I keep reading articles that are attacking video games, and gamers alike. Video games are being accused of having negative effects on people all around the world. I am going to take a few paragraphs and tackle the violence and obesity parts considering they are the top two things people complain about the most when it comes to video games. Then I will rant some more about how playing video games actually increases brain activity.
Whenever someone mentions a typical gamer, you usually get the idea that it is some overweight, anti-social, depressed and violent person. News reports have often inaccurately accused video games as the ultimate source of violence from most children and mentally unstable adults. I don’t believe that it is fair to blame video games. Children often copy what they hear or see, it doesn’t matter if it is a movie, a game, or even another person. It is the parent’s job to control what their child is seeing, and limit the amount of violence they are exposed to. If a child likes what they see, they’re going to try to imitate it.
News reports have also accused unstable adults or teen’s acts of violence from the result of playing too many video games, listening to heavy metal, or watching violent movies. Do researchers and news reporters ever really dig into the deepest part of it all though? Most of these cases probably include mentally unstable, or psycologically abused people.
I can tackle the obesity part in a few words, but I will take my time to explain that it is not because of playing video games. The fact that someone becomes lazy or inactive does not mean people can say “video games make you fat”. If that were the case people could easily say “watching movies makes you fat”. Personally, I like to believe eating makes you fat, but that’s just my opinion. I play games more than the average gamer does, and I am relatively healthy. In fact, most of my friends play games as much as I do and they are healthy. One of my best friends plays more games than I do and he is one of the top runners for the high school track team!
Alright so, those are the negatives for the most part, right? I mean, unless you can think of something else. I don’t believe in those negatives, they are horrible stereotypes.
For one, when a zombie apocalypse breaks out, Left 4 Dead one and two have showed you how to live, right? You know how to take that molotov and toss it into a big horde of zombies and run like there is no tomorrow! All right, so I will leave the joking for later.
Most video games involve team work, and quick decision making. Many video games improve skills and abilities, such as; problem-solving abilities, faster hand-to-eye coordination, multi-tasking, better planning, estimation, analysis, strategic thinking and quick thinking skills.
Nottingham Trent University professor Mark Griffiths says that video games can prove to be a distraction for those undergoing painful cancer treatments. He also argues that games can help develop social skills for children with attention disorders including autism. He states, “Video gaming is safe for most players and can be useful in health-care”.
In a recent study by the University of Rochester, participants were asked to count the number of squares which were flashed on a screen for a 20th of a second. Gamers picked the right number 13 percent more often than non-gamers.
Butch Rosser conducted a study in 2004. This study compared the surgical skills of surgeons playing video games and surgeons who did not. The results showed that surgeons playing video games were faster in action and made lesser mistakes during work than those who did not play video games. Take that medical schooling! Hook up some of that Dance Dance Revolution and increase that hand-eye coordination! You will become a better surgeon than the professor telling you what to do!
Speaking of Dance Dance Revolution, this game forces you to think quickly and move your feet. It’s actually great exercise. Most video games now do not even require you to sit on the couch all day. Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo are already in a battle of the motion sensors. Nintedo has it’s Wii Motion, Playstation has “Playstation Move”, and Microsoft has the Kinect. All these systems require you to jump around like a lunatic and play sports, adventure, and even dancing games. The best part? You don’t even realize you’re exercising because you’re too busy trying to beat your little brother at Reflex Ridge or Tennis.