Why playing video games is good for you |The Educational Benefits of Video Games and Why They Aren't Ruining Society

Although some people argue that video games only teach violence, new studies are showing otherwise.
Although some people argue that video games only teach violence, new studies are showing otherwise. | Source

There are also varied educational benefits to television as well. Read about them here.

Benefits of Video Games | Thesis Paper

There are plenty of arguments mad against video games; however, there are actually a plethora of benefits for the young (and not so young) adults playing games. Since today’s society no longer values stories passed on orally, video games have taken the place in modern lives that use to be filled with fairy tales. Video games have the ability to teach morals, they allow children to foster a sense of independence in a safe, closed environment, reinforce the fact that all actions have reactions, increase confidence, and allow individuals to create, and maintain relationships through long distances.

Elders Arguing Against Technology

Parental organizations and politicians have banded together to try to ban children's access to certain video games, that they view to be “too violent.” (Anderson) The internet has a saturation of articles spouting the risks and dangers of allowing children to play video games for too long. However, there is a possibility that once again the older generations are blaming new technology for the imperfection they see in our changing society. In an article published in Psychology Today, Peter Gray reminds his readers that Plato warned against plays and poetry because they are a danger to youth. Elders argued against writing, because it would damage the ability to remember things, and later, when books became more economical, that novels were demoralizing the dainty minds of women. This fear of the new was played out once again, when televisions began to invade American homes. Similar arguments were made against each new technology that they would be physically, psychologically, and socially damaging. (Gray)

There are plenty of educational games on the market, that can strengthen learning skills. If played with family members or other children, they can strengthen social skills as well.
There are plenty of educational games on the market, that can strengthen learning skills. If played with family members or other children, they can strengthen social skills as well. | Source

Video Games are Modern Day Fairy Tales

Tolkien is characterized as one of the most influential, if not the most, prominent fantasy writer. His books are considered the modern day forms of written fairy tales. (Jaquelyn and Celia) His definition of what a fairy tale is lies more in where the story is set than if fairies are actually present, “The realm of fairy-story is wide and deep and high and filled with many things: all manner of beasts and birds are found there; shoreless seas and stars uncounted; beauty that is an enchantment, and an ever-present peril; both joy and sorrow as sharp as swords.” (Tolkien) By Tolkien's definition a fairy tale does not have to include fairies, but simply be in a separate world that takes the reader or player to another realm so that they can enjoy adventure, and escape from their normal lives.

Video Games teach Children Responsibility

Video games have the advantage of replacing the oral stories that were used to educate children on the differences between good and bad, and to enforce the value of noble morals. With games that allow for a more open society, they also have the added benefit of teaching children responsibility for their actions through the decisions that they have made. Games such as Fable, show how good and bad choices will affect the story line, the character’s options, and even the character’s appearance. Every action within the game has a reaction, which makes for not only good game play, but also a not-so-subtle message about life. This ability to choose and make decisions is through giving thought to the adventure is an important reason that fairy tales have stuck around for so long, and why video games are likely to stick around for a while, as well. In Zipe’s book Why Fairy Tales Stick he talks about what make good literature for children, and the phrase ”video games” could very easily replace the word “literature” and still hold true. “Good literature for children provokes them to think seriously and critically for themselves, against the grain, and provides hope that they can find the moral and ethical vigor not only you survive, but to live happily with the social codes that they create themselves and enjoy to their heart's content.” (Zipes)

In a recent news article, BBC education news correspondent Hannah Richardson urges parents, teachers, and schools that “should be allowed to learn from personal mistakes.” (Richardson) Citing that this is an important process of growing up, and forming their own ideas and independence. Video games allow children to do just that; experience and process failure in a safe environment. They can try to jump over a gorge one hundred times before succeeding, but since they will not be physically hurt, they can have the stamina to approach the problem differently until they garner the result that they are after. This problem solving skill is necessary in most high level jobs, and it could be gained through working through an Algebra chapter, or in a child’s spare time through play.

