It’s been one of my biggest arguments for years. As a heavy gamer, I have frequently been on the receiving end of people telling me I game too much, games are bad for me, and there’s nothing good about them. I remember even in Primary school, I had to write a talk once, and at about 8 years old I prepared a 3-minute presentation about my opinions on games. Granted, a huge amount of this was helped along by my mother, but the views were actually quite well put across for a kid.
I’ve often fallen back upon this as my basis for an argument whenever anybody has told me how bad video games are. I know that if you look hard enough… or Google for about 10 seconds… you will find lot’s of stories about people dying while playing games, or the violence in them inducing violence in the players. While it’s true these situations exist, I don’t believe it is correct to blame the medium. I started gaming at 5, and have yet to die because I won’t eat to keep playing. Problems like this are on the end of the gamers, not the games.
Similarly, games like GTA making people violent is stupidity. Most frequently heard tends to be of children playing these games and then doing things that they never did before. Again, it’s not the fault of the medium – in these cases it’s the fault of the parents who allow their children to play games which have PEGI ratings play above the childs age. The same goes for people who blame movies like ‘Child’s Play’ for their childrens actions.
However, the main point of my speech had been the positives of gaming. The pivotal one being put as how much I believed gaming to help with reactions and motor function. Again, this was something that my mum had come up with, but the interesting thing to look back upon is how accurate this seemed to be. Many years after this I was diagnosed with Dyspraxia – literally lower reactions and motor function than normal. I was actually extremely low compared to most of my age, and I believe it is because of my gaming habits that I managed to cope with it for so long, and to be missed by the people whose job it was to notice.
What brings all of this up now, is that I read of a study last month which proved video games; in particular First Person Shooters; can help to increase your reactions. This has stuck in my mind, until I read of another study which shows that FPS games again can actually help to improve your eyesight.