The Benefits of Video Games

Scott Steinberg is an author to many parenting books that unite children and adults through the use of technology. Steinberg views technology as extremely beneficial to both children and adults in various environments. The Benefits of Video Games explores the different settings in which technology particularly video games can strengthen one’s skills. Steinberg explains that a recent study found that video games could improve literacy skills when there is strong parental and teacher cooperation. The study focused on young children around the age of 5 that would focus on recognizing letters and words in print and the concepts behind each one.

The study also found that underprivileged students are more likely to learn in a setting that incorporates more educational videos and games into the classroom setting. This way students are able to explain concepts within the games in a way that they understand. Older children are able to benefit through games in a different way. Older children in their teens are able to benefit through games by learning basic every day skills. Through the World of Warcraft students are able to learn through team work and understand working towards a common goal in unison. College students are able to improve from video games as well. Studies show that a college in Ontario increased their test scores from 56%-95% from role playing games in a 3D simulation.

Although it is easier to understand how students would learn from games, it is especially surprising to hear that adults can benefit from video games as well. Steinberg explains that video games help adults by processing information much faster. Adults are able to reason and solve problems in context. Video games such as Guitar Hero or Brain Age can also improve hand-eye coordination, reacting to decisions and boost auditory perception. However, Dr. Ezriel Kornel explains that playing these games is not enough, you must improve to achieve these skills that are a result of game playing. Improvement is a result of learning each time you play. Kornel explains that every time a person plays a game “new synapses are forming between the neurons. So you’re creating thousands of connections that can then be applied to other tasks as well.”

Steinberg explains that a game may just save a life one day if the medical field practices games as well. A study from the Archives of Surgery explains that surgeons who play video games are better at performing laparoscopic surgery. Dr. Jeffrey Taekman explains that “serious games and virtual environments are the future of education.” Medical students have the ability to practice on digital patients and these simulations offer the medical world an advantage. With these simulations the students are able to make a decision and see immediate results, allowing them to learn from their mistakes with out having to do so on a real life patient. By learning through games, you are able to build upon instantly what you have learned and apply it in the same context.

Brain activity has also been affected by gaming because by playing video games, this allows the player to multitask. Video games allow improvement in areas such as attention, accuracy, vision and multitasking. Driving for example can be improved through video games because while driving the driver encounters multiple changing environments with an end goal while at the same time the driver is faced with distractions and obstacles. In addition to multitasking, the social benefits of video games are also evident. Video games have a stereotype towards players being loners or anti-social, however video games bring people together. Games bring families together where there are generation gaps. Games allow people to relate to one another and can bring people together that would not normally hang out with one another.

There are also games that have positive lessons and messages that encourage children to make good choices. Games with good lessons are more likely to contribute to helpful behaviors such as helping someone solve a situation the right way and make the right choice or to volunteer. There are also many games such as United Nations Food Force that teach children about real issues present in the world today. There are practical humanitarian challenges and issues involved and aside from overcoming these obstacles, students are further informed of issues prevalent in society. Many other games such as Food Pyramid Adventure encourage healthy eating habits.

In the adult world, there are also many career benefits that result from playing video games. Career choices are heavily influenced by technology and new skills are learned from playing games. Mobile gaming apps will be extremely valuable to students in the workforce in the years to come. The Federation of American Scientists argues that students need more game play, not less. They understand that video games allow students to address pressing issues our society faces and prepare students for a competitive global market. The Federation of American Scientists also argues that video games teach high order thinking including strategic thinking, interpretive analysis, problem solving, plan formation and execution and the ability to adapt to continuous change.

These skills are definitely what employers look for in new employees that they hire. Games will continue to educate workers around the world that have government duties, trade and include large corporations. Interactive software can be used for training purposes, interviews and resume. In addition games encourage cooperation and teamwork. Teamwork in games is highly representative of working with others in the work place. In addition, games allow people to gain self-acceptance and confidence. This allows people to feel more positive about themselves through a sense of achievement.

One of the most important factors represented and encouraged by games is exercise. Games promote exercise when a nation such as ours lacks exercise especially among young students. Games incorporate exercise into one’s daily life in a way that is not a burden or time consuming with other desired activities. Games are a more approachable way to stay physically fit such as the Wii. This way people can have fun, be engaged and work out with out even noticing. Games assist students and adults in various ways and work positive attributes into one’s life that they would not normally benefit from.

This article can be found here: http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/technology/2011/12/the-benefits-of-video-games/

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