The audience that plays video games is growing to include more diverse groups or people, but the common thread seems to be that everyone loves pizza.
The audience that plays video games is growing to include more diverse groups or people, but the common thread seems to be that everyone loves pizza. | Source

Are you an avid video game player?

  • Yes, every day! I'm glad they have health benefits.
  • Yeah, every now and then.
  • No, never.
See results without voting

Video Games give a Sense of Accomplishment

Video games can also give children and adults a sense of accomplishment that leads to real life results. According to Huffington Post, “And just 90 seconds of playing a game like World of Warcraft - where you have a powerful avatar - can boost the confidence of colleges students so much that for up to 24 hours later, they're more likely to be successful taking a test at school” (McGonigal) This rise in confidence found in playing an online game is not generally found in fairy tales, though few parents would attempt to limit their child’s exposure to traditional stories. “Unlike fairy tales, games can provide an empowerment that transcends the often-overt moral message of fairy tales, especially as they were redirected at controlling children in the Victorian age.” (Jaquelyn and Celia)

Video Games help to Reinforce Long Distance Relationships

So long as a game system can connect to the internet, there is the ability to build and maintain friendships. Video games can create and maintain social bonds through consistent collaboration and regular contact. Yes, some of these bonds are long distance, however, in our changing society with our ever shrinking world, this is not a challenge to “real friendship” like it would have been in earlier time periods. Xbox and Playstation have both realized the importance of long-distance socialization to their clients that they have begun to implement socialization tools into every aspect of their consoles, including the ability to use the chat function while playing games, or watching movies. (Crecente) In an article on Kotaku, Brian Crecente talks about how important the ability to socialize through gaming has been for him as an army brat. World of Warcraft is an online game that allows players to bond through teamwork of “raiding” dungeons and defeating monsters. I have friends who have become quite close with people in their online guild, or who create guilds of people that they know in real life, then use the game to reinforce their bonds of friendship. In today’s society it is common to move to a different town, or state across the country for school, a new job, or an old boyfriend. However, we know have the tools to keep in touch with old friends, while still blowing off steam while we blow up a doomguard.

As a generation of latch-key children, we often missed hearing fairy tales from our parents. Statistically it’s possible that most of us had two working parents, and the probability is high that they may have been divorced. We have inherited a country with a growing amount of debt, and to finish college our personal debt may rival that of our countries. We are a generation that needs our fairy tales, and momentary escapes from reality. Video games help users relax, connect, learn, and explore.

Educational Websites

Website Name
Educational Topic
Academic Skill Builder
Grade 1-6
Sheppard Software
Math, language arts, science
Reading Comprehension
Que Onda

Works Cited

Anderson, Jefferey H. "Weekly Standard: Violent Games Are No Fairy Tale." 1 July 2011. <>.

Crecente, Brian. "The Secret to Long-Distance Friendships Could be Online Gaming." 7 Feb 2011. Kotaku. 29 Oct 2013.

Gray, Peter. "The Many Benefits, for Kids, of Playing Video Games." n.d. Psychology Today. <>.

Jaquelyn, Ford Morie and Pearce Celia. "Uses of Digital Enchantment: Computer Games as the New Fairy Tales." n.d. Georgia Institute of Technology. <>.

McGonigal, Jane. "Video Games: An Hour A Day Is Key To Success In Life." 15 Feb 2011. Huffington Post. 28 October 2013.

Richardson, Hannah. "Children 'should be allowed to learn from own mistakes'." April 2013. BBC News.

Tolkien, J.R.R. Tree and Leaf. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1965.


LongTimeMother profile image

LongTimeMother 2 years ago from Australia

Very interesting, hrymel. Some of the games also give players a good physical workout. :) Congrats on HOTD.

cfin profile image

cfin 2 years ago from The World we live in

It's funny that hey even categorize them all as "video games" anymore. As my generation grow older, everyone will be playing video games just like board game or a game of poker (with real cards) :)

JayeWisdom profile image

JayeWisdom 2 years ago from Deep South, USA

I think the effect of any individual video game depends on its genre and degree of violence. Certainly, games that teach skills and problem-solving (such as your example about the gamer trying to jump over a gorge) have value.

