Video Games: A Unique Educational Environment

This is a slightly-modified version of a TCS interview with David Deutsch, from Taking Children Seriously, the paper journal (TCS 4, published in 1992.)

Sarah Fitz-Claridge

One in three households in America own video games. In Britain, the figure is eleven per cent. As the market here expands, more and more parents will have to face the issue. Are computer games really addictive? Is the violence and sexism damaging to children's psychological well-being? Are there risks associated with the X-ray emissions from television screens?

I went to interview David Deutsch, winner of the highly prestigious Dirac Prize for Theoretical Physics, and author of The Fabric of Reality, a best-selling book about the borderline between physics and philosophy. Many readers will have seen him on television – on anything from daytime chat shows to “Reality on the Rocks”, a television programme in which he talked about his work on the many worlds interpretation of quantum theory. You may also have read his article on the physics of time travel in the “Scientific American” in March 1994, or his wonderful commentary on Michael Lockwood's “‘Many Minds’ Interpretations of Quantum Mechanics”: “Comment on Lockwood” (p. 222-228) in The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science Volume 47, Number 2, June 1996, OUP. David Deutsch is also planning a book on non-coercive education which will be of great interest to TCS readers. Far from believing computer games to be harmful, David believes them to be very good for children. I asked him what is so good about computer games.

David Deutsch: In a way, that is the wrong question, because it assumes that there is something obviously bad about video games, which might be offset by benefits I might mention. But there's nothing wrong with video games. So let's ask first, “Why do so many adults hate them? What evidence is there that there is anything bad about them?”

If you look at it closely, the evidence boils down to no more than the fact that children like video games. There seems to be a very common tendency among parents to regard children liking something as prima facie evidence that it is bad for them. If they are spending a lot of time doing something, parents wonder what harm it must be doing them. I think this is fundamentally the wrong attitude.

The right attitude is: if children are spending a lot of time doing something, let's try to find ways of letting them do even more of it. Prima facie, the fact that they like doing it is an indication that it is good for them.

I think that overwhelmingly the thing which draws people's attention to video games is the fact that children like them. People jump from that solitary piece of evidence to the conclusion that there must be something wrong with video games!

As it happens, I believe that playing video games is very good for you but, I think, even more important than understanding why it is good for you, is to understand and avoid the temptation of saying that if you like it, it must be bad for you.

Now, why is playing video games good for you? They provide a unique learning environment. They provide something which for most of human history was not available, namely, an interactive complex entity that is accessible at low cost and zero risk.

Let's compare video games with other great educational things in the world. Books and television have great complexity and diversity – they give you access to almost every aspect of human culture and knowledge – but they are not interactive. On the other hand, something like playing the piano is also complex, and interactive, but it requires an enormous initial investment (months or years of practice or training) with the associated huge risk of misplacing that investment. One cannot make many such investments in one's life. I should say, of course, that the most educational thing in the world is conversation. That does have the property that it is complex, interactive, and ought to have a low cost, although often between children and adults it has a high cost and high risk for the children, but it should not and need not.

Apart from conversation, all the complex interactive things require a huge initial investment, except video games, and I think video games are a breakthrough in human culture for that reason. They are not some transient, fringe aspect of culture; they are destined to be an important means of human learning for the rest of history, because of this interactive element. Why is being interactive so important? Because interacting with a complex entity is what life and thinking and creativity and art and science are all about.

In The Face magazine (December 1992, page 46),

Dr Margaret Shotton, author of Computer Addiction?, is quoted as saying, “Apart from increasing your manual dexterity and hand to eye coordination, video games speed up your neural pathways.” This, the writer says, allows knowledge to travel around quicker, thus speeding up judgements and decisions, possibly leading to a higher IQ. Margaret Shotton, like David Deutsch, believes that parents who disapprove of their children playing computer games are mistaken, but David Deutsch is sceptical about the neural pathways theory. Perhaps surprisingly, he doubts that computer games improve hand-eye coordination.

D: Life improves one's hand-eye coordination. One spends one's whole life picking things up and doing fine finger movements, which one does in video games as well, but video games, if they are well designed, tend to use skills which people already have. If they go too far beyond what people already have, they tend to be less attractive as video games. They are then more like playing the piano, which requires a new kind of physical skill. Video games do not really impart a new kind of physical skill; what they impart is the fundamental mental skill, of understanding a complex and autonomous world.

S: Many parents would agree that conversation is very valuable, and it is because their children spend so many hours playing computer games instead of conversing, that they worry.

D: I do not accept that children play video games instead of conversation. They love both, and there is plenty of time in a day for many hours of video games and many hours of conversation – especially since, in my experience, it is perfectly possible to play video games and talk at the same time. Most parents do not talk enough to their children. If they want to talk to their children, let them do so. If the conversation is interesting enough, the children will talk. They will either talk during the video game or, if it is very interesting, they may postpone the video game. Forcing them to give up the video game in order to talk will make the resulting conversation worthless.

S: Could the number of hours children spend playing computer games be harmful?

D: Let me answer that question in two ways. First, how do you know what the appropriate number of hours is? Nobody can know that. If your children were playing chess for several hours a day, you would boast about what geniuses they are. There is no intrinsic difference between chess and a video game, or indeed, even between things like playing the piano and playing video games, except that playing the piano has this enormous initial cost. They are similar kinds of activity. One of them is culturally sanctioned and the other is still culturally stigmatised, but for no good reason. I spent a lot of time playing with Lego when I was a child. For some reason, it never occurred to my parents that because I spent hours and hours with Lego, this was bad for me. If it had occurred to them, they could have done a lot of harm. I know now, for myself, that the thing which makes me play video games today is identical to the thing which made me play with Lego then – which is, by the way, the very same thing that makes me do science – that is, the impulse to understand things.

Computer literacy

D: There is a myth going around that because of the increasing importance of computers, soon everybody will need to be “computer-literate,” that is, able to program computers. It is like saying that the Channel Tunnel will soon be in extensive use, so we should all learn how to dig. Computer literacy is like dentistry, mathematics, or agricultural engineering: it is wonderful for those who like it – like me – but useless for those who don't. John Holt identified this myth. He hated the term “computer literacy” because the very term has behind it lots and lots of lessons, and it justifies a whole new type of coercion. Computer literacy, unlike reading, is not a general purpose skill. It is a specific skill which is right for some people and wrong for others. I see no reason to expect most children to like computer programming. Of course, forcing children to program is a good way of making sure they do not take it up, but I think even if you don't force them, there is no reason why most of them should become interested in it.

Could it be harmful? Suppose a child is for some reason unhappy with his situation – his home life or school or whatever – and he has very few creative outlets. Playing video games is such a good thing in this respect, that if he finds it, and finds other avenues blocked off, he may devote all his attention to it. Later, if his circumstances change, he may not be as open to taking up other opportunities as he might have been. If that is so, it is not the video game that is doing him harm, it is that he has been funnelled down a blind alley and not let out. The thing to do is to let him out, not to steal his last remaining source of joy and learning. If someone is in that state, just like with any compulsive behaviour, the cure is simply to offer him other things which he might prefer. There will be some things which he prefers; nobody actually spends twenty-four hours a day playing video games so, in the remaining time, try conversation, try anything. If that does not work, don't blame the video game. Be thankful that there is still something good in the child's life, to tide him over.

But such cases are exceptional. On the whole, if we are talking about how the overwhelming majority of children interact with video games, the reason they sit in front of them for hours is that they are very valuable things to sit in front of. The skills they are learning are needed in every creative aspect of life, and children will always be short of opportunities to learn them. The natural and healthy state of human beings is that we are constantly looking for opportunities to improve our thinking skills, to improve the complexity and the subtlety of the mental apparatus which we apply to the world. Traditionally, this has been expensive, but people still did it. Even learning to play chess is expensive, compared with learning to play a video game. The expense does not make it any more moral. It is a disadvantage of chess or playing the piano that they have this initial cost.

