Why Video Games do not Lead to Individuals being Anti-social?
While there is still much to learn about video games, it is a common misconception that video games are a large contributor to individuals becoming anti-social and developing an Antisocial Personality Disorder. In fact, this is the exact opposite of what happens behind the scenes when video games are played, especially for prolonged amounts of time. Video games and the link to anti-social behavior has been a subject of discussion for the better part of the decade, but despite what has been expressed, video games do more benefit than they do harm. Video games are important in life development because they teach player real life lessons, promote critical thinking, and encourages teamwork. For the past decade, video games have been the culprit of online and real-life criticism, including a plethora of debates that argue video games lead to players becoming anti-social and less aware of legitimate real-world possibilities and catastrophes. Contrary to what is said, video games provide players with actual life lessons that can be used out in the real-world.
For starters, avidly playing video games can teach the dangers of talking to strangers. In the world of video games, it is certain that there will be scammers, some posing as company employee’s and others pretending to “”look for a friend””, in order to get personal information. Playing video games teach players to keep an eye out for suspicious activity and overly curious people while at the same time teaching them that it can happen outside of a video game as well. Another life lesson that can be learned from playing video games is that failure is inevitable and will lead to the opportunity for success in the future. In order to get good at something, practice and time is necessary. Video games act the same way. Playing a video game for continuous amounts of time, followed by multiple failures will eventually result in a victory from past mistakes that are learned and new paths that are followed. And lastly, video games teach players to have fun and laugh when winning is not an option. More and more video games provide two ways to play: campaign and multiplayer. Campaign mode is for those who wish to accomplish objectives and progress through a diverse storyline in order to get to the end of the game. Multiplayer mode presents the opportunity to take a step back, relax and have some fun with the community and friends while playing games, free roaming, and participating in missions and goals that level up/improve the multiplayer character. Video games have a direct correlation to critical thinking. Because many video games are solely the campaign mode, players can think critically without the opinions and influence of other gamers.
Ian Bogost, an author and game designer once said, “”video games make claims about the world, which players can understand, evaluate, and deliberate”” (Bogost, 2008). Video games allow players to analyze, accept, challenge and reject their rules and allow players to implement those into the daily life. When presented with a new game, there are always new stories, outcomes and rules. Video games provide a set of rules for each player to follow, but nonetheless invites the player to question and judge the acceptability of those rules and the claims that the game ultimately ends up making. Video games are largely an adaptation of what life is like in one way or another. Some game creators go beyond what some would expect and introduce new worlds and new species, while others stick to a rudimentary outline. Having these adaptations grants the power to analyze and compare the in-game life to the real thing. Writer Linda Hutcheon says this is important because it creates a conceptual flipping back and forth between the work we know and the work we are experiencing (Hutcheon, 2013). Being diagnosed as antisocial can be looked at from two different angles: in person and online. Being antisocial doesn’t always assume “”hey! I don’t like to be around people””, but sometimes mean having disregard for people in an online community as well.
One of the most notable skills video games can teach is the fact that they have the power to create friendships, enhance communication skills and encourages teamwork. This works directly against being antisocial in an online setting because players are, in some circumstances, forced to work with others and communicate with each other to complete an objective. Communication in the online multiplayer scene, alongside the campaign modes, is a very important aspect in which many games reley on to have a successful game in today’s day in age. In a multiplayer setting, players are given the option to participate in various types of events and missions that can yield a reward of experience for the character, in game money to spend on miscellaneous items, and even trophies to showcase their achievements. Within these missions and events, multiple players can be paired up together to have an adequate chance of completing the challenge. These challenges push gamers to compete as a team with each other or else it can result in a failure due to one players lack of interest in helping.
While communication is very important, games with online matchmaking bring in something no one thought would ever be possible, friendships. Friendships within the multiplayer world are very common. For instance, two players and up playing the same game and start making small talk, ten minutes later they add each other as friends to continue playing because of the connection between them both. When two or more parties share a similar interest, those parties tend to introduce themselves and invite the other parties to join them in a game. Video games, but not limited to online multiplayer, create an environment that is the opposite of that of someone who is diagnosed with being antisocial would be around. Today’s games give players the chance to see new worlds and ideas, characters and stories, and analyze and compare the rights and wrongs. As video games become excessively popular, and the continuous rise of professional gaming and e-sports, it is very slim that one would become antisocial or have a hard time adjusting in a real-world setting. Because of these topics and facts, video games have been proven too be important in life development because they teach player real life lessons, promote critical thinking, and encourages teamwork.