Are Video Games Good for You?


By Sam Shi and Zavier Holbery (G6)

 

Credits: Alex Haney / Unsplash


You have heard your parents say that video games are bad for you, but is this true? Today we will review the claims and evidence about this controversial topic in this article.

To start with, people say video games are bad for you because they can hurt your eyes, but scientists say so otherwise. “According to the National Institutes of Health, studies prove that playing action video games enhances key aspects of visual processing, including spatial resolution—meaning gamers can actually see things easier and clearer,” says the East West Eye Institute.


But even though video games can be helpful to your eyes, too much gaming is still unhealthy. “While an hour of playing can be beneficial, three or more hours at one sitting will lose those benefits. In addition to increasing the risk of computer eye syndrome, excessive video game use can cause eye discomfort, focusing problems, blurry vision [,] and headaches.", says the East West Eye Institute. So, you can play video games, but control your gaming time.


Video games are also healthy because they help you mentally. According to GEICO Living, video games can boost your mood and make you have better heart rhythms, which can relieve stress, as many studies have shown. Video games have even been used as therapy for more than a decade.


Another reason video games are healthy is that puzzle games, a genre of video games focused on solving puzzles, can exercise your brain. According to a study by Nanyang Technological University (NTU), adults had improved executive functions when they played the physics-based puzzle game Cut the Rope regularly, says ScienceDaily.


Some people say playing video games wastes your time and your life because you cannot get a living out of it. That is not exactly true. While it is hard to become an esports player, it is possible. With plenty of training and good gaming equipment, you might just become the next best gamer in the world. Although there is a downside to professional gaming: you cannot do it forever. Most Esports players are under 30 years of age since pro gaming requires quick reflexes, fast reaction time, hand-eye coordination, and decision-making skills. But pro gaming is not the only way to go if you are interested in gaming for life.


Streaming can also get you lots of money, and you do not have to be good at gaming to be a streamer; all you must do is make interesting videos/streams and share them like many people do gaming on YouTube and twitch.


Developing games is even better, as if your game is one of the few that become popular, you will earn lots of money, for example, Markus “Notch” Persson made 2.5 billion US when he sold Minecraft to Microsoft, and the game company Nintendo Co., Ltd has a net worth of ¥2.447 trillion, or over 21B USD.


One thing you must watch out for, though, is inappropriate games. Whether because they are too violent, or because they include adult themes/content, you always must watch out for them. An effective way to avoid inappropriate games is by following video game content rating systems, such as the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB), the Pan European Game Information (PEGI), the International Age Rating Coalition (IARC), etc. They give games age ratings based on their content, and by following them, you can avoid inappropriate games.


Sandbox games such as Minecraft can spark creativity, as in video games, you can be and do anything you want. In fact, some schools across the globe even use Minecraft: Education Edition as a teaching tool!


We sent a form to several students to see what they thought about the topic and if they thought video games were good or bad. Overall, nine students responded, and the average rating they gave video games was 8.11%. Most people played FPS/TPS (Shooter) games, with Sandbox coming in second and action/adventure (ARPG) coming in third. Most people said that video games are good for you and stated a little bit of evidence.


Credits: How to Make Friends on ROBLOX - wikiHow


Furthermore, video games are healthy because you can make friends through video games. In online games such as the popular game Roblox, you can freely chat with others (Do not worry, swearing and inappropriate language are censored), and make friends whom you can play with. This is especially handy in times such as COVID-19 when you must stay indoors because even if you cannot meet with your friends physically, you can still play with them online.

You can play video games, but never play them too much (that is, unless you are making it your career). Getting addicted to video games not only hurts your eyes (as said before), but also distracts you from other things, such as work, school, family, etc. So, try to control your screen time every day to prevent addiction and overuse of electronic devices.

So go ahead and play some video games now if you want! (Unless you are in school or have not finished your homework/chores.)



Credits The 20 Most Popular Video Games of 2021 - Good Housekeeping


 

Sources

Cover Image: Alex Haney / Unsplash

East West Eye Institute: East West Eye Institute

ScienceDaily: ScienceDaily

Roblox Image: How to Make Friends on ROBLOX - wikiHow

Minecraft: Microsoft buys Minecraft for $2.5 billion - CNN Business

Nintendo Net Worth: Nintendo - Wikipedia

End Image: The 20 Most Popular Video Games of 2021 - Good Housekeeping

Survey: Are Video Games Good for you?

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