Video Games are NOT the enemy

Updated: May 25

I don’t need to “get a life” I have lots of lives… Im a gamer

I am not a gamer, but I do love games. I love to play… sports, music, with my daughter.

That is probably why I love coaching so much, specially the younger ones, because it gives me the chance to continue to play, even as an adult.

Last year I was obsessed with reading books and researching about the power of play. The MIT “gamelab”, Michael Rosen’s “book of play”, it is all fascinating for me.

During one of these researches is that I came across an article about video games, and the debate regarding kids spending too much time on video games and not enough time on playing sports… and voila! I think I got the reason why.

What is it of video games that attracts kids so much? Here’s my top 3 list

  1. There is always a next level: I am not an expert, but seems to me that most of the games always offer another challenge, another alternative to continue playing. This is both addictive, and engaging… kids want to continue to challenge themselves.

  2. There are no real instructions: Again, no expert in the matter, but the times I got to play Fifa with my nephew, I started pressing buttons in order to figure out what to do (dribble, pass, tricks, accelerate, etc etc). When I asked him for directions, he gave me some vague instructions, and also told me he “figured it out” on his own, or used the “practice mode” So… even though there are commands, seems kids for the most part figure out their own way of becoming experts in the game.

  3. THERE ARE NO PARENTS TELLING KIDS HOW TO PLAY!!! Listen… if you stood behind your child and yelled instructions on how to better fly, catch the bad guy, score, run, or whatever is it the game is about, trust me… your child wouldn’t play as much.

Kids enjoy video games because they are challenging, they allow for some discovery, and they give them an opportunity to play on their own without anyone telling them what/how to do. I doubt that when your child gets in the car you will immediately engage in a conversation about why he/she didn’t reach level 2 when they had the chance of doing it, or how they missed to collect that special weapon. My question now is, what can we learn from this and apply to coaching?

Well, that will have to be a new post!

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