One of the ways you can tell that playing video games is not something which captures people and then holds them to their detriment is that each video game has only a finite lifetime. Video game playing almost always follows a definite pattern. People try a video game, and they tell with one or two playings of it whether this is for them or not. If they like it, they tend to continue to play it for as long as they are still improving. The instant they are no longer improving, they stop, and they go on to another game. That is neither random behaviour, nor any kind of mechanical, Pavlovian or compulsive behaviour. It is typical learning behaviour: you are improving at something, and, so long as you are improving, you carry on doing it; the moment you stop improving, you stop doing it.

You might say, okay, you are learning something, but what you are learning is not really very useful. But that is to misunderstand the whole point of the video game. The benefit of a video game is not that you learn the video game; it is that you learn the mental skills with which you are learning the video game, and those skills are good for learning anything.

S: Could the element of violence present in many video games be harmful?

D: First of all, it is not the case that most video games nowadays have violent themes. This used to be true a few years ago, and the reason for that was not at all sinister. The technology for making images appear rapidly on the screen was in its infancy, and it took a great deal of ingenuity to make games out of the very few basic operations possible. I remember having a conversation with John Holt about this in about 1983. Although, of course, he would never have stopped a child playing video games, he was worried about the “violent” aspect of the “shoot-em-up” games that dominated the market then. I said, “You try to write one. It is very difficult not to write a shooting game.” I predicted that within a few years, once the video technology got faster, most games would not be about shooting things at all.

The most popular types of games nowadays are platform games, whose basic themes are exploring, jumping around, finding and collecting things (though admittedly one usually has to fight the occasional monster on the way),

and completely abstract games such as Tetris. By the way, I play a lot of video games, and they haven't done me any harm, so there! :-) Some of my favourite games are “shoot-em-up” games – perhaps I'm just old-fashioned. But whatever the type of game, it is not violence. Violence is where you hurt people. Games just appear on a screen; they don't actually hurt anybody. The only actual hurting that goes on is by parents when they prevent or discourage children from playing.

All games need an object and, if there are people in the game, it is natural to have drama, which means there will be goodies and baddies. The same is true in all drama, in all novels, plays, films, or whatever. If King Lear were the first play a person had seen, he might come out severely shocked. But once you know what a play is, have seen a bit of Shakespeare and know what it is about, you know that King Lear is not actually dangerous, that people don't go around after seeing King Lear, plucking people's eyes out. People are not harmed by seeing King Lear if they have reached the stage of wanting to see it gradually, at their own pace, for their own reasons, under their own control. Video games are par excellence a learning environment that is under one's own control, and that prevents them from being harmful.

S: Somebody made the point to me that playing computer games arouses the fight or flight impulse, and gives children too much excess energy. This idea apparently came from Four arguments for the elimination of television. Parents do worry that seeing violence on screen is much more damaging than seeing violence in a play because video games appear to draw people in very deeply and make them addicted.

D: I think that is completely untrue. The only evidence that video games are addictive is that people play them. All this talk about “excess energy” or being “drawn in” and so on is not what scientists would call experimental data. The data are that the child is playing the video game. That is the only thing you know for a fact. You can't see this “drawn in” business. That is just an interpretation parents put on what has happened. Pure theory, based on their own preconceptions. I am not making a value judgement here. I am just stating a fact. My judgement is that these preconceptions are wrong and that children play video games because they instinctively recognise their educational value.

When you play video games, you are using the emotional part of your mind as well, because when you interact with complex external entities, you engage your emotions as well as your intellect. Anything worth doing engages the emotions. What would you say about somebody who learned to play the piano, but never got emotionally involved? I remember once, I came back to playing the Appassionata after a long time, and I ended up with blood all over the keys. (It was not as bad as it sounds.) I saw that I had a cut, but I did not want to stop, so I carried on playing. If that had been a video game and I had been younger, people would have used that as evidence of addiction.

Perhaps children feel violent when they are forced to stop playing, and quite right too! Of course somebody who does not like television is likely to be prejudiced against video games, because they are related. Television has advantages, namely, that it is a more diverse opening to culture. On the other hand, it is not interactive. Video games are interactive, but they are less diverse. They both have their strengths and weaknesses.

X-ray emissions

D: LCD screens, such as those on hand-held game-playing machines, emit no radiation at all. The radiation from a television screen is negligible. Even the radiation televisions do give off comes mostly from the sides and the back, not from the screen. It is completely crazy to react to that tiny “danger” by preventing children from playing video games. If you can't help worrying irrationally about it, get a radiation shield for the screen, or an ultra low radiation monitor.

S: Should we be concerned about the sexism in some games?

D: The way to combat false ideas is not to censor them but to contradict them. Most of the great literature of the world is sexist, and more generally, riddled with all sorts of false and irrational ideas, as well as valuable ones. Nobody would want to cut himself off from all culture just because it is “something-ist.” The sexism of some video games is a minor and easily corrected fault. Once you have pointed out to your child how silly it is, she will be able to recognise sexism in other contexts.

I think one thing that is sinister is how boys play video games much more than girls. This is part of the same phenomenon that makes girls reluctant to do science, reluctant to go into management and business, reluctant to do anything creative and effective in the world. It is an effect down a long chain of cause and effect which began with things like being dressed in pink costumes when they were babies. The whole pattern of behaviour towards a girl rewards her for suppressing her creativity. One of the unpleasant side effects of this is that it makes girls suppress the side of them that would like video games. The reason why this effect is more marked in video games is that video games are so well suited for developing creative skills.

People are so much more complicated than these simplistic theories of what “influences” them. Human beings are not laboratory rats, and do not react like laboratory rats. Look at Eastern Europe, where they used to control what everybody read, and gave them a constant diet of Marxist propaganda, which they had to learn by heart in school, and repeat with eagerness in their voices: in spite of all that, it did not rub off on the overwhelming majority of them, and even those people are rapidly regretting it. The children went to school; they learned the stuff the same way children do everywhere. The fact that it was Marxist propaganda did not make it any more or less easy to swallow than what children are taught in our schools, but it did not go in, any more than what children are taught in our schools goes in.

I think that all these fears are a posteriori – you first know the conclusion, which is that you must stop him playing the video game, and then you invent the reasons. The reason why video games are hated is that they are, in the true sense, educational. Of course people don't put it like that, but that is what it comes down to.

S: Most parents are really very keen to educate their children. Many have no objection to educational games.

D: But they have a preconception, a vision, of what education must look like, which results largely from psychological injuries inflicted on them in their own childhood in the name of education. They make the fundamental mistake of human relationships, which is to try to use force to make the other person act out your vision of him, instead of looking to see who the other person actually is, and what he wants, and trying to help him get what he wants. The market tends to do the latter – it tends to do the right thing – and so games which are made for money tend to be good for you. A video game which is designed to be “educational”, like everything which is designed to be “educational”, tends to be bad. It is making that fundamental error of trying to channel children into a predetermined vision.

Looking at this more broadly, learning to read is an educational video game. Learning to play a musical instrument is an educational video game. Some of these good things by accident have got social sanction. If children get “addicted” to those things, parents overflow with pride. But there is no better criterion for finding out whether something is good for you than whether you enjoy it. There can't be.

Sir Karl Popper once said “the belief that truth is manifest is the basis of all tyranny”. The fact is, the truth is not manifest. The truth can only be found by a critical process, by a creative process, by a process that is open, and our only criterion for whether one idea is better than another is whether we prefer it. We have to look at the ideas, and use criticism – everything must be open to criticism – to find which of them is ultimately preferable. We have to be willing to change and change again. If you have a power structure where a single idea of what is right is imposed by force, then that can never be criticised, and the chances of approaching the truth are nil.

