Advertising
Advertising

5 Video Games That Are Both Fun and Beneficial for Your Kids

5 Video Games That Are Both Fun and Beneficial for Your Kids

If you aren’t letting your kids play video games in this day and age, you’re robbing them of an incredibly effective educational tool (perhaps “robbing” is too strong of a word, but let’s face it, hyperbole is fun)! I’m not talking about that stuff people play on smartphones or tablets either, like Candy Crush or Angry Birds. Your kids need to be exposed to the real deal! If you haven’t given them any legitimate video games to mess around with yet, or just haven’t found the right ones, here’s a list that I think both you and your progeny will appreciate as a starting point. As someone who grew up with video games and found them to be extremely beneficial to my development, I assure you that the following games can make a huge difference.

1. Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic

VideoGames#1

    Released for the Xbox in 2003, this renowned role playing game can now be bought at a low price and downloaded onto most PCs (or even your smartphone or tablet, though I don’t recommend that option). I played through it at the ripe old age of 10, and I’ll never forget the wonder I experienced whilst exploring the game’s first alien cities and replying to random NPCs (non-player characters) using the game’s intuitive and oft-hilarious dialogue options. Not only did my mind grow leaps and bounds due to being able to experience such an incredible story first hand (at the time it felt like I was in a Star Wars movie), but my young brain gobbled up all of the complicated vocabulary words and concepts faster than a starving dog would gobble down a raw steak. To this day, I thank this game for having the most impact on me in terms of developing my verbal and mental dictionary. While I didn’t understand everything that went on in this game (I was 10 after all), that’s okay, since I’m able to revisit it today and pick up on all of the nuances I missed as a youngster.

    Advertising

    This game is also likely what got me into science fiction, which is never a bad thing, as a love for that genre is known to boost your imagination and spur you to work harder to better the society we currently live in.

    2. Pokémon X

    VideoGames#2

      I grew up with the Blue version of this game, but you’ll be hard pressed to find a kid willing to use a Gameboy Color after being exposed to iPhones and the like, and thus the newest versions (X and Y) will have to do. Pokémon games cultivate a sense of adventure that really can’t be attained when playing other games, at least when you’re really young (like around 5 or 6). They’re so good at doing this that even adults (like me) continue to play them to try and recapture what we felt as kids. What makes them great for the youngsters is that they’re entirely text-based games (in regard to the dialogue), which means you’ll have to read if you want to play. This forces kids to develop crucial skills when they’re otherwise distracted catching Pokémon and exploring the game’s world, whereas in the classroom they might tune out a teacher’s reading lessons.

      Advertising

      3. Mass Effect

      VideoGames#3

        Released in 2007 and developed by the same folks who crafted game number one on this list, Mass Effect truly is a science fiction masterpiece. Not only that, it tells one of the most sensational stories told in any video game, one that most who’ve played it would argue surpasses the average Hollywood summer blockbuster (though I suppose that isn’t too hard nowadays). Is it a mature game? Yes, but that doesn’t mean you should hide it from your kids. They’ll see worse on the average TV show nowadays anyways, and it might be worth a little bit of leniency in order to expose them to the kinds of stories that will encourage them to go out and consume information that they never would have dreamed of being interested in previously. For instance, after I played Mass Effect I became so consumed by the lore that I went out and bought the books based on the games. After I read those, I was so hungry for more stories like it that I read more science fiction novels. You never know what will spark your kid’s desire to read and learn on their own. Once they find what interests them, they’ll be teaching themselves many of the skills that you’d expect them to learn in school, especially in regard to expansion of vocabulary and improved reading ability. Mass Effect did this for me, and many others. Why not give it a shot for your son or daughter?

