Do Video Games benefit our world?
Are video games good or bad for us
Video games are one of the most revolutionary things that have brought our generation to new heights for more than 20 years. They’re one of the greatest cultural phenomena that still exist in many different platforms such as Nintendo, Xbox, Playstation, and even PCs. Video games involve interactions that draw the player into the game itself. Video gaming matters because it engages the player, builds excitement, and captures the imagination. People have been wondering about a specific part of the video game industry; that is, do video games benefit our society? Scholars have been researching this topic for many years and have come up with various results showing some benefits in many areas such as education, the workforce, cognition, and others, however people commonly believe that video games don’t benefit anyone, especially if they are violent. I believe that video games can make a positive contribution to our society. They can help us not only improve our own health, gain better cognitive skills, help us in education, and enhance our creativity, but they also can increase performance in the workforce.
Video games have made one of the greatest contributions to society because of the innovation and content they give us. It affects each of our individual brains and work differently to help us develop our critical thinking. One of the complaints about video games is that it harms our eyesight and other physical functions. Daphne Bavelier, a cognitive researcher, discusses how video games tend to affect the brain in a positive manner. In her TED talk from 2016, she responds to this issue by stating that the opposite is true. Bavelier writes that contrary to conventional wisdom, “guys that actually indulge into playing video games like five hours per week, 10 hours per week, 15 hours per week... [have] vision [that] is really, really good. It's better than those that don't play.” Bavelier goes on to state that “it's better in two different ways. The first way is that they're actually able to resolve small detail in the context of clutter, and though that means being able to read the fine print on a prescription rather than using magnifier glasses, you can actually do it with just your eyesight. The other way that they are better is actually being able to resolve different levels of gray.(Bavelier 3:14)” In other words, better eyesight is one of the benefits to ongoing differentiating of color within a computer screen and video games help users to visually differentiate small details on screen or paper rather than using a magnifying glass. Bavelier is saying this because eyesight is believed to be the most harmful effect for people who play video games. But what she’s trying to say is that individuals who look at digital screens for a long period of time actually have a better visual perspective to various shapes and shades of colors than others. She also responds to this complaint by referencing food, such as chocolate, as the video game product, she says that there are cognitive researchers like her, who are trying to understand what are the “good ingredients” to a video game and how it can be doable. Her solution to that is to develop a new type of creation that is irresistible and it can be played with. She suggests that video games can be made to be even more helpful.(Bavelier 16:16) In other words, video games need to have some component that catches our eye and makes us have positive feelings. In order to make it, it would take a team of developers and cognitive researchers. There are other related benefits that support this idea that video games enhance cognitive skills.
Our brains use these cognitive skills that help us obtain and keep the information given to us so that we can use it to accomplish our activities. Researchers have discovered that there is already an example of the existence of violent behavior when children or adolescents play violent video games. However, in the 2014 article, “The Benefits of Playing Video Games”, cognitive researchers from Radboud University, Isabela Granic, Adam Lobel, and Rutger C. M. E. Engels discuss the various studies to show that video games benefit users in certain areas. They have shown that individuals who play video games improved their cognitive skills on attention, visual processing, and mental rotation which increases their abilities much faster than those who don’t play video games (Page 68). They have also shown in a meta analysis that children who grew up playing video games develop new cognitive skills and approaches to problem solving just by doing trial and error (Page 69). This means that video games promoted the cognitive skills needed for children and adolescents while at the same time improving their problem-solving abilities. It’s important because it shows the correlation between the people who play video games and the improvement of learning. Overall, video games promotes the increase of learning skills, including problem solving and attention, but do video games make you smarter?
People have argued that the more you consistently play video games in one sitting the higher the chance for harm. (Mitchell Moffit) However, additional studies have proved that video games can increase cognitive function. A YouTube channel known as AsapSCIENCE responds to this in his video “Can video games make you smarter?” by stating that video games are educational because they are just as effective teaching tools, furthermore he adds on to the idea that kids who have dyslexic disabilities have faster reading speeds and better word accuracy thus relating to enhanced cognitive skills (1:45). This means that video games have a huge affect on education thus increasing their potential in learning, especially to those who have a disability can increase their educational skills just by playing video games. The potential of education gives the students with disabilities special programs that help create a clear focus on a student’s success. This matters because video games have an effect on those who play them daily, but what makes it interesting is the idea that the brain is more complicated which requires a lot of mental energy to think or even pay attention. As video games tend to be more advanced in education, they started to apply this to technology and how it has transformed and applied the abilities to do work. This matters because this could be the next innovative learning tool for everyone to use, especially if you have a disability, and this could also change the way education is taught, if we have all of this technology and resources, why not use something that is fun and meaningful.
