Do you know a kid who enjoys watching other people play video games more than actually playing them? Many adults are perplexed by the trend of vicarious video game play. What’s so great about watching other people play video games?
They’re called Let’s Play videos, and right now they are the most popular content on YouTube. Gamers record their video game play and commentary, and millions of viewers of varying ages flock to watch. The majority of kids who loves Minecraft are now spending some of their screen time watching other people play the game. The most popular YouTubers who produce Let’s Play videos are making six-to-seven figures and have audiences of up to 30 million people. Yes, you read that right. Millions of viewers. Millions of dollars.
Parents often asked me: What are kids getting from watching other people play video games? Much of this perplexity, honestly, is tied to the enduring stigma of video gaming.
The truth is, watching video games is not that much different from watching football games, poker, racing, golf, or some reality shows. Viewers learn a bit about the game, are entertained, and have something to share with like-minded friends.
That being said, most kids are not learning too much else while watching Let’s Plays. Parents who are concerned that their kids are mindlessly watching these videos would actually prefer that their kids go back to playing video games. The passive nature of Let’s Play videos is actually more similar to watching television. As a result, parents may wish to set limits on Let’s Plays as they would for television viewing. Then there is the additional concern of the age appropriateness of content.
So, if you are concerned that your child is wasting their time or their mind playing Let’s Play videos, you’ll be pleased to know that LearningWorks for Kids has been producing highly entertaining Let’s Plays that teach kids how to play their favorite games and how they practice the thinking skills that can help them in everyday life. You can let your kids watch these videos knowing that they will be having fun and turning their screen time into a powerful opportunity for learning.
The LearningWorks for Kids Let’s Play video library is vast, featuring popular games like Minecraft, Portal 2, and Star Wars Battlefront, Heartstone, Civilization, and League of Legends. Our Let’s Plays are really funny, great for learning cool game skills, and have just the right mix of educational content. In order to access our entire library of more than 100 Let’s Play learning videos, become a premium member of LearningWorks for Kids. Premium membership not only allows a child to watch all of our Let’s Plays videos but also gives them access to our Play Now games directly on the website that will improve skills such as organization, planning, and working memory.
Featured image: Flickr user Vincent Diamante