Unit 2 Final
Video games have always been a method of fun and entertainment for me since I was a child. When I was younger I was so happy after school because I could go to the nearby video game store. I was able to look on the shelves and see all these games that I would put on my wish list for future birthdays. Playing the demo games in the store was so exhilarating, to be able to play from a video game console that I have never played before was a foreign delight for me. Then when I went home I would immediately finish my homework to hop on my video games.
I played on to the next morning at some points having fun with my friends online made video games even more fantastic. This ability to laugh and play against my friends from school just by sitting down in my own house was unbelievable. Personally, video games have been there for me when I did not want to verbally express my feelings. My father may not have liked this habit that I loved so much but I pursued it anyway no matter the criticism. To this day I still play video games and I’m getting better, whether it hand-eye coordination or problem-solving skills, video games have really improved my brain functions. But are video games really good for you? This is what I’m trying to discover and we will see with the following articles I will provide below.
Fleming, N. (2013, August 25). “Why video games may be good for you.” https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20130826-can-video-games-be-good-for-you
In video games, there are multiple levels of difficulty. These can be used to stimulate the brain for problem-solving situations. This article from BBC underwent an experiment and found out this. “Part of this has stemmed from the fact that 20th-Century video gaming research often failed to distinguish between game genres. Studies lumped together the different brain processes involved when racing cars, shooting baddies, street fighting, and completing puzzles. But with the benefit of hindsight, researchers now recognise they hold only limited insights into the impacts of video games. Bavelier stumbled upon the particular effects action games may have on the brain by accident. She was designing a test to probe the effects of congenital deafness on visual attention, and while trialling it a young researcher in her department, Shawn Green, and his friends repeatedly scored far higher than expected. Eventually they realised their exceptional performance could be traced to their fondness for the action games Counter-Strike and Team Fortress Classic.Bavelier and Green hypothesised that this type of game had distinct effects on the brain because achieving a high score requires players to react quickly, while processing information in their peripheral vision, multi-tasking, making predictions and processing the constant player feedback. In research published in 2003, they used a series of visual puzzles to demonstrate that individuals who played action games at least four days per week for a minimum of one hour per day were better than non-gamers at rapidly processing complex information, estimating numbers of objects, controlling where their attention was focused spatially, and switching rapidly between tasks.Was this cause or effect, though? Were the games improving people’s focus or were people with good attentional focus simply more likely to play action video games?, Bavelier and Green asked non-gamers to play the first-person shooter game Medal of Honor for one hour a day for 10 days, and found their ability to focus on environmental cues improved much more than those in a control group who played the classic puzzle game Tetris. Additional tests from other researchers came to similar conclusions. For instance, Joseph Chisholm, a psychologist at the University of British Columbia, Canada, found action video game players were better able to identify distraction and quicker to return their focus to the main task.Bavelier wanted to pin down more precisely why action gamers appear to have better focus. She placed electroencephalography (EEG) headsets on gamers and non-gamers, and asked them to watch a screen on which three rapid sequences of letters appeared simultaneously. They were told to focus on one of the three and press a button when numbers appeared, while ignoring distractions. The EEG headsets tracked electrical signals in the brain, allowing Bevelier to measure how much attention the volunteer was allocating to the task and to the distraction. Gamers and non-gamers were equally able to focus their attention on the target sequences, but the gamers performed better and had quicker reaction times. “The big difference was action video gamers are better at ignoring irrelevant, distracting visual information, and so made better decisions,” she says.Her team has also shown that action gamers may have stronger vision. They can better distinguish between different shades of grey, called contrast sensitivity, which is important when driving at night and in other poor visibility situations, and is affected by ageing and undermined in those with amblyopia, or “lazy eye”. They also have better visual acuity, which is what opticians measure when they ask you to read lines of ever smaller letters from a chart at distance.Bavelier found action video games could also improve the vision of non-gamers. She asked groups of non-gamers to play 50 hours of Unreal Tournament 2004 or Call of Duty 2, or to play the slower, non-action game, The Sims 2, over nine weeks. By the end of the study, the contrast sensitivity of those who trained on action games had improved more than those who played The Sims 2, and the benefits lasted for at least five months. Other researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, showed that adults with lazy eyes who spent 40 hours playing video games with their good eyes patched could improve their ability to distinguish smaller letters on such charts. The higher scores were not seen in those asked to do other visually demanding tasks such as reading and knitting with their good eyes patched.” This shows that through an experiment it was proven to show that people who did not play video games had their vision improve. Also compared to people who did not play video games, video gamers had proven better reaction timing. All of these reasons clearly show why video games are actually good for you.
