Advantages of Computer Games
Since the creation of video games, they took the world by storm, and now there are few households without a video game console, roughly 80% of Americans have a gaming system in their home that is being regularly used. In 2011, a study was conducted that determined roughly 91% of children between the ages of two and seventeen have played video games at some point in their life, this accounts for over 65 million children. With such rapid growth, it sparked a huge debate on whether video games create negative effects on children. Although some studies have concluded that video games aid creativity and assist with cognitive behaviors, the media is constantly harassing video games stating they are bad for our youth.
In October of 1958, a Physicist by the name of William Higinbotham created what is thought to be the first video game. This game was an extremely simple tennis game, similar to the 1970s video game “Pong”. Over a few short decades, the video game industry has become one of the highest-grossing industries in the world, is valued at almost 100 billion dollars in 2016. Being that the industry brings in such a significant amount of revenue, it makes sense as to why it brings a high level of suspicion on not only why it has such a high amount of income, but also as to the effect it has on the players.
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A study recently conducted shows that those who participate in action games as well as shooter games “show faster and more accurate attention allocation, higher spatial resolution in visual processing, and enhanced mental rotation abilities” (Granic et al. 67). These types of games have been known to also improve cognitive abilities also improving an individual’s mood. According to Granic, games that have minimal interfaces, short-short term commitments, which also possessing a high level of accessibility will improve a players’ mood, ward off anxiety, as well as promote relaxation.
Video games are becoming easier and easier to play with consoles such as the Nintendo Switch as well as mobile gaming on mobile phones and tablets. The media seems to believe that video games promote isolation and hinder social skills however this is extremely far from the truth, “over 70% of gamers play their games with a friend (Granic et al. 77). Thanks to the internet, most games allow some form of communication to help build teamwork and have been known to develop close friendships amongst strangers. While these seem to be positive views of video gaming there are also some negatives.
Even though addiction has become a negative outcome of video gaming, there are still numerous positive outcomes. Addiction is one of those things that has the potential to cling onto any person, with any substance or activity. The problem is addiction is seen as a disease rather than a fixable problem. The simple fact is, video games have the potential to do more positively than negatively. Contrary to popular belief, video games do more than create mindless zombies or make a kid not bathe, or as proven false earlier, create social recluses. Psychiatrists believe “video games facilitate therapeutic relationships, complement the psychological assessment of youth by evaluating cognitive skills, and elaborate and clarify conflicts during the therapy process” (Ceranoglu, 142).
Professional snowboarder Shaun White explains “there are plenty of skills I’ve learned from playing video games, it is more interactive than watching tv because there are problems you have to solve using your brain”. When compared against people who do not play video games there is a significant increase in cognitive skill development. This is partly due to the fact that video games allow players to make decisions on their own allowing them to determine the end game finale. Although video games have been proven to increase social skills and hand-eye coordination along with educational benefits, most parents would rather see these skills increased by physical activity.
Computer games supply players with various traits that can benefit their lives. In order for the positive outcomes to outweigh the negative, it is crucial for parental supervision to not only limit playtime but also playing with your child can build better relationships.