Children playing video games – regardless of subject matter – are learning. Adults who prevent this are preventing them from learning.

S: But there is a whole world out there for children to find out about, to explore...

D: And I suppose that's why people lock them up in schools! Even home educating parents tend not to allow their children enough access to the world, just as schooling parents don't. Anyway, the video game world is a complex autonomous world. It is an artificial world, but then so is the street outside. The point is not what world you are learning about, but that you are learning how to understand the world.

Comments

exactly

I am an in middle school doing a persuasive essay on video games. They do help people. I learned how to read well from playing video games. I read much faster than my mother and father because of them

video games

Video games have received a bad reputation because of “shoot the baddie” and “beat em up” games. When you think about it there are also very educational video games out there. They are becoming one of the best ways to learn in classrooms, for some, perhaps even better than textbooks. Future video games will be even more interactive and educational. Video games are showing that they can feed the mind and be fun at the same time. Games can be stimulating and they can help build life skills from a young age.

Games have educational value that is often not noticed. Video games help develop problem solving and planning skills. Games greatly improve problem solving skills. Video games such as RPG’s greatly develop reading skills with topics that can be more interesting than those of most books. War games sometimes incorporate real history. Much can be learned about past battle scenes from video games. Video games also teach culture of a certain region. A lot can be learned about the history of Japan from many of the video games produced there. Video games also teach children about literature. Games like King Arthur are very educational. Video games are seen as educational in many job fields. 3-D animators observe video games to see what kind of product they should make. Sports fields use video games for training. Football sees Madden as very helpful. Basketball sees NBA Live as a tool of training. Soccer uses Fifa as a model for the way that they should play. Video are used very often in the military. Video games teach how to move around and what the right thing would be to reach an objective. Video games are already made purely for education. V-Tech systems are used by many young children.

Video games are already used in the classroom. Many computer classes use videogames to train children. In some schools a game called racing academy is used. It has races very much like Need for Speed but you also need an advanced understanding of math and physics in order to win races. A new project in schools is also being used called the Playstation project. Students are given free Playstations and Sony makes educational games. Students are given games such as a moderation of Tomb Raider where the only way to move is on verbs. Video games are very educational and will continue to be that way in the future.

Video games also help children outside of the classroom. Video games can teach many life skills. The Sims series helps teach children how to make money make good life decisions. The Tycoon series teaches children how to run a successful business. Video games build extremely good reflexes. Even though you may be racing games like Burnout teach to be aware of everything that is going on around you so that you can win. New interactive video games also serve as exercise. The Nintendo Revolution has become a very interactive system. Games such as Dance Dane Revolution and Karaoke Revolution are extremely interactive. Dance Dance Revolution Workout Mode provides for a vigorous workout all in the comfort of your home. Video Games are helpful everywhere.

this is the essay that I wrote on video games. tell me what you think. I am also going to try to use it tot get my to allow me to play video games on the weekdays

video games

Video games have received a bad reputation because of “shoot the baddie” and “beat em up” games. When you think about it there are also very educational video games out there. They are becoming one of the best ways to learn in classrooms, for some, perhaps even better than textbooks. Future video games will be even more interactive and educational. Video games are showing that they can feed the mind and be fun at the same time. Games can be stimulating and they can help build life skills from a young age.

Games have educational value that is often not noticed. Video games help develop problem solving and planning skills. Games greatly improve problem solving skills. Video games such as RPG’s greatly develop reading skills with topics that can be more interesting than those of most books. War games sometimes incorporate real history. Much can be learned about past battle scenes from video games. Video games also teach culture of a certain region. A lot can be learned about the history of Japan from many of the video games produced there. Video games also teach children about literature. Games like King Arthur are very educational. Video games are seen as educational in many job fields. 3-D animators observe video games to see what kind of product they should make. Sports fields use video games for training. Football sees Madden as very helpful. Basketball sees NBA Live as a tool of training. Soccer uses Fifa as a model for the way that they should play. Video are used very often in the military. Video games teach how to move around and what the right thing would be to reach an objective. Video games are already made purely for education. V-Tech systems are used by many young children.

Video games are already used in the classroom. Many computer classes use videogames to train children. In some schools a game called racing academy is used. It has races very much like Need for Speed but you also need an advanced understanding of math and physics in order to win races. A new project in schools is also being used called the Playstation project. Students are given free Playstations and Sony makes educational games. Students are given games such as a moderation of Tomb Raider where the only way to move is on verbs. Video games are very educational and will continue to be that way in the future.

Video games also help children outside of the classroom. Video games can teach many life skills. The Sims series helps teach children how to make money make good life decisions. The Tycoon series teaches children how to run a successful business. Video games build extremely good reflexes. Even though you may be racing games like Burnout teach to be aware of everything that is going on around you so that you can win. New interactive video games also serve as exercise. The Nintendo Revolution has become a very interactive system. Games such as Dance Dane Revolution and Karaoke Revolution are extremely interactive. Dance Dance Revolution Workout Mode provides for a vigorous workout all in the comfort of your home. Video Games are helpful everywhere.

this is the essay that I wrote on video games. tell me what you think. I am also going to try to use it tot get my to allow me to play video games on the weekdays

Social Interaction

It's true that one player games have no social interaction. But two player games and handheld games do. If I have a friend over to play a game with me, we're having a blast! And if I link up my Gameboy to somebody else's, it gives me competition! And what about the internet stuff like Everquest? There's interaction between players all over the world!

Brilliance!

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this article. I'm a fourteen-year old girl who's been playing video games since the age of three. I started out with Super Mario Brothers 3 on the NES, and I am an avid fan of Mario, Sonic, and Zelda games, especially Zelda. I think I owe a lot to video games, because actually, a lot of them teach morals. I like the the Triforce in Zelda, with the three pieces of courage, power, and wisdom. It shows that you need a balance of all three. There are a lot of messages about morality, fairness, kindness and such in the games I play (mostly RPGs). I can also read much faster because I play a lot of games that involve a lot of reading. I'm in honors classes. Video games have also given me an interest in music and art, as well as learning the Japanese language. I hope to someday teach English in Japan. If it weren't for video games, I wouldn't have most of the friends I have, and I wouldn't really be the person I am today. I'd probably end up as one of those stuck-up makeup-caked whiny little girls who are going to totally like die because like their parents like wouldn't buy them an iPod and a cell phone and $8000000 shoes and a car!

games

i play games all the time and it don't affect my attatude on how things run...I really like them and also take my frustrations out of the people in them as long as its in the game its good.

I DISAGREE

Not ALL Kids who play video games constanly have low grades and low esteem (although that can be true). Sometimes it is just the OPPOSITE.

And all kids do not become violent from Playing FPS games and games where you shoot ppl up (although I do think Guts and gallons of blood aren't needed =D).

P.S. This article helped me out A LOT for my essay I'm writing... THANKS! :) :P :D ;D You can't live w/o smiling...

Top 5 Videogames of all Time

1. Zelda: Ocarina of Time 2. Final Fantasy 7 3. Golden Eye 007 4. Resident Evil 4 5. Tekken 3

Right on!!!!!!!!

Right on!!!!!!!!

Hi Homeschooling Video Game Mom

Ideas for you to try:

There's probably no quick fix so look for your influence to be involved over the long run.

Keep a journal on when your son does things that cover whatever it is your dh thinks he "should" be doing. Leave it around the house where dh might privately on the sly take a look and consider the information on his own. The point is to reveal that your son is not becoming a nonproductive lout due to vidgames.

Keep a looseleaf notebook of printouts and other readables on the benefits of vidgames and other activities. Fill the notebook with a varied a group of articles so as not to single out dh as the "guy who doesn't understand anything" the way you do. Put the notebook with the magazines in the bathroom or somewhere dh hangs out privately and your influence can be felt without any need to "preach" anything. If he asks you (defensively or offendedly) WTH?!! ... just say offhand it's stuff you have been thinking about ... no big deal.. sorry ... then find another noticeable hidey place for it. He may read it. Eventually.

