I remember the days when music was blamed for all the evils in the world. We live in an age where a person can blame their troubles on a video game because video games have reached mainstream attention. Like the media, many among us are quick to lay blame on external influences in our society rather than looking at ourselves as the source for our own trouble.
A circus of media and Internet publications will swarm down on the video game industry if a single deranged individual points their violent tendencies on a recently played game. If a person feels the urge to hurt another individual, chances are they’ve already made that decision far before theyâ€™ve played the next Grand Theft Auto. We don’t live in a perfect society and we canâ€™t stop our TV, Music and Movies from displaying acts of extreme violence. Many people feel the need to blame something or someone for their own negative actions.
I asked other random gamers on three unique Internet forums to point out positive influences in video games and weighted those against known negative influences. These are their responses:
Kurisu7885: â€œThe Sims, especially, can teach you money and time management, and can teach a good amount of interior design and home design.â€
Hannah: â€œMy arms and shoulders are still hurting from playing Wii Sports with my boyfriend over the weekend. I tend to exaggerate the motions, so it’s definitely a workout.â€
Garrett: â€œSome RPG’s teach you math and organization. Although, newer ones make it easier on you, it wouldn’t be unusual or a bad idea to have a notebook next to you to write important details down. In my early days of playing Wasteland, I had no less then a dozen pages filled with stats, locations, characters and puzzles.â€
::Idiot:: â€œI think games are simply a new age in media. Not that it is going to overthrow moving pictures or books, but it is a new mass media. It does give you an experience that you can’t achieve from books or movies or TV or radio.
It’s taken us a little while to get here, but there are quite a few game in our day that really show how we can be taken into exotic landscapes and epic adventuress in a way that isn’t the same as reading a book. Not to say that games can only do it differently one way, but in many ways.â€
Karuto: â€œIt gives you something to do when you’re bored. At this point in the stage, it’s become an effective medium to keep occupied. If we get more games like with the Wii and Dance Revolution, it’ll definitely be right up there with Recess as the best recreational activity.
Salohcin: I think it is a great way for friends to get together. For example, just the other day my friend and I were hanging around the house doing just about nothing. We ended up starting a co-op game of Gears of War and had a ton of fun.â€
Darkcraft: It helps relieve stress and it is fun. It’s a social activity, great way to meet new people. They lets us run with our imaginations and bring life to things that aren’t possible in the real world.â€
Koroshiya_Ichi: â€œEducation wise you could argue how most games greatly cover problem solving, recognition/observation, contextual analysis, empathy (you can read WW2 diaries as much as you want and some are incredibly moving, but games can just reach a level of immersion that books, movies and TV never will) cultural trends. Obviously not EVERY game covers ALL the above points, but I could create an in-depth list of those which do.â€
Dulac: â€œGames gets rid of my anxiety when the levels are a tad bit high. Gives me something to focus on and I forget about my worries. The reward system in games gives you a feeling of accomplishment as well. That can help with self-esteem I think. Computer skills improve if you’re a PC gamer. Your hand eye coordination improves. I agree that it helps reading skills, since there are storylines to read. I think it can help keep kids away from drugs. I know I cannot play games when drunk.â€
I went on to ask the same people, â€œIf the games can yield positive results why canâ€™t games have a negative impact such as violent tendencies?â€
Garrett: â€œIf I play a game with a gun, did I just learn how to properly handle the gun after playing the game? The answer, according to the U.S. Army, is no.
After creating the game America’s Army, a FAQ was posted indicating that very question. There’s no way that a present game can give you the recoil, the exact amount of pressure needed, maintenance, etc., needed for you to become some kind of professional, or even an amateur shooter.