As one of the global symbols of the mid-90s, Tamagotchi generated some serious scientific buzz, urging experts to pay closer attention to the educational value of virtual pet games. By now, most of those values have been tested, researched and approved in practice. Upgraded and further developed to suit the fostering needs of a modern child, a virtual pet now shows serious potential in being a parent’s little helper. If you are considering adopting one for yourself, here are some of the benefits you should know about.
An Engaging Game That Proposes Care Instead Of Violence
When virtual pet games were first designed, the idea behind the project was very simple – in order to get kids to stop playing violent video games, experts needed to come up with more appropriate games that were equally fun and engaging. Since even the most mischievous kids never failed to show interest when interacting with animals, a virtual pet was an obvious choice.
By blending two of their favorite attractions – games and animals – experts have certainly come up with the most effective tool for keeping kids away from aggressive behavior in the digital world. Once the huge potential of virtual pet games was discovered, educators were more than keen to adjust them to the specific requirements of a developing child.
As the combined efforts of educators and app developers began to turn to success, parents were delighted to introduce their kids to a loving, friendly, and immensely gratifying virtual pet.
A Test Period Before an Actual Pet Arrives
As an undemanding way of teaching your kids a lesson or two about caring for their furry friends, a virtual dog has proven to be highly effective. While interacting with one, a kid learns pretty much everything about what it means to tend to the needs of and interact with another living being.
From your own grown-up perspective, adopting a virtual canine eliminates the potential risk of having to go after your kid’s barking minion, ending up cleaning the carpet and running to the vet every other day.
However charming, not every time is a good time for welcoming another member to the family. On the other hand, adopting a virtual pet instead of a real one is a good opportunity for testing how capable and determined your kid actually is to take care of a real dog.
A Once in a Lifetime Opportunity to Meet the Dragon
Sometimes, however, a dog is not enough. Basically, every third kid shows interest in exotic, even dangerous animals – children’s fascination with tigers, lions, pandas or elephants is perfectly understandable, considering that most kids never get the chance to see, let alone interact with one of them.
For that reason alone, an opportunity to learn more about these animals through an actual interplay is a precious one. Even if your kids have already befriended a dog or a cat, don’t deny them the possibility of having an exotic pet. After all, who wouldn’t want to have a dragon in his or her bedroom?
A Lesson about Life
Whichever virtual pet your family chooses, each of them possesses a significant potential for schooling your kids on serious matters of life. There are many complex life lessons to be presented to our young ones and a lot of them are even difficult for adults to get a hang of.
Virtual pet games can help give children an idea of how friendships work through teaching them about the importance of caring for someone else. Providing their virtual friend with love and affection on a daily basis, i.e. being there for their virtual pet when it needs food or wants to play, is a simple way of learning how to be a better person.
Virtual Pets Accelerate Socio-Emotional Development
Still, learning to adjust to the needs of another living being and remembering to nurture every one of them is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the educational potential of virtual pet games. Examining that potential, different studies have included children with special needs and developmental difficulties to their tests and came up with interesting results.
To children with socio-emotional impairment, a virtual pet provides an intimidating opportunity to practice their social skills. Even though there isn’t an actual person on the receiving end, having a virtual pet for a friend encourages the process of learning social cues, taking care and relating to another being, which can be rather difficult to these kids.
By encouraging them to relate to others, digital interaction can help these kids overcome the challenges of social behavior in the real world.
Both entertaining and educational, virtual pet games are one of the best choices for kids in their early stages of emotional development – by demanding a long-term engagement, they recreate a life cycle and teach about commitment, devotion, and friendship. Being some of many, these reasons are still quite convincing for you to welcome a new member to your family, even if it’s a virtual one.