Good luck, K

VG Article Reaction

I read this article and I think it says a lot of great things about video games. I believe most of them are correct, yet I (unfortunately) think it will do nothing to convince my parents to let me play them. There are good points made, but I think that no matter what we do, parents will find something wrong with what we are doing. My opinion is that parents are just being defensive, that they want us to be just like them, to do just what they did when they were young, back in the 'good ol' days'. This is why books are exceptable and video games are not. I do not play violent video games (as much as I can; for example; one of my favorite games is Super Mario Strikers (a soccer game), yet you can tackle people...) and do not wish to, I don't see the problem with that.

gradster(1)

------------------------------------ Motto: My life sucks, how can you make it better?

yes, about the voilence

yes, about the voilence provoking crimes. until a serial killer confesses that they killed people due only to the video games they play, all tis criticism needs to end. now.

me me me

i cant seem to convince my parents to let my buy the games i want such as grand theft auto and resident evil. i am 13 years old. it doesnt matter i still play these game over my friends house because their parents let them play. it makes me feel that my parents think im stupid enough to jak a car and pikup a hooker or something like that. I DONT EVEN KNOW HOW DRIVE!!!!!!!

awesome article

This is a great and eye-opening article. I personally have never played a lot of computer/video games, and have always sort of thought they were bad for kids, because, well, that's what everyone seems to think... But after reading this article and giving the whole issue more thought, I completely changed my opinion. I'm not going to have a problem with my potential future children playing games, and I'll probably try them myself. Good job!

What the crap?

Argh, why do you people always believe that if someone plays video games they devote their lives to it.. Video games are good stress relievers, and can help with fine motor skills, but there is more than this to life. Many people now exercise and have other hobbies as well. I play video games, do you think I've killed anybody? do you think I'm obese? do you think I'm an idiot? Do you think I'm a sociopath who spends his life on his computer? I'm none of these because I HAVE A LIFE. A lot of people do now, even if they play video games. And frankly, if you are so biased as to label everyone who plays video games as one or all of the things above, maybe you need a life too, right?

My thought about these conversations of interview....

The conversation style is very interesting because the idea can be easier to understand. I am pretty sure that playing games is not harmful because my two or more friends who love games are doctors (my Taiwanese friends) or an engineer (my boyfriend). They are crazy about games and set up computers by themselves. Moreover, they did not lose their way in their life, too. However, I do not think if a child spending too much time on playing games can be ignored or taken it not serious, children are too young to know how to arrange their time well.

angry reader

I fully support this forum / essay and i truly believe that if parents take away the ability to relieve stress in a nonviolent fashion it will result in shit hitting the fan. It has for me, so far iv had some major battles with my parents one going so far as to call them a idiot and think about swearing at them. another tim i walked out on them at 11:00 in the morning and came back 5 because i was so pissed. all this because i cant relieve my stress in doses so it all comes out at once. this is complete bullshit. once they banned me from gaming i fell back into becoming a avid reader and was finishing bigass books in 1.5 days and because of this they called it escapism and got angry when i read. so of course now im stuck doing nothing until 12:00 am when i get up and play halo til 2 because there is no other way to relieve stress. again i say this is complete bullshit. for the record im a 15 year old suppressed gamer at heart that is a avid reader, b+ student, and suppressed gamer. thats all for now good work with the essay this will help my rebelion against my parents.

Why can't I be more open

I'm 28, a working, full time college student with a four year old. I also have a 24 year old brother. I give this back story because I'm constantly torn about video and computer games. And here is why. On the one hand I enjoy playing both and do so in front of my son. On the other hand when he starts stabbing imaginary monsters after wittnessing me play 'Prince of persia' I have to ask myself "Will any good come from this?" My husband says its normal and that he was the same way when he was four, never having been a boy myself, I take his word on it. I purchased some games for my son (Scooby-Doo, Monsters Inc., Sponge-Bob)so we could do video games as a family, which is not out of the blue since we did it as a family before he came into this world. So he doesn't feel excluded when we veg out. Now, to the crux of my eternal struggle.

Having an open mind about video games has given my brother, who baby-sits for very cheap, the idea that all video games are okay for a four year old to play (Star Wars, Gauntlet, Dark Alliance) This doens't sit well with me mainly because they do it all day. There is now a 4 yr old here who yells out lovely things like 'Die, die' when they encounter bad guys. Does anyone know how disturbing that is?

My brother, who I mentioned before, has never had a job, doesn't own a car or a drivers licnese, hasn't had a girlfriend since highschool, is overweight, doesn't do family events, lives with my parents, has never been on his own and shows no signs of changing. What does he do? You guessed it, he plays computer games. I've caught him playing two games at once, one on the Playstation another going on the computer. When I asked him why he replied "cause is took two minutes to..." (I wasn't sure what he was reffering to so it made no sense to me) Do I sound bitter? Well I am. I feel angry at my parents for letting him free-load, I feel jealous that I have to be an adult and he has no obligations. At times I feel an intervention is in order.

So what is my answer ... ... ... I still don't have one.

columbine

First off i am a very big video game player my self (have played since the age of 4) and i am probably one of the smartest people in my entire school. Now to my subject... So many people look back on the Columbine thing and think that any type of video game is terrible. Now let me point out some things. 1. I have played violent video games since the age of 6 mostly doom and final fanasty and i have never brought a gun to school or tryed to hit some1 with a sword. 2. Those guys at columbine were probably never taught any life lessons or morals and their parents were probably very bad at raising them. So when they played Doom they said "Hey no1 ever said this was wrong and that we shouldnt kill people so lets go do this at our school!" 3. Video games are very educattional for ur brain and reflexes and they arent totally bad! the only video game with an exception would probably be the GTA series. I hope this helps open some peoples eyes. Until later see yall.

poor grades

man i swear i got bad graddes cause ma stupid video game and ma teacher told me 2 do a report on it and i said go beep off and i just need 2 knw how sick beep video games causin me bad grades beep

video games

i do not like how people think that since boys play video games that that will make us fat make us do violence and have poor grades. i play video games daily and i have a 3.5 so does that say about me but that makes me mad when they do the report off of 100 kids well i want them to do a report on me.

Get Real People

Children are actually learning how to think and solve problems lateraly, instead of the common form of thinking, they are becoming imaginative in their problem solving and reactory skills. Video games arent bad, and hyper focusing on a television isn't any different, when the only difference is its an interactive game instead of show-toons on Saturday morning.

Reply

Yes there are not many specific learning mediums that video games provide. However that is why we have schooling, in which we do use many books. People learn all that they will need to learn from school, playing video games is not neccessarily bad just becuase it takes up time.

The Effects of Video Games

The effects of video games on kids do not neccessarilly make people more unintelligent they simply are good for you. They increase reflexes, they let you learn certain things. Online games teach many kids how to type quickly which in a tech world is a vital ability in todays world.

Not only that but for kids that are naturally angry or people that are just pissed of that day can use violent video games as an outlet for their anger. I am not agreeing with the article becuase im a supporter of their research, but becuase of personal experience. I am sixteen and have enjoyed video games for many years. Now my parents see the need to take it away from me whenever they get the chance, for reasons that are not either just or deserving. (The idea I have is that the punishment should fit the crime.Am I right? Of course I am.)

They obviously don't like video games for some odd reason there is really no reason for them to believe that. PLZ RESPOND ID LIKE TO HEAR YOUR OPINIONS!!

the trueth

RRRRRRRRRREEEEEEEEEEEAAAAAAAAAAAAAADDDDDDDDDD TTTTTTTHHHHHHHHHHHIIIIISSSS

=) ok heads up you guys my speliing sucks not beacuase im stupid because i dont care. I'm not gonna spend and extra 10seconds wasting my time changing 1 letter to a capital when you get the drift! Ok video games ahh.

