Where is the Harm?
English COM 121-136
March 12, 2005
Many people do not believe there are benefits to playing video games. However there are many benefits to exposing and letting children interact with video games. Some benefits include opportunity to immerse ourselves in character, development of hand-eye coordination, cognitive thinking skills, cooperative playing skills, fine motor skills, and real-time decision making abilities. Banning video games, or placing restrictions on them could have an adverse effect on the way children view the world.
For hours, my brother and I could sit in front of the television screen playing what is now being classified as horrifically graphic games. Hour after hour we would defend our little world from anything that would dare to invade. From aliens to giant rodents we conquered all. To this day we still place a day or two, usually on the weekends, aside to beat the latest game. But more recently claims of violent actions from disgruntled teens brought about by video games have persuaded our parents to ban game play in their house. Once these outrageous claim literally hit home, it was once again time for my brother and I to do our party to save our little world. It is my duty to get the word out. Video games, although sometimes graphic and tasteless in terms of violence, play an important, positive role in child development; promoting teamwork, good motor skills, and confidence. Banning such a tool could deprive children or a healthy means of expression and openness to the world.
Role-playing and adventure games stimulate a child's imagination. Nothing is more intriguing to a child, or an adult for that matter, than to imagine yourself a hero in another place and time. Role-playing and adventure games offer us the opportunity to immerse ourselves in a character and, for the moment, to make decisions and choose actions based upon the nature of that character. The game progresses based upon the character's choices. You create your own storylines and your own destiny, very similar to creating a work of fiction. Educational professionals, while allowing that video games permit children to engage in fantasy reenactment of whatever game they where playing, violent or other, maintain that this action is very much isolated compared to other activities, such as creative writing and creative dialogue (Provenzo, 1992).
Gaining proficiency at using video game controllers at a young age can help a child feel more comfortable with fine motor tasks such as writing. Through the development of hand-eye coordination, cognitive thinking skills and cooperative playing skills, children sharpen their fine motor skills and real-time decision making abilities, which in turn enhances their learning ability. Keyboarding, typing and manipulation of some sort of game controller with multiple function buttons contribute to improving fine motor skills. Sometimes a problem with fine motor skills may surface while playing video games even before a child learns how to write fluently. In this way video games actually act as an indicator for future problems that a child may have.
Children also get a sense of independent achievement when they play games that have levels to complete. There is an actual sense of accomplishment and pride when a child completes a level of play in a video game. The desire to reach higher levels becomes a strong motivator. Because the opportunity to improve is based solely on the player's ability. The player's confidence increases along with the level.
Contrary to belief of some video game critics, studies show that video games stress cooperation action rather than autonomous. When children, or adults, play video games together, the use of cooperation and teamwork is essential to accomplishing many tasks. Both of these behaviors are deemed to be prosocial. When playing a video game with a newcomer, or...