Sunday, August 18, 2013

Don’t Shoot! It’s an ‘Empathy Game’

A new generation of Video games, which are telling a story are pumping empathy as opposed to adrenaline.

I welcome the arrival of the video game industry to the world of story telling which is how children learn empathy. Man is a storytelling animal who needs stories to help us understand others and ourselves. Stories create connections between a reader and a character and the empathy that comes from those connections help us be more human and often bring a therapeutic effect for a person struggling with a challenge.

Empathy and perspective springs from the experience of reading and talking about a story and permits children to understand their own and other people’s feelings.  A good story allows you to step inside a character’s shoes and feel and think what they are experiencing.

Children need to have high literacy skills, the use and command of language, so they can tell their own stories and understand the stories of other.  Stories help us regulate our emotions, consider consequences, think before acting, and consider how others feel, all of which help us thrive in all aspects of our lives.

The relationship between parent and child is part of the reading experience. Parents who Conversationally Read— read and talk about a story with children— feel more connected to their children and more satisfied in their role as a parent. In turn, the reading experience for the child gives a clear message they are loved and understood. This is how we help children thrive and reach their full potential.

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