Well firts of all if you read all the other ppost you pretty much stupid cuz youve wasted like 1 hour of you time. I pretty much read 1:3.

OK well im doen report on this stuff like oyu know pros and cons of gaming and found this page which OWNS. But for all you guys out there like "o video games improve your reading" (etc) ya well try finding like 1 tihng in this world that doesnt improve you somhow. the time you spend playen video games you could be outside or playing an instrument which just as well improves you brain. YOu could be reading etc. HOLD ON! IM NOT AGAINST GAMING. im with gaming from the depths of my heart.so cut the crap how gmaing is good for you cuz everytihng is in a way so gaming isnt that much better.

now parents. GAMING IS NOT ADDICTING FOR KIDS. get this staraight mos tppl will think their addicted but arnt. i play games cuz i can see the amazing pros and say wow that takes skill why cant i do somthing like that. SO YOU TRY AND TRY. the reason why we dont do this for sports and authors is because. well for sports its like "well if im not good enough by now i have no chance and the chances of me getting in are like.000001% so why waste my life doing that?and for authors well its grewat but there are so mainy shitty books and so many dont get published so its like "ya ok do i wanna spend 5 years writting a book while working at mcdonalds so i can barly make enough money to live and ruin my life lol just for a book that might not getpublished.

now with gaming. gaming is great because you can start and stop and take breaks whenever you want. you can find somtihng else you like or what you like about it and learn about it. COMPUTERS ARE THE FUTURE. there and so many jobs out there which requir computer skills. And even gaming by the time yourll 16 oyurll look at some1s job and go... i could do that.

now for your sociel life. ya sure spend days upon days talking about video games. sounds a bit unreal unless your a nerd.it may affect your social life and accoridng to studies it makes oyu shyer which i noticed in myself which sux but who cares take a break get bac on track with your friends then when your good go bac to games.

and yes i gotta say it does increase your imagination. When i go to bed sometimes i dream of what it would be like tto be pro or have the ultimate character. Now this is a bit freaky but problay cuz i dont get enough time to play cuz of school and my parents kicking me off. parents seem to hate what you do but only because they proply expeirnced it and dont want you to waste oyur time. but then agian its a fun waste of time and most tihngs in this world are a waste of time at least the tihngs we spend are free time doing. your nnever gonna see a kid typing up buisness memos for fun.

now games will never effect your mark in school. As long as your able to seperate games form work. Set aside a time after school for your hwk that you will do carefully and not rush. Then in school dont fantasize about videogames cuz its throwing away your future cuz 1. daydreaming isnt gonna make oyu any better and 2. its you not listening and not learning the essientaails of life witohut being retarded!

now some1 said gaming was a release meganism like a stress relieve welll thats bs lol. moslty because it may release your anger but studies show it makes you get angrier quicker anyway. SO tihnk. Shorter tetiton spand but a release megnism or longer tention span with fewer release megism. Personally id like the longer span bbut i still love game so w.e.

and if you guys dont know what these simplst short forms are like lol and w.e then you need to go on msn and get some friends or play better games.

ok now for those noob gamers who need game help. here are the 2 best games. well first of all let me say. CONSOLES SUCK BALLS. they got gay games, you gotta pay tons of money for renting and buying games aswell as the console and you cant upgrade it (+grasphics suck unless you wanna get ps3 which is like $700!) all their rpgs and fps(the only real types of games) have like no internet connection and the one which do you have to pay for and are still boring and gay cuz they take like 1 year to make compared to computer games which take like 4years. so why do consoles when you can play a computer which your parents already have,with all the bare essinetials (ex. internet) and you can upgrade parts of it instead of buying a new one. beside you can have like 2 games going at once as well as a hwk document and msn/face/myspace etc. NOW OK BEST TO GAMES ARE CSS (counter strike source) only like $30 bucks for steam and all the half life games! AND DRUMROLE DON DOND ODN WOW (world of warcraft) mind you have to pay $20 bucks a moonth so sucker your parents into it and get your dad playing thats what i did.

now why are these so good? CSS= BEST FPS because its online and thousands of servers and maps!

WoW= BEST RPG because it ONLINE and thousands of servers and feautures that notihn else can compare to. heads up dont get BC till oyu hit 60

now play WoW for 2 mounths or so then get bored! and switch to CSS for 1 month and get bored! then spend 2 weeks focusing on school and friends. and REPEAT THIS.

now oyu guys are gonna play, and ppl are gonna swear and you cuz your a noob and yourll feel degrated and quit cuz oyu sucks. WEELL SUCK IT UP PRINCESS we were all noobs at once and guess what? WE GOT BETTER so i tinhk im done and the funny tihngs is i saw your guys post and said to myself "wes dont make your post to long lol" so if i tinhk of anytihng else il send anouther post this is awsome though keep replying i think im gonna ACE this report!

highschool student academic mid 70s 14 2007 i tihnk was never good with dates pce.

GET MSN AND MAKES FRIENDS if you dont have it your either not a kid or a loner sorry to be mean but suck it up.

the truth

Ok video games ah. Well first of all if you read all the other post your pretty much stupid because you’ve wasted like 1 hour of you time. I pretty much read 1:3(For every 1 person which says video games are bad, three say they aren’t). Well I’m doing report on this stuff like you know pros and cons of gaming and found this page which OWNS. But for all you guys out there like "o video games improve your reading" (etc) yeah well try finding like 1 thing in this world that doesn’t improve you somehow. The time you spend playing video games you could be outside or playing an instrument which just as well improves you brain. You could be reading etc. HOLD ON! IM NOT AGAINST GAMING. I’m with gaming from the depths of my heart. So cut the crap how gaming is good for you because everything is in a way so gaming isn’t that much better.

Now parents. GAMING IS NOT ADDICTING FOR KIDS. Get this straight most people will think their addicted but aren’t. I play games because I can see the amazing pros and say wow that takes skill why can’t I do something like that. SO YOU TRY AND TRY. The reason why we don’t do this for sports and authors is because. Well for sports its like "well if I’m not good enough by now I have no chance and the chances of me getting in are like.000001% so why waste my life doing that? And for authors well its great but there are so many shitty books and so many don’t get published so its like "yeah ok do I want to spend 5 years writing a book while working at McDonalds so I can barley make enough money to live and ruin my life ha, just for a book that might not get published.

Now with gaming. Gaming is great because you can start and stop and take breaks whenever you want. You can find something else you like or what you like about it and learn about it. COMPUTERS ARE THE FUTURE. There and so many jobs out there which require computer skills. And even gaming by the time your 16 you’ll look at someone’s job and go... I could do that.