Some games, however, are rated differently (or should be) because they are extremely violent--their only reason for existence appears to be promoting the high--volumn killing of others. I believe the nonchalance, frequency and without-preliminary-thought method with which killing is done and the high body count in these games desensitizes the young developing mind to the taking of human life. I think extremely violent movies with numerous killings do the same. Calling me an old fogy won't change my mind about that.

And it's not only older people who feel there is a link between this type of 'entertainment' that promotes killing and the spate of mass murders, often perpetrated by youths. Many young concerned parents of small children are determined to monitor and supervise the types of online games played by their kids, from childhood through teenage.

As to methods of learning, children who are encouraged to read by their parents and significant others (instead of being allowed to play video games incessantly during all their free time) learn a great deal. Many avid readers who do not attend college nevertheless manage to self-educate themselves through their selection of reading material.

Of course, there is also violence in books, but it seems likely that interactive images affect the young mind in a different way than words read from a page (or e-reader).

hrymel profile image

hrymel 2 years ago from Fort George G Meade, MD Author

LongTimeMother, I did forget to mention video games that promote healthy lifestyles. I'm making a mental note to include a section on that soon. Thanks.

hrymel profile image

hrymel 2 years ago from Fort George G Meade, MD Author

cfin, that's the beauty of technology it accepts everyone regardless of age.

hrymel profile image

hrymel 2 years ago from Fort George G Meade, MD Author

JavaWisdom, although you make some good points, I don't agree with you completely, and some of the arguments you are making don't apply to this article. Just as with anything, including reading (this coming from an avid reader who reads up to a book a day) doing anything incessantly can be bad for you. This isn't an argument that we should play video games non-stop from a young age, but is instead pointing out benefits that are often ignored.

Games are not an ultimate evil, and are beneficial for learning, hand eye coordination, and stress reduction. There is plenty of academic evidence to back up these claims as well. Yes, there needs to be practical ground rule applied, such as not playing for more than an hour at a time, not letting prepubescents or early teens play highly violent games, and making sure to mix in other activities such as reading, cooking, and physical activity.

It is also important to point out that "outsiders", or non-gamers, tend to be more alarmed by the negative impacts, and tend to rely on outlying data as proof, instead of the average everyday data. As a gamer, I am a no less empathetic mother or less of computer programmer. In fact games are probably one of the main reasons I have to thank for becoming interested in programming.

cfin profile image

cfin 2 years ago from The World we live in


I would just like to point out also, that the opposite could be argued. Some would argue that people with psychopathic tendencies may have their sick thirsts quenched by using video games that are violent.

Separately, just like with any other source of entertainment, freedom of expression is important, and there is a reason for all of them. Be it my daughters Leap pad, Call of Duty shooting games or Crusader Kings II (a fantastic piece of fact based historical genius)

Also, it is up to parents to prevent their children from obtaining unsuitable material. This is no different with virtual simulations/ video games.

MercCipher profile image

MercCipher 2 years ago

Oh my...this hub is so beautiful. I love video game so this hub speaks to me. I've read this hub and I have to say it is a great hub (in my opinion considering I am a gamer). Very well done.

Dreamhowl profile image

Dreamhowl 2 years ago from United States of America

Ah, video games. When I was away at college, I sometimes played games with my boyfriend and I would definitely say it helped our relationship (along with phone calls and visits, of course). It was usually World of Warcraft, though we don't play it anymore. It made it easy to hang out while hours away, though!

As far as teaching responsibility, I think of Animal Crossing; when I haven't been on to visit my town in several days to a week, the villagers wonder where I was, or even approach me about moving out. You can always ask them to stay, but sometimes they can't be convinced! Games with consequences like this do teach lessons. Voted up!

amiebutchko profile image

amiebutchko 2 years ago from Warwick, NY

I LOVE this hub! I have wanted to do a hub on this very subject, but was too chicken and not informed enough to articulate your above very relevant, practical and convincing points about the benefits of playing video games. My children are definitely in the group that would play video games all day long if I were not there to deter them. This hub makes me feel so much better today and may provide me with a little break in vigilance.... at least for one night!

whitemuse 2 years ago

I can see your point that video games can be fun. I can also understand the idea some have about the violence. Maybe you have not seen some that portray women as hookers etc. Some children are not of age to buy them.

