Most people believe that they know exactly how video games influence a person’s behavior. Not only that, they also know what kind of an effect they have on your brain – an extremely negative one. It is common knowledge that people, mostly teenagers, who spend a lot of time playing video games turn into mindless zombies incapable of getting or keeping a decent job.
Fortunately, many of us are aware of how reliable and accurate common knowledge really is. For this reason, and many others, one of them being my undeniable love for video games, I’ve decided to do a little research to finally give a proper answer to the question of the effect of video games on your brain.
The impact of video games on brain functions has been the focus of many studies ever since playing became a very popular and widespread activity. We will take a closer look at the results of research, hoping that it will give us some kind of an answer.
When they first started coming out, video games were considered a form of entertainment devoid of anything that could be considered valuable. As years passed, more and more people were drawn into their imaginary worlds, and the number of video game fans has been growing ever since.
There have also been changes in the way critics view them. Regardless of their genre, plot, main characters and soundtrack, even the experts on subjects of art and aesthetics seem to believe that video games are not just games.
In this article, we will try to discuss the shift of thought regarding the question of video games as art and give reasons as to why video games absolutely should be considered art.
What we consider art seems at first glance to be a bunch of things that don’t have anything in common. I mean, should movies and oil paintings really be squeezed into the same category?
Well, those are just two different forms of what we call art, and the reason why they exist is the fact that people are able of expressing themselves in many different ways. This is exactly why we have what is known as the seven art forms.
They were complaining to me about not being allowed to play outside in the sun. I gave them one of my basketball video games to play. Though they would have preferred playing the game in real time, they reluctantly agreed to play it. Soon they were so caught up in the action that they gave up all thoughts about their angst. Video games certainly keep you occupied and turn even the diehard fan of real time games to become addicted. Here are some more games that will help you get through the rest of summer happily.
Major League Baseball
This game featuring the great Ken Griffey, Jr, is a perfect game to watch mainly because of the simple game play. The pitch, batting and fielding are all very simple to grasp and you have some great hitters like Barry Bonds, Griffey, Frank Thomas, and others giving you an awesome gameplay. This game is accessible and great fun to play.
This NES game has some bold and revolutionary deviation from the stereotypes. You get to punch the life out of boxing greats such as Von Kaiser, Piston Honda, Don Flamenco, King Hippo and others. Once you beat them all, you get to be kicked by the all-time great Mike Tyson! I love boxing and have my own punching bag, which I had bought at PunchingBagPro. I use it almost daily. It helps to give some well-needed exercise to my body. It also makes me vent out my frustration, whatever the source is, after few rounds at it, so is a great relaxing tool for me.
Track and field
This PlayStation 2 game released in 2000 is a multiplayer game that makes you plunge into rash button mashing. With the save-record feature, you get to be the fastest athlete alive until of course someone beats you to it. The swimming game needs you to hammer relentlessly on the shoulder buttons, which makes you, exhausted after some time, as if you’d actually done the swimming in real time.
This Xbox 360 game was a hot favorite during my college days. While sports videos don’t usually keep you that engrossed, especially basketball games with all 82 games, I took to it like fish to water with my friends giving me good company. The four of us would fight over the team selection, make ridiculous trades, and start playing finally. And to say the truth, the game helped to keep the place quiet for the duration of the game. Which is why, I got the idea of giving the video game to my neighbor’s kids. By the look of things, it certainly worked its magic on them too.
While I was visiting my aunt’s place a few days back, I was given the third degree by my cousin. She has just finished school and is an avid gamer like me. I guess it runs in the family. What she was so worked up about is I hadn’t brought her the video games she had asked me to bring. Well to say the truth I forgot about her request, as I had been quite busy before the trip. I however convinced her that I’d get the games during my next visit.
Video games are not just for the enjoyment of boys. But the general thought that comes to mind as one mentions video gamers is that it is only the boys and young adult men who prefer playing the games. But as my cousin is standing proof, there are hardcore girl gamers too out there who don’t get enough credit for the addiction they have to video games.
