Video games have been here for decades, and today, the video gaming industry has reached billions of dollars in revenues. The gamer today is spoilt for choice; there is the personal computer, the console, and the Gameboys for the ardent video game player. Despite being such a far reaching industry, however, video games have never been unanimously appreciated by one and all. While on the one side we have people who love to spend their free time racing cars and fighting quests in the online world, on the other hand we have people who are up in arms against this regular pastime. In this article, let us hear both sides of the story.
Pros of video games 👍
First of all, let us see how playing video games help us in real life.
Improves decision making skills
While playing video games, the gamer has to make split second decisions. Delay by a nanosecond means the loss of a life, or losing the game altogether. Research suggests that as a result of years of practice at playing games and making decisions in high pressure situations, the video gamer becomes ultimate better at making quick and efficient decisions. The gamer is able to think of a hundred scenarios and possible outcomes of the decision made in that very split second, which makes them very quick thinkers. According to research, video gamers are able to come to accurate decisions 25 percent faster than non gamers.
Risk taking ability
Now this may look as a pro and a con, depending on your mindset. Generally, however, the ability to take informed risks is considered a plus point in an individual. The gamer lives a pretty high pressure life within the video game, and therefore, his or her thinking skills are enhanced by many degrees. Spending a long time within a game and making risky decisions take its toll on real life as well; such people are more likely to take risks in life, but owing to their ability to think fast and carefully, their risks have a better chance of paying off.
Better awareness and coordination
Within a video game, you are required to be alert at all times. You need to use both hands, and your hand eye coordination must be top notch to rise to the top score. It is no surprise, then, that children who are avid video gamers have better chances of being a surgeon. Their hand eye coordination and spatial awareness is great, and they normally have nerves of steel.
Cons of video games 👎
All said and done, however, there is also the other side of the story.
This need not be said. Most children who spend way too much time on their video game consoles find very little to attract them in the outside world. They simply do not feel the need to go out and play when their online lives are way more exciting than anything they will find outside. Besides, video games are addictive enough to keep you glued to the console for hours on end. Naturally, people who play too much of video games tend to become obese due to sheer lack of exercise. Not only that; too much of rapid hand movement also leads to tears in the tendons which might mean some long term injury. The eyes are also affected, of course, from staring at a screen for long periods of time.
Diminished real world connections
While this is not really a common effect, avid gamers are also sometimes seen to abstain from real connections, and even real life. This is very much what happens when one is addicted to social media; the world online is so attractive that there is no real reason to go out and meet real people. A distorted vision of the real world also starts to form in one’s mind, especially while playing games that have rather overly sexualized images of men and women. Most importantly, withdrawal from real life might lead to slipping grades and poor performance at work, all of which have very real life implications.
Most video games today contain pretty violet imagery and actions. Since teenagers, the most impressionable of people- are the target market of video games, this poses the risk of a distorted understand of how the world works and a desire for violence. When exposed to brutal content for hours and days on end, the person forms the idea that it is okay and acceptable to be violent to others.
Video games are here to stay, and whether they are god or bad depends on how we use them. For some, video games are a way of light recreation, and they have the good sense to not let games affect them negatively. We are introduced to video games pretty earl so the responsibility lies on the parents to monitor the content of the games and the amount of time their children play, and instill in them a sense of right and wrong before video games can have an all-consuming effect.