        4. Sim City 4

        Advertising

        VideoGames#4

          This is a city simulator that’s so good, nobody has managed to top it for the last decade. Go and do yourself a favor and pick up or download a copy for $20 (or less), and let your kid go crazy with it. There’s no better way to both have fun and learn something valuable than in a game where the goal is to design, build, and maintain a self-sustaining city. Believe me, it’s about as hard to do in this game as it is in real life! Once your kid manages to pull it off, however, they’ll know more about distributing water and power lines, dealing with unions, and managing crime and pollution than your average politician. Here’s the best part for kids: Sim City 4 allows you to destroy everything you build in super creative and endlessly fun ways! Tired of your city? Send a robot dinosaur to crush it underfoot. Or spawn a volcano. Or send aliens to attack it. The world is your kid’s oyster in this game!

          5. World of Warcraft

          VideoGames#5

            What? A massive multiplayer game for a kid? Sure, why not. I played it when I was 12 and had a blast. I was a bit socially awkward at the time and it helped give me a way to connect with other kids at my school who also played the game (abbreviated as WoW). Beyond the social aspects, this game, like Pokémon, is full of text-based quests and lots of juicy lore that any imaginative kid will gobble up faster than you can say “apple pie a-la-mode.” Again, while your boy or girl might hate reading about the seasons or why recycling is good in their classes, they’ll probably enjoy pouring over texts about a powerful wizard, or an eccentric gnome who designs robots (even if they don’t fully grasp all of the subtext).

            Advertising

            As a parent, you’ll have to monitor just how involved your kid gets in terms of the social aspects of the game. Most of the people playing WoW are in fact adults, and so you might decide to turn off the chat option altogether. That being said, I for one think I benefited greatly from being immersed in an adult’s world at such an early age. Not because they talked about uber mature topics or anything (they didn’t), but because I developed many worthwhile skills while trying to mimic the way they typed and thought about things (because I wanted to fit in). I got so good that most of the people who I played with assumed I was an adult too, based solely on how I typed and presented myself. In reality, I was just a 13-year-old who knew nothing about pretty much everything, but they didn’t have to know that. After a while this mimicry became less of an act, until eventually I just typed that way naturally. Consequently, I think this gave me a head start in terms of developing my ability to not only writebut to think. Whether or not you allow your kid to play a game like WoW is totally up to you, the parent. Just know, however, that they’ll be exposed to way worse stuff in the mall with their pals than they will in the colorful world of Azeroth. I think it’s worth the risk, especially if you decide to play with them (I knew a lot of parent/child duos that played WoW; it’s far more common than you might think).

            Final thoughts

            To close, the common theme tying all of these games together is that each of them will open up your children’s minds and force them to use their brains. The cool thing is, however, that to them it won’t feel like work. They’ll be having fun, all the while learning perhaps more in a video game than they do in their grade school classes.

            At the end of the day, it’s your decision as a parent whether you’ll allow your kids to access this treasure trove of knowledge-inducing and imagination-boosting material. It worked for me…why not your kid?

            Featured photo credit: Xbox One Controller/Mack Male via flickr.com

            More by this author

            5 Life Lessons I Learned From Dean Winchester 10 Best Online Shopping Sites I Wish I Knew Earlier 10 Reasons Why Dogs Are Man’s Best Friend 30 Incredible Things Your iPhone Can Do 10 Things Only Detail-Oriented People Do

            Trending in Technology

            1 How to Improve Your Computer Skills to Get Ahead in Your Career 2 18 Best Time Management Apps and Tools (2018 Updated) 3 Master These 25 Mac Shortcuts to Work Faster and Smarter 4 7 Clever Goal Tracker Apps to Help You Make the Most of Your Business 5 Evernote vs OneNote: Which Improves Your Productivity Better?

            Read Next

            Advertising
            Advertising

            Published on November 9, 2018

            How to Improve Your Computer Skills to Get Ahead in Your Career

            How to Improve Your Computer Skills to Get Ahead in Your Career

            Technology has taken the business world by storm. People and businesses are progressively reliant on technology world these days. As a result, the people with impressive knowledge and experience with a computer are in demand.