So as I am searching for some good video games to get for her, here are some top games for girls that are popular now. You can find games that are filled with violent shooting and virtual war, and some nonviolent and traditional girl games that are big favorites among girls. My cousin who has just enrolled in a nail technician course loves the shooting games better than the traditional games.
This is great as competition and exercise. And for girls who love to dance this is the perfect choice. Even boys love it. For girls who feel shy about dancing in public, this is a great choice.
Mario is one of the earliest games that kids born in 1990s love to play. Princess, Luigi and Mario are favorite game characters that both boys and girls of all ages love. You now get Mario on Nintendo 64 and Super Nintendo, Wii and GameCube.
Sims is the best game for role-play enthusiasts. The game lets you create whole families with each member moving from birth to old age. You can control the job, love interest they have and their path in life. My cousin especially wanted this game as she wanted to present it to her senior in her college who has just finished her nail technician course. I learnt that nail technicians earn a sizeable salary, which had been one of the factors that made my cousin pick the course.
This is an addictive game for gamers who love building and taking part in adventures. The game is more about puzzle solving and creativity. It lets girls experiment with their creativity and is just right for teen and pre-teen age girls. The game is accessible via applications as well as the internet.
Although this game started first on Facebook, it is now the most popular game available. The interactive game lets you grow an entire farm and the game is free. But you need to buy the upgrades for the game. This virtual reality addictive game has players growing crops and plants, raising animals and having a leisurely and fun time overall.
I hear how I’m wasting my time playing games all the time from people – even friends and family members tell me I could be more productive if I was doing something else with my time. I don’t think that could be further from the truth though. I can name a handful of games off the top of my head which exist solely to improve mental function and speed up cognition in the players. Ever heard of the Brain Age series from Nintendo? That’s three or four games right there, but it’s also just the start. A link has been established there. But do video games improve coordination too?
It stands to reason that if a game could help work the cobwebs out of some neural pathways, it might also be able to do the same for muscles, tendons and ligaments. I’ll put my thoughts on the matter simply, but effectively: if you’re playing games where timed button presses from your fingers mean getting past a problem you see and react to with your eyes, you’re absolutely building a better sense of hand-eye coordination. It’s not just platformer games full of jumping either; any game where you need your hands to react quickly to what your eyes see is probably doing you good without you realizing it.
It’s no secret that private businesses and the militaries of many a nation uses simulators to give employees and soldiers virtual training for real life issues. If there was no link between video games and improved reflexes and reaction times, why would they even bother with this? The answer is that they would not. So the next time someone tries to feed you a line about how video games are useless, you’ve got my permission to go ahead and drop that bomb on them. There are even simulators which focus less on actually doing something and more on positioning yourself to do that thing, like simulators with archery recurve bows.
Speaking of archery, what better test could there be to check if your hands and eyes are working better after playing a video game several times than they did before you played that game? There are few activities which require the eyes and hands to work so closely together; this makes shooting an excellent test. You might try using a Samick Sage bow or whatever else you have handy – you don’t really need to buy something super expensive to test this. Any simple bow, some arrows and a handful of targets will do the job just fine.
I’m not saying video games are an amazing way to sharpen your mind and reflexes either. Yes, there is a correlation there, but there are other ways to get the same results without gaming. I remember back in high school, in some science class, the teacher had us put a ruler flat up against a wall and then drop it while lunging to catch it with the opposite hand right after. If there was any single activity that could claim to do the most good for improving hand-eye coordination, I’d say that’s it.
Unfortunately, the popularity of space and flight simulators has waned considerably. In fact, I rarely see the youngsters of today having a joystick. The gamepad that most kids and teenagers use is of different category however. Only when you have a proper flightstick, can you get a immersive experience especially when you pair it with throttle. While shelling out cash on such an expensive accessory may make you hesitate, there are quite a lot of valuable options present that don’t burn a hole in your budget. Here are some of the best joysticks for you to pick from.
