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Video Games: Harmful Of Helping? Essay

1760 words - 7 pages

Documented Essay (Final Draft)Video Games: Harmful of Helping?Despite the popular movie depiction, video games do not lead people to live in alone their mother's basement, scarcely coming out into the daylight. In fact they typically increase social interaction. A study by the PEW Internet Project surveyed 1102 teens, and found that 24% of teenagers only play video games alone. The other three fourths said that they play with others either in the room or through the internet. This just goes to show that video games can be a good bonding tool, as well as a good way to meet new friends in diverse internet communities. This study also found that those that played what they called 'civic games' usually participated more in their community by, for example, volunteering, protesting, or keeping up with politics, compared to other students who were not gamers (Lenhart, vii). Civic issues are found in many games where a storyline is followed (called Role Playing Games or RPGs), or simulation games (for example The Sims, a game where you control a virtual person). These kinds of games were found to be among most teenagers' top ten favorites in the study. Thus we can see that by learning about civic issues while gaming many teens seem to become much more interested and willing to participate in them. The friends and values that video games introduce to kids and teens prove they are great to our society.It is also untrue that video games cause people to become brainless, dim-witted zombies. Here again, they do quite the opposite. A survey of professional business persons found that those who had played video games in their youth had better business skills in areas like teamwork and careful risk taking (Lewis). While these gamers obviously did not stay up all night trying to find all one hundred twenty stars in Mario 64 and suddenly know how to run Microsoft. Games do challenge them in many areas which will help them to grow up to be smarter. Most video games force players to come up with strategies and solve puzzles to reach and defeat enemies. Sometimes either a real life friend or AI (Artificial Intelligence) character's help is needed as well. Encounters with these virtual challenges on a regular basis help build a strong base for many types of intellect to grow on. Not only can games help create intelligence, but they can help in retaining it too. For example, the popular puzzle game series called Brain Age has been seen to improve computing speed as well as slow down the onset of diseases like Alzheimers and dementia (McCurry). If video games are helping our elderly be able to remember their children and grandchildren longer, or even simply what they had for breakfast the day before, why does the media constantly view them negatively? Since video games help kids learn more as well as retain intelligence they are definitely something we want to hold on to.Another big issue the media uses to attack games is that they make people lazy and unhealthy. I'll...

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