            Considering this growing market trend, if you too wish to bag a profitable job, this article is apt for you. Here, we will dig deeper into the business and technology world to look into what are the best computer skills one should invest in and what resources to get help from.

            So, are you ready? Here we begin.

            6 Most-In Demand Computer Skills This Year (and Beyond)

            When talking about computer skills, following are the 6 computer skills that can fill your mailbox with endless job opportunities (besides, having an English and Hindi typing speed of 40+ WPM):-

            1. Spreadsheets and Databases

            Considering the treasure trove of data companies are handling these days, Spreadsheet and Database management skill tops the list. It is considered the most wanted job skill in the market, with a salary of around $53,129/yr for an entry-level position. However, the spreadsheet skill does not confine to auditing data from cells.

            To get hired based on this computer skill, you need to become a Spreadsheet ninja. From storing data to organizing them, applying complex mathematics formulas, and creating complex macros, you need to be an expert at all.

            In other words, you need to have an expertise at working with:

            • Microsoft Excel
            • Microsoft Access
            • Statistics
            • Data Analytics
            • Adobe Campaign
            • Quickbooks
            • XML Database management system
            • Filemaker Pro
            • MATLAB
            • Hive
            • FORTRAN
            • RDBMS (Relational Database Management System)
            • SAS

            2. Social Media, Email, and Blogging

            Though people are socially active, not everyone knows how to use the social media tools on the professional front. In such a scenario, having an expertise at writing engaging yet professional emails, writing blogs, and managing social media activities is a ticket to entry in reputed organizations.

            Some of the skills related to social media, email and blogging that will have a leg up in the hiring process are:

            • Content Management System (CMS)
            • Google Analytics
            • Cascading Style Sheets (CSS)
            • Email Marketing
            • Web Page Design
            • WordPress
            • Digital Media
            • Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
            • Campaign Management Software

            3. Graphic Design and Word Processing

            A solid grasp of skills to present the gained information in the much readable form is another market need. When considering this computer skill category, you need to enhance your skills at:

            • Adobe Photoshop
            • Adobe InDesign
            • Adobe Illustrator
            • AutoCAD
            • CorelDRAW
            • Microsoft Visual Studio
            • Maya
            • Microsoft Word
            • Microsoft Publisher
            • Operating Digital Cameras

            4. Software and Hardware Design and Development

            The Software and Hardware development, in simpler language, means designing, implementing, and testing the computer software/hardware applications. It is the most profitable computer skill, with a different job opening, including Software Architect, Software Analyst, Software programmer, Hardware configuration, etc.

            To be capable of developing and testing the software and hardware, you need to peruse your users’ needs and build an application that hits their pain points. You need to work with different web and mobile app coding languages for gaining the attention of your audience, some of which are:

            • HTML
            • C/C++
            • Java
            • Python
            • XML
            • UI/UX
            • LINUX
            • CISC and RISC architecture
            • Embedded Processor Hardware Design
            • Memory Management
            • PCB Layout
            • SQL

            5. IT Troubleshooting

            Working on computers is one thing and having a knack of looking into the associated issues and resolving them in real-time is another. There are various employees and graduates who work with computer systems in their daily lives, but get confused when it comes to dealing with frozen programs and performing routine maintenance.

            So, if you are familiar with the basic anatomy of computers and machines and know the tricks to perform such tasks to streamline the working process, enter the IT support arena. The prime IT troubleshooting skills one needs to work upon are:

            Advertising

            • Backup management
            • Diagnostics
            • End User support
            • Client-Server management
            • Installation and configuration
            • Issue tracking system (ITS)
            • System administration
            • Tech support

            6. Enterprise Systems

            Many Enterprises have their own enterprise solutions like PeopleSoft for managing their data and operations.

            Becoming a master at using the enterprise solutions mentioned in their ‘Requirements’ area can also lessen the barrier to get a job.

