Since the release of Pong 50 years ago video games have been a driving force in culture and entertainment. However, video games have also taken the blame for many of society’s issues. This blame is misplaced, and evidence has shown that video games are good for you. Video games improve people’s learning capabilities, help with mental illness, and the idea of video games causing violence is nothing but a myth.
A benefit of playing video games is that it trains the brain and improves the player’s ability to learn. According to the University of Rochester (2014), most video games depend on the player’s ability to predict, analyze, and find patterns. This trains us to make problem-solving templates and to retain data quickly. Creating templates and preserving data is how we learn. Studies show that players can create templates faster than non-players and that the effects of gaming last longer than other brain exercises (Patenaude, 2014). Games offer many learning benefits and help us in many ways.
Video games do more for the mind than help it learn; they also help those who are suffering from mental illness, specifically depression and anxiety. As stated before video games are brain training, which causes cognitive changes in the brain and gives players control over their depression. They also change how the brain handles depression and anxiety attacks (Khan, 2017). Gaming has a strong emotional effect, which helps with mental illness. Since I suffer from depression and anxiety, I know what it’s like to feel attacked by my mind and feel as if there is no escape. Videos games gave me joy by offering fun, excitement, beauty and satisfaction. Games gave me control and purpose when anxiety convinced me I could never have it. Without gaming,I don’t know if I would have gotten through the roughest parts of life and they gave me a chance to heal.
What people are getting wrong
Now, when violence is on every news broadcast, many people blame video games and gaming culture, which is wrong. Many think video games cause violence, but there is no proven link between them (Zendle, 2018). Excessive use of video games can cause mental harm, but this does not mean games are to blame; addiction to anything is harmful. A study written by David Zendle (2017), shows that people exposed to violent games are not more compelled to violence than people who are not exposed. The study showed that while video games affect how the brain functions they do not change behaviour (Zendle, 2018). Also, the idea thatthe world is more violent because of games is absurd when you consider history.We used to burn women alive, lynch people, and execute people in public. Humansare violent, and video games are not to blame.
Video games have taken the blame for society’s problems since their invention, and all the good they do is ignored. Gaming improves how people learn, helps those who suffer mental illness and does not cause violence, despite what many say. The stigma against video games helps no one, and the world could be a happier and better place if we focused on the good that video games can do.
Khan, S. (2017, June). Playing to beat the blues: Linguistic agency and message causality effects on use of mental health games application. In M. Guitton, Computers in Human Behavior (pp. 436-443). Elasvier.
Patenaude, M. (2014, November 10). Playing action video games can boost learning. Retrieved from University of Rochester: http://www.rochester.edu/newscenter/playing-action-video-games-can-boost-learning-78452/
Zendle, D. (2018, January). No priming in video games. In M. Guitton, Computers in Human Behavior (pp. 113-125). Elesvier.