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My kids never skipped school because school came first, but I'm sure they did stay inside and play games rather than go outside. It rains a LOT here! Both my son and my daughter played video games with friends. My son had a whole social life in World of Warcraft and he met some amazingly nice, well-educated people there--and later met them in real life. Video games are like movies in that they have story lines that evoke emotions, so yes, I've seen them experience a lot of emotions. There was always frustration when learning how to play a game, but it generally seemed to be a good kind of frustration--the kind you get from sticking with a problem and figuring it out and eventually getting it right. In general I think video games have delivered mostly positive learning and social opportunities for both my kids.
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Gaming has had huge positive impacts on my middle son (now 11). He is on the Autism spectrum, and struggles with social communication. Gaming (especially Minecraft) has helped him to engage with other boys his age, in a way that he couldn't before. Using collaborative games like Minecraft, he can prove his value, show his ideas, show his sense of humour, without being 'punished' socially because he's standing too close, his eye contact is off and he's yelling because he is excited about the subject matter.
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Gaming can have a really positive influence on kids development.
Games encourage persistence when a player has to try to solve the same puzzle many times in order to get to the next level.
Playing games can allow a child to calm down after a stressful day when they chose to play something like tetris or solitaire. Even a game on the Wii can get a kid moving and help to relieve stress.
Children can also learn about something through game play. Not all games are educational, but many of them are and even the accurate ancient city of Venice is educational.
It is also a great place to learn how to be a good sport and not get angry when one loses.
Games also offer a world to escape into in the same way that books can. Children who play immersive stories are inhabiting another land and visiting a place where they can be the hero or the villain and no one knows about the milk they spilled at lunch.
Untimately, children learn about themselves through games. They learn what they enjoy and what they don't, how they would prefer to interact with others. even what kind of world they want to live in.
It's easy to ignore the positive aspects of games, but it's important to remember that the variety of available games is vast and Grand Theft Auto is not really representative of all the technology has to offer.