Gaming for Dummies

Emma Goodman

Gaming for Dummies

Video games can be a great distraction, especially for pain. Studies have shown that they can even be therapeutic for people who have cancer, injuries or even mental handicaps. The only real problem begins when side effects begin to occur; they are the side effects that have infected the average North American. Auditory hallucinations, wrist pain, neck pain and obesity.

Some studies show that violent video games will cause young kids and teens to become more violent. Video games like these can cause people to think differently. Naomi Coleman has said that “Evidence already shows that computer games are linked to aggression. But it was previously thought that the violence was a psychological result of playing computer games, rather than biological.” Games are shown to increase aggressive thoughts and emotions. There is one study that involved two groups of people playing different video games. The first group played ‘non-violent’ games as the other group played ‘violent’ games. The people in the ‘violent’ game group started to think that using alcohol and marijuana was okay, whereas before they did not. This is one of the side effects of desensitization to video games.

On the other hand, when you game online or play video games it is shown to raise self-esteem and confidence. Most games will make us solve problems which will engage our brain. Some teachers will direct you to websites that will test the knowledge your learning in class. Lots of games out there are more for working out your brain. This includes games like crossword puzzles and playing cards. It is more fun to play games with friends, making it much more social.

Students who play online video games, especially role-playing games, end up not doing as well as they could in school. When you play an exciting video game for more than two hours straight it can cause sleep and memory problems with young adults. Although once there is a clear addiction of video games, people begin to have more problems with alcohol or other drugs.

In contrast, “Reality is broken,” says Jane McGonigal, “and we need to make it work more like a game.” Jane McGonigal is a world-wide known game designer with a PhD in performance studies. She believes that we need to solve real life problems like a game. “If you can manage to experience three positive emotions for every one negative emotion … you dramatically improve your health and your ability to successfully tackle any problem you’re facing.” After a serious concussion that had failed to heal properly, Jane became bedridden with symptoms including vertigo and nausea. To heal it she had to avoid the triggers that caused the pain. No more reading, video games, work or email. This put Jane into serious depression, and she started to hear voices. This stopped when she realized she could turn this into a game. This game caused her to get better. So when we play a game, we solve hard problems, and when we solve a hard problem; we are more likely to reach out to others for help.

Video games were originally made to distract and entertain people. Many video games will change the way people think, in a good way or a bad way. Almost all games will increase your hand-eye coordination. Few games are created to train brains to think better. People can get hurt by playing games too often. When people sit still for too long they tend to hurt their muscles, and that can cause serious problems. Many gamers do have addictions and should try to not rely on games as much in their life. It is estimated that 90% of video games today are violent, and very few games are for your health.

Resources:

http://www.ted.com/speakers/jane_mcgonigal

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC558687/

http://www.cyh.com/HealthTopics/HealthTopicDetails.aspx?p=243&np=295&id=2375

http://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/can-computer-games-keep-your-brain-fit-201204264640

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-67490/Are-games-damaging-childs-health.html