PLAYING teaches children about their own personalities, their likes and dislikes.
They also gain independence that is hard to learn at school or home.
These are valuable skills without which, future adults will struggle in their lives.
Zandre Rudolph, manager at LG Electronics South Africa, said years ago, video games were unfairly cast in a negative light. But a number of academic studies show the psychological and physical benefits of gaming.
“The concept of play is considered so integral to the wellbeing of children that the United Nations recognises it as a fundamental human right as it does the right to education and shelter.”
Gaming is defined as the activity of playing electronic games.
Gaming as treatment
Researchers in New Zealand developed a new way to treat depression in teenagers. They created a video game to provide therapy to kids in a way that was more fun than traditional counselling.
Some 168 teenagers with an average age of 15, who had previously asked for help or suffered with depression, took part in the study.
The game, called Sparx, taught the teenagers facts about depression, strategies to help them deal with negative emotions and relaxation techniques.
Improving brain function
German researchers conducted a study to better understand the effect video games have on the brain.
Researchers at the University of Padua in Italy conducted a study in which they discovered that playing fast video games can improve the reading skills of children with dyslexia.
Dyslexia is a condition that makes it difficult for people to read letters and words. It is a problem with how the brain sees, processes and understands images and symbols.
When the reading skills of the children were tested afterwards, those who played the action game were capable of reading faster and more accurately. Researchers concluded that action games helped children increase their attention spans, which is considered crucial for reading.