A City Tech OpenLab Course Site

Author: Julian Martinez

Julian Martinez Unit 3 Final

Julian Martinez

12/22/20 Artist statement


I decided to make an infogram to look like a pamphlet of being introduced to video gaming and its benefits. The genre I chose included a lot of images to clearly express who should play video games and what are the benefits. I personally love my connection with video games since I was a child and I thought clearly sharing my experiences and gains will help nonvideo gamers find interest in this world of technology. During this terrible year of 2020 filled with coronavirus and stress, I realized what people can do while at home to have entertainment but also have educational, mental, and physical benefits. Play video games, of course, this world of technology inspiration and creativity would be the best choice to get this year off of people’s minds while enjoying themselves. So I decided to create an infogram, this infogram includes many reasons why video games are good for everyone such as the elderly, teens, children, and adults. Along with that included reasons why video games are good for you and what they offer such as improving the player’s memory skills. Who wouldn’t like to have a better memory? After all, with better memory, anyone can figure out certain solutions to things they would not have known before. And an improvement of physical skills while playing video games, you wouldn’t need to travel to the gym then pay for a membership to work out. As I reflect on my project if I had the ability I would advertise it worldwide online right now to help as many people as possible in these terrible times. 




Julian Martinez Unit 2 Final

Julian Martinez

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”

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.

Unit 1 Project Julian Martinez

My name is Julian Martinez, I was born in New York City Manhattan near midtown. I was never really comfortable confiding with my father because of his temperament so my mother was the first parent I can console to always. My father was born in Puerto Rico, Gurabo, and my mother was born in New York City like me. Starting off in elementary school I can remember going to school walking to the building to see the colorful entrance and school faculty welcoming me with big smiles. In elementary school, I was able to learn how to write my letters and how to add numbers. But the most intriguing thing that was visible to me in elementary school was the friends I made. My peers and friends were able to help me out with any struggles I had with the curriculum. In order to make progress in my school, we needed to take a reading test. I can remember reading a story about a girl in Thailand after a tsunami walking over the damage of her home, and that’s when I first realized how truly lucky I was to be in my position financially and locally. My teachers were able to give enough discipline but also be entertaining while teaching and the feeling of learning never truly occurred to me how fun it could actually be. By middle school is when I was starting to mold into a more mature and stronger version of myself. In middle school, I was able to learn the most basic yet important math and writing skills. These skills were the skills I took and held with me for my future. I don’t know how I would have been able to succeed without the scary promotion in doubt letters my mother used to receive. These letters would terrify my mother and put stress and pressure on me even though I never failed a class ever. These letters taught me that I must be on time with my work in order to maintain order and balance in life. The memories that I had in kindergarten with my first communications and friendships I had shown the type of person I was. If I saw my friends or peer’s in trouble I would be there for them, talk to them and try to let them know that it would all be okay. The friends I made in middle school stuck really close to me and I kept my traits of generosity and kindness for others. But I realized how being short in middle school caused discrimination from others, but my closest friends that I have would be there for me to tell me that I should just be myself and I should embrace it. I always hated my short height and still do to this day but school molded me to take discrimination and hate and ignore it but most
importantly to love myself which is what I’m still trying to succeed fully till this very day. High school taught me how to express myself in words out loud. My school unlike other schools that require regents, mine required exhibitions. Exhibitions were a series of presentations for each major subject math, English, science. My friends in High school were the most important friends in my life. These peers who have been through the education system just like me and had similar interest and personality traits, these were my true soul friends. Teachers were able to make group projects and assignments and connecting with my friends may have been the worst and best
choice for these assignments. I was able to have many friends in high school, which I adapted their attitudes body language, and slang. While it may not be the most professional I find myself at home with these things knowing that I live in New York City. I remember one of the texts that I had in my very first English college class. It was called “Maybe I Could Save Myself By Writing” by José Olivarez. I was reading this text and stopping and thinking to myself why this guy did not have a similar environment growing up like me what he did have was a realization for something. “Maybe I could write the stories I was craving to read. Maybe I could save myself by writing.”(Olivartez, 2018). This quote struck me because it reminded me of the story I had when I was in a computer science class. He may have found his saving passion as writing but I found mine in computer science, to be able to code something and watch the work that I did run, was the most beautiful experience I had in my life.

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