Games are interactive experiences designed for entertainment and creativity. They may take the form of pure narrative adventures driven by player imagination (text-based games), skill based competitive challenges (video games) or just fun playback on arcade or pinball machines.
Age appropriate video games played responsibly can have positive impacts on children’s social and emotional development. Furthermore, they can serve as an invaluable learning tool that equips children with important life skills not taught in classrooms.
A great game should engage its player by satisfying basic psychological needs that come from being human: autonomy (you are free to make decisions without any external influence), competence (you can achieve things and become successful) and relatedness (connecting with other people – this is where gaming becomes “social”). A well-designed game should keep its players within a motivational “sweet spot”, between challenge and frustration, encouraging persistence while nurturing optimism – in addition to providing challenging objectives which are both logically and aesthetically satisfying.
Research suggests that games can aid the development of cognitive skills like working memory, attention span, planning and organizational abilities, social cooperation and communication abilities, physical activity promoting by encouraging physical movement (when combined with fitness trackers or activity monitors).
Gaming platforms have the potential to teach a range of subjects ranging from geography and history to biology and mathematics, as well as explore social issues like discrimination, war and violence. Unfortunately, however, games as educational tools haven’t reached their full potential yet – many teachers are reluctant to use them due to concerns over gaming addiction and lack of teacher training.
First step in designing a game is identifying its core mechanics – anything from Mario’s jumping to Just Cause’s grappling hook – this should serve as the center of everything that follows. Once this step has been accomplished, design can begin on creating different systems and levels; some designers prefer creating an early draft with basic graphics so as to get a feel of how their game plays before investing too much time in detail work. After designing has concluded, testing must occur.
Valve Corporation from Washington stands out in this area by creating some of the most iconic FPS games such as Half-Life, Counter-Strike and Left 4 Dead as well as many others.
Video games offer a wonderful way to bring people from diverse cultures together, and some games even enable players to interact and work together – an effective exercise in teamwork! However, excessive playing may lead to isolation and loneliness; therefore it is crucial that kids balance their online social lives with offline friendships.