Can Video Games Be Useful?
John is an average 12 year old boy that enjoys video games. Recently, John’s parents banned him from playing because they thought it was bad for his brain. John’s parents are making a big mistake! When he plays video games they’re actually making him smarter.
Video games can be useful for training for jobs, make your reflexes faster, and they, in fact, make you smarter!
Most parents are worried that their children are addicted to playing games like Call Of Duty, Halo, or any other fast paced games. Games like these actually make you smarter, which is what I’m going to be explaining. In this essay I am going to give you three reasons why video games are beneficial to us. First I will explain how they can help you train for jobs. Second, they are great for improving your reflexes, and third they can make you smarter overall.
Did you know that video games could help us train for jobs? Many types of jobs are using virtual training devices routinely now. Surgeons are required in their training to play video games and to work on virtual surgeries. Many of the jobs with the military and in technology also use virtual training and video games with their people. In Denver researchers say, “derided as mere entertainment, new research shows that organizations using video games to train employees end up with smarter more motivated workers who learn more and forget less in their work” (us.denver.edu). If video games really are helping employees work harder and smarter,than we should be promoting our children to play them more. This should improve their minds in school and help them get a great job someday.
With video game training, the employees work harder and are getting better if they play video games. T he study found in trainees who used video games to train had a 9% higher retention rate, and a 11% higher factual knowledge level, also 10% higher skill based knowledge level (venturebeat.com). If this is true, then I don’t see why we’re not making all employees play video games! This could help them perform better and do better work.
While video games can help train for jobs, they also improve your reflexes and make you think at a faster pace. Playing action games requires rapid processing of sensory info and promote action, forcing players to make decisions and execute responses at a greater pace than in typical everyday life (Ncbi.nlm.nih.gov). This means video games could be enhancing our processing rate and brains: not destroying them like parents think they are. Enhanced process rates could result in learning faster, coming up with results quicker, and improving your natural reflexes. T he researchers tested dozens of 18 to 25 year olds who were not ordinarily video game players. They split the subjects into two groups. One group played 50 hours of the fast paced action video games "Call of Duty 2" and "Unreal Tournament," and the other group played 50 hours of the slow moving strategy game "The Sims 2.” The action game players were up to 25 percent faster at coming to a conclusion and answered just as many questions correctly as their strategy game playing peers (rochester.edu).
This means fast paced games like Halo, Call Of Duty, or Modern Warfare make you take in and process more than slower strategy games. If video games make you think faster than that should also improve your reflexes, thus making everyday life a bit easier. The research shows that video game players develop a heightened sensitivity to what is going on around them, and this benefit doesn’t just make them better at playing video games, but improves a wide variety of general skills that can help with everyday activities like multitasking, driving, reading small print, keeping track of friends in a crowd, and navigating around town (futurity.org). All this is great information about how video games can make us smarter and healthier people!
My last point, is that video games make us smarter overall. Many studies have been done that conclude improvement in many different types of cognitive function and brain skills. People who play F.P.S. (first person shooters) showed faster and more accurate attention allocation, higher spatial resolution in visual processing, and enhanced mental rotation abilities (forbes.com). T his is showing that action game players are getting smarter! If parents of gamers could read information like this they would know their kids are actually getting smarter! Video games have been shown to improve eyesight as well. The ability, called contrast sensitivity function, allows people to discern even subtle changes in shades of gray against a uniformly colored backdrop. That is why a regular regimen of action video game training can provide long lasting
visual power, according to work led by Daphne Bavelier of the University of Rochester (nationalgeographic.com).
Prior research by our group and others has shown that action game players excel at many tasks. In this new study we show they excel because they are better learners. They became better learners by playing action based games (cbsnews.com). Usually our brains our predicting what will happen next, in action games you process what's going on faster than you usually would in any other household activities. Eventually our brains get used to the processing speed, thus make us more aware and better learners.
Despite all this good evidence, there is a down side to gaming. While making us smarter, they aren't making us fitter. While good for your brain, limiting activity to virtual is not good for your body. Nationally, the rates of obesity and childhood illness related to obesity are rising rapidly. There is a strong correlation between time on the screen and weight gain. If you can find balance in video games and physical activity, not get addicted, and separate the real from the virtual reality, then you could be a very healthy person. Gaming makes you smarter while playing outside gets you stronger. If people can find this balance, then video games can be a powerful instrument of growth and education in their life.