Vince. (2018, May 9). “Yes, Video Games are Good…for Your Mind and Body”
Video games can also improve physical health in games like Wii Fit that actually make you move your body and exercise to complete the levels. This article states these specific physical benefits video games can have on a person. “How else are video games good for you? While they can “make your brain bigger,” they can also help you shrink the waistline, for starters. Exergames like the Wii Fit have experienced a huge resurgence in the last ten years thanks to companies like Nintendo and Konami. How? Load up a session of Dance Dance Revolution and stomp out a dance routine—or better yet, plug in a Wii Fit and you’ll see exactly what we are talking about. Exergames and fitness video games have revolutionized exercising in surprisingly positive ways. Really, it’s the convenience that makes such games so appealing, as they offer an easy way to “get to the gym” without physically going to the gym. And for kids and parents with busy schedules, such games provide a quick way to get in 30 minutes of activity and exercise. Exergames get players up and moving, helping with circulation, joint flexibility, coordination, and balance. And thanks to technology, many of these same games track your progress, through your number of repetitions, and even help you set goals to keep you motivated—all without the commitment of a gym membership.” This shows specifically that video games can improve your overall physical health without having to pay money to go to the gym. Having this benefit with video games gives the average person a fun experience with real benefits. Video games have also been proven to help people solve real-world problems as explained in this article. “Games can also teach problem solving and strategy, making them valuable tools for kids and teens. For instance, Minecraft offers a number of educational benefits, like teaching kids how to use objects to explore environments and solve problems, while games like Civilization and SimCity teach problem solving on a more “global” level. (View our entire list of best video games for kids.) In SimCity, players lay out and plan a city, and must think ahead to consider how something like the tax rate may help or hurt the growth of their city, or how street planning and certain zones may impact growth. The game also teaches resource management and planning on a basic level, and it does a nice job of explaining these concepts to younger gamers. Learning and developing these types of strategies can be directly applicable to life as well. Last, an indirect benefit is the fact that several video games are based on real historical events, and can encourage kids to find out more about the world that came before them through research and reading.” This video game shows that there is an improvement in real-world problem-solving skills when even children play them. This is an important skill to have at a young age because recourse management can be very useful in real-world survival situations or even jobs that require this skill.
Head, R. (2020, March 20). “10 Reasons Why Playing Video Games is Good for Your Brain”
Video games have also been proven to improve memory skills in the brain. Memory is an extremely important skill to have in life, it is the basis of knowledge before anything. And this article will show why video games improve it. “Many video games require some serious strategy and concentration. If you have ever built your own civilization in Minecraft or fought for your life in Fortnite, you know how important it is to remember where you found specific resources or where you need to go next. With 3D graphics and immersive audio, video game environments are extremely rich in stimuli. Navigating the virtual world of video games is now very similar to navigating the real world. In fact, exploring video game universes can have a positive impact on memory in your everyday life. When you must juggle multiple tasks and goals while navigating a virtual space, you are exercising your hippocampus. This is the part of the brain responsible for converting short-term memory to long-term memory, as well as controlling spatial memory. When you keep your hippocampus in shape, you will see improved long-term memory and be better at navigating physical space. If you are prone to getting lost on your way to the store, video games may be able to help improve your memory for directions. A 2015 study from the University of California, Irvine provided evidence for the cognitive benefits of playing video games when they tested a group of gamers and a group of non-gamers in memory tasks. Those who frequently played complex 3D video games performed better at memory tasks related to the hippocampus than those who did not play video games or those who played only simple 2D games. The study also showed that when non-gamers played a complex 3D game each day for 30 minutes, their memory improved over time. As a person ages, their memory naturally declines. Regular video game play may be a great way to keep your mind sharp even as you get older, so you will always be able to find your car in the parking lot or remember how to get to your friend’s house.” This shows through an experiment that people who played video games had better memory skills compared to people on campus who did not play video games.
American Psychological Association. (2013). “Video games play may provide learning, health, social benefits”.
