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Computer games should be chosen together with children. Well-chosen games can be a teaching tool

Computer games must be matched to the age, stage of development and sensitivity of the child. They should also be bought according to the interests of a toddler and can be a continuation of adventures of characters known from fairy tales or cartoons. According to experts, games that consist in solving puzzles or promote healthy competition rules are a good didactic tool. They improve reflexes and manual dexterity, develop imagination, shape decision-making skills, as well as the ability to associate and think logically.

Psychologists agree that skillfully selected computer games can bring many benefits to a child - develop its cognitive functions, improve eye-hand coordination and teach how to cope with defeats. The decision to buy a particular game should therefore be well thought out.

- It primarily depends on the emotional, mental and motor development of the child. Young children most often reach for games on portable devices, such as smartphones or tablets, as well as various consoles. Most often these are games that feature characters already known from various other media - from fairy tales or cartoons. Therefore , a parent can be sure that this is a kind of continuation of the plot - says dr Dominika Urbańska-Galanciak, the managing director of the Association of Producers and Distributors of Entertainment Software, a sociologist and a spokesperson of the Warsaw Games Week information agency Newseria Lifestyle.

In order to choose the right game for a child, first of all you have to assess his predispositions and check his interests.

- I always recommend not to buy a game for a child, but to buy games with a child. Because in fact, the child is to use it and he knows best, whether he likes the robot, fireman, unicorn or princess. It is known that the heroes of games are different, and therefore the child must also choose whether he or she wants it to be, for example, a sports game, a car game, more about competition, solving puzzles or solving puzzles - explains Dr. Dominika Urbańska-Galanciak.

When choosing a game, parents should be guided by the labels on the packaging instead of the advice of salespeople, e.g. the PEGI system, which divides them into specific age brackets, and pictograms indicating the violent and erotic content. If the games are well-chosen and apart from having fun they also have an educational value, then in the long run they will have a positive influence on the child's development.

- Very many games for children are designed with a view to developing certain skills. In connection with this there are camouflaged some educational values, tasks to perform such as matching shapes, colors or learning letters, numbers. Small children can really learn a lot by using such games and it is certainly a very good tool for such hidden didactics - explains Dominika Urbańska-Galanciak.

It is also a good idea for parents to play together with children. In this way they will not only be able to control their children but also enter their world better and establish a deeper relation with them, which undoubtedly strengthens family ties.

- I always highly recommend that parents play along with their kids, even if they really aren't keyboard masters. They don't necessarily have to be the same as their kids when it comes to using these modern technologies, but it's nice that they sit down together, that they get into a cooperative mode with their child. Many games now allow children to play with their peers, siblings, friends, but also with their parents, and this is very nice - stresses Dominika Urbańska-Galanciak.

According to the specialists, a child should not measure the time devoted to a game with a watch in hand. Everything should be adjusted to a particular situation and to the type of game.

- The game usually consists of certain tasks, levels that need to be completed. Therefore, a parent who says that you finish in 5 minutes clearly does not understand the structure of the game. And it is worth remembering that finishing the game before completing the level is actually a failure. So you need to allow your child to finish a certain level. It is best to simply agree that you will play until the end of the game, until the end of a lap, a race, or just a task that is there to complete - says Dr. Dominika Urbańska-Galanciak.

The Association of Amusement Software Producers and Distributors conducts numerous educational activities. The next meeting will be held in October at the Warsaw Games Week fair, during which a special zone will be prepared where parents will receive materials on the proper selection of games for children.