Manufactured by Thrustmaster, this joystick is available with separate throttle. You get 22 programmable buttons including 17 on the throttle and 5 on the stick. The joystick has four eight way switches and two four way switches.
The throttle action is good and the controller weights are comfortable. The joystick is of great quality. The throttle action can be adjusted, if you don’t like the set up present. But the joystick as such doesn’t have any adjustments. What matters is the action you get out of it, which is quite exciting. I found the joystick reliable and smooth to use in all attacking angles.
When compared to Saitek X55 Rhino model this model is considerably better in quality and performance. Younger players would love the joystick to be more stylish like having LED lights. Nowadays you get LED lights fixed everywhere from household appliances to electronic gadgets. I even have a nice LED light bar I got from http://lightbarreport.com/ fixed to my car for better safety while driving at night.
Saitek X-55 Rhino
This joystick also has a separate throttle. You get 18 programmable buttons and 5 eight-way hat switches. While this model is good it comes next to the Warthog model, which is better in all aspects except for the price factor.
Since you have separate stick and throttle units, you need separate USB ports to use them. The action is however quite impressive albeit not as luxurious a feel as you get with the Warthog. The joystick and throttle are adjustable, but you need to put in some extra effort to adjust the stick.
This joystick is by CH Products and has separate throttle. You get only 6 programmable buttons, 6 four way hat switches and 2 eight way switches. This is for the hardcore simulator players and has a wider movement range for the joysticks than the others in this list, so you can make finer adjustments easily. This is just right for flying Boeing 747s but is not needed for games of the caliber of Star Citizen Hornet. However, the throttle is not that good in spite of the functionality being good.
This joystick from Saitek comes with eight programmable buttons and one four-way switch, but you don’t get a separate throttle. The design is simple, versatile and has a decent price. The only drawback is the lack of palm rest on the shaft base, which can cause a bit of strain while playing. Throttle is attached in the front part of the base and functions properly. This is a budget stick that has some impressive buttons, which are configurable.
Gaming has certainly got past the playful stage. Yes, the industry is now worth over US $74 billion in the year 2011. The numbers have risen more in the past few years. On an average, you can find a big majority of people playing these video games on their smartphones or consoles. If they don’t have a console, then they play on their PC. Most kids today own one or more than one game console. For those of you who don’t have a console and have to contend with your PC for getting your gaming experience you need not feel inferior. Here are some wonderful gadgets that make your PC gaming experience the best ever, even more than a console.
Over the years, manufacturers have been providing gamers with several advanced devices beyond the usual keyboard, joystick, and mouse. While some of these are durable, you have some, which are functionally superior too. Most often, these have futuristic design and look stylish. But at their core all these have only one objective and that is to provide the best gaming experience ever for the gamer. Here are some such devices.
Logitech G930 Gaming Headset
This is best for those who are crazy about multiplayer games. This headset helps to block the white noise letting you focus on distinct game sounds and on what your teammates are doing. The surround sound, noise cancelling mic and wireless connectivity helps to deliver and receive commands from your team players in a clear and efficient way.
This gaming light gives an excellent ambience to your gaming room. When you play games that are compatible with amBX, the lights will change according to the game lighting conditions. When compared to conventional lighting systems, using LED lights is a far better option as these focus light more effectively. In fact, I even use these lights for growing plants, although they’re not as good as true LED grow lights.
Razer Naga Mouse
This mouse is for heavy-duty video games. The ergonomic design makes it easy to use the mouse. Further, it comes with programmable buttons that are 17 MMO optimized. The scroll wheel of the mouse can be used in 24 different ways to help in advanced gaming maneuvers.
Saitek X52 Flight Control System
This is for those who love to play flight simulation video games. This controller comes with an advanced 5-position adjustment model that is comfortable as well as highly functional. The system also has an LCD display.
