Are Video Games Good For You? To start with millions of peoples from the young to the old enjoy video games. But why, well for the most part it is for the adrenaline rush, the companionship, the competition, and the chance to become a conquering adventurer, at least this virtual world in the game.
The good news is people don’t have to break the bank to play the video games they love. The price of video games has fallen. As new consoles and games are released more and more, buying last year’s hit game is cheaper. Sometimes more than half price. Turner Broadcasting System’s GameTap was one of the latest options for consumers to get their game on and experience all the good things about games. The first of its kind broadband entertainment network. GameTap offers hundreds of the greatest games across multiple platforms for an affordable $14.95 per month. GameTap launched on 17 October 2005 with over 300 games, but sadly in 2010 the American offices were closed.
But in addition to being fun, can playing these games really promote self-improvement?
“Turner created GameTap because they wanted gamers to have a wide variety of games-a virtual vault-that allows them to experience all types of thrills including role-playing, action, and puzzle games,” said Stuart Snyder, former General Manager of GameTap. The idea has taken off though with the services such as Eidos Interactive, G-Mode, Ubisoft, Codemasters, Vivendi Games, Konami, Electronic Arts, Capcom, Take-Two Interactive, Interplay and SNK Playmore.
Some researchers and social critics are now arguing that video gaming has its virtues. It can speed reflexes, improve mental abilities and even reduce violence. While nobody is arguing for a 24-hour diet of video games, many observers now see some advantages to the game play.
Consider research done at the University of Rochester in New York, which concluded that young adults who frequently played video games can improve their “video attention.” In one experiment, for example, test subjects were asked to quickly figure out whether or not a certain shape-a square or a diamond-appeared within one of the six rings.
Video gamers came out on top. The researchers said that video games force players to simultaneously juggle a variety tasks, such as detecting and tracking enemies, and avoiding getting hurt. Those game-playing skills can translate into more general visual skills that apply to everyday life.
“We sometimes think of popular culture as a passive recreation, but there’s nothing passive about video game. They are the most interactive, demanding entertainment medium ever created,” said Snyder.
Simulation games, where players design everything from roller coasters to cities, can get kids interested in mechanical engineering and urban planning. Wrote author Steven Johnson: “My nephew would be asleep in five seconds if you popped him down in an urban studies classroom, but somehow an hour of playing ‘Sim City’ taught him that high tax rates in industrial areas can stifle development.”
Johnson, the author of “Everything Bad Is Good For You: How Today’s Popular Culture Is Actually Making Us Smarter,” has become a prominent guardian of video games. He has also entered the controversy over whether video games promote aggression, arguing that crime among teens and adolescents has dropped by almost two-thirds since 1975. Whether video games can take credit is a matter of strong debate, but Johnson suggests that video games may act as a safety valve. Where some parents would prefer their kids on the road playing, getting fresh air and physically active. There are times that this can also lead kids into mischief. For some children it may not be safe for them out side during certain times. Games are a form of entertainment that just happen to have some extra advantages , for some.
To learn new skills and expand your knowledge. Games like Star Craft, Command and Conquer and Age of Empires where some of the best strategies game around for a long time. They taught us how to manage resources to build and expand. They made us think out of the box to pass a level. Personally, I was stuck on a Star Craft mission for almost a week, before I got pass it.
Racing games help your hand eye coordination . Helps you understand that speed is a crucial factor to stopping or getting that perfect turn, right on the racing line.
Video games may even have therapeutic value. Mark Griffiths, a professor at Nottingham Trent University in England, argues that video games can help distract children undergoing chemotherapy and treatment for sickle cell anaemia. The games may also work as physical therapy for arm injuries.
Games are also very education, they show the player some parts of world history. Call of Duty is the best example for bring human history in to the gaming world, World War II. There are people in today’s world, most likely millions of people, that do not know what World War 1 or 2 was. This is and was a great human tragedy, we should not forget the past, as we should instead learn from it. But when they play Call of Duty or games based around that time, they are see gimps of what happen during those time. Which some will want to find out more and do some extra research .
Like many researchers, Griffiths advocates moderation in game play. We all love games, we’re immersed in them, and we’ve got hundreds to choose from. But we have to know the importance of putting the controller down . We all need some form of human interaction and in a virtual world it can be fun, but there’s no substitute for the real thing.