Thursday, July 7, 2011

Play Games

Here's a couple similar articles on how parents playing video games with their daughters can have positive impacts on their daughters and that both boys and girls can learn life skills from their parents while gaming.

The second article more directly points out that kids directly benefit from the game playing, while in the first it's less clear whether there is causation or simply correlation. It's like the Freakonomics guys pointing out that kids who grow up in a home with a lot of books do better in school, but it's not the presence of books that necessarily causes them to do better as much as it is that having books around the home is a signal that the parents are the kind of people who care about what their kids are learning.

Part of why I like Scouting so much is that I like playing the games; it's a way of never having to grow up. On a recent trip, one person we visited talked about not knowing much about the games their kids were playing after asking the kids to pause or turn off their game to do some chores; I pointed out that there was only about 30 seconds left of that level, so maybe the kid should just finish. I knew it, because it's a game I play. With my kids. And my kids play it with each other. Even the ones who don't normally get along that well. Whether it's canoe races, Mario Kart, or Scrabble, it's spending time together to build memories and common bonds that is important.

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