Razer Ferox Gaming Speakers
This speaker designed to look like small-scale power plants or binoculars has two excellently functional gaming speakers that give 360-degree directional sound. This is ideal for gaming enthusiasts who thrive on full surround sound effect (who doesn’t!)
Razer Tiamat Gaming Headset
This headset has 7.1-surround sound giving you distinct and clear sound for all your games. You can tune audio for every channel with the help of the controller provided with it. The soft and good quality ear pads help you to fit the headset easily and conveniently.
Corsair Vengeance M90 Gaming Mouse
This mouse has 9 macro-sized keys and 15 buttons, which enable easy access to spells, combo moves, and abilities in a game. The mouse uses Lift detection system that tracks movement when you lift the mouse above, from the surface it rests on.
Gaming can be described as an activity whereby one or more individuals take part in a process where they are not able to enjoy themselves, but in certain situations are able to add extra advantages to the overall experience that they may encounter once deciding to take part in such an occasion. Such a description can be served to explain the various levels of gaming that have taken place since the beginning of their inception, and in some cases, the potential levels that could be reached should such a trend continue to develop over the coming years.
It should be noted that the progress that the concept of gaming has been able to achieve has been attained through the technological advancements that have been made over the years. The concept of gaming technology is one that has only been recently introduced within society but the simple act of gaming itself is one that has been existence throughout time in memorial. Though the last statement may seem to some people as a bit of overkill in terms of description, a closer look at the advancements that have been made, compared to the initial inventions that had been introduced, allows one to make out the differences and the similarities of the concept of gaming.
A good game can be compared to a good hunting knife with an experienced hunter. If one is not skilled enough to recognize the qualities of the knife in question, then the quality itself becomes a non-deciding factor in issues such as the levels at which one is able to enjoy the product in question. If one is not able to understand the game that they are dealing with, or perhaps they are not drawn to those particular games in question (with this regard being in reference to the genre) then no matter how good the game is, one would not be able to fully appreciate what has been offered to them. A good way of establishing the kind of games they happen to be in to is through a flashback process that ensures that they are aware of all the alternatives that happen to be in the market at that moment in time.
Searching for a game that suits a particular individual is similar to looking for hunting equipment like at http://edgehunting.com that would suit a particular hunter. The suitability is dependent on the kind of prey that an individual is going after. Knowing the kind of games that a person likes is not that hard to determine. There are a number of ways that one can come up with such answers such as dividing the games available with regard to their time periods.
As hard as it may seem to believe, an individual may prefer what can be referred to as “original” games as compared to the modern alternatives that may be available. For instance, an individual may prefer the experience of a good game of cards or a simple round of any popular board game that may be available to the public as compared to the latest video game that may be available in the most fashionable electronic stores.
A lot of people ask me why I love gaming so much and complain how it’s harmful. Wrong! Here are some facts about gaming.
Gaming can be described as the process of taking part in one game or another as the name suggests. It should be noted that these sort of games refer to the more modern kinds of games that have been introduced to the public as part of progress that has been made by technology over the years. In the past when one referred to games, the more traditional games that involved children playing outside came to mind but all this has changed with the introduction of new technology that has enabled the development of games that are operated via electricity and consist of machines filled with graphics and missions that an individual is able to take part in.
Though the more traditional forms of play should still be encouraged in children, the new age era should not be ignored either as they also have their own benefits that can be enjoyed by individuals who take part in such activity. The development that has taken place in the gaming sector as a matter of fact has meant that the word can no longer simply be associated with child’s play as full grown adults have also taken a liking to this new kind of fun. In fact the games that are in stores nowadays come with a parental warning as some are not even suitable for children of certain ages.
