Is playing games good?
Since the development of technology in video games, many people have criticized playing of computer games for causing more harm than good. However, most scientific researchers have shown that people who play games for an hour or less are more contented and have less emotional and social problems compared to those who never play at all in a day. Playing games has both positive and negative effects depending on the type of game and amount of time spent on a particular game. Some people consider games, especially computer games, as time wasting and a waste of brain. Some experts warn that playing games corrupt the brain of an individual while others think that games are the reason behind certain extreme characters such crimes and anti-social behaviors. However, many other scientists and researchers have found that video games have more benefits than harm. Psychologists and scientist have found that video games make young people like kids grow smarter as they teach them high-levels of thinking skills that will be helpful in their future.
Playing games revolutionize one's brain and health. For instance, playing video games modify your brain’s physical formation in the same way education, playing piano or piloting using a map does. In comparison to exercise building muscle, concentration in playing and mastering games strengthen neural circuits that result in the development of the brain (Jenkinson, 5). Using such examples discussed, it is evident that playing games good as it has more benefits than harm. In support of this, I will compare the advantages and disadvantages of playing various games.
Playing games is crucial for young and adult individuals. Games are a source of relaxation and motivation. Playing different types of games is the simplest way of exploiting personal imagination, ingenuity, problem-solving skills, and emotions and hence can be important in children’s development. Different games have different benefits to individuals depending on time spent and the level of playing. Examples of games that have tremendous benefits include bike-riding competition, building a snowman, computer games such as FIFA and playing fetch with a dog.
Playing games relieves stress in individuals. Playing is entertaining and can set off the release of endorphins, which are natural hormone in the body that cause happiness. Scientific research has shown that playing releases endorphins into blood, which in turn promote the well-being of individuals. A study conducted by Russoniello about effects of playing simple computer games proved that playing games reduces stress among individuals (ECU News Services, 1). He observed an increase in the brain’s electrical activity with a sunnier disposition. The heart rates of individuals tested showed a decreasing rate. Individuals who experience difficulty in doing many things can be assisted by play of games as it will relieve stress and can sleep or concentrated on other things after playing a game.
Development and functioning of the brain are improved through playing of games. Games such as chess and puzzle are not only funny but also important in brain development. Challenging games assist in preventing memory troubles and develop brain function. Different games require varying speeds of playing. High-speed gaming helps individuals adapt quickly to game pace hence improving their decision-making capabilities (Jenkinson, 172). In a study to determine the effect of the fast-paced game, players were subjected to high-speed games, and it emerged that 25 percent of game players reacted quickly to questions to an image they had observed in contrast to non-players. Gaming improves the speed and memory of brain by subjecting it to repeated steps that are finally stored in the long-term memory of an individual. Besides, brain games have been shown to have an advantage to the old players. A study showed that a 10-hour play led to improvement in the cognitive functioning of old gamers. Brain development and functioning depends on playing games. Players may become fascinated with the history behind the game events (Jenkinson, 151). Most of the games use real historical events to develop their stories and procedures in a game. Characters in games can attract the attention of gamers who then research about their cultures in books, maps, and other educational resources. Research has shown that people who engage in such activities learn more and in the life and have a background of historical events.
Gaming improves the social aspects of individuals. Playing games creates a platform for social interactions and bond formation which help in such as fostering understanding, kindness and trust. Jenkinson (36) argues that mounting playful nature shuns away stressful situations and inculcate making new friends or even enable individuals to make new business partnerships. Social development is important in organizations as it promotes cooperation, sharing, conflict resolution and acts as a booster in the teaching of leadership skills. Gamers can at times be stigmatized since they are so much. However, the development of online games that require more than one player has led to social interactions (Jeckinson, 39). Studies have shown that about 70 percent of these online interactions lead to close relationships in which most of the players will meet in person. Therefore, playing games improve social interactions and connections.
Games are part of every educational syllabus. Every institution provides facilities and time for games to take place as it has tremendous benefits to students and teaching staff. Gaming provides a significant context for learners especially children to learn with fun and joy new concepts and skills. Children can explore, discover and extend learning on their own. Learning through gaming allows students to experiment and take risks on their own. Gaming also provides chances for joint learning and allows the students to demonstrate practical skills. Education sectors hence cannot undermine the benefits of games to the learning (Jenkinson 22). Its benefits outweigh the expenses incurred in developing and maintaining gaming activities in educational institutions.
