Video Games | 5 MIN READ

Teaching Kids Integrity Through Video Games

June 3, 2021 By Big Fat Phoenix
teaching kids integrity

Every parent is keen that their child develop positive character traits as they develop. Teaching kids integrity means that they will value concepts such as justice and fairness, and will grow up to be contributing citizens within society. They will be passionate about creating a more compassionate world.

Children who learn to value integrity at an early age will always stand up for what is right, and conduct themselves ethically. They will learn not to let personal feelings affect their decision in bringing justice and fairness to any situation. By having a strong moral compass, they will be able to always be fair to everyone they meet.

However, as every parent knows, teaching kids integrity is hard! Children are easily distracted, and dislike rote learning. This is why social emotional learning activities for kids are a powerful way to empower the next generation.

Luckily, video games are fun. As a result, they are a powerful method for teaching kids integrity. Games are interactive, and there are no boring moments. A child’s brain is like a sponge, so the right kind of game can be an inspired tool for teaching kids good character traits. Read on to learn more about how playing SEL games can influence a child’s positive emotional development.

Roleplaying Integrity: Best Learning Games for Kids

SEL games for kids are emotional sandboxes where kids can safely explore possibilities and outcomes. They can make decisions and get immediate feedback on that action’s consequences. Our Fairside Project aims to teach kids about traits such as kindness, all the while ensuring they are having fun.

Here are some screenshots of ingame scenarios from our suite of Fairside Project games. Our games let players take on different situations that will test their character and decision-making skills. By exposing players to these situations, it helps understand the meaning and importance of integrity.

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In this scenario from Pandemic Panic, the players will be presented with the choice of doing something devious to make some people happier, or doing the right thing even when no one is looking. This scenario may look familiar to most kids, but on a smaller scale: For example, sneakily eating cookies before dinner, or hiding poor test results.

Devious acts may provide shallow satisfaction, but they have their adverse consequences. By getting exposed to choices like this, children are enticed to think and reflect on what they like to do, versus what is the right thing to do. Teaching kids integrity through examples and outcomes is the best way for them to fully understand what the trait is and why it is valuable.

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This scene from Pandemic Panic shows the result of a player’s positive, justice-driven decisions. To reach this point, the player must have picked choices that show justice and fairness even in hard situations.

By not choosing the easy way out and showing resolve in upholding their sense of justice, children will develop their sense of justice at an early age. They will become fair individuals in the future who will learn to stand up for themselves and for those who can’t.

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This in-game screenshot is from School Saver. This particular scenario shows the importance of taking one for the team, or being fair at all times no matter the circumstances. Being fair means not being biased on your decision, but always doing the right thing.

Homework is not exactly everyone’s favorite activity, and the thought of doing homework for someone else is definitely not a fun thing to do. However, looking at the bigger picture, this situation will make players think about others and commit a selfless act. Will the Academicore do the Athleticore’s homework to ease their workload so they can practice for an important match, or will they let them do it in the name of fairness? Teaching kids integrity is all about exposing them to dilemmas like this one.

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This scenario from Big Fat Phoenix’s School Saver shows an interesting scene. There is a practical reason why the Athleticore wear uniforms during games and that is for easy movement and better performance. It is common for sports teams to wear a uniform. However, the Academicore are feeling left out and would also like to wear one.

This situation will force players to think; should they accommodate the request to make the Academicore happy, or make a decision based on factors like practicality? You can’t please everyone, but you can always choose to do the right thing, and that is all that matters.

Social Emotional Learning Activities for Kids

At Big Fat Phoenix, all of our games align to the 5 Core SEL Competencies. A recent CASEL update stressed the importance of creating just communities, and positioned SEL as an integral part of the advancement of educational equity and excellence.

This SEL focus is key to what we do at Big Fat Phoenix. We believe SEL can have a huge positive impact on building just communities by encouraging future citizens to make caring and kind decisions. Games like The Fairside Project encourage the ability to effectively communicate and listen actively. They foster a willingness to cooperate, an ability to resolve conflict peacefully, and be ready to help people in need. These are all the ingredients for a better world.

Here at Big Fat Phoenix, with the help of interactive games, we believe that kids can rapidly develop their SEL skills. Our games can give players the feeling of being a part of a community. By having the player’s decision affect the entire community, they feel a sense of belongingness, and a responsibility to do the right thing. Video games provide a safe space for children to roleplay scenarios and actions, and learn about what it means to be responsible for our actions.

Since games are pretend-play they can learn from their mistakes safely, and without anybody getting hurt. If your kids decide to choose sneaky and unscrupulous behaviour during playtime, they will be given instant feedback and will be shown the consequences of their actions. This way, kids will be encouraged to stay away from these kinds of behaviour and they will develop the habit to always do the right thing even when no one is watching.

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