This can be a really complicated question for a parent to answer. On one hand, sports can be a super beneficial activity for children to learn from. On the other hand, video games are well… video gamess.
Having a child ask their parent for a $1000 plus gaming machine can be a pretty bold request, but a lot of the benefits of playing a traditional sport can also be had with a mouse and keyboard.
These preconceptions – along with the perceived cost of entry can be a pretty intimidating aspect of the hobby, but a decent PC can be built for as little as $500. Check out build guides for every budget at pcpartpicker.com. Since building a PC is relatively easy with modern technology, it is best to stay away from pre-build gaming rigs that over charge for the convenience of putting it together.
Compared to other sports, gaming is shockingly affordable.
According to the Chicago Tribune, “more than 60 percent of American families spend $1,200 to $6,000 per child annually on youth sports; 20 percent of families shell out $12,000 annually per child.”
Even if a capable PC costs between $500 and $1000 and upgrades are made every few years, gaming can be a much cheaper alternativee.
The University of Missouri Health Care highlights the benefits of team sports, including:
- Better grades
- Teamwork and problem-solving skills
- Boost in self-esteem
- Reduced stress
Now, gaming might not be the most physically nurturing activity, but it makes up for this short coming in safety.
Aside from the foul language that seems to be improving in online communities the increasingly clear dangers of physical sports are becoming huge turnoffs for a lot of parentss.
A poll done by Harris for the American Osteopathic Association found 16 percent of parents wouldn’t let their kids play sports due to health risks. Thirty three percent of parents said it would depend on the game. The most likely sports for parents to bar their kids from playing were football (only 18 percent), Lacrosse (17 percent) and Hockey (12 percent).
Pediatrics – a medical journal – confirmed these fears are well founded. Between 1.1 and 1.9 million concussions occur in American kids annually.
Gaming in combination with physical activity is the best of both worlds – allowing kids to get the benefits of competition without the physical risks.
Children with certain physical or mental disadvantages are perfect candidates for this combination.
In recent years, companies have made improvements that make gaming accessible to everyone.
The Xbox one Adaptive Controllerworks as a hub device and input device. This means that other tools can be attached to help individuals play games no matter what help they need.
The pad itself can be mapped to each game, with two large pads that can be mapped to whatever button players want. It works on PC as well and retails at onnly $100.
The Quadstick line of game controllers is an option for player who can’t use regular game pads by allowing players to interact with the game via their mouth. This input device is a bit pricier, starting at $400.
Regardless of how people play video games, stepping up your game came can be done in a variety of ways. While there is no substitution for practice, it is pretty common for parents to sign their children up for lessons.
The same can be done with eSports as well. While some parents have signed their children up for one on one lessons there are a variety of ways to get similar benefits. Gamercraft offers coaches that provide players with guidance, coaching and skill development. These resources are a great way to improve gaming skills. Gamercraft also provides data that gives detailed information on performance.
If your child does decide to get into eSports, consider playing with them. As opposed to an IRL sport – where the only way to get involved is to take up a coaching position, it is really easy to come along for the ride.
If you’re an experienced gamer you might hold your own in high level ranked matches, if not, being “carried” (heavily aided by another player) in open lobbies can also be engaging.
Today, this is really easy, and you might not even need another high-end PC. Games like Fortnite and Rocket League have cross play, meaning any PS4 or Xbox One player can join a lobby with PC players.
If playing the game isn’t for you, following an eSport is another way to bond over a game. For tips on getting into a game. Check out this article for tips on view the competitive scene.1