Gaming to learn life skills

Tapping in . .. Young people from around the Clutha district pose for the camera for a split second before returning to using their brain power for the YourCorps video game event held on Saturday at the Balclutha Community Library. PHOTO: EVELYN THORN

James Wards hopes to decrease the stigma of video games — but not just the gaming side.

The fully mobile YourCorps video game event has been held in Balclutha before, but the organisation has finally had the opportunity to run a free event for children.

YourCorps owner›operator Mr Wards believes getting community involvement in technology and bringing children into the world of video games is a way to bring young ones together.

‘‘There is a huge stigma around video games, and people immediately assume bad things when it comes to children and technology.

‘‘Some people are quick to blame technology for many issues that children grow up with, but if it’s done in the right way it’s amazing to bring children together and get them to socialise,’’ Mr Wards said.

He highlighted the importance of teaching life skills along with having fun.

‘‘The kids coming to these events make friends both on and off of the screen.

‘‘We take breaks between games and play multiplayer games that develop both team building skills and independence.

‘‘Along with this, they learn how to use every part of a computer — from the mouse, to the keyboard, to the screen itself.

‘‘In this day and age, knowing how to manoeuvre these devices is a pretty practical skill to have,’’ he said.

The YourCorps organisation was able to provide a free event through a sponsor, and Mr Shaw hoped he could amp up support within the community to continue to provide free events for children who may not be able to play a sport or don’t have social skills to get out and about.

‘‘I’m really aiming to alleviate the initial intimidation with technology among communities, especially schools.

‘‘This is something that could expand if the community gets behind it, and it can provide many opportunities for younger people around the district who may need something extra,’’ he said.