            The Roadmap to Excel Your Computer Skills

            Now that you know the 6 most popular computer skills in the market, the first decision, you need to take is which computer skill you want to work upon. All the skills are equally considerable for making a career ahead. So, choose one as per your interest.

            Once done, look forward to the following resources for boosting your computer skills and getting a reputed, handsome job.

            Depending on the computer skill you opt, here are the online courses you can turn to for elevating your career opportunities:

            1. Become a Spreadsheet and Database Ninja

            a. Microsoft Excel Training Online Course – Basic & Advanced

            Whether you are a beginner, intermediate or expert at working with spreadsheets, this online course has something new for everyone to become excel efficient users.

            Divided into 48 interesting lessons, the course empowers you to learn the technique of using mathematical, statistical, logical and text functions, sorting and filtering the data, creating Pivot Tables, building macros, finding a value with VLOOKUp, and much more.

            b. Excel- Online Courses, Classes, Training, Tutorials on Lynda

            This is another impressive course to unlock the power of Excel. Designed for people from all walks of life and familiarity with Excel tools. This course helps you gain in-depth knowledge from the experts about this data-analyzing tool and make the magic in spreadsheet creation and management process.

            c. SQL & Database Design A-Z™: Learn MS SQL Server + PostgreSQL

            Build a successful career in the data analytics world with this online course.

            Revolving around the two top databases, MS SQL and PostgreSQL, this course will give you a comprehensive knowledge of the working of the databases and understanding of all the related elements, including how to create, update, organize, and safeguard the data.

            2. Rule the Social Media World

            a. Free Social Media Course by HubSpot

            Advertising

            Introduced by the top experienced inbound professors from Hubspot, here you will get a comprehensive knowledge of Social media marketing.

            From understanding how to build relationships on different social media platforms to creating a perfect strategy to engage them, leveraging the benefits of social advertising, and analyzing your social media ROI, this course will bring out the best out of you.

            b. Write Professional Emails in English by Coursera

            This online course will be the right weapon to look into the differences and similarities between different email styles, improve your English writing skills, write effective subject lines, maintain the formality tone in emails, and more to make a powerful impact on the receivers with your email.

            c. Ninja Writing: The Four Levels of Writing Mastery

            Founded by Udemy, this online course will excel your skills to build a masterpiece everytime you write.

            Here, you will get the guidance from the editors of the top newspapers and websites, and understand what kind of words and tone to use for leaving a spellbinding impact on the readers.

            3. Launch Your Own Software or Hardware Equipment

            a. Hardware and Software Courses by Coursera

            From Big Data to IoT, Sensor Circuit Design, Embedded Software and Hardware Architecture, and Motor Control Circuit, this course will give you a glimpse of all the hardware devices, equipment, and programming languages to build wonders.

            b. Free Software and Web Development Certifications Online by Alison

            Become the software developer market demands with Alison’s Java, C#, Python, R, PHP, or MySQL database course. From backend to frontend development and software testing.

            The course helps you to learn how to design, develop and test software and working in a team while contributing to the team success.

            c. Free Online Software Development and MOOCs Course by Class Central

            The Class Central online course will make you a master of software development. Here, you will learn the basic concepts of development like Agile, Design Patterns, and Version Control with Git, along with gaining experience of working with the top programming languages.

            Advertising

            4. Live and Breathe Creativity

            a. Udemy: Introduction to Graphic Design

            It is a top-rated program for the new learners and designers to explore the Graphic Design world.

            From the history of communication to the design principles, the course will help the students to learn everything specifically and implement in the real world.

            b. Canva Design School

            From a beginner to advanced level, this course will provide you with an elaborated and comprehensive knowledge of graphic design. In the form of 4 modules, this course will help the interested graphic designers to try out their skills at Graphics, ranging from fonts to colors, backgrounds, images, shapes, and layouts.

            c. Microsoft Word – Basic & Advanced

            62 personalized lessons, premium video tutorials, and unlimited tests and quizzes – this certified course has everything that will make your entry to the business world easier.

            d. Microsoft Office: Word, Excel and Access Productivity Bundle

            The course will make you productive in Word, Excel, and Access through video lectures, articles, and various other supplemental resources.

