Positive Benefits for Playing Video Games

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Video games, a subject that has been looked upon, studied, examined and most of all played for its intended use, have become one of the most popular and powerful forms of entertainment in contemporary society. The first iteration of gaming systems ever created was in back in 1972, known as the ATARI featuring a game called PONG. The usage of videogames has been regularly increasing over the past several decades, transforming into a $25 billion dollar industry in North America, and just Quebec alone a $1.15 billion dollar industry (ESAC, 2015).

In 2015, approximately 19 million Canadians were identified as gamers, which makes out to roughly 54% of the Canadian population (ESAC, 2015). Today 9 out of 10 North American children and adolescents play video games (Stephanie C. Brown, 2009) this being said, “The average teen will moderately play video games for about two hours or more on a daily basis.”(Edward L. Sting, 2010). Knowing that such an immense number of children and teenagers as well as adults are playing video games so regularly, forms an understanding for why the effects of video games on today’s players has become such an important subject, furthermore generating a very important research goal. The gaming world has been a controversy for years on end. Some individuals have gone forth to argue that video games are linked to violence and aggression, this being one of the biggest accusations when speaking of this means of entertainment. Video games have endless possibilities, all of which should be looked upon as a tool or tools to teach today’s society.

This being said, according to relatively new research, video games can and have been used for, exercise, stress relievers, positive interactive learning, improving hand eye coordination, and a multitude of different types of therapeutic treatment for individuals all around the globe (Lobel, 2011). When playing video games, through concentration and coordination, one can physically, socially, and mentally benefit themselves. Although many people see video games as a problem, they are actually positive forces due to their infinite possibilities and benefits for good.

The popularity of such means of entertainment has created a vast amount of research dedicated to the effects of video games (Granic, 2011). The increasingly large amount of research on this topic frequently shows that the effects of entertainment systems are not irrelevant. Some of the many outcomes have been analyzed to the fullest through the use of observation, surveys, and multiple alternative methods of study. Within this paper, age, physical health as well as mental health will be the subjects covered and discussed. What truly are the benefits of playing videogames in today’s world? Though multiple people tend to mainly see the negatives aspects delivered through the use of playing video games, there are many positives in which link to a multitude of benefits for both mental and physical health.

There are different games for different people, for everyone and anyone to enjoy no matter their age. Playing video games are fun, however not many people realize the impact video games can have on the body physically and mentally. As long as video games have existed, people have thought about and studied their effects both on the body and mind. After thirty odd years of research, the question of whether playing games causes’ serious harm or benefit has yet to be fully answered, and people still have conflicting opinions about such topics.

Age is a very important aspect when it comes to comprehending the true effect of videogames. Whether a young child, a teenager or a fully matured adult; video games affect each age group in a different manner. Several research structures taken from a multitude of articles provided useful observations for understanding the positive and negatives of video game on all ages. When speaking of video games, the average person associated to this subject is children and adolescents. With the evolution of consoles within the past 40 years, videogames have become the norm of entertainment for all ages. In today’s generation the majority of videogames developed, attract a more mature audience, leading one to think, are they really intended only for children? Most of the videogames seen on the walls of retailers are either rated M (for mature), or T (for teenage), yes there are still plenty of games rated at E (for everyone), yet as stated earlier, the vast majority of games are intended for an older audiences. ‘‘In North America, 81% of youths play at least once a month, 8.5% of them are addicted to playing videogames on the daily (Daniell, 2014). According to a reference taken from Danielle`s article “the average 8 to 12 year-old now plays a minimum of 13 hours of video games per week, while the average 13- to 18 year old plays a minimum of 14 hours of video games per week”(Metrics 2.0, 2007).

Over several years, as stated earlier, video gaming has become a widely popular aspect to our society’s children, teenagers, as well as adults, replacing everyday outdoor activities with videogames that connect people together all over the globe. Video games are starting to be recognized for their educational benefits due to a vast amount of new research done on the positive effects they deliver. Learning experiences derived from such games that create motivational cognitive features, that not only help to promote persistence in school yet they are creating more and more cooperative and coordinated students along with it. This means that students are less likely to give up and are more prone and comfortable when facing a challenge.

