Video games seem to be the blame for many of kids’ screen addictions. We often scold our kids for playing too many video games. “Go outside and play,” “That's enough screen time,” are phrases used too often in this 21st century, but have we actually thought about the benefits that video games can give children?
Elon Musk is one of many successful engineers, entrepreneurs, and CEOs that thanks video games for the exposure that led him to choose a career in programming. “The reason I got interested in technology was video games," Musk said at a recent E3 2019 panel.
Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo are some of the main video game companies that are in charge of producing games that not only hold an entertaining storyline, but also make kids want to continue playing. The more that kids play, the more interest they have when it comes to designing their own characters or creating an alternative storyline. These companies are sort of the window that allow kids to get a sneak peek into what exciting career fields are on the other side of the screen. Hence, if they’re already very engaged in the game, they’ll be more intrigued to look at everything that goes into making a game whether it be action or adventure.
If you were to ask Musk what a lot of his employees at Tesla and SpaceX have in common, he’d probably tell you: video games. “Many of the software engineers who get hired at Tesla and SpaceX come from a gaming background,” Musk said. This is because video games teach players many skills that are transferable to other sectors in life. A few include problem-solving, teamwork, leadership, and accountability. If video games are already captivating kids’ attention, and if you add all the skills they learn from them, you very well could have a future STEM candidate in your hands.
This isn’t to say that kids should be playing video games 24/7 hours a day all summer, but if we’re combining STEM skills to the skills that they’re already learning from the game then we can level up their own reality with a positive force.
This blog post was written by Adriana Cruz, Summer 2019 Intern.
Alvarez, Edgar. Engadget. Elon Musk: 'The Simulation, The Simulation, The Simulation.' June 2019. https://www.engadget.com/2019/06/13/elon-musk-the-simulation-video-games/