Let the children play!

by Kevin R. Burns
(Minamiashigarashi, Kanagawa)

Let the children play!



Video game playing tied to creativity;

At Kevin`s English Schools in Minamiashigara, Kanagawa, we sometimes use games in our classes. Some of these are computer games that reinforce the learning we are doing in classes. Some are boardgames or card games that also teach or reinforce some aspect of English learning.


Some parents have complained at times however that we play games too often. I too
worry that my own children play too many computer or video games. But maybe us parents have it wrong!



According to a university study at MSU:


Both boys and girls who play video games tend to be more creative, regardless of whether the games are violent or nonviolent, according to new research by Michigan State University scholars. Regardless of how violent the game was, or what the genre of the game was, the MSU study found a correllation between video game playing and creativity.



A study of nearly 500 12-year-olds found that the more kids played video games, the more creative they were in tasks such as drawing pictures and writing stories.



Creativity is something that Japan needs now and in the future. It is something the country will rely on to tackle the many problems that the country faces now and over the next 50 years.



The MSU study also discovered that the following had no beneficial effect:

-the use of cell phones

-the Internet and computers (other than for video games)



Perhaps games designers can use these findings to make better educational games for students. They can use the effects that enhance creativity more often in future games.


Linda Jackson, the lead researcher on this study feels the future is bright for educational game design if designers use the research she and others came up with:


"Once they do that, video games can be designed to optimize the development of creativity while retaining their entertainment values such that a new generation of video games will blur the distinction between education and entertainment..."



So let Hiroko or Taiga play, but make sure they don`t play too much. But know that they are enhancing their creativity by doing it, and this bodes well for Japan`s future.


The original article appeared here:

The MSU News

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