The Benefits of Video Games
In today's frantic and stressful society, a desire to escape sometimes is imminent. There are piles of work to do, constant headaches, and relationship tensions are rising. In this current condition one may be aware that it will be impossible to get anything accomplished. What one really needs is a chance to get away from it all, to replenish the mind and release all of their apprehension. A relaxing vacation to a secluded private island would do the trick, but of course this is impractical. Instead, at no cost one can fully immerse into a lush, stunning virtual paradise oozing with beauty and serenity. This is the magnificence of the modern video game world; it lets a person be somebody they could only dream of, construct amazing structures and inventions, or can even provide relief and fulfillment. However, stress relief and personal enjoyment are not the sole advantages. Video games should be more widely accepted and integrated into the daily and professional lives of individuals because of the many positive effects they create, which include: self satisfaction, educational and economic opportunities, advances in technology and science, and the spawning of creativity and ingenuity.
One of the age old attacks against video games is the statement that they contain an addictive allure that grabs hold of students and chokes the academic life out of them; well, according to recent studies, quite the opposite may be observed. In a study of young children age four and five, conducted by the Ready to Learn Initiative, it was found that through the addition of digital devices and video games into a school curriculum, it was possible to greatly increase letter recognition and early literacy skills. A further study by the Education Department Center found that kindergarteners with poor home conditions, who had experienced a video game based curriculum in preschool, were more adapted and successful ("The Benefits"). This prevents students from falling behind and creates interest in school. Although it is true that a handful of games possess no real advantages and are a distraction from work, the sheer number of games designed as educational tools or as brain-teasers clearly outweigh that fraction. In fact, nearly sixty percent of all video games are categorized as E for everyone, which primarily consists of healthy brain-growing challenges and activities. Large video game companies such as Big Fish, Broderbund, and Educational Insights are devoted to developing products that will wrack a player's brain. Collectively, they provide exciting puzzles, history and science education in an interesting way, and dynamic math-oriented games (Gibson). The majority of players are hard at work improving their skills and cognitive abilities, while a few negative cases of video game players get all of the publicity. The benefits of games do not end there, however. ("The Benefits")
Many online video games provide valuable economic lessons and other important skills required in jobs and professional life. For instance, Second Life, a colossal in the MMORPG (Massive Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games) industry, contains thousands of college students working for credit in their classes and career-related experience. Business students can take advantage of the game currency called Linden dollars, which can be exchanged for real money; they do this by selling in-game real estate and running retail businesses while learning about marketing, budgeting, and management. Fashion design and 3D-modeling students can collaborate to create articles of clothing and wardrobes. Even architectural students are taking advantage of the opportunities that Second Life provides by designing virtual buildings and structures (Driscoll). This video game opens up a world for these students to directly apply the information they are learning in class in a hands-on and logistically sound way. It also provides them with a source of income...
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