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Video Games May Not Be the Root of All Evil Name Institution Name
Video Game Benefits
Abstract Video games have become an integrated part of our life. This paper tends to explore the positive effects of video games in our daily life. Positive outcomes including educational, emotional, psychological and medical benefits have been discussed. This paper is a result of research conducted from the web as well as offline content. Different theories and experiments related to the bright side of video games conducted by various researchers and authors were explored. Different articles and journals have also been consulted as a part of the research. Moreover, certain suggestions regarding the use of video games have also been recommended.
Video Game Benefits Video Games May Not Be the Root of All Evil
Today’s children tend to play in a virtual playground that provides a variety of environments. Children who once used to go outside and build forts now can build entire villages. Children of the yesteryear played legos and pretend. Now there are video games created to promote physical activity to get the kids up and moving around. Video games have become the focus point for many children and adults alike. Sixty-four percent of American’s have played video games within the last six months (Whitney, 2009). Throughout the years, people have assumed that the sedimentary lives of gamers have been a determent to these gamers. This has become the focal point of many experiments and studies, the desire to see if there are benefits to playing video games. The results proved interesting. Video games have shown to improve dexterity, logical thinking, memory, self-esteem and have an overall educational benefit. The very first video game console created was released in 1972. This Magnavox Odyssey nicknamed the “Brown Box” due to its appearance (thegameconsole.com, n.d.). The renowned Atari closely followed this in 1975. Sears actually sold these systems. Atari actually varied in style and games over the next few years. The most used and remember was also a breakthrough in technology this is the Atari 2600 in 1977. This game console used cartridges rather than a new game console. Over the course of the next eight years Atari and Magnavox created many variations that lead up to the 1985 Nintendo. Sega followed a year later and created a second version, Genesis in 1989. Super Nintendo was the results improvement in 1991. The following year Sega replaced the cartridges with CDs. Sony joined the video game race in 1995 with introduction of the PlayStation. The competition responded with the Sega Saturn and Nintendo 64. Sega also created the Dreamcast in 1999, which did not succeed as predicted. The PlayStation PS1 was launched in 2000; this sparked the video game console war, as we now know it. The same year Sony launched the PS2. A year later, the Nintendo Game Cube was released alongside Microsoft’s X-Box. During 2004, the PS2 shrunk in size and became the new design for many systems. Microsoft launched the system that would contend with all competition for years to come, the Xbox 360 in 2005. The latest creation is the Nintendo Wii, which claims to pull the couch potato back into an active lifestyle in 2006 (“thegameconsole.com”, n.d.). This history of video game consoles demonstrate the shift of the child playing outside to the child existing in a limitless life in a virtual world. Researchers, Parents and teachers have begun to review these video games once thought to destroy the gamers’ life and found out a surprising result. The video games that were thought to hurt actually were having beneficial results. Nottingham Trent University conducted a study headed by Dr. Mark Griffiths to analyze the educational level of video games. This study uncovered the benefits in each area of concern. When reviewing the affect on language skills the study showed that gamers were able to interact with peers effectively, better able to follow and give directives. They were also more adept at answering inquiries and participating in a directed discussion. Mathematically videogames showed that children that played video games that required math scored better than those that did not. Even the most basic video game required reading the instructions. Minimally this meant simply reading words like “go”, “stop”, “quit” and “save”. Socially video gamers have an automatic common interest therefore; children that play games have an easier time socializing with other children that have the same interest (Griffiths, 2004). These studies supported the benefits of game playing despite the bad reputation they are given. The benefits are also detectable among older gamers. Games are known to enhance creativity and develop a taste of graphics, design and technology. Games are known to induce decision making and tech players to think on their feet. Many of the video and computer games help children gain self confidence. Now-a-days, a number of video games are readily available
Video Game Benefits