            Besides, it will offer you exclusive tips and tricks to enhance your skills at using Microsoft office.

            5. Raise Your Reflexes to IT Troubleshooting

            a. IT Troubleshooting Skill Training by Udemy

            IT Troubleshooting Skill Training will upgrade your logical concepts over technical components to find and repair faults.

            It will provide you with a methodological approach to learn the basics of troubleshooting, practice them via exercises and drills, and enhance your IT troubleshooting intelligence.

            b. IT Help Desk Online Course on Lynda

            Advertising

            The Lynda’s IT troubleshooting online course will train you how to respond to the issues related to Windows 10, Office 365, JIRA software, and more, from a local as well as a remote location.

            Mobile Apps and Websites to Enhance Computer Skills

            The aforementioned online courses will undoubtedly train you for a successful career ahead. But, in case you want a long-term support, turn towards the following websites and mobile apps:

            • Duolingo – Duolingo app will improve your spoken and written communication skills in different languages. With the magic of gamification added to the study, the app will make learning a fun and addictive task.
            • Hemingway – Hemingway app defines the length, complexity, and common errors associated with the sentences. In this way, it helps you to write effectively and go ahead in the career.
            • Udemy – The Udemy, with its 2000+ courses, is a great platform to master new skills, advance your career and explore the newer technologies and programming languages. Enrol a course as per your budget and make a brighter future.
            • eDX – eDX is yet another commendable platform you can look forward to. The platform offers you the best of the tutorials prepared by the business professionals and technology experts, ensuring a great boost in your computer skills.
            • Excel Easy – Excel Easy, as the name depicts, will make working with Excel easier for you via their detailed tutorials and 300+ real-life examples.
            • GCF LearnFree.org – It is a one-stop platform for accelerating your future in the computer world. From graphic design to Microsoft Office, resume writing, enhancing adaptability, and much more, the top experts will guide you with everything on this platform.
            • QuarkXPress – The QuarkXPress will aid you to add soul to your design with its unparalleled collection of font style, size, and typography. The best part is that it is avails all the options in different languages, including English, Spanish, German, French, and Italian to name a few.

            Bonus: Tips to Accelerate Your Approach For a Better Career Ahead

            Though these resources will make you stand out from the crowd and get hired at once, you need to focus on various other things, such as:

            1. Practice, Practice, Practice

            It is common to forget what we learn. To ensure that you do not miss any opportunity just because you forgot, keep practising.

            Make it your routine. Polish your computer skills and you will surely end up getting an offer letter from a recognized firm.

            2. Work on Your Efficiency

            Remembering what you learned is not enough; practice to enhance those skills to do better.

            For example, if you take around 50 minutes to create a design, target for 40 minutes.

            3. Look for Shortcuts

            Smart work rules over hard work more often. So, look forward to learning shortcuts to do any task. This will increase your chances to crack an interview and get selected.

            4. Apply for an Internship

            Last but not the least, apply for an internship to see what’s trending in the market and how much you are ready for it. While doing an internship, pay attention to your weak points and work on them. This will ensure a success when you apply for your dream job.

            By the late, it’s never too late to be an intern or grab whatever opportunity to learn something new! Here’s how:

            How to Start Over and Reboot Your Life When It Seems Too Late

            The Bottom Line

            Seeing the current market scenario, it is evident that having computer skills is a boon for a better career ahead.

            So, rather than struggling with thousands of other things and trying to crack interviews, focus on the computer skills mentioned in this article. Utilize the resources and experts’ tips shared and look forward to having a successful and prosperous future.

            Featured photo credit: Glenn Carstens-Peters via unsplash.com

            Read Next