Now for your social life. Yeah sure spend days upon days talking about video games. Sounds a bit unreal unless you’re a nerd. It may affect your social life and according to studies it makes you shyer which I noticed in myself which sucks but who cares take a break get back on track with your friends then when your good go back to games. And yes I have to say it does increase your imagination. When I go to bed sometimes I dream of what it would be like to be pro or have the ultimate character. Now this is a bit freaky but probably because I don’t get enough time to play because of school and my parents kicking me off. Parents seem to hate what you do but only because they probably experienced it and don’t want you to waste your time. But then again its a fun waste of time and most things in this world are a waste of time at least the things we spend are free time doing. You’re never going see a kid typing up business memos for fun. Now games will never effect your mark in school. As long as you’re able to separate games form work. Set aside a time after school for your homework that you will do carefully and not rush. Then in school don’t fantasize about videogames because it’s throwing away your future because 1. Day dreaming isn’t going to make you any better and 2. it’s you not listening and not learning the essentials of life without being retarded! Now someone said gaming was a like a stress reliever well that’s crap. Mostly because it may release your anger but studies show it makes you get angrier quicker anyway. So think. Shorter anger span but a stress reliever or longer anger span with fewer stress relievers. Personally I’d like the longer span but I still love games. Ok now for those new gamers who need game help. Here are the 2 best games. Well first of all let me say. CONSOLES SUCK BALLS. they got gay games, you going to pay tons of money for renting and buying games as well as the console and you cant upgrade it. Plus a week later your going to beat it and say “Now what?” (+graphics suck unless you want get ps3 which is like $700!) all their RPG and FPS(the only real types of games) have like no internet connection and the ones which do you have to pay for and are still boring and gay because their games take like 1 year to make compared to computer games which take like 4years. So why do consoles when you can play a computer which your parents already have, with all the bare essentials (ex. internet) and you can upgrade parts of it instead of buying a new one. Besides you can have like 2 games going at once as well as a homework document and msn/ facebook/ myspace etc. NOW OK BEST TWO GAMES ARE CSS (counter strike source) only like $30 bucks for steam and all the half life games! AND DRUMROLE DON DOND ODN WOW (world of warcraft) Mind you have to pay $20 bucks a month so sucker your parents into it and get your dad playing that’s what I did.

Now why are these so good? “CSS”= BEST FPS because it’s online and thousands of servers and maps!

“WoW”= BEST RPG because it ONLINE and thousands of servers and features that nothing else can compare to. Heads up don’t get BC till you hit 60.

BOTH THESE GAMES ARE INTERNATIONAL WITH TONS OF PLAYERS!

Now play WoW for 2 months or so then get bored! And switch to CSS for 1 month and get bored! Then spend 2 weeks focusing on school and friends. And REPEAT THIS.

Now you guys are going to play, and people are going swear at you because you’re a noob and you’ll feel degraded and quit because you suck. WELL SUCK IT UP PRINCESS we were all noobs at once and guess what? WE GOT BETTER so I think I’m done and the funny things is I saw your guys post and said to myself "Wes don’t make your post to long" so if I think of anything else I’ll send another post this is awesome though keep replying I think I’m going to ACE this report!

PS. This Post Is Mostly Directed To Kids Between 12-18

How Deutsch must feel...

Most of the pro-video comments have been from so called honor students who can't put together a sentence, or teenage boys proclaiming their love for cheesecake. Well, this is why I think gaming is pretty much a worthless pass time:

1) Hardly any thinking required: Video games may be fun, but I don't see how they are educational. You can be about as bright as a sack of rocks, and still be an ace gamer. I don't deny you need a pulse to be able to play, and there may be need for some stratergising... Thinking basic enough to keep the player entertained, but not challenged. You also have to build a cognitive map of the area, but that's surely no more difficult than remembering the way from the livingroom to the kitchen.

2)Just because it's fun doesn't mean it's worthy: Deutsch makes the point that just because it's fun for kids, doesn't mean it's bad. Well, I'm making the opposite point. I don't think there's much to be learnt from video games. I have yet to find any real evidence to support claims that they increase IQ, reflexes, or have a positive effect on hand-eye co-ordination. Or that they require these skills. You don't have to be very bright to play video games. 3)Not a skill: Try putting 'good at video games' on your resume. There's a reason piano and chess are held in high regard. They're real skills because they teach you something outside of themselves. If you're good at video games, just from that you will never become skilled at anything outside of that, such problem solving etc. It's not an admirable or difficult 'skill' either It doesn't even take any hard work... In short, I might go to a piano concert, but hell will freeze over before I pay to watch someone play WoW for two hours.

4) All the skills you might learn have not value outside the game: Pressing in quick succession with you thumb, etc. Knowing which weapon to use against a bad guy. Easy, useless analysis. 5) It's addictive... That's really something for the parents to think about. It's not exactly the fault of a video/computer game if it's too fun. --"Once you have pointed out to your child how silly it is, she will be able to recognise sexism in other contexts." It's not the /girls/ I'm worried about... 6) It's not creative: It just isn't. You don't construct anything. It's not like Lego, it requires no imagination. Compared to the skills/understanding you obtain from, say, building a model airplane. I know which teaches more, which requires more brain power... which gives one the skills to be create and construct and manipulate the world around you. And it's not the activity you do sitting in front of a flashing screen. 7) It's not social: Now, maybe gamers can go online to talk-- if with all the time-delays, lack of real interaction, and inability to have a conversation with a real person instead of, say, ten masquerading as one, or one that lies about their entire persona--but I wouldn't call that real social interaction. Some of those people entirely live in the fantasy video game world, and seem to neglect real life. HAVING SAID ALL THAT, it's perfectly okay to let children play computer games once in a while. THEY'LL LEARN NOTHING from it, but they will have fun. And surely, not everything ought to be educational... Deutsch seems to be following some sort of 'we can learn from everything' principle, but not everything we learn is equal... And from video games we learn mostly nothing at all. The view that we /do/ seems to stem from enthralled, older technophiles who see video games as something amazing, with a great capacity for advancement. And maybe they are, and that's why I think kids are probably better off designing them rather than playing them.

Idiocy

The children that did the Columbine were sick in the head... They hated many of their classmates, and, being the problem children that they were, killed the children of their school. Doom is a crappy game with graphically uninteresting visuals that almost cannot be ascossiated with life in any way. In Doom, you run around with BFG's and ROcket Launchers killing hellknights and demons anyway... if you can mistake your classmate for a demon, I'd say YOU need to get therapy...

This is just like comic books in the 60's

Remember the 70's when everyone hated comic books and thought they were so vile and taught everyone to be maniacs? Well this reminds me of that. If you say that all videogames do is make people mindless killing machines, you are assuming that there is no such thing as human free will and that all people are zombies that do what they are told or what they see without rational thought. Most people (99%, roughly) can distinguish in-game actions between real life actions. If they can't, then videogames are not for them. Video games are good for all of the aforementioned benefits as well as some others, but not in excess. It is possible to get addicted, so moderate videogames in playing sports, talking with others, and other things. Video games have helped me immensely. My IQ is 136 (smart for 13), and through achievement testing, I found that overall I am in the top 5% of people in my age group in overall smarts, and in vocabulary I could not score any higher on the test. I have many friends and the only people that don't like me are the gangster kids. All my friends play videogames, both violent and not, and none of them have any problems, most of them get straight A+, in PRIVATE SCHOOL. SO, we arent dumb, we arent dislikable, we're just kids that play video games because they're fun.

Yes but...

Yes but what about MODERATION? It IS possible to do both. What is a REAL pain is when you take things in moderation, just showing slight preference to one category, and people/parents/etc. make it out to seem like that is the only thing. Perfect moderation is boring, consistant, an endless, neverending cycle.

If Im forced to spend 2hrs outside, 2hrs reading, 2hrs electronic recreation, 2 hrs with invested entertainment(instument, chess, second language), why dont i just live at school? You should do what you like more frequently than what you hate, not to say that if what you hate is benefitial to you that you should avoid it altogether, just invest your spare time into something YOU LIKE, not something that is slightly better for you, but that you would rather just sleep than do.

How video games help you think: Shooters help you think on your toes, you often have to find cover, shoot strategically at more dangerous opponents, select the most effective weapons, and often aim at certain parts of the body for additional damage. Platformers help you solve problems, and brain teasers. TBRPGs give you pre-planning controls, you often have to prepare for the enemy's next attack in moderation with your own attack. RTS allow you to successfully distribute forces at various bases, or to move forward in attack, a mind stimulator similar to the planning required in chess. Which brings me to MMOs, these give you communication, an extemely hightened sense of competition, which can be good for self-esteem, the planning of your hotbar, the usage of specific attacks, and communicating with others in a group specifically to accomplish specific tactical goals in harder areas.

