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The Gaming World – Harmful or Helpful?

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Many people believe that too much time spent watching television or playing computer or video games can be detrimental to children’s development. However, video games can also be beneficial. Gaming, in moderation, helps improve cognitive skills, such as attention, vision, and multitasking. The experience of game play can be described as an activity in which the player is virtually embodied in the game world. Anyone who has experienced the world of gaming knows how the engaging experience can manifest itself with “sweaty palms and chills down the spine” (http://www.eludamos.org/index.php/eludamos/article/viewArticle/80/147) when coming face-to-face with alien creatures; or with the adrenaline rush we get when racing a high speed automobile head-to-head with a friend. Gaming is an excellent source of entertainment. It provides an opportunity for social growth, provides a meaningful form of exploring expression, and provides heightened sensitivity. Rather than creating social isolation, as some would argue, I believe gaming provides an environment in which friendships often develop. As players interact, discussing game strategies and considering rules and rule breaking, two separate scenarios are occurring at the same time. Although the players are fighting on screen, a friendship may be forming off screen. Personally, I have acquired many online friends through the years. The video game market has shifted from being a predominantly male market to include the female population with games like The Sims, in which players build virtual worlds. Such games often result in online communities, where players build avatars and interact with others across the globe. My sister used to spend hours at the computer buildi... ... middle of paper ... ... immerse us in the situation, but when the game is over, we realize that it is over. In real life, no one is invincible. Bad things can still happen to you. Works Cited Sheri. “Video Games: Harmful or Helpful to the Brain.” Evidence-based Living: Bridging the gap between research and real life. 6 January, 2011. Web 7 June, 2011. Nielsen, H. S. “The Compter Game as a Somatic Experience.” Eludamos. Journal for Computer Game Culture. 2010; 4 (1), p. 25-40. Web 7 June, 2011. Schmidt, Aaron. “Awesome Essay on Video Games.” Walking Paper. 21 Dec., 2005. Web 7 June, 2011. Video Game Industry. 21 June, 2011. In Wikipedia online. Retrieved from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Video_game_industry Koster, Ralph. Games as Art. Tharsis Gate unofficial republication of e-magazine Imaginary Realities. June, 1999. Web 7 June, 2011.
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