A good gaming device can be compared to a useful meat grinding machine in that it is able to provide for the particular needs of the individual who happens to be using it at that moment in time. The device does not come with a game installed but instead serves as a platform where an individual is able to play the particular game they desire. In other words, there is something for everyone when it comes to gaming. Some of popular gaming devices that are available on the market at the moment include:
Some of the benefits that can be enjoyed by an individual who has a gaming device include:
Enhanced hand-eye coordination – This refers to the agility with which is able to send messages to their body through the use of visuals as a measurement system. How fast one is able to move for instance as well as the accuracy of an individual’s aim can be seen as a result of hand-eye coordination. Gaming is able to enhance these features in an individual as a result of the need for a continuous use of these capabilities while playing a particular game. The better an individual is able to get at these games, the better their hand-eye coordination can be considered to be. So even if an individual has a particular taste when it comes to meat grinders from http://meatgrinderadviser.com as the earlier comparison suggested, this is a benefit that can be enjoyed by every individual.
Social Interaction – Though it has been argued that the introduction of this new form of gaming has led to a reduction in the number of children who go out to play as most individuals would rather sit in the house but the introduction of the internet has allowed people from different parts of the world to meet while taking part in these games as well.
Video game industry has evolved into an industry of big proportion. Microsoft had recently purchased a game development studio for a whopping $2.5 billion. And when you look at the revenue earned by the top video game development companies, you’re certain to be astounded beyond belief at how the industry has taken over the entertainment world.
Both kids and adults have started enjoying the video games now. According to a study, nearly 59% Americans play video games of which 48% are women and the average player is not a kid but an adult of around 31 years.
The gaming industry worldwide was worth over $67 billion in 2013 and this is expected to increase to $82 billion by the year 2017. The games have captured attention to the extent that Robert Morris University had announced that they would provide scholarships to players of the game League of Legends. The game has top competitors playing to make tons of money.
In spite of what the statistics reveal, video games still get a bad reputation. They are mostly portrayed as violent, antisocial, and addictive pastime, which encourages obesity in the players. But this is not true. Most of the video games have psychological, physical, and educational benefits.
My dad bought me a longboard a few years back from http://longboardingnation.com/ While I do like playing video games, the longboard had me hooked once I got the knack of riding it well. Since my neighborhood friends were all expert longboarders, it helped me learn it faster so I could race them and show my expertise.
Actually, the reason I learnt riding the longboard faster was due to the benefits I’d got playing the video games. Well you may not believe this, but the video games train the brain with the same impact as riding a bike or reading a book has. Your brain forms thousands of fresh connections, when you are in learning mode. The attraction of rewards further motivates you into playing skillfully and thereby training your brain well.
Games where you use repetitive actions such as in the Xbox Kinect, where you focus on a moving object or swing a bat, your brain and muscles of your body are trained, so they perform better in the real life activities you engage in. The fact that I had the meanest ever longboard also helped my gaining expertise in the sport.
Other than learning new skills, video games, especially the action based games helped in making the right decisions faster. Isn’t that cool!
Fast-paced action games need quick reflexes and fast thinking or you can lose your life fast. In real life setting, the active gamers are more aware of the things that are happening around them. They are able to arrive at decisions faster and see good results as such.
Playing games such as Call of Duty 2 helped improve making decisions faster according to a study. This helps a lot, if you are a surgeon or a soldier amidst a raging battle. Making quick decisions are crucial in such situations and the training gained by playing the games help aplenty.
As I’ve been writing earlier, there is more to playing video games, than the mere fun you get with the games. A study done by University of Toronto has revealed that playing action video games such as Assassin’s Creed or GTA helps players to learn better coordination of hand and eye and other new sensorimotor skills easily. While still a majority of people is against video games as an entertainment form, the studies that are being done on the subject are proof enough showing that these games are not so bad after all.
One significant benefit video games have is their ability to alleviate stress completely. They also help in developing special and needed skills such as sensorimotor skills particularly coordination of hand and eye movements. The benefits are enhanced in chronic players.
Sensorimotor skills are those that are needed to perform tasks such as typing or riding a bicycle. You need to rely on the coordination between your eye and the body muscles, so your movements are efficient.
