Study: Which Video Games Best Teach Real-World Life Skills?This post may contain affiliate links. If you buy something we may get a small commission at no extra cost to you. (Learn more).
Video games are good for us and our brains*. It’s been proven, by real scientists. There also aren’t enough hours in the day, and that’s also been proven by coffee shops around the world continuing to boom.
So what happens if a) you don’t have enough time in the day and b) you have a young human to teach valuable skills to?
We know that video games can help improve cognitive ability in children**, so we wondered whether simulation games could help teach them some important life skills.
When asked why they think it’s important to teach children life skills, parents were generally positive about their reasons, with a majority of parents citing the importance of helping their children live self-sufficiently, living a good quality of life, and being able to contribute to society.
Here are the most sought-after life skills, the percentage of parents that hope their child successfully develops them, and the best simulation games to teach them:
|Life skill||% of parents wanting their child to develop the skill||Best game to teach the skill|
|1. Decision making||98%||911 Operator|
|2. Driving||96%||City Car Driving|
|3. Cooking||95%||Cooking Simulator|
|4. Car repair||92%||Car Mechanic Simulator 2021|
|5. Money management||90%||FIFA 22|
|6. Communication skills||88%||Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes|
|7. Music||85%||Rocksmith 2014|
|8. Foreign language skills||82%||Influent|
|9. DIY skills||80%||House Flipper|
|10. Tech skills||78%||PC Building Simulator (with IT Expansion)|
We also wanted to know a little bit more about parents and their opinions on both teaching skills and video games. We surveyed more than 4,000 parents (4,126 to be exact!) across America and asked the following questions:
- Do you regularly attempt to teach your kids life skills?
- 82% responded with ‘yes’.
- 18% responded with ‘no’.
- Do you feel as though you spend enough time teaching your kids life skills? 61% responded with ‘no’ and from that 61%:
- 94% said they did not have enough time
- 80% said they do not have the skills to teach them
- 78% said they do not have the money or resources to teach them
- Do you think playing video games is a valuable way to spend time?
- 68% of parents said ‘yes’
- 8% of parents said ‘no’
- 24% of parents said they ‘didn’t know/it depends’
- Do you actively encourage or discourage your kids to play video games?
- 47% of parents encourage their kids to play video games
- 4% of parents discourage their kids to play video games
- 49% of parents feel ambivalent about their kids playing video games
- Do you think video games are beneficial to learning and development?
- 62% of parents said ‘it depends/don’t know’
- 25% of parents said ‘yes’
- 13% of parents said ‘no’
- Do you think video games have a positive effect on your children?
- 66% of parents said ‘it depends/don’t know’
- 24% of parents said ‘yes’
- 10% of parents said ‘no’
Do you agree? How do you feel about your kids playing video games and do you have any must-have games for teaching skills? Be sure to let us know.
FandomSpot issued a survey to 4,126 parents of 10 – 19 year olds across the United States to gather opinions and sentiment on video gaming and their approach to ensuring that their children are being taught life skills. Respondents were selected across a range of demographics, including but not limited to gender, race and social class.
A panel of 10 adults (21+) were also selected to test simulation games based on the most-sought after skills. The panel were selected from a range of demographics but also skills, knowledge and jobs.
Games were selected by a member of the FandomSpot team based on reviews from the gaming store, Steam, and provided to the panel to be played on their own devices.
The panel then judged each game and gave it a review based on how true to life it felt and how well it explained the concept of the task at hand.