Growing up as a 90's kid, I was introduced to many things that defined my childhood.
Sponge Bob SquarePants.
None were as influential as when my parents introduced a PlayStation 1 into my life. Some of my fondest memories is getting to play Crash Team Racing (Naughty Dog) with my family on weeknights.
My experience with gaming didn't just stop there.
I remember Christmas 2003 when I opened up my copy of Kingdom Hearts 1 (Square Enix, Disney) much to my joy. It has become one of my favorite series of all time and has gotten me through so much with its eccentric gameplay, memorable characters, and storytelling.
I remember purchasing an old Xbox 360 in college with my own money and owning my very first console. Spending nights with my friends playing Halo (Microsoft), Final Fantasy (Square Enix), and Elder Scrolls (Bethesda) were always great for bonding and a much needed break from the toll of constant studying.
Video games have played a significant part of my life and will most likely be part of it for years to come. So of course, when I became a speech language pathologist, I became interested in how to incorporate gaming into my everyday therapies. What I found through practice and research is how video games can actually enhance the therapy experience.
Wait, video games and speech therapy?
I understand how it can look. Playing video games during therapy is a waste of time. Why aren't you doing language activities? Why am I paying you to play video games with my child? What is the point? Don't video games rot your brain? What skills are you actually learning?
These are all valid questions and concerns that I am asked every single day. Believe it it or not, the research on video games is tremendous! Researchers have been studying the effects of gaming in various settings. They even have studies done for speech language pathology! I wanted to share some of my viewpoints in this series called Leveling Up Speech!
The Leveling Up Speech Series will tackle all the latest in gaming and speech therapy and how, surprisingly, they may be more connected than you actually think. In this series we will:
- Discuss the research behind video gaming and its effect on language, cognition, and social skills.
- Review various games, genres, and terminology and show how to incorporate speech and language skills into everyday gaming.
- Provide Q&A of common questions and misconceptions of gaming and its relation to speech and language.
This has been a project that I have been excited to work on for many months. I am so excited to start this series as a way to bring more information to you so that you feel more empowered to make decisions with all the information you need about gaming.
Stay Tuned for the next week as we being to roll out our series on Mondays :)
Till Next Time,
Speech Geek :)