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Electrical_Tip352 t1_ix0gc09 wrote

Anecdotally, my 12 year old games A LOT. He wants to be a professional gamer when he grows up. I can honestly say that with very little effort he gets all As and Bs in school (after two and a half years of online school, he’s back in public school now). He’s really good at math, problem solving, engineering,and has tenacity. I will say he struggles the most with language arts though. I wonder if he played more story games, with some dialogue and reading if he’d excel in that too?

I heavily cut down on his allowable gaming hours during the school week, trying to encourage more tactile arts, like sketching and reading. But the more I real of these studies the more I think I should encourage different types of games to build those lacking skills.

He’s in a STEM class where they use an engineering computer program to build out the specs of the things they’re going to build. He picked it immediately and is doing all of the blueprints for my at home projects.

The biggest negative effect I can see (compounded by covid and isolation) is lack of in- person social skills. We all know the way we act online is different than how we act in person. So he’s having a hard time making “real life” friends at school.


hottwhyrd t1_ix2089t wrote

Ugg. Professional gamer. At what age is at safe to explain there are more NFL players than people making a living playing games. I know many kids who idolize these gamers but what the don't realize is, it's not the gaming that garners viewer/money. Its the personalities. One thing I like to mention is most of the top end streamers are fit and healthy. That's because when not sitting in front of a PC they are active, kids just don't see that part.


Hautamaki t1_ix2jdxy wrote

I mean Tyler1 does lots of pushups and weightlifting stuff on stream, maybe more streamers should copy that. Then again he also babyrages a lot on stream which isn't exactly what you want to see emulated either...


CraftyRole4567 t1_ix1k5nb wrote

The teachers I know at the grammar school level have always referred to it (out of the kids’ hearing!) as No-friend-o because of the association they see between gaming heavily and lack of social skills/isolation. That said, the games have changed a lot and quickly over the years, and especially for kids who are playing team games and know each other in real life it can be just another social outlet.

Covid has left* so many* kids struggling with social skills. 12 is a tough age, too. Your son sounds like a great kid, with a lot of interests (nothing wrong with math and engineering! And I say that as a history teacher.)

The idea about games that includes storylines makes sense to me, and wouldn’t it be helpful if there were some detailed studies on what kinds of video games are most helpful to kids in improving specific skills? I don’t know if they’ve even bothered to do that.


Hautamaki t1_ix2jant wrote

my guess as both a former teacher and a gamer is that what he really craves is an outlet for his competitive instincts/urge, as most boys do. Schools heavily de-emphasize and even discourage feelings of competitiveness around academic achievement, and that I think is one of the primary de-motivating factors that causes boys to be less interested in school. If there's anything you can do to try to re-ignite, in a healthy way, a competitive aspect to achievement in school, that would allow him to scratch that itch in a possibly more productive way. It seems like the STEM class you refer to possibly already has done that to some extent; being surrounded by other boys with similar interests that probably all want to develop and show off their abilities to contribute has probably ignited some of that passion. Figuring out how to compete with peers in a productive and healthy way is definitely a major part of developing social skills as well.


kidicarus89 t1_ix1su3p wrote

Since he’s now 12, does his school have sports that he can try out? That always seemed to help me socialize a lot more at that age, with the added bonus of often being too tired to play games.


shadowkiller t1_ix3cyjj wrote

> The biggest negative effect I can see (compounded by covid and isolation) is lack of in- person social skills.

As someone who was like your son, many years ago, this is far more important than the rest. If he does really want to be a professional gamer, that means building a community of fans and interacting with them frequently. If he ends up going into a more traditional job it's obviously important.


Youaskedforit016 t1_ix3d9nh wrote

>he’s having a hard time making “real life” friends at school.

Really? No Way? A nerd gamer not able to make friends? Isn't that the point. Gamers have all online friends, Cause "real life" is well REAL. And if they could face that, they wouldn't be gaming all the time.


reg454 t1_ix0muho wrote

That sounds lot like how I was when I was younger. I'd check for symptoms innatentive ADHD.