While all those who start on such tasks are novices at the beginning, with practice they improve their skills. With adequate practice, the skills start to become second nature to you and the task is done without any concentration.
My friend who is a member of a video game online community is doing a course on fashion technology. She loves stitching and had bought a Serger recently at SergerPro.Com to help in her course. She says that her drawing and stitching skills have improved a lot, which according to her is due to her playing video games, and of course, because of the advanced machine she’d bought. Learning new things is faster when your brain is trained by playing the video games.
The studies done by University of Toronto on the subject involved comparing two groups. One group played action games for two hours a day at least thrice in a week. The other group consisted of non-players. Both players were told to play a new game on a computer using a mouse to track the movement of a small object that moved in a complex pattern all over the screen.
While at the outset, both players showed no change in their playing, with time, the gamers learnt the game and started playing faster than the other group. This shows that learning pattern related to sensorimotor skills is easier with the video action game players. The friend I mentioned earlier had actually won a fashion designing competition where she had to create a design and the complete dress in the time given. She credits her success to her Brother-1034d sewing machine and of course her passion for gaming.
The research done on video gamers concluded that the players had an edge over those not exposed to video games as they could learn faster and better. Acquiring proper sensorimotor skills is vital in technology field, especially for surgeons who use the latest advanced robotic surgery methods. You need to control the tools accurately to perform the surgery successfully. Maybe the doctors need to spend some time playing Assassins Creed to boost their skills!
To say the truth, hunting is a sport that is best enjoyed outdoors. Hunting enthusiasts would vouch for it readily. It is all about getting outdoors and enjoying nature just as our ancestors had done before us. The forest smell, weight of the rifle and even the boots you have on all bring about a thrilling and highly satisfying experience. Nevertheless, for those who don’t have the opportunity to go hunting here are some video games that bring you the thrill of the hunt. Although not on par with the real thing, these games do have some zing in them. Check out these games, you’ll be surprised!
This highly rated game has highly refined tech behind it. The makers, Emote Games, have come up with a spectacular and realistic simulation of the sport. You get the base game for free. But you need to subscribe for enjoying the various options available. The hunt involves chasing whitetail, mule deer, turkey, elk, roe deer, black bear, and various other species.
While most of the hunting games focus on the kill, this game requires the player to keep track of the landscape, the direction of the wind and other important details needed for having a good hunt. There is a multiplayer option too, so you can get together with friends and enjoy the game. I’ve been on a few hunting trips and I’ve to confess that these games are really wonderful. There’s so much to take care of in the real hunting trip, although nowadays there are advanced tech tools such as the keen rangefinders to help you out.
Big Game Hunter
This game from Cauldron Ltd can be played in Playstation 3, Xbox 360, Wii U, and Windows. The single player game takes place in North America. Great hunting legends such as Jim Shockey, Wade Middleton, Vicki Cianciarulo and Ralph have graced the game with their expertise and voices making it more exciting.
Bass Pro Shops: The Hunt
This hunting game comes with a controller that looks like a gun. If you get adept at wielding the controller, you can hunt quite a big variety of species making it the best entertaining hunting game. The game was so exciting that I actually wanted to go on a real hunting trip after playing it. As you might have guessed my uncle is diverse person – hunting is one of his hobbies, so I made a call to him.
Several days later we were enjoying ourselves in the grasp of nature, hunting for deer. He taught me a lot regarding modern ways of hunting, and especially about one of his hunting rangefinder, that he finds to make his life easier.
This game is for smartphones. There have been over 10 million downloads in 2014 alone. The free and easy game play has made it a great hit. The game has endless range of barrels, gear choices, scopes, add-ons, etc. with more than 100 game species.
Big Buck Hunter HD
This is a staple addition in diners, bars and at any place where you find arcade machines. The game is a favorite among non-hunters mostly and needs quick reflexes to succeed in the hunting. It is great fun to play this game.