As video games and technology evolve throughout the years, people have begun to suddenly perform better in their jobs such as surgeons and medical doctors who are and getting better scores with fewer errors. Many researchers believe that video games and video game experience can contribute positively to the workforce. In the article “The Impact of video games on training surgeons in the 21st century”, there was a study that was conducted by JC Rosser Jr, PJ Lynch, Laura Cuddihy, Gentile DA, Jonathan Klonsky, and Merrell R, in 2007 where surgeon residents performed three different video game exercises to assess the current level of gameplay, the level of surgical training, and the number of laparoscopic cases (operations performed through small incisions) and medical practice. This results showed that video gamers completed about 20% to 40% faster and scored 30% to 40% better Top Gun scores in both time and errors (Page 1). This means that people who play video games have better work ethic and performance in the work environment while at the same time, they create fewer errors. It matters in the workforce, because it creates a strong correlation between those who are trained in the medical profession and skill training or video game experience thus making a strong contribution to teaching and training employees, thus making it a training tool for those who are willing to improve their own performance and also it leads to enhanced creativity.
Video games were meant to be creative in nature; they spark the creativity of people who want to develop video games. Researchers have studied the first demonstration of a relationship between technology and the process of creativity which proved that video games can optimize the development of children and adults while at the same time retaining their entertainment values such that the next generation of video games will blur the distinctions between education and entertainment.(Video Game Playing Tied To Creativity) In the article, “Can Video Games Enhance Creativity? Effects of emotion generated by Dance Dance Revolution”, researchers Elizabeth Hutton and S. Shyam Sundar have theorized that video games can alter the process of ideas and how many ideas a person can generate just by the theory of arousal and valence. They To prove this idea, Elizabeth Hutton and S. Shyam Sundar created a study using a game called Dance Dance Revolution to show any levels of arousal including any positive or negative emotions that affects creativity. The results showed that there were higher levels of arousal, positive emotions, and greater potential in creativity.(Hutton and Sundar 296) The significance shows that video games have an effect on emotion and arousal when it comes to creativity. It’s important to the contribution of video games because video games were meant to be creative and they help us show the potential gamers and developers who have worked hard to show that video games were meant to be beneficial and positive. However, not everyone agrees with the idea that video games are beneficial to our current generation.
Researchers have studied that video games have benefited society as a whole, but there are others who believe that video games don’t benefit society and that they affects people negatively due to exposure to aggressive behavior. News journalist, Jamie Ducharme, writes about the topic of video games and Trump's argument to video games and how they were the cause of school shootings. In her article, “Trump Blames Video Games for School Shootings. Here's What Science Says”, she quotes Trump stating, “I’m hearing more and more people say the level of violence on video games is really shaping young people’s thoughts”(Ducharme 1). This means that people who play video games constantly are being affected in the way they think and behave aggressively. This matters because it gives a perspective on how video games created a negative impact on our society. In Donald Trump’s tweet from 2012, he stated that, “Video game violence & glorification must be stopped—it is creating monsters!” He means that video game violence and the expansion of gun violence has to be minimized. It’s important because it’s the most common view of how other people see video games and its impact on the real world. It’s significant because in Trump’s perspective, he wants us to believe that violent video games represent the idea of violent nature. However, research shows that violent behavior or aggressive acts have no correlation to video games.
Researchers and scholars used experiments and analyzed studies to prove that video games have no correlation towards gamers but towards non-gamers. Meaning that these non-gamers (those who don’t play video games) have an increase correlation towards violent thoughts and behavior. Researchers Marc Sestir and Bruce Barthalow analyzed an experimental study that showed the similar correlations between both nonviolent video games and violent video games and how one or both of the variables can or don’t contribute to violence. In their article, “Violent and nonviolent video games produce opposing effects on aggressive and prosocial outcomes,” Sestir and Barthalow created three experiments to show the correlation, using participants to play violent video games and compare them to those who played non- violent video games. The first and second studies showed that although violent video game exposure increases aggression, non-violent video games decreases the aggressive thoughts and feelings. The third study showed that nonviolent puzzle-solving games with no violent content increases prosocial thoughts. This showed that video games aren’t correlated to violent behavior and that it decreases the aggressive thoughts of those who either play violent or non-violent video games. Furthermore, it’s importance to the argument on video games shows that in spite of these potentially harmful effects, they still contribute positively to society.
Researchers, scholars, and other big figures argued that video games tend to contribute to society in a negative way. However, video games have become an asset in terms of their contributions to our society because they help improve our own health, increase our basic cognitive skills, provide the potential for more education, improve our creativity, and allow us to apply our video gaming skills into the workforce. Playing video games improves our health because it improves our ability to better perceive objects differently by shape and color. Video games have also helped improve basic cognitive skills, such as attention quality, memory and many other skills which we need to learn and experience things in our everyday lives. In addition, video games can change the way education should be taught and that they were used as learning tools to help students with various disabilities such as dyslexia. This method was also used to train people in the workforce such as surgeons who used video games as a way to gain experience and complete their work faster without too many errors. This led to improvement of enhanced creativity because research shows that video games can alter the way people can generate more ideas and process them. But there were those who believed that video games tend to affect violent behavior such as Donald Trump who implied that video games have shaped young people’s thoughts making them seem aggressive. Researchers responded with using experimental studies which proved that people who were exposed to either violent or non-violent video games have shown a decrease of violent thoughts and feelings instead of an increase of aggressive behavior. Overall, video games have become the most important asset into the real world and has become a positive impact into our society since the late 1900s. Now I have one question for you, what other major inventions have greatly contributed into our society, does it affect us positively, negatively, or both?