Video games have also been proven to show an improvement in social skills. Social skills are very important in the real world for many reasons, this article will show how video games improve social skills. “Perhaps the biggest difference in the characteristics of video games today, compared to their predecessors of 10 to 20 years ago, is their pervasive social nature. Contrary to stereotypes, the average gamer is not a socially isolated, inept nerd who spends most of his (or her) time alone 72 January 2014 ● American Psychologist loafing on the couch (Lenhart et al., 2008). Over 70% of gamers play their games with a friend, either cooperatively or competitively (Entertainment Software Association, 2012). For example, World of Warcraft—a multiplayer fantasy game set in a massive virtual world— boasts12 million regular players, and Farmville— one of the most popular social networking games on Facebook— hosted over 5 million daily users in 2012 (Gill, 2012). In these virtual social communities, decisions need to be made on the fly about whom to trust, whom to reject, and how to most effectively lead a group. Given these immersive social contexts, we propose that gamers are rapidly learning social skills and prosocial behavior that might generalize to their peer and family relations outside the gaming environment (Gentile & Gentile, 2008; Gentile et al., 2009). Players seem to acquire important prosocial skills when they play games that are specifically designed to reward effective cooperation, support, and helping behaviors (Ewoldsen et al., 2012). One study that summarized international evidence from correlational, longitudinal, and experimental studies found that playing prosocial video games consistently related to, or predicted, prosocial behaviors (Gentile et al., 2009). More specifically, playing prosocial games led to causal, short-term effects on “helping” behaviors, and longitudinal effects were also found, in that children who played more prosocial games at the beginning of the school year were more likely to exhibit helpful behaviors later that year. It may be tempting to conclude from this work that games with exclusively nonviolent, prosocial content lead to prosocial behavior. But compelling work is just emerging that seems to refute this simple interpretation, suggesting that violent games are just as likely to promote prosocial behavior. The critical dimension that seems to determine whether violent games are associated with helping, prosocial behavior versus malevolent, antisocial behavior is the extent to which they are played cooperatively versus competitively. For example, players who play violent games that encourage cooperative play are more likely to exhibit helpful gaming behaviors online and offline than those who play nonviolent games (Ferguson & Garza, 2011), and playing violent video games socially (in groups) reduces feelings of hostility compared with playing alone (Eastin, 2007). Likewise, violent video games played cooperatively seem to decrease players’ access to aggressive cognitions (Schmierbach, 2010; Velez, Mahood, Ewoldsen, & Moyer-Gusé, 2012). Two recent studies have also shown that playing a violent video game cooperatively, compared with competitively, increases subsequent prosocial, cooperative behavior outside of the game context (Ewoldsen et al., 2012) and can even overcome the effects of outgroup membership status (making players more cooperative with outgroup members than if they had played competitively; Velez et al., 2012). Conversely, recently published experimental studies (Tear & Nielsen, 2013) suggest that even the most violent video games on the market (Grand Theft Auto IV, Call of Duty) fail to diminish subsequent prosocial behavior. All of these studies examined immediate, short-term effects of cooperative play, but they point to potential long-term benefits as well. The social benefits of cooperative versus competitive game play need to be studied longitudinally, with repeated assessments, to have clearer implications for policy and practice. Social skills are also manifested in forms of civic engagement: the ability to organize groups and lead likeminded people in social causes. A number of studies have focused on the link between civic engagement and gaming. For example, one large-scale, representative U.S. study (Lenhart et al., 2008) showed that adolescents who played games with civic experiences (e.g., Guild Wars 2, an MMORPG, or massive multiplayer online role-playing game) were more likely to be engaged in social and civic movements in their everyday lives (e.g., raising money for charity, volunteering, and persuading others to vote). Unfortunately, as is the case with most survey studies in the field, this study did not differentiate the causal direction of effects.” This shows that video games have helped people with social skills, even when the game is violent it has shown to help the player with their overall social skills.
To that end, video games have proven to be good for you after all. Video games have multiple benefits for the gamer or non-gamer, such as improvements in memory, social skills, physical health, and real-world problem-solving skills. My thoughts on video games have expanded to an even greater length now. I have learned that anyone can gain benefits from playing video games, even me who has personally played video games for 16 years. I will be learning more about video games the more I play them every day and getting gaining benefits as I go on. This new information on the benefits of video games is important because it gives the impression to anyone who wants to play video games, or think video games are bad for you, the proven evidence that video games have way more pros than cons. Having the ability to gain real-world problem skills can take the importance of video games all the way up to studying a class for free. Memory skills gained from video games are an extremely crucial skill because it gives the gamer the ability to improve memory in real-life situations and not just the game. Having memory skills in the real world will help with seemingly everything there is to encounter. The people I recommend video games to is anyone who wants to be entertained and gain knowledge and skills for life.