Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Learning life's lessons... from a gaming console?

Last month, I wrote a blog post about my brother, who had sold his prize possession, his X-Box. Fast forward a month and, as predicted, he couldn't live without it. He has purchased another one. In the intervening time when he didn't have an X-Box, my brother was still constantly using gadgets and gaming consoles of one sort of another. 

He's not alone though, gaming is becoming more and more popular, particularly amongst teenagers. Despite being a bit technophobic myself, even I can't help but be amazed by the fantastic array of specialised gaming peripherals that give gamers the edge over their peers when playing online. I could watch this website scrolling through its featured products all evening, I think I've become a bit hypnotised by it. There are so many things that look like they are from a sci-fi film. I have to admit it makes me think of Back to the Future. My brother would say that this just means that I'm old. 

So it seems that I need to move with the times and realise that we are living in a time where education takes many different forms. In previous blog posts, I have discussed the benefits of learning online, alongside virtual peers. Having spoken to my 14 year old brother though, it seems that even learning online on a computer could be considered to be a little bit antiquated these days. 

Whichever gaming console you or your children use, you are likely to find that educational games are readily available. Even I have heard of 'brain trainer' type games. As well as assisting children with basic mathematics, logic and reasoning, the brain trainer is well known among people of "a certain age" (sadly, I must include myself), as being beneficial to keep your mind active and stave off the onset of alzheimer's and other forms of dementia. 

These days though, there are numerous skills that you can learn, practice and perfect on your gaming console. Take art, for example. My three sisters are all incredible artists and the likelihood is that my brother shares their artistic talent. There are several games available on consoles and tablets that are geared towards allowing children to develop their artistic side whilst at the same time thinking that they've got one over on their parents because they're doing what they want to do, i.e. gaming. 

The same can be said for maths, P.E., English literature and learning foreign languages. There is even a game that appeals to me. The 8 year old me would have loved the Enid Bliyton Faraway Tree Series for the Nintendo DS. You read the stories and collect magical items and bonus content as you go. The (nearly) 33 year old me is sitting here with fingers and toes crossed that Libby enjoys similar stories when she's older and I get to read this with her. Maybe by the time Libby is old enough for this, Moonface will actually appear in our living room with some pop biscuits to entice her into reading. Here's hoping! 



This post is sponsored but views, opinions, indecisive brothers, artistic sisters and yearnings for the Magic of the Faraway Tree to be real are all mine.