Do video games improve concentration or are they responsible for a shorter attention span?
Yes. No, really. Studies suggest that the answer to both questions is yes.
Certainly, the fast-paced world of technology has shortened attention spans. But there is a vast body of evidence that suggests that, though excessive play results in more difficulties with focus and concentration, a modest amount of game play (45 minutes to an hour) can improve concentration. There isn’t a single video game that doesn’t require focus and concentration. If your child has ADHD or just has trouble focusing staying on task, a video game is the perfect gift this holiday season. Our team at LearningWorks for Kids has made a list and checked it twice — these video games that improve concentration are perfect for Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa gift-giving.
Social Chess – Social Chess is a fully loaded chess app perfect for veterans and aspiring masters alike. As in a physical game of chess, Social Chess players must practice a variety of skills, with focus being among the most called-upon. With the added novelty of the ability to play online against family, friends, and random opponents, chess is brought into the 21st century in this impressive app.
Brain Rush – a fast-paced puzzle game in which shapes must be matched as they fall from the top of the screen, Brain Rush requires its players to exercise flexibility and focus. If your child loves a challenge, she’ll soon be absorbed in the challenge of earning bonuses by making successful matches.
Don’t Shoot Yourself – Don’t Shoot Yourself is a war game in the loosest sense, as it’s the player’s own ship that’s gone rogue. This puzzler tasks players with surviving level after level as their ship, which won’t stop firing, is confined to a small space. Bullets ricochet off walls and fly through portals, and only planning and focus will save you.
Seashores to Sea Floors – For the budding naturalist or the child who just can’t get enough of learning about the world we live in, Seashores to Sea Floors is the ultimate interactive textbook. Reading alone requires working memory and focus, but this truly edutaining app is far from the bulky, wordy texts of yesteryear. This installation in the Crack the Books series takes full advantage of its digital medium with adjustable text size and length for different reading levels, bookmarks, clickable footnotes, and enhanced visuals that immerse your child in learning.
Fore more video games that improve concentration and other executive functions, see our extensive library of Playbooks and App+ reviews.