It could be tough to get our kids to turn off the video game and start their homework. But before you make them put the controller down, you might want to know they're learning some important skills.
You wouldn't think games such as Madden NFL or Battlefield 2142 will help our kids do better in school. But in fact, a new study shows our kids are learning from games usually banned from the classroom.
"It's kind of about strategy, you have to be good at it to have fun with it," says Keith School student Jacob Jang.
This sixth grader spends about two hours a day battling aliens and bullying bad guys. Even though Jacob Jang thinks these video games are just for fun, he's really learning some important skills.
"Eye-hand coordination, the complexity of the understanding multiple bits of info coming in at once. It's maybe not the type of skills we wanted but it's the type of skills they're gonna need if the equipment can keep up," says psychologist Terrance Lichtenwald.
The Federation of American Scientists says games such as Guild Wars is a great learning tool. Beating a level requires experimentation, failure and learning from mistakes. It's skills like these the study says will better prepare students like Jacob to compete in the real world. But not everyone is keen on having their kids learn from a machine.
"I think a lot of the video games you see out there are very violent and they don't teach good messages to our children so I think a parent needs to be careful in what they pick and let their child use," says parent Rosemary Collins.
Some educational video games are being used in classrooms throughout the Stateline. Students combine physics and business management skills to build roller coasters and bridges. And every once in a while, they get to virtually pick on their teacher.
Keith School supplies it's middle school students with individual lap tops. For about ten minutes a day, students get to play educational games during class. And a Keith teacher has built a website complete with links to several of these games.
Even the Army uses video games to better prepare it's soldiers for battle. It reports 7-point-6 million users have registered for America's Army, a training and recruiting game.