Playing Video games improves hand-eye coordination, superior motor and spatial skill of individuals. Games that involve doing of two actions at the same have been shown to reflect real life activities that require well-coordinated actions such as surgery. For example, in shooting games characters are shooting and running at the same time (Jenkinson 14). All factors in the game need to be taken into account while the player synchronizes these actions in their brain’s and reacting to the movements using his hands. These skills require eye- hand coordination and spatial attentiveness to succeed. Studies show that individuals can learn iconic, spatial and image alertness skills through the playing of video games. Experience in motor skill coordination is useful for pilots and surgeons. The studies further explain that the rise in experienced pilots in this generation is due to weaning of pilots on video games. It has been shown that those who played games for three or more hours per week make 32 percent fewer mistakes in comparison with non-playing colleagues. Playing video games, for example, first person shooter such as call of duty (franchise) will increase your eye-hand motor skills and image analysis at the same time, which is important for your future careers (Jenkinson 19). Although such games can become addictive or teach individuals criminal tactics, its importance in career development and success cannot be ruled out. Since research has never shown a direct link to increasing criminal activities due to playing, it is worth important to utilize gaming for career development.
Language development involves consistent communication with people so that you gain practical communication skills. Games that involve multiple players are important in language development since there is need for proper communications to succeed in specific games. During gaming, relaying of information within group members helps develop communication skills, expressions, storytelling and emerging literacy to individuals. Jenkinson (29) believes that improvement of brain development through gaming is similar to language development since it involves repeated communications that are finally adapted by the brain. Language development is important for career success as it boosts individuals listening and speaking skills that are also important in public speaking. Development of new literacy is possible through gaming.
Many companies have acknowledged and treasured the relationship between productivity and fun work environment. Most of these companies advocate for playing games and creativity by providing gym at the work place, engaging employees on frequent parties and establishing games foosball. These companies aim at providing more play at work which results in increased work output, higher job contentment, improved work morale and high staff turnover. Play helps boost productivity and innovation by improving the quality of work, which depends highly on the well-being of workers. Playing games replenishes your mind by reducing mental fatigue caused by psychological barriers (Jenkinson, 65). A company that engages their employees in playing offers great benefits to their employees and company itself. Playing at work keeps employees functional, energizes their minds and bodies, promotes teamwork, set off creativity and innovation and helps build a good relationship between managers and employees. Installing gaming activities in an organization can be challenging regarding financial obligations and allocation of other resources but the benefits of work play are much more compared to its disadvantages.
Physical development is important in maintaining good health and well-being in people. Playing games helps in development in gross and fine motor experiences. Games make kids physical thus encouraging whole-body interactions (Jenkinson, 45). Computer games such as tennis prompt kids to go and practice those skills in playgrounds making them grow healthy. Gaming also helps in overcoming physical challenges and culture self-aid- skills. Research indicates that gamers can solve physical challenges with ease compared to non-players. Gaming allows individual to develop quick response when confronted with physical and other day-to-day challenges. The importance of playing games on physical developments hence outweighs the negative effects on the same if there is any.
Jenkinson argues that playing games is crucial in emotional development of individuals. Playing and winning a game or becoming an expert in that particular activity makes one develop self-confidence where there was none. Achievements in games make people proud of themselves, which can make them transfer this success and pride to other fields making them successful in life (158). Individuals who engage in gaming activities also develop self-esteem and experience reduced anxiety. Affective developments also include therapeutic effects that are associated with playing games. Game players have a relaxed life, which is emotionally important as it boost individual productivity.
Playing games has a profound effect on cognitive development. People engaging in gaming activities will likely be creative, imaginative and have abstract thinking. Most games require mastering of fundamental steps or actions by the player (Jenkinson, 284). These skills are transferred to real life situations by gamers making them gain problem-solving skills, become socially cognitive and ability to master new concepts.
The modern day life is hectic and full of workload that ultimately reduces the productivity of individuals. However, not all is lost as playing games as a way of making fun has developmental, emotional and educational benefits to individuals and organizations at large. Developmental benefits comprise of cognitive, afferent, social, physical, language and concentration developments. Gaming in educational perspective provides meaningful contexts for learning of new skills and concepts, allow individuals to exercise practical skills and encouragement to take risks and explore more in groups and individually (Jenkinson, 78). Finally, playing games offer emotional benefits to gamers, as it is a source of fun, relaxation and self-expression.
Different games have been played since long time ago and worldwide. Early man used played games to show the skills and form of having fun and enjoyment. At present, most regions globally have a form of gaming activities that engages the minds of individuals' resulting in educational improvement, developmental and emotional benefits associated with playing games.
Jenkinson, Sally. The genius of play: Celebrating the spirit of childhood. Hawthorn Press, 2001.
ECU News services. ECU study shows casual video games relieve stress. East Carolina University, 2016.