Thursday, May 28, 2015

Can Video Games Be Useful? 5/28/15

Ben Parzych
Period 3

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” ( 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 ( 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 ( 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 ( 

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 ( 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 ( 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 (

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 ( 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. 

Monday, May 4, 2015

My Great Grandma - Interview

It was 4:49 p.m. on Sunday April 26, 2015. My Mom had just drove my great grandma Irene over to our house. Irene was born in 1931, and she grew up in Albuquerque, New Mexico. She now is 84 years old with a big nose, white hair, and she is fighting Alzheimer’s Disease. Together we sat at my table while she drank some tea and I asked her my interview questions.

My first question was “How is life different from when you were young?” Irene first said that her whole family, which included four sisters and one brother shared one phone and no television. Irene said she did have a radio to herself, but her father would get angry if she listened to it at night. They also had no car, and had to walk or ride bikes. I then asked Irene what job she had growing up, she said that she worked at an ice cream shop, and  would go to work everyday after school.

The second question was “What was your favorite memory from childhood?” Irene said that she loved horses. She would always go down to the rangers ranch and borrow one of their horses. Irene had a favorite horse and it was very fast and it would like to race cars along the side of the road. After her story I asked what her horses name was and she said it was Lady. 
My third question was “What was it like working with Nasa?” Her first response was that she worked for 26 years, and her job was mostly classified. Also, Irene was one of the very few women working in the laboratories. Every day she would have to wear a uniform and go through security to get to work. The security officers would search her entire car before she could even drive into the base. Irene also helped develop rocket and nuclear projects. I then asked Irene if she used a computer. She said she worked on the first computers, but most of her work was on typewriters.

My fourth question was “What was popular when you were young?” Irene didn't have a very clear answer but she said most men wore suits and women wore dresses, or just anything they could afford. She also said that most girls would curl there hair. I asked Irene if she watched any sports, and she said her brother was on a baseball team and she wouldn't really watch anything else.

My finale question was “What was the happiest moment of your life?” Irene thought for a moment, and then started describing the memory of how she enjoyed playing with her older sister when they were young. Irene then said the happiest moment was when she got married. She said that she was the first out of all her siblings to get married. I then asked how old she was when she got married, and she said 18 years old. 

After the interview we started listening to some old songs, and she started to sing along. It was nice to see my great grandmother remember so much about her past even with her battle with Alzheimer's Disease.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

World War Z- difference- 4/16

 I haven't seen the movie for world war z yet but I've heard it is very different. In the movie I'm pretty sure they follow the story of one guy as a main character but in the book it's interviewing Aton of survivors. Also in the movie the zombies can run super fast and jump really high and are like super humans, but in the book they're the classic slow moving limping zombies. I want to know why they would change the movie so much from the book. Was it to make it more action packed and interesting? To be honest I would find it having interviews more interesting.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

World War Z- into the caves- 4/15

This is the third interview and. This one is the first soldier! When the zombie almost bite him I thought he had pulled its whole upper body off but then I understood because the rocks had crushed it's legs. I also figured out that the face mark in the mud was from the man collapsing after being bitten and died. That's why when he got up, he was a zombie. I found out that the infection spread from Asia to the rest of the world threw planes, boats, etc with people that didn't know they where infected until they got either on the plane or to there destination and spread it from there. I'm still wondering how zombies work though, since there dead how come they can still move and want to eat people?

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

World War Z- Infection- 4/14

 So I just found out this book isn't following one person but aton of survivors from the Apocalypse. I just finished the first interview with the Doctor explaining how it started. It started from the first bitten boy who spread it to others and so on. I am really looking forward to this book and can't wait to here other peoples storys. I still am confused about how the boy got bitten.

Monday, April 13, 2015

World War Z - Warnings - 4/13

 I just started reading World War Z! This book all ready seems kind of scary and intresting. I'm wondering how the boy got bitten when he went diving with his father, was there a zombie down at the bottem of the lake? Maybe I'll find out if I keep reading. I'm also kind of freaked out after reading the part where the doctor checks on the boy bit doesn't know he's a zombie But than almost gets bit. I hope alot of my questions will be awnsered if I keep reading.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Book or movie- Hobbit 3/19

I understand that they make movie alot different from the books is because if they didn't the movie would be very long and boring. In books people can imagine in there heads what a charector would look like, but in movies it's someone else's image on what they look like. Sense I saw the movie for the Lord of the rings Trilogy I will always imagine as Gandalf being the movie actor for gandalf. I'm still deciding if I like the book or movie better though.