The Benefits of Video Games

Topics: Video game, Video game genres, Game Pages: 6 (1857 words) Published: October 14, 2014
Angel Agee



22 April 2014

The Benefits of Video Games

Video games are becoming a common modern element in today's society, and while their popularity grows, so does the need to research their psychological effects on the player. Unfortunately, researchers generally focus on the negative effects such as increased aggression, and because of that it can be easy to forget that video games are actually quite beneficial, "First, the overwhelming majority of players describe game play as a positive emotional experience" (Oswald, Prorock, and Murphy 10). Since video games receive such negative stigma from the media, there has been the most research done on the frustration-aggression theory. This theory says that once an individual becomes frustrated, aggression is inevitable (Breuer, Scharkow, and Quandt 3). Research on this matter has shown that this is not always the case due to the fact that frustration, associated with losing, is a common element of a video game. This means that a player more or less just becomes used to this "frustration." In fact Video games provide boosts in emotional and social health. Video games also provide educational benefits such as increased skills in math, science, cooperation, and decision making. Middle-aged and older adults are also turning to casual video games as a way of keeping their brains in the best shape. Americans shouldn't be so quick to deem video games as nothing but violence causing and time consuming. Instead of causing violent outbreaks, video games give Americans a boost in many different mental areas.

Video games are beginning to be recognized for their educational benefits due to new research done on the positive effects of gaming. Learning experiences from games that create motivational cognitive features that help to promote persistence in school as well as creating more cooperative students. This means that students are less likely to give up in the face of a challenge, "Using a meta-analysis, Vogel et al. (2006) examined 32 empirical studies and concluded that educational games in classrooms helped students gain cognitively and show significantly higher performance compared to traditional instruction" (Evans et al 100). These games have also shown to increase achievement in science and mathematical areas through cooperative game play versus competitive gameplay. Individuals who had played a violent video game by cooperating with another player instead of competing with them, were much more cooperative towards other players. This cooperative game play is characterized by goals that are linked by requiring one player to help another before reaching their goal (Greitemeyer and Cox 224) Against popular belief, recreational video game play also helps to increase these mathematical skills by providing challenges that grow in difficulty as the player progresses (Evans et al 101).

What's more, video games can also be used to teach advanced skills that transfer out of video game context in a short period of time. The skills gained from these games have a lasting effect on the player. In fact, the spatial skill improvements that come from shooter games are comparable to the boosts in the same skills obtained from university-level courses (Granic, Lobel, and Engels 3). Video games help the education system with learning and cooperation skills, and they help to significantly increase cognitive skills such as STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics), art, and general problem solving. STEM areas of expertise have been repeatedly linked to long-term career success and are predicted to be especially critical in the next century (Granic, Lobel, and Engels 3). This goes hand-in-hand with the problem solving skills that the player also receives from the puzzles within the games (Granic, Lobel, and Engels 4). Video games also are beginning to be associated with an additional cognitive benefit: enhanced creativity. Research on this...

Cited: Breuer, Johannes. Scharkow, Michael. Quandt, Thorsten. "Sore Losers? A Reexamination Of The Frustration-Aggression Hypothesis For Collocated Video Game Play." _Psychology Of Popular Media Culture_ (2013): PsycARTICLES. Web. 17 Apr. 2014.
Evans, Michael. et al. "Youth And Video Games: Exploring Effects On Learning And Engagement." _Zeitschrift Für Psychologie_ 221.2 (2013): 98-106. PsycARTICLES. Web. 17 Apr. 2014.
Granic, Isabela. Lobel, Adam. Engels, Rutger. "The Benefits Of Playing Video Games." _American Psychologist_ 69.1 (2013): PsycARTICLES. Web. 17 Apr. 2014.
Greitemeyer, Tobias. Cox, Christopher. "There 's No 'I ' In Team: Effects Of Cooperative Video Games On Cooperative Behavior." _European Journal Of Social Psychology_ 43.3 (2013): 224-228. Academic Search Premier. Web. 17 Apr. 2014.
Oswald, Christopher .Prorock, Chris. Murphy, Shane. "The Perceived Meaning Of The Video Game Experience: An Exploratory Study_." Psychology Of Popular Media Culture_ (2013): PsycARTICLES. Web. 17 Apr. 2014.
Whitbourne. Kracy, Susan. Ellenberd, Stacy. Akimoto, Kyoto. "Reasons For Playing Casual Video Games And Perceived Benefits Among Adults 18 To 80 Years Old." _Cyberpsychology, Behavior & Social Networking_ 16.12 (2013): 892-897. Academic Search Premier. Web. 17 Apr. 2014.
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