Th­ese seven are safe, en­ter­tain­ing and ed­u­ca­tional.

Simply Her (Singapore) - - Contents -

Beatrice Lim’s eight-year-old son Ben spends a few hours a week play­ing online games. And the 38-year-old teacher en­cour­ages it. “Most par­ents have the per­cep­tion that gam­ing is a waste of time, that it teaches kids to be vi­o­lent and ag­gres­sive,” she says. “But I be­lieve that the ben­e­fits out­weigh the risks – as long as you choose the games wisely and su­per­vise the ses­sions.”

Nu­mer­ous stud­ies have pointed to the ad­van­tages of online gam­ing for kids. Re­search done by Michi­gan State Univer­sity schol­ars in 2011 found that both boys and girls who play com­puter games tend to be more cre­ative.

Sev­eral other stud­ies, by Daphne Bave­lier, pro­fes­sor of brain and cog­ni­tive sciences at the Univer­sity of Rochester in New York, show that gamers of all ages per­form bet­ter than non-gamers on tests of at­ten­tion, speed, ac­cu­racy, and multi-task­ing.

Dr Lim Boon Leng, psy­chi­a­trist at Dr BL Lim Cen­tre for Psy­cho­log­i­cal Well­ness at Gle­nea­gles Med­i­cal Cen­tre, agrees that online gam­ing can en­hance a child’s cog­ni­tive abil­i­ties: “Many games en­cour­age ex­plo­ration, fos­ter cre­ativ­ity, and help kids be­come bet­ter de­ci­sion­mak­ers. They may also im­prove hand-eye co­or­di­na­tion and vi­su­alspa­tial abil­ity. Mul­ti­player games are also ben­e­fi­cial as they teach chil­dren about team­work and help to de­velop their so­cial skills.”

Here are our top ed­u­ca­tional game picks:

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