In an ideal scenario, all parents would like their children to embrace the great outdoors, play and get dirty in the ground and get as much physical activity as possible. It is true that physical games and sports are good for children, for their overall development when compared to online games. But the right kind of gaming done in specified time frames and under the unobtrusive supervision of parents can boost the creativity and imagination of children.
A 2014 study by researchers at Oxford University, which was published in the journal Pediatrics, revealed that children who played video games for less than an hour a day displayed good behaviour both at school and at home, and their level of happiness was also high. Their overall performance and happiness index was better compared to those children who played video games for more than an hour and those who did not do any gaming at all.
Video games are supposed to have these positive effects on children --
- Can improve focus, in children with a short attention span
- Help in developing better eye-hand coordination
- Boost imagination and are educational
- Develop the spirit of healthy competition
“Minecraft and FIFA 2017 are imaginative games that do not have gory violence or shooting. They encourage creative skills in the children and also teach them strategy, analytical thinking and are also very entertaining,” says Aparna Rao, mother of a teenager and an avid video gamer herself.
Here are some fun, non-violent video games that you can encourage your teenager to play --
This particular video game is extremely popular with both children and adults alike and has been praised for its ability to educate children and hone their decision-making skills, as this is an open-ended choice game. It was created by Swedish game designer Markus Persson and was later developed further and published by Mojang. Gamers build and create stuff in a 3D environment and are involved in many other activities including exploration, resource gathering, crafting and combat. The award-winning game takes players into a fascinating world where they discover new terrains and habitats, encounter animals, go from one adventure to the other and learn to survive, based on the mode of play you choose. While its fun, it is a good creative experience for your child.
2. FIFA 2017
This popular sports video game released in 2016, is based on the soccer World Cup series. It gives players the same adrenaline rush and excitement that physically playing a football or volleyball match does. It is as real as it can get, with the gamer being able to choose which Premier League he wants to be part of and the featured characters looking like real soccer stars. Other video games in this genre include Skate and NBA Street among others. Your teenager can actually enjoy the thrill of being part of a soccer match and experience the triumph of a winner. Sports video games teach us important life lessons such as overcoming difficult situations to become triumphant, being a good loser, facing adversity while staying calm and so on.
3. Dear Esther
This landmark game, which has bagged a plethora of awards, is about adventure and exploration, with a supernatural twist. It is introduced to the player as a ghost story, wherein what one sees may actually not be the real thing. It is based on first-person gaming technologies and has an experience unlike the usual game-play employed by regular video games. A lone person is marooned on an island and the player has to unravel the mystery of this island, where the game is based, one by one. As you go from one beautiful location on the island to the other, you get to know little bits about the story and as you explore more, more facts are revealed to you. Teenagers will love the adventure and mystery element of this game, which teaches them to jog their imagination.
4. Dirt Rally
This is a car racing game that has the potential to keep your teenager on the edge of her seat, while also having high aesthetic appeal. Gamers, who despise the shooting and violence genre, will embrace this game for its thrills and because it looks visually stunning. Designed by Codemasters, this racing video game will make the players feel that they are really driving in a rally on a slippery dirt track and teach them to be sharp in their moves, to avoid any mishaps. Teenagers will enjoy the speed quotient while getting the feel of an endurance sport. This game teaches children quick thinking, being sharp while being meticulous and how to avoid making mistakes. This is also a good way to learn strategy and decision-making skills. Other games in this genre that your youngster can try include F1 2016 and Project CARS 2.
This stunning game is nostalgia-inducing and makes for a very surreal and engaging play for teenagers and adults. The game is set in the year 1989, in the wilderness of Wyoming in the United States and while games in that region may identify more with this setting, all players will be drawn by the mystery and suspense that are the high points while playing this game. In this first-person, adventure video game, the gamer plays as Henry, an individual who leaves his busy life in the city to lead a quiet, isolated existence in the forests, working as a ‘fire lookout.’ With a hand-held radio, the protagonist’s only contact with the world is his supervisor, Delilah. Firewatch, which won the BAFTA this year for best debut game, is extremely engaging because of the twists and turns involved and will teach your teenager to make intelligent choices in a wild environment.
Both parents and their teenage children can enjoy playing these unique video games and make the most of the bonding time spent together.