We’ve all heard it before “Video games will rot your brain!”, “Why don’t you go get a life?”, “You won’t make any friends playing video games all day”, “Why don’t you just grow up!” etc… but let’s be honest with ourselves… do video games really hurt us? I too had parents that thought video games "rotted my brain". However, nothing could further from the truth. Recent studies show that video games improve our cognitive function. (Cognitive function by definition is an intellectual process by which one becomes aware of, perceives, or comprehends ideas. It involves all aspects of perception, thinking, reasoning, and remembering) For instance, think of the strategy you learn playing, Starcraft, Civ, or Total War. Think of the team building skills you learn organizing a team in DotA, League of Legends, or Call of Duty. The finance and management skills you can learn from simulation games like the Tycoon series. Problem solving, decision making, and emotional intelligence learned from games like Heavy Rain, Mass Effect, Resident Evil, etc. Learn to play an instrument like in Rocksmith, or Guitar Hero. Hell, even a few Pokemon games are said to have the reading level of coursework for a senior in high school. Almost any skill you can get in a game can be translated to real life, if you're smart enough to connect the dots.
The big issue that happens is that “adults” (I’m referring to the ones that aren’t gamers) don’t understand gaming, and when people don’t understand, they tend to use blanket labels or generalizations to everything related to the subject at hand. It’s a very bad habit that most everyone has used at some point in their life. So if we want to show these people that videogames are actually helpful, we need to do this in a non-prideful and classy way. Remember when you are explaining your side on this, be patient and understanding, find what appeals to them and use those facts first!
According to TechTimes.com dedicated gamers have better hand eye cordination than nongamers. (Gamers being defined as a person who games 3+ times a week for 2+ hours each sitting). Hand eye coordination is extremely important as it’s the ability to track movements of our hands with our eyes and then enabling the eyes to sent the signals to our brains telling our hands what to do. This whole process is done in a split second but if you have poor hand eye coordination it can affect just about everything in your everyday life, reading and writing, driving a vehicle, tying your shoes, playing sports, etc. In fact people who have poor hand eye coordination are often diagnosed as having a learning disability.
I firmly believe that being an avid gamer saved Kitten’s (a nickname I gave my 2.5 year old daughter) and my life. I was driving on the highway in the middle of summertime, around lunch time. I was in the middle lane and there was an exit, on the right, coming up soon. The next thing I notice is that the semi truck in the left lane decided he wanted to get off the highway at this upcoming exit and crossed ALL 4 LANES! He was merging into me! I quickly looked around and there was another semi truck to my right, my daughter and I were about to be smashed between 2 18-wheelers! I noticed there was no one right behind me so I quickly slammed on my breaks to let the 2 trucks go in front of me. We then started to fishtail due to the quick and hard braking and I was heading straight into the guardrail on the right side of the road. Thankfully, I was able to quickly regain control of my car and continue on my journey. This whole event took maybe 2-3 min from the very start to the very end. My reflexes and my hand eye coordination were in tip top shape from exercising them daily while I game.
Did you know that the average ages for a gamer in 2015 was 18-35? But if we break that down more specifically, the exact average age is 31, and the margin between male/female gamers is only 2% (Males at 52% and Females at 48%), and these numbers are getting closer each year! This is very encouraging for me being a female gamer who just turned 33… I mean 31.. a few days ago.
When people say that you will have no life because you play a lot of video games, they cannot be further from the truth. The reasoning behind this is because right now and more so in the near future, training for jobs and in schools will be done with video games because they are typically the fastest way to learn skills. Games allow you to learn by making mistakes you couldn't make in the real world without consequences. It’s my belief that gamers have a distinct advantage over their non gamer peers in the workplace and in school due to their skills being improved by playing video games.
Some adults will also say that playing video games will result with the gamer having no friends. I will honestly say that I don’t have many friends in real life; not because I play video games, but because the majority of my real life friends are very immature and I choose not be “friends” with them. However I will say I have very little friends online as well, I say this because I don’t think of them as “friends” but more of as a “family”. These people have been with me through thick and thin we have grouped up and helped each other out so many times. Check out my 1st huge tip from my #1 mod and supporter Malicee! #BlameMalicee!. Here is my “family” coming together right before Christmas and helping out another streamer, MagikTheGamer, in our “family” who was in a rough spot. Can you honestly say that any of your friends have done this for another real life friend... or even a family member?
In my experience gaming has helped society out more than it harming it. There are more than enough studies done showing how gaming helps more than hurts. Of course there is always those few extreme cases where someone takes it to the ultra extreme, but those are far and few between.
Until next time…