“Using a meta-analysis, Vogel, a professor in psychology and neuroscience, examined 32 experimental and observational studies in 2006, concluding that educational games in classrooms helped students gain cognitively and show significantly higher performance compared to traditional instruction.” (Evans, 2013. P. 100). Such video games provide educational benefits in example; increased skills in mathematics, sciences, cooperation as well as decision making. Middle-aged and or older adults are leaning towards playing casual videogames (such as puzzle games, plat formers etc.), as a way of keeping their minds at ease and in the best shape. The people of today should not be so quick to categorize video games as a negative influence that causes violent behaviour. Instead, video games give society improvements in many different mental and physical areas.

These games have also shown to increase performance in certain areas of science and mathematics through the use of cooperative games as well as competitive games. The individuals who had played a violent video game using only methods of cooperation with a fellow player rather than competing against them, showed much more coordination, and better team spirit towards other players. “The cooperative games used are characterized by goals that are linked to one player who is required to help another before reaching their goal.” (Greitemeyer and Cox 2013. P. 224). As for the competitive gamers, action packed and fast paced video games, although looked down upon for many of them containing violence, “help to increase and improve mathematical skills by providing challenges that grow in difficulty as the player progresses.” (Evans,2013. P. 101).

Furthermore, video games can also be used to develop advanced skills that carry out of the video game context in a short period of time. The skills gained from such games have a long lasting effect on the player. Literally speaking, “the spatial skill advancements that come from first person shooters (FPS) games are comparable to the improvements in several of the same skills obtained from university-level courses.” (Engels, 2013. P. 3) Video games have been helping the education system with learning and cooperation skills, and they help to significantly increase cognitive skills such as “STEM” (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics), as well as creativity, and general problem solving. ““STEM” areas of expertise have been frequently linked to long-term career success and are predicted to be especially crucial within the next century.” (Lobel, 2013, P. 3).

This being in correlation with problem solving skills, the player obtains such skills from playing the puzzles made up within the game. Video games also are beginning to be associated with an additional cognitive benefit being; strengthened creativity. Research on this probable asset has shown that despite whether or not the game shows forms of violence, video games enhance children’s, adolescents and adult’s creative capacities (Granic, 2013, P. 4). All in all, this indeed proposes that video games are quite in fact valuable to the scholarly system. Although video games are generally looked at in a negative light, but “those in the first person shooter video gaming category show faster and more accurate attention, more advanced spatial resolution in visual processing, as well as enhanced mental rotation abilities.” (Lobel, 2013, P. 3) Video games provide the ideal environment to acquire intelligence due to the fact that games provide the player with solid and immediate feedback of their efforts. Games today are even use failure as a motivational tool, pushing the player toward “large-scale” accomplishment. Unlike the common belief, “these experiences of failure do not lead to anger, frustration, or sadness, although players often do feel these negative emotions periodically” (Granic, Lobel, and Engels 6).

Video games have also been proven to be beneficial for our physical health, with the invention of Nintendo Wii/Wii U, SONY`s Playstation Camera, Microsoft’s Xbox Kinect as well as the newest addition of several variations of VR (virtual reality) and AR (augmented reality) from different makers. All of these gaming technologies require their users to become physically active in order to control their character in role playing games. A recent study by Maddison et al. (2012) demonstrated that these physically active gaming systems may hold the key against the current dilemma of obese children in our society. Maddison’s study established that by playing only one hour with the Playstation Move or Wii, children diminished their BMI (body mass index) by an estimated value of 8% and their body fat by as much as 50%. The researchers who conducted this study had a group of inactive gamers replace one of their gaming hours with a physically active game for a total period of 24 weeks. This study opens up a large window for obesity in children and provides a treatment that not only works, but that children will actually use and enjoy.

The health care industry is another area in which video games have made a drastic difference, showing many positive benefits for playing video games. Various games have been used in the health care industry to aid in treating with physical therapy, asthma patients, burn victims, diabetes, different forms of cancer, and even improve doctor’s surgical expertise. Specialized games have been developed in specification to aid numerous medical conditions; alongside they have been proven to help children have a better understanding of their diseases. These particular games also play an importance in keeping children motivated increasing their self capability when dealing with their condition. The creation of a specialized game for burn victims, called “Snow World”, has been relatively effective in lowering pain levels by deceiving the brain into thinking it is cold, drawing attention away from their injury . With these studies, video games have shown themselves to have positive benefits for physical heath and the health care industry.

Cite this paper

Positive Benefits for Playing Video Games. (2020, Nov 23). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/positive-benefits-for-playing-video-games/

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