What the Research Shows About Video Games, Creativity, Problem Solving, and Social Skills

Games and technology

Video games provide a host of 21st century opportunities to practice abilities such as creativity, problem solving, and social skills. There is a wealth of research suggesting that games and technology can practice and improve these skills. Some of the most interesting research about video games, creativity, problem solving, and social skills indicates that  “digital natives” (those born after 1985, who have grown up in the age of digital technology and video games) are more creative, engage in more social interaction, and are apt to be more innovative in their problem solving than their peers of the 70s and 80s.

The ability of video games to enhance creativity, problem solving, and social skills is quite reasonable when one considers that they are simply another form of children’s play. Video game-based digital play often offers more opportunities for expansive play than traditional play. For example, most board games have only one level to play, while video games provide numerous levels, challenges, and characters within each game. Similarly, a child engaged in artistic pursuit may have limited materials at hand, such as paper, pencils, crayons, and markers, but a digital artist can have an array of materials, colors, digital tools, and the opportunity to make dozens of mistakes before settling on something they like.

In this review of the research on video games, creativity, problem solving, and social skills you can read about the following topics:

Creativity – Learn how 21st century kids are more creative than their pre-digital technology peers.

Problem-solving – Learn how video games and apps can not only practice but also support problem-solving innovations.

Social skills– Learn how more than 85% of video-game play is social in nature and how it provides opportunities for anxious and withdrawn children to engage with their peers.

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