Video games provide many benefits, shouldn’t have such a bad rap


Julia Satterthwaite

By Joel Fickel

While most seem to enjoy a sit down every now and then with their console, the media seems to portray these games as only negative for human use, along with the portrayal of the Dorito eating, Mountain Dew drinking, single, middle-aged man surely every mom is afraid of their child turning into through gaming. However, playing video games can be proven to help people in life with emotional control, enhancement of creativity and problem-solving and even can help relieve injuries which proves many positives as contradictory to common belief, meaning that videogames are not such a waste of time.

One of the benefits that video games provide is that when played for recommended periods of time they can act as a pain reliever. Studies conducted by American researchers in 2010 prove that playing video games for certain lengths of time can reduce emotional pain, anxiety and stress caused by chronic illnesses to selected hospital patients. In turn, many of the people who went through the study were cured of excessive stress and sadness within only a few days of being in the program, and recovered from their injury in a reduced time than predicted. Therefore, in moderation, video games can help people overcome injuries at an increased rate, or even help people overcome stress or anxiety caused by their injury.

Video games can help people to handle their emotions in heated or even in seemingly uncontrollable situations. When a video game creates realistic enough simulations and is capable of enthralling a gamer to become attached to the setting, story, characters or plot emitted; players reflect strong emotions. These emotions are both positive and negative, and when a video game creates swings in the range of emotions throughout its entirety, then players will become more adapt to recognize times in real life where an emotion should be emulated as correlated to a situation in a video game. This recognition could help as a person would be able to correctly perform an emotion to a situation in real life, and not go out of line in a moment of pressure or any other feeling of self doubt.

Video games have been proven to benefit the problem solving skills and creativity of people playing the games. Studies have shown, for example, in games such as “The Legend of Zeldaproblem solving skills in a player are highlighted as the performer will have to strategize, search and plan to get out of many of its levels. Along with games such as “Little Big Planetthat allow the gamer to create their own world and interactions throughout the game which pinpoint someones creativity. When these games are played in excess, they have proven to expand the abilities of someone’s creativity and problem solving. Which, would then provoke gamers to be more well suited for a situation where said skills may result.

People argue that video games can only instigate violent actions in a person, and can turn a person into a cruel, mean individual. While in some cases few, select video games can provoke violent actions, a majority of video games prove to have no part in the violent actions of a person that may ensue. Only few franchises are based on warfare or human interactive violence, many more however appeal to the creativity, critical thinking, cunning and intelligence traits from the gamers. Supporters of this idea may also however conclude that it doesn’t matter if there are video games that do not involve violence when the most popular video games are ones that contain violence. Yet, six of the top ten video games most purchased in 2012 were either sports games, lego games or even a dancing game. Therefore, the more popular choice for gamers abroad is that of a different route from violence, proving video games mainly appeal to traits aside from violence.

Despite popular stereotype, and what many view as a waste of time, a gamer can receive many positives for playing video games. It most likely isn’t wisest to use video games as a method of procrastination, or to put playing video games over many important actions or decisions, however. Though when played in moderation, gaming is proven to have many benefits over the assumed negatives. Those positives include they can help people handle their emotions, enhance creativity and problem solving, and help in relieving injuries. Therefore, the overpowering benefits received from playing video games should prove enough to overrule the negatives exempted because of media stereotype.