which are based on strategy, history and governance building skills. These kinds of games indirectly teach children about the different aspects of life on the earth (Rudon, 2009). Many older people believe video games are for their lazy grandchildren who do not appreciate the sunshine and outdoors. According to the data presented by one set of researchers, this is not the reality of the situation. The study collected data from 40 people within the age groups of 60’s and 70’s. The researchers had the participants play the game “Rise of Nations”. The study permitted half the group to be given training while the other half were not. The group that was trained in the playing of the video game tested better in areas of memory, and object identification with rotated objects and reasoning. The hope for this study includes increased mental ability in task performance among the aging. The benefits of the game playing were noticeable within 24 hours of the start of the study. The trained group seemed to regain the ability to multitask while others in their age group were often overwhelmed when presented with the same task lists (Gunnerson, 2008). There are many other benefits to the world of gaming. As technology continues to make leaps and bounds so do video games and the capabilities of children with this technology. The employers of the future are looking past formal educations and looking at practical experience. Video games are gaining ground as a way to supplement training and providing this practical experience. Children absorb information faster than adults do, video games may give information at a faster rate and give reason for the surprising results of these and other studies. Almost out of necessity, different institutes and organizations are now-a-days trying to incorporate video games into learning. From individual classrooms to national organizations, the education community is pursuing new methods for developing young minds. Resource management games such as SimCity and challenging puzzles such as “Myst” teach creative problem solving and other worthwhile skills by forcing students to formulate, test, and revise hypotheses. Video games also reinforce self-confidence and compel children to focus attention on a certain activity. When used properly in the classroom, video games have the power to keep students engaged in learning. People may disagree about whether video games should replace textbook learning, but in a society that is becoming more and more digital, it is evident that video games are teaching skills that cannot be experienced in traditional textbooks (Visscher, n.d.). According to a research conducted by “Kaiser Family Foundation,” Even the youngest children in America are growing up immersed in media, spending hours a day watching TV and videos, using computers and playing video games (Graham & Hess, 2003). Video games help children in setting their goals in life and assist them to examine characteristics such as self-esteem and interactivity. Mental rotation which is the ability to imagine what two and three dimensional objects would look like after being rotated is termed as spatial visualization and is required in occupations involving engineering and conceptual tasks. Research completed by Dorval and Pepin (1986) suggests that students with spatial visualization abilities are generally high achievers and excel in subjects like Mathematics and Science. Okagaki and Frensch (1994) found that spatial visualization abilities were improved in college students after 6 hours of playing Tetris. The results that computer and video games have produced for teachers and students in the classroom have encouraged educational and training efforts outside the classroom (theesa.com, n.d.). Businesses are now using games to train employees and games are becoming a key fixture in public education campaigns. Video games and their technologies are also used as a vehicle to reach and educate the public. The United Nations World Food Program, for example, created the “Food Force” video game to educate children about world hunger. Visa Incorporated has also developed the “Financial Football” video game to teach teenagers money management skills (“theesa.com”, n.d.).
Video Game Benefits
Some people are of the view that video games contribute to violence in real life. I, on the other hand am of the view that they might actually reduce it. They can be used as a form of entertainment. They can be used as a stress reducer or as a safer outlet for underlying aggression. Also, they can be used to increase hand to eye coordination (“associatedcontent.com”, 2007). Video games enhance the abilities of young people as it gives them a sense of significance in the world. In the real world they face peer pressure, parents and adults telling them what to do, and dictating their lives at home. Video games give kids a chance to take on the world, to solve a seeming serious problem, or to create something that would be unfeasible in real life (Libertarian, 2007). Video games serve as a pressure release from frustration. This is not only the case for young teens but for adult video gamers as well. Perhaps if a displeased employee takes out his anguish on characters on the video screen instead of his real life colleagues, then things could be much better. If instead of a teen joining a gang for a feeling of self respect, then the teen could instead join in on a role player game where he can feel a sense of significance without having to resort to violence outside his house (“associatedcontent.com”, 2007). A number of recent video game systems allow people to exercise more often. The Nintendo Wii comes with a motion