Impacts of Video Games
Video games have been in our society for a long time (since around 1947 to be exact). Recently, the debate over if video games are good are bad have flooded the gaming community. Gamers can range from small toddlers (my daughter being one) to adults (like me). So, are video games good or bad? Personally, I think it all depends on your views. I think they can be both good and bad, depending on how you play and use them.
Positive Effects of Video Games
Playing video games can be very beneficial. Different genres of video games can allow us to learn different things!
- Educational games can help children learn without even realizing they are learning. This is perfect for the children who can't just sit and listen to teachers. Educational games are even used in schools to help teach their lesson plans!
- Simulation games (like The Sims) help simulate life and taking care of a family. Be wary of these games though. These games can create a false expectation of life.
- Multi-Player games promote teamwork and can help develop social skills.
- Puzzle & Logic games help improve logical and problem solving skills.
- Dancing games help improve hand-eye coordination and promote exercise.
- Certain fighting games can help teach about ethical issues and morals.
Video games promote quick decision making and helps the brain be able to think quickly. In a study in 2004, Butch Rosser studied surgical skills of surgeons who played and didn't play video games. He found that surgeons who played video games were not only faster during surgeries but also made fewer mistakes.
Video games are also a social thing. What's better at a party than making yourself look like a fool in front of your friends trying to play Just Dance, right?
Negative Effects of Video Games
Video games can also have a negative effect on us. We can grow addicted to gaming and it can consume lives. This can hurt relationships and even ruin our social lives. Video gaming becomes their life.
Another downside is, in certain circumstances, you can sit for long periods of time without getting up and moving around. It is said that sitting for 2 hours or more in front of a video game instead of getting out and exercising or doing a physical activity leads to obesity. Playing video games for prolonged periods of time can also cause headaches, backaches, eye strain, and can even lead to carpal tunnel.
Video gaming can blur the line of reality and fantasy. As such, people may grow more violent from the video games they play.
Video gaming can also affect performance in work or school. You may stay up late because you have a raid with friends late and not go to bed until 4am when you have to wake up at 6am. You may skip that last minute study session so you can go kill the boss you've been working all week to get to.
Walking the Line of Gaming
The negative effects of gaming can be avoided.
- If you are a parent, monitor what video games your child is playing.
- Parents should set strict rules about video games to monitor ensure their children don't get addicted.
- Adults should monitor how much time they spend on video games. Do not let it affect your performance at work.
- Don't substitute video games for real life. I know it's easy to get into gaming (I am a recovered video game addict), but don't let it consume your life. You'll miss out on so much.
- Parents, get involved in the games they play. Playing with their parents will not only be bonding time for you, but you'll be able to monitor what goes on in the game better.
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