Adventures in Computer Games

Adventures in Computer Games
Today?s world is based almost completely on technology. We use it to teach, learn, and design new ideas and theories. Many people like to argue that the old pen and paper way is best and don?t like to think what computers are actually doing for us today. Computer gaming seems to catch a lot of the controversy of today?s argument. People question the direction these games are leading our children. From an outward appearance they seem to be the replacement for individualism and imagination but from the inner perspective they are helping create a new generation of life enhancing skills such as anger management, reading writing, arithmetic, and even relationships. They can help with gender realization and growth within the brain cells. Computer games are good for both children and adults because they can enhance their daily lives.
One of the common criticism of computer games is that they encourage violence. The opposing sides of this idea are saying that games may encourage ?copycat? violence or increase feelings of rage. They feel that if children play these games for certain amounts of time, it will lead them to think that this virtual world is ok in the real world as well. For these young adults, they may be a problem with identifying what is real and what is not. The opposing sides believe that they will not be able to distinguish this role, and will use the in game experiences to run their lives. However, it is also possible to argue that computer games can be a device to help control their anger. Computer games are stress magnets allowing you to use your brain to control your urges of rage. They also will teach you how to channel your anger into doing positive activities.
Some critics will continue to argue that these games will only be bad for your health. An article done on abc News with a respective doctor state that 1 in about 3500 people, mostly adolescent and young adults, have symptoms for Photosensitive Epilepsy. Photosensitive Epilepsy is a rare happenstance that causes the brain to fall into small seizures when certain light patterns are focused on for long amounts at a time. The case studies show that this disease is more common on people between the ages of ten and nineteen. Most of the children that develop this brain flaw will grow out of it in their young adult lives. A good cure for this is to not let your children sit in front of the screen for long periods of time.
This is a quote taken from an Observer Newspaper webpage discussing some of the negative affects on some of the computer games. ?Nintendo conducted a study where the level of brain activity was measured in hundreds of teenagers playing a Nintendo game and compared to the brain scans of other students doing a simple, repetitive arithmetical exercise. To the surprise of brain-mapping expert Professor Ryuta Kawashima and his team at Tohoku University in Japan, it was found that the computer game only stimulated activity in the parts of the brain associated with vision and movement. In contrast, arithmetic stimulated brain activity in both the left and right hemispheres of the frontal lobe ? the area of the brain most associated with learning, memory and emotion. Most worrying of all was that the frontal lobe, which continues to develop in humans until the age of about 20; also has an important role to play in keeping an individual?s behavior in check. Children often do things they shouldn?t because their frontal lobes are underdeveloped. The more work done to thicken the fibers connecting the neurons in this part of the brain, the better the child?s ability will be to control their behaviors. The more this area is stimulated, the more these fibers will thicken.?
Critics have also tried to claim that these games are bad for the child?s education and brain development. A study in the UK of 700 children aged seven to sixteen found that stimulation and adventure games developed strategic thinking and planning skills as well as math reading and spelling skills. In addition these games also helped improve hand and eye coordination which helps some adults in their jobs as well. While some people argue that these games can be addictive and possibly cause damage to the brain system, supporters of the same games have argued that these games increase brain activity and help a child to learn many aspects of the life of today. Computer games such as Everquest, The Sims, and World of Warcraft are a few games that teach children how to deal with real people. These games teach you how to budget, negotiate, trade, buy and sell. They also teach you about working with other people and how to share and work together as a team. Some of these roles in life are some of the most vital things we all need to learn.
Computer games encourage students and adults to play together to work at a team. They are a fun way to help them learn to deal with the changing technology, and help increase their self esteem. In today?s society most children seem to be lacking a tag of self esteem and it seems to be growing increasingly harder to pep up the depressed child. Computer games can help with that. As a student progresses through a game they get the accomplishment of completing a level or quest and that makes them feel good about themselves. It helps them to understand different emotions they are going through and in some cases helps them to empathize with the opposite sex. Most of the games today allow you to pick a female or male character. While most people pick their own gender, some people choose to play the opposite sex. While some studies show that most games target boys, satisfying their desire for action, speed, and power, a lot of girls are getting more and more into these same interests. A study in 1999 showed that 3 times more boys played computer games than girls, but the girls that do play are usually more avid players than the boys.
Social Skills seem to be another controversy on whether computer games are good or bad. Many claim that the games make the student reclusive and anti-social but what these studies don?t want to show is that most of these that seem to be excluding themselves from other people are actually playing with other people. Most children and young adults prefer to play in pairs or small groups, making it a competition. Playing in these groups and pairs helps them strategize with each other, communicate, and the best lesson of all, listen.
Another great aspect of the computer games are the fun and relaxation they provide to all ages. While the world around us is filled with stress of change, and the on goings of today?s societies, it is sometimes helpful to have an outlet to vent our built up stress into. Games where you can create fantasy worlds like The Sims or where you can pick up a sword or an axe and chop up a tree or a virtual zombie to help vent stress. These games also provide a way that you can talk to people that have possibly been through some of the same situations that you are going though. These games are also a great way to meet people and for parents and children to interact with each other. In a personal view, I have several friends that play with their sons and daughters which makes great family time. These games also create a safe and fun atmosphere where you can express yourself where you won?t be judged by how you look, or how much money you have. They allow you to get to know people for how they act, think, and feel through the games.
As you can see computer games are not just tools of fun and relaxation, they create an atmosphere of learning and experience. Students and adults alike continue to develop key skills needed for the world as they quest through the pixel animated computer screens. If critics would stop trying to find all the bad about them, and begin to focus on the good, they too would see a tremendous new world awaiting them as we begin to enter the new world based solely on technology. As one great person once said, ?Let the Games Begin.?

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