sensor controller which allows people to actually swing their arms as they are swinging a golf club or alternatively to punch and jab as in the Wii sports game. Exercise is a stress reducer; Video games are largely a stress reducer (“associatedcontent.com”, 2007). Video games can help with skills such as memorizing, remembering, inducing, deducing, recognizing patterns, solving problems, and mapping (Hamilton, 2007). Games teach players problem solving, motivation and cognitive skills. Most games inspire players to strive and reach more difficult levels presenting challenges at each stage (Rudon, 2009). There are many medical benefits of video games as well. Researchers have reported that video games have proved beneficial results in health care settings. In fact some mental health professionals felt that a certain sense of proficiency was developed by some children after playing video games which otherwise might not have been achieved. A number of video games claim to improve children’s health care. Several games have been developed specifically for children with chronic medical conditions. One of the best-studied is an educational game called “Packy and Marlon” (Brown, 1997). This game was designed to improve medical compliance and self-care skills in adolescents and children with diabetes. Players take on the role of characters demonstrating good diabetes care practices while working to save a summer camp filled with children having diabetes from mice and rats who have stolen the supplies. Attentiondeficit patients can be assisted to modulate brain waves associated with focusing with the help of computer generated displays. Biofeedback is an ability to teach patients to control involuntary body functions such as heart rate. Biofeedback can now be linked to commercial video games and provide rewarding results for attention-deficit patients specially children. It has also been observed that video games actually help to reduce one’s weight and keeps them fit. Popular video games such as “Dance Dance Revolution” have a screen and a dancing pad platform with arrows in a particular format. The screen shows how to take steps, the layer dances to the music matching steps to the rhythm of the song being played. Latest research also shows that video games could prove an efficient pain-distracter. In a study, patients who were suffering from chronic pain were given some video games to play. These games were proved so successful in engaging the players that they forgot their pain during the time they were playing (Videogames-rental-review.com, n.d.). There are also several case reports which prove that the use of video games can be carried out for rehabilitation purposes. In one application, an electric game was used to improve arm control in a 13 year old boy with Erb’s palsy (Krichevets, Sirotkina,
Video Game Benefits
Yevsevicheva & Zeldin, 1994). The results concluded that the game play diverted attention away from the potential discomfort the boy was facing. While keeping in view the possible negative effects of video games, it is important to develop the positive potential of video games as well. It is now inevitable that video games have their positive side as well. Anything used with moderation is not a problem. However, parents need to decide how much gaming and what type of gaming is permissible for their children. They must teach their children to differentiate between the good and bad of video gaming just like any other activity in life. Appropriate guidelines for video games must be defined properly and certain rules should be formulated together with the children on how much time to set aside for playing video games.
Video Game Benefits
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Video Game Benefits Hamilton, Morgan. (2007). The Surprising benefits of video games. Retrieved June 16, 2009 from http://www.selfgrowth.com/articles/10_Benefits_Of_Video_Games.html Horn, E., Jones, H.A. & Hamlett, C. (1991). An investigation of the feasibility of a video game system for developing scanning and selection skills. Journal for the Association for People With Severe Handicaps, 16, 105-119.
Kappes, B. M., & Thompson, D. L. (1985). Biofeedback vs. video games: Effects on impulsivity, locus of control and self-concept with incarcerated individuals. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 41, 698-706. Krichevets, A.N., Sirotkina, E.B., Yevsevicheva, I.V. & Zeldin, L.M. (1994). Computer games as a means of movement rehabilitation. Disability and Rehabilitation: An International Multidisciplinary Journal, 17, 100-105. Rudon, Timothy. 10 Benefits of video games. Retrieved on June 16, 2009 from http://www.selfgrowth.com/articles/10_Benefits_Of_Video_Games.html Theesa.com. (n.d.). Video Games and Education. Retrieved on June 16, 2009 from http://www.theesa.com/gamesindailylife/education.asp Thegameconsole.com. (n.d.). A brief history of home video game console. Retrieved on June 4, 2009 from http://www.thegameconsole.com/videogames70.htm Video-games-rental-review.com (n.d.). Medical benefits with video games. Retrieved on June 16, 2009 from http://video-game-rentals-review.upickreviews.com/medical-benefits-withvideo-games.html Whitney, L. (2009 May 20). Survey: More people play video games than go to movies. Retrieved on June 4, 2009 from http://news.cnet.com/8301-10797_3-10245437-235.html