Why Geeking Out on Games is Good for Kids

Why Geeking Out on Games is Good for Kids


Schools can be kind of Cromwellian places.
They can be puritanical. They can be places where it’s reading writing and arithmetic
and nothing else. And games are actually quite educational if they’re educational. When you
say okay we’re going to play Monopoly, the first half an hour is taken up by which rules
we’re playing by. And there’s just ridiculous disagreements. And the same is true for physical
games. I don’t know if you’re familiar with foursquare but it’s one of my favorite recess
games. What rules are we playing with? The kids could use up all of their recess time
just negotiating the rules. And it sort of seems a little bit silly but it’s actually
very healthy for children to know how to negotiate and navigate. If you think about an adult
workplace and all the internal politics of who’s going to lead the meeting? Who gets
to speak at the meeting? Whose word is worth more? I mean office politics actually is the
same thing as what’s going on in foursquare as they’re negotiating the rules. And so having
those social and emotional skills and giving kids the space and the time for that is actually
very important to learning and development. My eldest son is a special needs child and
was very delayed in his language. He was three, which is very unusual and really didn’t speak
very much. He kind of became more verbal after the age of three, which is very late in development.
And I took him to all sorts of specialists trying to figure out what was wrong and I
got all sorts of very frightening diagnoses. But my husband started playing chess with
my son and it was a huge sigh of relief because I could tell that there was a lot going on
here even though he had very limited verbal ability. And one of the beautiful things,
there are many beautiful things about chess but one of the beautiful things about chess
is that it’s non-verbal. And in schools teachers tend to valorize verbal agility. So I did
very well as a child because I chat a lot. You could be highly, highly intelligent but
not have that level of verbal agility. And so one of the things we have to do in
schools is give different types of children with different strengths and growth areas
opportunities to learn and be confident and excel. And so what I love about chess is not
only is it just a beautiful game and as important as mathematical thinking and strategic thinking,
but it puts language aside. And so it gives children who are less verbal an opportunity
to shine and be confident and have a level of mastery and so much of school is about
reading and verbal agility. And so you create this kind of sacred space where a different
kind of intelligence can kind of bubble to the top.

34 thoughts on “Why Geeking Out on Games is Good for Kids

  1. Great talk. I hate the way a lot of teaching in our schools now favour a more extroverted pupil. My wife is a teacher and the emphasis is very much on group work and, as you say, verbal agility.

  2. Actually Monopoly has a well-defined set of rules, including the auction rule that almost nobody knows about. But it's still a BAD game at its core, and shouldn't be encouraged. Literally thousands of "modern" boardgames exist today, different games suitable for children of different ages and that require different thought approaches.

  3. Lol @ how flamboyant she tries to make her language in this shit that she can't even think of the word weaknesses at 2:43. People like this probably sit in front of a thesaurus all day trying to sound smart fuck off.

  4. Seems like one of the less important points for promoting chess for kids. Chess is an amazing game, and in many countries it's required curriculum for elementary school. She seems to be narrowing its benefits because of her personal experience with her kid. She should be mentioning all of the other countless benefits as well.

  5. Their's only one reason why humans have been progressive….adaptation! The education curriculum hasn't changed since the 1970's, a calculator was the most advanced piece of tech during that period hence why the most progressive people are 50+ years old.

    We need a change right now in education!

  6. Chess is for losers, we should be exposing more Western youth to GO. 
    Please don't take my criticism of chess too seriously. Both are great games, but GO is very underrated in the west and deserves more attention.

  7. Hey everyone let's gather up on a group and play games we need to negotiate about who is paying taxes going shopping going to college stealing a bank we will rule the WORLD YES IM PUMPED !!!

  8. All kids should play Fallout, State of Decay and Left 4 Dead for survival skills when it happens and Minecraft/City Skylines to help them know how to rebuild civilization.

  9. Does moba's count? I mean all the strategies, teamwork and skill required is educational. Not fps that just a free for all rage inducing game.

  10. No kid in his right mind wants to play educational games. They want Candy Crush, Minecraft or some fun game. I am a teacher, and I make phone games.

  11. It was design to be this way. We've known this for a long time but it's not good for the owners to teach this way cause the introverts are the only ones that can fix our society.

  12. I read this article ages ago sorry for no link about how people who played flex it found the protein structure for aids in weeks and this question had been asking biologists had been trying to figure out this for years.

  13. I didn't play with the other kids often because I was always doing some other stuff like reading a book or listening to music, I guess the joke's on me

  14. For me. I miss old school video games that had people interact with each other. Like pokemon and mario games. While educational is good, the interaction is what I see as the gold point.

  15. 30 seconds in and i gotta say… i really thought this was going to be about games for fucks sake, not common child's play.

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