Your Kid’s Not Going Pro

A Youth Sports Blog

Video games: good, and good for you

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So says the European Union, clearly trying to undermine rock-solid American values by encouraging couch-potatoness. From Reuters (British — hey, aren’t they supposed to be our allies?):

BRUSSELS — Videogames can be good for children, encouraging creativity and cooperation, a European Union report concluded Wednesday which ran counter to the violent reputation of some titles.

In conclusions that may either surprise or reassure parents of game addicts, the study by the European Parliament Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection found a number of benefits and no definitive link to violent behavior.

“Videogames are in most cases not dangerous and can even contribute to the development of important skills,” said Toine Manders, the Dutch liberal lawmaker who drafted the report.

“(They stimulate) learning of facts and skills such as strategic reflection, creativity, cooperation and a sense of innovation,” a news release on the report said.

I’m sorry, did someone say something? I can’t hear over the sounding of my 11-year-old blasting zombies in “Left 4 Dead.”

Seriously, video games can be a huge help when introducing children to the rules of a sport. When my aforementioned 11-year-old was starting soccer, he got a better understanding of what to do by playing EA Sports World Cup. When he started basketball, playing NBA Live helped him grasp the concepts of the game. (He also, as a 7-year-old, was asking who was traded for whom so he could update the rosters. It certainly helped him grasp the concept of being a GM.) And when he started with hockey, his understanding improved playing NHL Live.

And why is my 6-year-old totally into bowling, playing in a league every Saturday? Wii Bowling!

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The most important training tools for your budding young athlete.

You might think my 11-year-old is too young to be playing zombie-killer games such as “Left 4 Dead” and “Dead Rising.” But I have a cemetery at the end of my block, and I want to make sure my son is ready, just in case.

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