[This is a post I originally wrote for one of my other sites, Gentlemen of Gaming. But it applies just as much to Modern Day Dad, so I thought I'd include it here too.]
Those of us who play video games regularly already know that, aside from entertainment, video games can have other (often unintended) benefits. And while I'm not really sold that playing Just Dance 3 on the Wii should really count as exercise, there are skills to learn and practice while playing games.
So if you've been wanting to get an XBOX 360 for the living room and still can't convince your wife, send her a copy of this article a friend sent me recently, Kids and video games: Why children should play more [Venturebeat.com]. Video games can promote cooperation, teamwork, problem solving, planning and thinking "outside of the box."
"...The Federation of American Scientists (FAS) states that kids actually need more, not less, video game play as a result. Citing games’ ability to prepare workers for the increasingly competitive global job market, the organization says that games promote strategic thinking, interpretative analysis, plan formulation, and ability to respond to change."
Despite what many parents may think (and what many bloggers may, ahem, blog about), not all video games are violent. In fact, the vast majority are not. And when you compare playing a game to more passive forms of entertainment like watching television, the differences are easilly contrasted.
I just wish this research existed when I was twelve.