Stop blaming video games!

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  • Publicado : 22 de marzo de 2011
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Stop Blaming Video Games!
Video games are not just a piece of electronic or a computerized game. For me, it’s one of the best things I can do to enjoy my time when I’m bored, when I want to relax, or want to spent time playing with family members. But there’s been always something that bothered me every time I talked about video games. Since a long time, video games have been blamed for alot of situation, for example, that it could contribute to childhood obesity, addiction to play for hours, aggressiveness in school and poor academic test scores. Also that could cause vision problems, and a general trend of average performance. So I decided to do some research about this specific topic to see if these allegations are true. However, based on various researches, it shows that somevideo games can actually be beneficial for children, adults and also elderly people.

Is well known that video games can become quite addicting and I got to admit in my opinion that could be, but it can be controllable. When I was young, my parents noticed that I was starting to create an habit of playing video games for hours. But they started to teach me how much time I could spent playing,while making sure that I did other tasks that needed to be done first. It was difficult at first, but you get use to it and learn how to organize your time. In my humble opinion, parents should show and teach their children appropriate ways to control their need to play for hours. Is not just the child that must learn on his own, its also the parents’ responsibility.

Although it’s normal to becomeaddictive to it, but the question is: Why? A good example is an argument made by James Gee, a professor of learning science at the University of Wisconsin, who suggested that gaming might be mentally enriching based on a result of a laboratory experiment. He explained:

These scholars are the first to admit that games are addictive, and indeed part of their research explores how gamesconnect reward circuits of the human brain. But they are now beginning to recognize the cognitive benefits of playing video games: pattern recognition, system thinking, even patience. Lurking in this research is the idea that gaming can exercise the mind the way physical activity exercises the body: It may be addictive because it’s challenging.
Likewise, Katie Salen andJan Plass point out that it can assist children on setting goals, ensuring goals rehearsal, and provide feedback and reinforcement. This allows them to experience novelty, curiosity and challenge (Hoff, et al. 2009) .

What about the vision problems? In fact, action and adventure games can enhance and also help cure Amblyopia, also know as “lazy eyes”. Notthingham University confirm this in aresearch, claiming that they found positive effects of video games which can actually treat the eye in just one hour, while when the other process is done with an eye patches, it could take 400 hours to cure it. Also the University of Rochester made a research about first-person shooter video games and found that these types of games have positive effects on improving visual skills.They explainedthat the reason behind this is that our brain’s capacity increases by playing the games in order to spread attention over a wide range of events taking place in the game itself (PRI, 2009). In addition, playing video games can heighten the capability of visual attention and its spatial distribution (Mandora 2010).

Again with another question, what benefits could help your health by playing? Withthe advances in technology, new improvements have been made for games. The first that revolutionize the way we play was the company of Nintendo, who decided to make some changes on how we play. They made some types of controls that are capable to recognize your movements, instead of just pushing buttons. With this on stake, people now have to move to interact with the games. In some cases you...
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