Yea, video games provide no education or skills. Plus an average session of video games provides around 100 lines of text(not necessarily correctly spelled in MMOs).

So..

How the hell do you even ATTEMPT to make a nonviolent game? That works in RL Simulators and not much else. A main point of a video game is to use a control interface to work out a conflict. This requires a certain amount of skill. If you want NO violence whatsoever, if you cant stand that Mario jumps on Goombas and squishes them, then go read an adventure novel where you can Open the Door go to Page 152. If you're fine with Mario jumping on goombas, what if, instead of popping, the goomba fell over, and "died"? What if he bled a little bit? Why is showing the fluids of the human body so absolutely profane for children to see? Im not saying you should set your 4-year old up on Mortal Kombat, where people have their bloody torsos viciously ripped off, but be reasonable... with realism there comes a little bit of violence.

I DONT think games should be censored based on the violence, but the reason the violence is taking place, the setting, as well as other things. If you play as a criminal robbing banks and devouring the flesh of all who stand in your way, then it isnt for a kid! But if you are a celtic hero fighting off vile orcs, why cant the orcs bleed? That isnt teaching bad behaviour. That is teaching kids that the hero is the role to play.

And WHAT video game have you played with SEX in it??? There are sexual references and skimpy outfits but you see more skimpy outfits every day if you know who Britney Spears is!!! And is your 6 year old going to understand a sexual reference? If he/she does, then your kid's problem ain't video games my friend

Also, I'd like to add, that properly used, slingshots, firecrackers, and BB guns are all perfectly safe. Its just that the majority of children DON'T use them properly. Maybe if parents taught their kids about them instead of making them out as the devil, teaching their kids how to use them correctly, slingshots, firecrackers, and BB guns WOULDN'T be nearly as harmful.

Wow

You listen to all that the media will spoon-feed you, don't you? Firstly go watch "Bowling for Columbine". Secondly, the phrase "Guns don't kill people, people kill people" Can be used here. "Violent Video games don't cause violence, Violent People cause violence." That's all I have to say about that.

HEEEEELLLLPPP

I am currently a senior in high school about to graduate with high honors. I currently play an mmots (massivly multiplayer online tactics simulation) called Navy Field. My mom takes away my laptop that i bought with my own money every night to keep me from playing it, even though i have played it often into the night and still maintain a high GPA. My reasons for letting me keep it are that it is the only way that I can have some sort of social life, seeing as i just moved to a new school my senior year. She limits me to playing 2 hours a day or less. i am sorry for not capitalizing the letter i but i just gave blood and am to tired to care..... is there any way to convince her to let go of things? she is the only person that cares how long i am on. i play ddr so i do endulge in physical activities. she says it isnt healthy for me to sit on my laptop for hours having fun with people over the internet. the thing that pisses me off the most is that she wont tell me why she imposes these rules, other than the reason that it isnt healthy. it isnt healthy to stare at a book alone is it? or watch tv alone is it? i play games with other people it isnt just being alone. thats basically why i play the game. i love the people on this game. there arent that many people on the server i play on so i know almost everyone that plays on a daily basis. its like hey bob how are the kids coming, you get over that cold yet etc etc etc.....I am adhd so i constantly need a problem to solve or something to work on. navyfield helps me with this. when she takes it away im stuck doing nothing staring at a wall. how is this more healthy than playing navyfield?

someone give me some help here. im almost 18 and mom still is controlling everything i to with an iron fist

Education in rpg games

I totally agree, as they might learn a lot when reading, i think they also learn a lot when playing games. My son learned a lot about logic, strategy, how to solve problems and even grammar by playing rpg games. I think that it's a great way for them to improve skills while having fun.

My thought

The people that say video games are good, are most likely addicted to them. I think they are good and I am addicted to them. My opinion, what I think. I may be wrong. Some games are good, some are bad... but most of them are good. :)

Playing violent video games

Im a 12 year old and i play violent video games will that make me addicted to it and start killing people because 6 out of 9 people say that to me every single day and could you please, please PLEASE,reply and email me

Re::HEEEEELLLLPPP

If your Mom is watching you and everything you do just laydown rules or when shes sleeping you steal the laptop back or something trust me this is a little whack but I know a lot of things since im 12 so yeah or you can just go without your laptop for a while

Educational Games are pretty un-fun.

I have a game called JRPG, which is an 'educational game' set up as a retro RPG in which you go around killing monsters by typing the english phonetics for the Japanese letters that hover above their heads. I honestly think it's the most boring game I have ever played. I tend just to run through the first few levels to up my responsiveness to the kana, but I don't think I have learned anything from it at all.

Conversely, my Japanese friend tells me about a ton of awesome-sounding Japanese video games that are regular games produced for a Japanese gaming market. This is one of the biggest things motivating me to keep learning the kanji, the other thing being the fact that I enjoy Japanese in the first place. If I don't learn the Kanji, I can't read the text in the games, and I do want to play these games.

I'm also a higher mathematics student, and I noticed a couple of years back whilst playing Ocarina of Time that if I thought about solving the puzzles in the same manner that I solved complex mathematical problems, I would get them done MUCH quicker than if I didn't approach them in that way. I think my maths got stronger from playing that game.

However, I would hate to seem as though I'm 'making excuses' as it were for my video games, saying 'well, it's okay for me to play them because look, they help me in my college subjects!' I play 'em cause they're fun. Which is, by the way, the same reason I study maths and Japanese. If you think there is any other reason for someone to want to learn something, you're wrong, be it science or learning to read or playing a video game.

~Seien

Does it depend?

Does it depends to what kind of video game does a child play or it is with the way the parents deal with their kid? Are kids influenced by video games with the way they act??

Writing a thesis

I'm currently writing a thesis on this exact subject for my English and cultural society classes. It amazes me how ignorant people can be, when they claim video games are bad for everyone and its ruining your life. How different is a good adventure or role playing game from reading a fictional novel? NOTHING besides interaction. You can sit on your couch and preach to me all day that your TV shows are soooooooooo much better for you than playing video games, but in fact, it's been proven that video games offer untold amounts of interaction and involvement in the story which in turn increases reading comprehension and speed, as well as expands a child's imagination. Solving puzzles and tough situations increases your intelligence as well as reaction time and problem solving skills. But of course people are going to disregard anything they don't want to hear, that's because they are stupid and ignorant to the truth. Now in the subject from an earlier post about Resident Evil being a learning game... just no, the only thing I've ever learned from them is that lighting a zombie on fire, or putting enough bullets into its carcass is the only way to kill it. But hey, it accomplishes the whole definition of a game... and that's being FUN. ^^

Its simple, they will only

Its simple, they will only use what they see in video games in real life if the PARENT doesn't explain that it's a game. I've been playing games since about 5 years old. I have NEVER even considered shooting someone because my father made it clear to me that guns were never to be used to solve a situation unless my life depended on it. Then told me that I could go to him with any problems i had which in turn improved my relationship with him as well as keeping me from shooting someone in the face. Hollywood and the news media are bullshitting you when they tell you that video games incite gun violence. It's bad parenting ALWAYS period.

Gaming

"1) Hardly any thinking required: You can be about as bright as a sack of rocks, and still be an ace gamer."

You have obviously never played or witnessed a competitive video game, nor took the time to research it so that you would know what your talking about. For the Casual Nerr nerr mario game, sure thinking skills are at a minimum, and stretches to a maximum of "Put mario foot on head" but put ANY player who is "bright as a sack of rocks" into any competitive gaming environment and watch him crumble. For example, Starcraft, CS, CS:S, any MMORPG. All of these games require an immense amount of planning, strategizing, teamwork, and communication to come out with the win.

"2)Just because it's fun doesn't mean it's worthy: I have yet to find any real evidence to support claims that they increase IQ, reflexes, or have a positive effect on hand-eye co-ordination."

