Positive Effects of Video Games

Topics: Problem solving, Play, Video game genres Pages: 5 (1668 words) Published: March 18, 2009
Now I am no expert in the mind, but in my research I have found that there is several ways that we can learn from playing video games.
Video games have always been infamous for their anti-social aspect and the violence that is shown in them. They have been seen as negatively affecting the players in terms of lack of social skills, inefficiency, obesity and laziness. We lack the unbiased view thus miss on the positive effects of video games. The negativities brought in by video games are due to the unrestricted duration for which they are played. Video games are popular among the children and the youth of America. If there is no limit to the time for which a child is allowed to play a video game or no supervision on the way in which the game is being played, the not-so-positive effects of video games will start showing up. In the contrary case, video game players will start manifesting the positive effects of video games.

Good video games incorporate good learning principles. Why? If no one could learn these games, no one would buy them. Players will not accept easy, dumbed down, or short games. Challenge and learning are a large part of what makes good video games motivating and entertaining.

First of all a gamer can learn identity. No learning happens unless gamers make a commitment. Learning a new area, whether it be physics or medicine, requires the learner to take on a new identity: to make a commitment to see and value work and the world in the ways in which good physicists or doctors do. Good video games capture the player through identity. Players are either given a strongly formed and appealing character, such as Master Chief in the Halo series or they get to build a character from the ground up, as in Fallout 3. Either way, players become committed to the new virtual world in which they will live, learn, and act through their commitment to their new identity (Gee 4).

When playing video games, gamers can learn how to interact. In fact, nothing happens until a player acts and makes decisions. Then the game reacts back, giving the player feedback and new problems. In a good game, words and actions are all placed in the context of an interactive relationship between the player and the world. (Gee 5).

Players are producers, not just consumers. Even at the simplest level, players co-design games by the actions they take and the decisions they make. An open-ended game like Fallout 3 is, by the end, a different game for each player. In a massive-multi-player game like World of WarCraft thousands of people create different virtual careers through their own unique choices in a world they share with each other. Also many games come with versions of the software with which they are made and players can modify them. Such modifications range from building new skate parks in Tony Hawk or new scenarios in Age of Mythology to building whole new games. Players help “write” the worlds they live in.

Players learn how to take risks and manage resources. Good video games lower the consequences of failure. If this happens then the players are encouraged to take risks, explore, and try new things. In fact, in a game, failure is a good thing. When facing a boss, the gamer uses initial failures as ways to find the boss’s pattern and look for a weakness. Also, especially with strategy games, player receive resources at given intervals and must save and spend them wisely to reach his ultimate goal. This involves abilities of resource management and testing. A player can learn to recognize the types of situations and react to them with determination. He can also learn to map the virtual world scenarios to those in the real world.

Players can usually, in one way or another, customize a game to fit with their learning and playing styles. Games often have different difficulty levels and many good games allow players to solve problems in different ways. In a role-playing game, the distinctive attributes each player chooses for...
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