As in X rated movies I don't really see it as a good idea for them to see or play them. I don't think it is just elders either. The games can be a waste of time. They are made by the video gamers especially to be appealing. The Sims is one game I know that is just set in time and nothing really happens. It develops a false sense in them I am afraid. A very high IQ child has stated them a waste of time.

mary615 profile image

mary615 2 years ago from Florida

Congrats on HOTD. There are pros and cons on this subject. I have an 18yr. old son who loves to play games with his buddies in the evening. I'd rather him be home playing his games than "running the streets" and getting into trouble like some teens do.

As long as the parent watches the games their youngsters play, I have to agree with your findings.

Voted UP and shared.

Chin chin profile image

Chin chin 2 years ago from Philippines

My kids like to play video games. I agree with the pros you have shared, but there are also cons. So I believe in having rules in playing video games such as when and how long to play and which games are allowed for kids.

NC4Life078 profile image

NC4Life078 2 years ago from United States of America

I have been playing PC games since the age of 8 & can even remember using DOS to do so & Nintendo since I was born and I couldn't agree more. A lot of people fail to see the benefits that come out of "Gaming" of course different games give & take certain abilities when playing.

Strategy games such as Command & Conquer could be compared to a modern (and very complex) day chess as you are constantly thinking about your opponents moves and the best course of action to "win" or solve a problem.

MMO Games such as Dota can build teamwork, not every one is good at physical sports so the concept of E-Sports still allows you to build team building skills and leadership & make friends in the process. It wouldn't be so wrong to say that it has the ability to change lives as you can ask famous E-Sport gamers such as "Dendi" from Dota who he & his team has won over 1 million dollars from tournaments & we are coming up on the international 4 which boasts the largest E-Sports prize pool in gaming history, 6 million and rising.

Playing with international players I have learned some Russian & German and how to cooperate an be accepting of other players despite our differences in culture. Even games such as Call of Duty and other sharpshooters allow you to build leadership and communication skills as well as increasing your reflexes and focus that may help in daily activities such as driving.

Perhaps parents aren't sold yet, but, games that may be considered "Sandbox" such as Dream allow you to figure out complex puzzles and allow for better spatial reasoning skills. To say I didn't learn from video games or say they haven't helped my life is complete ludicrous.

I am turning 26 and still play video games avidly, good article, perhaps it will put video games into a perspective that allows people to see past "Wasting lives in an 'online realm' & creating violence". I too played Grand Theft Auto from a young age and I turned out perfectly fine.

NC4Life078 profile image

NC4Life078 2 years ago from United States of America

@ JayeWisdom The problem isn't "violent" games, its people that can't distinguish between the alternate realities, or further put, those with a mental illness. Many people play video games, some of which may be based on the concept of Sex, Drugs & Killing spree's such as Grand Theft Auto, but, only a few may actually be impacted in a negative way.

Alternatively, based upon the same premise, I could argue that we should ban Football because it is promoting violence & can be seen by the players such as Aaron Hernandez for the Patriots (an argument of faulty reasoning's and hasty generalizations).

My parents always read, they would try to get me to read as well, but, frankly I hated it with a passion. The more the pressured me the more I rebelled and ultimately created a profound hate for anything educational. They may have blamed video games, but, in reality it was 'bad' parenting.

It was actually AOL instant messenger and other various forms of technology that have brought me into a love of reading. I hardly read books though I do have my favorite authors. But, I am constantly reading online. After some growing up I am averaging a 3.2 GPA at various universities, technology allowed me to live up to my full potential. Games aren't bad, mental health is as portrayed by Sandy Hook or Aurora.

peachpurple profile image

peachpurple 23 months ago from Home Sweet Home

i don't like video games but my son does, he is 7 yrs old. A total addict

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.

    Click to Rate This Article