"A different study by Kuhlman and Beitel (1991) measured the anticipation of seven through nine year old children who were categorized as non-experienced, moderately experienced, or highly experienced video game players. The researchers found that children with extensive experience playing video games can more accurately and consistently anticipate the arrival of a stimulus."

AKA better reaction time, took me 5 mins to find this study on google...

"3)Not a skill: Try putting 'good at video games' on your resume. There's a reason piano and chess are held in high regard. They're real skills because they teach you something outside of themselves. If you're good at video games, just from that you will never become skilled at anything outside of that, such problem solving etc"

First off, no real employer is going to care if you can play the piano. Second "If you're good at video games, just from that you will never become skilled at anything outside of that, such problem solving etc" every video game ever made has incorporated some form of problem solving, whether it be, how do i get to point A to point B without getting shot, how do i open this?, are just some examples, once again please know what your talking about before opening your mouth.

"4) All the skills you might learn have not value outside the game: Pressing in quick succession with you thumb, etc. Knowing which weapon to use against a bad guy. Easy, useless analysis."

Pressing a button fast may not be useful in some real life circumstances but how is improved reaction time not important?, how about threat assessment?, or using a control or wheel not useful?, hand eye coordination?? what do you call driving???

"5) It's addictive... That's really something for the parents to think about. It's not exactly the fault of a video/computer game if it's too fun. --"Once you have pointed out to your child how silly it is, she will be able to recognise sexism in other contexts." It's not the /girls/ I'm worried about..."

Granted many games are "masculine" but that hasn't stopped my sister from enjoying adventure and RPG's at all? It's hardly sexism.

At this point I'm tired of pointing out how blatantly ignorant you are. In many circumstances you have failed to see beyond the "book cover" and "flashy screens" to look deeper into what it REALLY takes to understand and manipulate a game. buttt one more for kicks..

"Now, maybe gamers can go online to talk-- if with all the time-delays, lack of real interaction, and inability to have a conversation with a real person instead of, say, ten masquerading as one, or one that lies about their entire persona--but I wouldn't call that real social interaction. Some of those people entirely live in the fantasy video game world, and seem to neglect real life."

It's called Ventrilo, Teamspeak, and now MANY online games support some kind of vocal talking though either these programs, or the game itself. It's people like you who march on the news and do interviews on how video games kill people, and guns kill people not the person holding it.

I think video games are a

I think video games are a great tool to help children improve their problem solving/analytical skills. Simulated challenges in video games can build confidence to solve more complex problems. Educational video games entertain children while improving reading/spelling/math and countless other areas. It will be interesting to see video games work their way into more aspects of our lives.

-- Frank Bankruptcy lawyer

Computer Literacy

Computer Literacy is not the ability to program a computer. It is mearly the ability to use one. Though this is not a necessity, it gives opportunities and access to resources that would be realy difficult without it. I need computer literacy for my job (but not all jobs do). I use computer literacy to get the groceries delivered (but I could drag the family to the supermarket). I use computer literacy to socialise when I can't get out (but I could just sit and watch tv). And it's not something that has to be "taught". My son is more computer literate than he is letter literate. All because he plays computer games online.

There is one direct health issue with computer gaming that I am aware of. I have epilepsy and I have played until I had a seizure. I know when I'm leading up to one, but the games are just so hard to put down.

Anyway, back to Sid Miers' Civ IV.

Wow - I'm getting an X-box immediately :)

What a great article, so good that people are still discussing it years after it appeared. I never played computer games as I child and it's taken me a long, long time to shake the urge to be aggressive toward people because the ones I grew up with were selfish, abusive and morally void. Not an aggressive person by nature, I'm not entirely shy either but learned before I could speak not to fight back or complain. Now in my mid thirties, I am forever torn that I do not have the innate ability to communicate what I feel to others and that when I feel threatened or uncomfortable, I have to manually make myself react before I get so distressed that I become angry. This gets slowly easier as I grow older but my moods can terrify people and the guilt I feel is no easier than the anger. I wonder if computer games may have given me problem solving skills that I could sorely have used growing up. To sum up - there are many worse things you can do to your children than let them be happy playing computer games.

Greetings from the Philippines!!!

Hi Im 21 yrs old and very into gaming! I own a PS1, a Ps2, a PSP and a PS3!!! My father always hates to see me playing video games. He says that Im too old to play video games and it distracts me to do some of my school works. Because of that we are not close to each other and cant even find a thing that we commonly like. He even crushed my Nintendo Family Computer when I was a kid. I really like this article but I dont want my parents to read it because they are very close minded people. If I am going to have kids (boys preferably) I will let them play (and ofcourse I will play with them) video games as part of our family bonding. Can't wait to graduate in college so I can move out of our house and rent an apartment so I can fill up my own crib with gaming consoles and Power PC'S!!!

Video games are just like fast food

If you play video games for the better part of your day, you will not be active; therefore, will not be physically fit or physically healthy. Some people don't care about being physically fit when they are young and that's fine if they want to live like that. However, i think that these same people will be sitting in their chairs when they are 45 years old not being able to walk more than 5 minutes without losing their breath. (maybe some regrets) Fast food has the exact same effect (unless you are one of the lucky ones that receives the genes that give you the metabolism of an 8 year old boy). You eat a lot of it, you become unhealthy. The same goes with video games; however, unlike fast food, video games do have benefits (if played in moderation) You will have to create your own definition of moderation. There has been plenty of data shown that video games can have positive effects in regards to brain function as well as hand eye coordination, etc...The point is, just dont sit and play video games all day. There is much more to life than the fictional fantasy land that you find in video games.

Video games are not like fast food

Good health is entirely compatible with video games. It only takes an hour of exercise each day and a proper diet to achieve a high level of fitness. I personally have played video games almost since birth, often for the better part of the day, and now, in mid-life with a desk job to boot, I am more physically fit than ever. In fact, I credit video games with teaching me patience, dedication, humility, and the value of a strong body to complement a strong mind, all of which led me to become serious about fitness many years ago (the proximate cause was playing a lot of Street Fighter, which inspired me to take up kung fu).

Of course, video games should serve you, not the other way around. But that applies to every hobby in life.

What are they learning?

What children are learning in video games is the exact same thing they learn in real life and school. Yes, there is racism and sexism and terrorism, there is also how to solve puzzles, resolve social disputes, the consequences and outcomes of certain decisions and choices. Yes children sit around on their asses all day long and become fat, but it was their choice! There are many people who sit around and get fat who don't play video games! There are also people like me who lead a healthy balanced lifestyle and play video games at the same time. I for one benefit greatly from video games, especially the role play ones where you get to choose what your character says and does, as there are consequences to all of the actions and I get to see them and learn from them. I also started out very shy, I was homeschooled and had no idea how to intereact or coexist peacefully with other people. I played videogames (I loved the scifi role play ones) because they teach me not only how to interact with people who are different from you, and become more empathetic to other people, but I also learned a lot of factual things as well. I learned about politics, I learned about science and culture and many other things without ever becoming bored. Infact I discovered what I wanted to do for the rest of my life because of video games.

(video game design)

Hey, guess what? All through

Hey, guess what? All through muy childhood I played video games quite a bit. I'm quite social, my eye sight is fine, I'm rarely prone to violence, and guess why I am doing this article? Because I'm doing this for a 12 page college essay in my Junior year of high school. I'm sick of paranoid idiots constantly telling us how we are going to be nothing because we enjoyed playing video games when we were little.

stop

you people are crazy you know how long i had to scroll 'cause you people write friken pharaghaps on your childs game addiction and crud i didn't read, but thanks to all you people who wrote pharagrhaps.... I'll be back on the website don't write anymore pharaghraps 'cause kids doing science projects use this website so please for the love of the egyption god Geb stop typing pharagrhapas!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Good

you helped me

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