I talk about some common misconceptions of Video Games and explain the brighter side to them.
Video games are often said to be too violent, mind-numbing, and weight inducing, but in reality that isn’t the case.
Video games go as far back as the 1940‘s when Thomas Goldsmith and Estle Ray Mann filed a United States patent request for an invention they described as a cathode ray tube amusement device. Modern gaming became popular in the late 70’s when arcade, gaming consoles and home computer games were introduced. “A game is an opportunity to focus our energy, with relentless optimism, at something we’re good at (or getting better at) and enjoy. In other words, gameplay is the direct emotional opposite of depression.” (Jane McGonigal, Why Games Make Us Better). Video games have always had a negative image of being too “violent” or “brain-rotting” when people don’t realize there are other genres that can be teaching and thought-provoking. Video games should not be portrayed as bad because they strengthen familial bonds, they make learning fun, they can improve your decision-making skills, and keep you in shape.
According to Brigham Young University’s School of Family Life video games strengthen the bonds with your family and friends. When you play a co-op game with them such as “Portal 2” you have to become a team and combine your brainpower to get past the problems each using a portal gun which shoots 2 portal shots. Even playing a dancing game like “Dance Central” is a great way to bond because you’re sure to have a laugh watching your parents or friends dance out to any song in its lineup.
Additionally they make learning fun by putting out games such as the “Brain Age” series which has different games revolving around math, memory, and music knowledge. They have a game called “Brain Age: Express” which is packed with math questions coming at you faster than a cheetah with a rocket strapped on. The game encourages people to come back each day to earn in-game rewards like stamps for your own accomplishments. Puzzle games similar to the “Lego” series have challenging traps that make you use your brain power to the max.
Gaming improves your decision making skills because fast action games help train people to make quick, accurate decisions in all aspects of life.When you play games like “Amnesia” – where you are trying to find the exit in a creepy mansion filled with different monsters and you can’t fight back! – you have to make the right choices on where to hide in split seconds, which door to go through when you are being chased, and when to shut off the game because the game is too scary!
Finally gamers have an image of being inactive and out of shape but actually gaming can help keep you in shape by playing any motion gaming games like the Nintendo Wii, Xbox’s Kinect, or Playstation’s Move. “I do highly recommend the Wii Fit. I’m Probably 25lbs lighter since using it.”(Jbeadle, How Good is Wii). Even if you don’t like working out playing a fun game like “Kung Fu: High Impact” with “Kinect” for example will get you sweating for at least 10 minutes. Its fast pace will get you moving more than you usually do and it will force you to bend and twist your body in ways you didn’t think you knew how to!
In conclusion, video games shouldn’t have the negative stigmas they currently hold of being time-wasting, making people more violent, and causing obesity. The media will pounce on anything to make video gaming seem worse even though they actually have beneficial properties like I mentioned: strengthening bonds with friends, teaching in an alternative way, improving decision making skills, and keeping people in shape. Now, hopefully your vision of the average gamer has changed from a 30 year old overweight man living in his parent’s basement to a more positive image. “Psychos will always be psychos; they don’t need video games to help them.” (Scott Ramsoomair, Gamespeak interview)