to compete with other people and win" was one of the most popular reasons for playing video games -- again, especially for boys. Video games are a safe place to express those competitive urges, and can give children who aren't good at sports a chance to excel.

Playing Video Games Can Actually Change the Brain

When children play video games in groups, they often take turns leading and following, depending on who has specific skills needed in that game. In studies by Nick Yee of the Palo Alto Research Center, teens who had played group games online felt they had gained leadership skills such as persuading and motivating others, and mediating disputes. Online multi-player games offer teens a rare chance to participate in, and sometimes lead, a diverse, mixed-age team.

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Urban Dictionary: playing video games

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GAMING HIGH ~ Lofi Video Game Mix

Learn2Play is an educational platform that teaches people to play eSports for money. There are already tournaments where players can win millions of dollars. The skills people learn can be applied to the real world too.

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The difference between video games and eSports is the latter is not just for fun. Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post.

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