Here's what video games have to teach our children (or us, for that matter): growth mindset, skill building, persistence, and tenacity.
Yep, I said that. Video games have useful things to teach us. In the world of video games, you must constantly learn new tricks, routes, moves, etc. in order to move past the challenge. You must build skills through experience in order to level up. In this, you are developing a growth mindset. You don't begin a game expecting to be at level 6000. You know that you must "do the work"-complete the tasks of lower levels-to get to the big stuff. And you don't do that by playing one time.
Nope. You know that you will need to return again and again to the game in order to gradually level up. You will be persistent. Why? Because leveling up is the reward. You're not paid for this (or, at least not generally), you're not given a tangible prize. But just building the skills and being better than you were the day before is its own reward.
When I was a teenager, my brother obtained a Sega game system which came with the game "Sonic the Hedgehog". I played that game tenaciously, probably daily, for more hours than anyone would think was healthy. There were only the very basic instructions (this button does this, that button does that), but as I played again and again, I learned special tricks, secret routes, how to beat this challenge and that level-the dopamine surging every time I leveled up. Until eventually, I beat the entire game.
What did I do then? Declare myself a champion and bask in my glory? Nope. I began again, moving a little quicker through the levels each time, until I could beat the entire game consistently.
I'm sure this isn't the only thing that taught me a growth mindset, but I'm not about to discount the role Sonic the Hedgehog played in my brain development. Later in life, people marveled at how I moved through the stages of language learning, from babbling incoherently like an infant to carrying on conversations, but I learned how to do this from video games. I knew I wasn't inherently good at language learning (fixed mindset), but I knew I had to be persistent-tenacious-to "level up." I knew I had to complete the slow babbling beginner levels, build skills, learn the tricks and secrets in order to communicate. It was just like Sonic the Hedgehog. I had plenty of game overs on the way to successful(ish) communication.
I wasn't any more "natural" at it than others, I just did it more. I carried a notebook and pen on a lanyard around my neck to write down new vocabulary words. Instead of hanging out with the other English speakers, I would wander around and try to talk to the locals. I would fumble, stall, misunderstand, say inappropriate things accidentally, and fall into bed exhausted at night knowing that I was a tiny bit better today than I was yesterday.
This practice has informed my entire life. It’s how I farm, it's how I play, it’s how I paddle, it’s how I live. So, poo-poo video games all you want, and I’m not saying we should live our lives inside a video game (that can’t be good for our eyes right?), but I do think Sonic the Hedgehog played a positive roll in my education.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.