I’m pretty sure that most gamer parents would answer the question with a “yes”. I’ve posted before about the inherent educational value of Assassin’s Creed (you can read that post here). But I also think that a lot of the other games that Nate plays help with different areas of development. The Portal games teach spatial relations and creative problem solving, all while being hysterically funny and entertaining (even just to watch). Multiplayer war games like Battlefield and Halo encourage working together. I love watching Nate “meet up” with his school friends over XBox Live and work together to kick some enemy butt. Minecraft develops creativity. Really, any game with a goal teaches strategy and persistence. I’m not saying that every game out there is good for your children, and like all things moderation must be practiced. But parents, educators, politicians and researchers who blindly label all video games as “bad” don’t know what they are talking about.
A new study from the University of Michigan has shown that kids who play a specially designed memory game had long-term benefit to their problem solving skills. The authors are quick to note that the study does not indicate that other, more traditional games would give the same results, but until they do a study to the contrary I’m going to continue letting my child develop his skills using the Xbox.