Video Games – Are they useful or not?

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Video Games – Are they useful or not?

By: Ahmed Ikram, AS Science

The videogame industry is one of the most thriving industries of the 21st century. In spite of its success, it has had its fair share of controversies and criticism over the years.

The video game era started from the early 1980s and has evolved intricately. From mere 8 bit renderings to a pure smooth HD 1080i gaming experience, immersing yourself in the virtual world has never been better. But with innovation, comes criticism.

This blog will discuss how video games are helpful and applicable in real life as well as touch base on its few negative effects.

Positive Effects

Video games help in increasing concentration.
Studies have indicated that people who play video games have a faster response to complex situations. The analysis of a gamer is 27% faster than an average non gamer. This is due to the immersive and fast game-play in video games. Our brain learns to respond to various situations in the gaming world, this adaptability is subconsciously implied to real life. It is believed to be of use in high pressure situations such as an intense football game or a tough exam. A gamer’s mindset will be more rigid in terms of response as compared to a non-gamer.

Better reaction time.
Majority of the mainstream video games are in the form of first person shooters, the focus lies in paying full attention to the fast paced environment and obstacles that are thrown at you. Constant reactions to such situations help improve the response time of an individual as the brain is already in full concentration. Due to quicker analysis, the reaction to dodge the obstacle is registered faster. In addition, repetitions also help in increasing reaction time.

Video games are a great way to pass time and help reduce stress.
Video games are programmed in a manner which helps to reduce stress and promote relaxation of the mind. Many games are conceptualized with this intention and gives the player a stress killing game-play. Sony’s LittleBigplanet series is a good example of this.

Video Games help in enhancing creativity.
Majority of video games available in the market today are fictional. In this fictional world there is always an element of surprise in the atmosphere. If a person indulges himself in this surreal world, there is a tendency to develop extensive creative and imaginative skills. This proves useful in real life situations such as school projects.

Video games make it possible for the differently abled to experience almost normal movements.
Some differently abled people wish to do things that most people do. Video games serve as a great platform for them to experience this. Oculus rift is a great example of how a person can perform any action by just sitting idle in a single place. He is able to explore a whole new world.

Negative Effects
Criticisms should also be considered before painting a good picture of the entire gaming industry. Although gaming has had noticeable achievements, some aspects of the gaming industry have negative effects on adults and children alike. Praising negative values, promoting extreme violence and too much of gaming can incite confusion between fantasy and reality. Gamers tend to become socially isolated. Children may get cyber bullied or may learn derogatory terms.

The positive and negative effects of video games can be controlled by keeping the child/teen gamer under strict supervision and by constantly monitoring their gaming history. The game ratings should be visible for consideration, if there are signs of different, strange or violent behavior from the child, game should be taken away.

Gaming is a great experience for everyone if it is in a controlled and limited manner. The rules mentioned above will help in having a great gaming experience for children and parents alike.

Is gaming a negative or a positive influence, your thoughts?

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  • Azna Mariff

    As a parent, I agree that I won’t get all excited if and when I hear terms such as PS3, Warcraft and assassins (thankfully we’re not there yet, my son is just 4)!

    But I do agree that it also helps a child to a certain degree. It helps him analyze, think faster, react faster etc.

    From a parents perspective though there are more cons than pros. It is no secret that these games are addictive hence children are hooked on to them every opportunity they get. This drastically reduces their time and attention to other things like interaction with family or any physical sports for that matter. And we’ve also have heard of suicides and murders in extreme cases of video game addicts. (No, I’m not joking…… Just google it).

    Whilst I know very well I can’t prevent my child from acquiring or playing these games as I am not totally opposed to it I will most certainly limit the usage and allocate specific times for these. As the old saying goes ” too much of something is never a good thing”!

  • mustafa old oxfordian

    To some extent it is beneficial but surely the drawbacks are much more!

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