Over a decade ago when I first met my husband I had a very vocal position about video games- and it was a negative one. I used to believe they’re either silly, ugly or violent, and that there’s nothing in them that an intelligent person could like. Oh and if you’d ask me about video games and kids, the twenty something psychology graduate that I was would tell you they are harmful for the child development, Period.
Fast forward 13 years and my opinion is quite contrary! Years of observing my hubby playing harmless and imaginative video games here and there must have helped. That and lots of more recent studies that prove the contrary to what I used to belie – of course assuming you’re not going for the most violent games, and that you’re using them like other screen time- in moderation.
Reasons why video games can be good for you and your family:
- Video Games can teach problem solving skills
- They can help kids make friends
- They can actually encourage playing sports and exercising
- They can help kids develop leadership skills
- Video games help with development of visual-spatial skills
- Some games can spark kids creativity
- They let kids teach their parents new skills
- They can help develop rapid processing of sensory information
- They can teach kids a healthy way to compete with each other
- Ultimately video games can help with connecting with each other
I must admit I still wasn’t 100% sold on the idea of video games in our home- but then Nintendo Canada have reached out to me asking if I’d like to try their new Nintendo Switch and Super Mario Kart 8 Deluxe. I had no idea what to expect, but I agreed after seeing my hubbys excited face- and I must say, I’m so happy I did!
We had for for two weeks now, and we love it! We play together with kids on weekend evenings, and now I get how games can help with connecting with each other! Basically it feels like playing any other game together- except that this time everyone is really involved, laughing and shouting and jumping up and down- and everyone is learning something together!
The fun thing about The Switch is that we can play it on the big tv in our basement family room, in our bed by the fireplace, on the go in a car while being on the road – and believe me 4 hours in a car with kids does go much faster when they can play Animal Crossing! And hubby can play alone while I read my book in the evening.
So while I won’t call myself a gamer anytime soon, I am definitely adding video game night to our cozy family weekend plans- because a fireplace, a hot tea and a family game is another level of hygge!
And as with everything in life we have established ground rules for kids- video game time is screen time therefore kids can play only on the weekends- and hubby only in the evening after putting kids to bed. But I already learned how to be the first one on the race ( yay princess Peach ) my girls are practicing their second language skills ( as the Animal Crossing is in both French and English) and this mama is happy to say she found a new favourite family activity- playing Mario Kart 8 Deluxe with her kiddos!
Disclaimer- this post was brought to you by Nintendo Canada, all opinions and enthusiasm remain entirely my own!