The multi million dollar video game industry is one of the most successful technology businesses in the United States. It would be rare to find a person who has never played either a recreational or educational video game.
In 1958, William Higinbotham invented the first interactive analog computer game called Tennis for Two. Old classics have made their mark in history and are not forgotten. Time-honored series, like Activision’s “Crash Bandicoot,” the Nintendo classic, “Super Mario Bros.,” and “Sonic the Hedgehog” by Sega, have had a significant impact on society.
Over the years, people have grown to love video games, which have become extremely more detailed and entertaining since their origination. Without video game designers, society would not have such an accessible form entertainment that is both challenging and skill-building.
Gamers expect tech gurus to release new video games and reimagined versions of the originals regularly. In doing so, Sega, Nintendo, Activision, and others have succeeded in keeping both their old and new fans happy. New releases and smart marketing have proven to be very effective making the industry billions of dollars.
Another factor that makes video games so successful is that they come in a variety of genres. If a person is in the mood to play something that will have them completely immersed or focused, they could choose an adventure game. On the other hand, when they feel the need to have their heart racing and nerves on edge, there are tons of exciting horror-themed video games available.
Video games allow people to pass the time, release stress, challenge themselves or play something that is pleasant. However, gaming is not limited to entertainment. A person can learn a new subject or task by playing video games.
There are learning games on the market for people of all ages. Many are designed for toddlers and school-aged children. The educational video games are available on numerous platforms.
These games are typically introduced in a toy-type or cartoon theme and are made by many companies. “VTech’s.” “Tote & Go Laptop” has 20 learning activities that teach letters, spelling, numbers, shapes and more,” according to Parenting magazine.
Another popular manufacturer is “Leapfrog.” One of their educational toys, “Scribble and Write,” was designed for preschoolers ages 3-5. “Alphie,” which is made by “Playskool,” resembles a robot and teaches kids, three years and up, the alphabet, rhyming, counting, color, shapes, animal names, instrument sounds, and matching skills.
Educational video games are also for use on computers and consoles. The oldest versions entered the market in the late 1960s, beginning with “Lego Programming.”
One memorable game was “Where in the World Is Carmen Sandiego?” Players learn vocabulary, history, and geography while tracking down the infamous Sandiego around the world. The game was so popular that a spin-off TV program aired 296 episodes between 1991-96.
Many have read or heard success stories about some academic program helping children who are struggling in school because of different learning or physiological disabilities. Some students have problems keeping up in the classroom. Video games can help these kids catch up, which allows them to compete with their peers.
Contrary to these examples, some people say video games are harmful. They may not be wrong, but gamers can avoid any negative consequences by remembering that, as with anything, too much can be detrimental. It is important to use recreational and educational games wisely. One way to accomplish this is to set a time to take a break or stop playing.
For the most part, video games have positively impacted society. Gamers are sure to find new and fabulous updates or creations to keep us educated and entertained.
Keeping parents informed of the newest educational videos that can help their children is important. Equally important is for parents to be aware that some video games are very inappropriate for children and often these may be some of the most popular. Talking with teachers and other parents can keep us all on top of the best games for children based on their age.
Contributor and Editor: Cathy Milne
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