Gaming has changed a lot from when your parents were young. Whether they played Super Mario Bros. or NBA Jam, they often competed one-on-one against a computer.
Then, about 20 years ago, playing video games online started to take off—and gaming became more of a group activity. Today, when you play online, you’re often competing against other people—sometimes in different countries. At the same time, you’re engaging with other players and learning how to get along. Some experts even believe that gamers may have better social skills than nongamers.
Playing video games can have other important benefits too, experts say. Research suggests that games that let you build and design things, such as Minecraft, can make you more creative. Other games can help strengthen your memory and teach you to overcome obstacles.
Plus, Shapiro says, all that time spent online can help prepare teens for careers in today’s digital world.
“Screen time is part of how we all live our lives now,” he points out. “Who’s going to do better in a world of Zoom than a kid who grew up playing Fortnite?”