The Benefits of Video Games
Computer Technology has made our lives much easier than the generation before us; this led the discovery of computer programming which made the making of video game possible. Videogames are double edged sword that can be both harmful and useful if used correctly. Video games are electronic devices that mainly purpose is to entertain. Since children tend to indulge themselves in playing videogames throughout their daily lives. Parents have become concerned with the effect that videogames might inflect on their children both physically and mentally. However, due to numerous studies in videogames it's has been proved that videogames can actually help children's skill, vision, and health. Yet people still generalize and that videogames are completely harmful to children without affording proper respect to the benefits it offers. The question that I'm presenting is "Do Video Games cause much harm than good?"
Research shows that playing videogames does not entirely cause harm to your vision but also help increase "real-world" vision. "Normally, improving contrast sensitivity means getting glasses or eye surgerysomehow changing the optics of the eye" (Bavelier, 2009) Professor Daphne Bavelier discovered that action videogames actually train the brain to process visual information efficiently, decreases visual crowding and increase visual attention. Just by playing high levels of action a player will obtain an ability to distinguish slight differences in shades of gray, since these games help to improve human visual system and force the brain to adapt to the changes.
Though changes that occur to the contrast sensitivity of the optics can only be obtained when a game is rich of high level of action. It has been proven, when Bavailer had to cooperate with professors who are expert in the fields of brain, eyes and cognitive sciences; Professor Mokous and Polat. The theory of high level games was tested on volunteered students, where one group played action games such as "Call of Duty 2" while the other group played non-action games throughout the assigned weeks. Tests showed that group one have a 43% of improvement in visual this positive effect remain after the game is over. On the other hand, students who played non-action games showed absolutely none improvement in any visual fields. She clearly states "Not necessary harmful, at least for vision" ( Bavelier, 2009) and she considered to further this discovery in hopes of finding treatments for amblyopia ; weak transmission of visual image to the brain.
Regarding health, Langley Research centers (2000) are using videogames to treat hyperactive children or Attention Defect Disorder (ADD) children. Scientists actually confirmed
that videogame treatment have helped children to train their brains to concentrate and be able to focus more; a unique treatment that uses videogame to monitor children's brainwave activity and channel their attention more effectively. Since, America has used Ritalin drugs to calm ADD children and expand their attention, it is reported that about 40% (2000) of children were given Ritalin due ADD children attention it was extremely hard to work on continuous training session and produce improvement. Thus experts introduced video game therapy that not only helped children but also made their experience popular and enjoyable most importantly effective towards children it also mentioned that adults benefit from playing to help relieve stress and train fighter pilots to remain calm and productive under extreme combat situations.
Another Experts believe that epilepsy might be related to memory and thus are using video games to help cure epilepsy in both children and adults In UK an estimate of 400,000 ( people are epileptic; a brain disease that causes loss of conscious and seizures.. A US neuroscientist explains how a vertical maze was used in a game and the players had to find their way out using only their memory. An experimented was performed on teenagers minds while they played this specific game, scientist had to attach wires on different parts of the teenager's brain and monitor his brain wave patterns. This experiment helps scientists to discover how brain triggers brain wave activities throughout different parts of the maze.
Another study has been revealed that video games affect children's skills in creativity, strategic thinking, and teamwork. Professor Schrater an assistant of psychologist and computer science discovered that video games help improve motor skills. Especially, eye to hand coordination which is useful skills only but also help train surgeons and pilots. His studies also show that violent games work much better in improving a child's skill than a non-violent game supporting the studies professor Bavailer conducted by stating that "The excitement and fun that we see in action video games engages learning in a way that other things don't" (Scharter, 2007).
Experts believe that video game can enhance a child's skill and learning abilities in school considering that it is used properly.
In conclusion, video games have been scientifically proven to produce positive effects to children in aspect of skills, vision, and health. Parents should stop being worried over their children and appreciate video games for what they offer to both children and adults. People in general criticize video game in being harmful to those who play especially children.
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- n.a.) (2005, July15) Computer games 'do have benefits'. BBCNews Retrieved from http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/4682801.stm
- Ward, Mark (n.d.). Video Games Help Hyperactive Children. BBCNews. Retrieved from http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/894673.stm
- University of Rochester (2009, March 30). Action Video Games Improve Vision, New Research Shows. ScienceDaily .Retrieved from http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090329143326.htm
- Booth, Robert. (2009, February 12). Video games are good for children - EU report. The Guardian. Retrieved from http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2009/feb/12/computer-games-eu-study
- Henry, Devin (2007, March 10). Study: Gaming improves motor skills. Mndaily Retrieved from http://www.mndaily.com/2007/10/03/study-gaming-improves-motor-skills