The console, the laptop, the television, the tablet, the mobile… they are smoking. During confinement, minors are spending many hours in front of the screens, and many of them playing video games as popular as Fortnite , and that is indicated for people over 12 years of age. In adequate doses and taking certain precautions, playing video games can provide benefits for the cognitive development and education of our children. For this to be the case, in the following lines we point out 10 tips that all children should take into account before playing a video game . In addition, we make a small review with five educational video games with which to learn programming, natural sciences or mathematics.
Ten tips for playing video games
1. Objective: have fun and learn. History, mathematics, biology, languages, physics or programming are some of the subjects hidden in many video games.
2. Respect other players. It is important to treat fellow players with respect and education.
3. Learn to win and lose . Rejoice in the victories of your opponents and take the opportunity to learn from them.
4. Choose the most suitable video game. Just like in books or movies, there are recommended games for every age . You have to look at the PEGI logo .
5. In company is better. Play with your family, as well as with friends. Share your skills and progress with them and teach them all about your favorite video games.
6. Homework first. Homework is unavoidable. Comply with them and collaborate at home before starting to play. Establish with your parents when and how much you can do it. And be responsible with what was agreed.
7. Beware of strangers. Never share personal data or information about location, email address, phone number, passwords or images. Additionally, you can block other players from contacting or reporting them to the game or platform provider.
8. Ask the elders for advice. Before accepting an online gaming invitation, buying or downloading a video game, and making any payments, consult your elders. They will check if it is safe and help you choose the most suitable ones. Go to them with any doubts you have or with any situation that seems strange to you.
9. Always move on official pages and stores. To avoid viruses or dangerous links, buy video games from official stores and download them from authorized online portals.
10. Do not confuse reality with fiction. The video game is just fantasy; when you finish playing, what surrounds you is your world, where you and the people you really care about live.
Five video games to learn
minecraft education (PEGI 7) This block-based construction game helps stimulate creativity and learn basic notions of programming, dimensions, organization of spaces, collaborative work…
DragonBox. (PEGI 3 and 7) Video game designed to learn math and algebra concepts in a fun way. The problems and challenges posed by Dragon Box are available both for the classroom (educators’ version), and for the user, through the download of its applications (all are paid). It is divided into two blocks, one for children from 4 to 9 years old and the other for schoolchildren from 9 years old.
SimCity Edu. (PEGI 7) Its purpose is for young people to learn how to design cities, managing finances and understanding how communications and the basic infrastructures of a municipality work. They will also have to make decisions, since they will become cyber mayors of their Smart City.
Spores. (PEGI 3 and 7) Online game to learn natural sciences. Children can manage and check how living beings evolve from the smallest category (a cell) to become impressive living beings that, depending on how they have been cared for and the habitat in which they have grown, will have one aspect or another. This game is paid, but has a free trial.
Simple Machines. This initiative developed by the Museum of Industry and Science in Chicago has online access. The objective of this game is to help a robot build its world, for which the player will have to make a selection in logical order of the different pieces found in a space.