Rewards of Being a Gamer

Caliostro

Headhunter
Jan 23, 2008
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Phyroxis said:
Now, I started playing games extensively when I hit the third grade and my teacher actually rented games out to us! (This was back with Windows 95, when there was no DRM) So I may have grown up in a totally different way were it not for these little gems.
I have to say, I laugh out loud nowadays when I hear people talking about windows 95 as something from the stone age.

When I started gaming These were a novelty. [http://www.crosswaysimages.ca/images/diskette.jpg] This [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sinclair_ZX_Spectrum] was my first computer. Lol.
 

searanox

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Sep 22, 2008
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Rewards? I suppose that videogames provide me with an unrivaled form of entertainment, to the point of being a passion. Isn't that enough?
 

Phyroxis

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Apr 18, 2008
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I was thinking last night about something an english professor told me. It makes perfect sense.

He said if you write every day, anything, it will help develop your reading/writing abilities. Certainly a good quality.

Well, where did these forums come from? Probably out of a desire to have a community centered around video games.

Certainly you can say that if it weren't for video games each of us would have joined up on some other site focused on some other topic... I'd disagree though. If theres one thing we all have in common here its that we are passionate about video games. That passion, I believe, is what draws each of us to post on forum sites like this.

So, to that end, video games at least triggered in each of us a desire to communicate on forums such as these. Considering the quality of The Escapist posts, I'd say that this side effect is rather positive.
 

Phyroxis

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Apr 18, 2008
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urprobablyright said:
Gaming doesn't directly help anyone. It degenerates us physically and mentally (you might notice a slight waning in your eyesight and short term memory after three years of WoW) and serves only to increase our interest in certain parts of our personality
First, I'm not sure who you're attacking.. I don't think anyone has made most of the claims you're attempting to disprove.. so I'll leave those alone, as I even agree with you on some of them.

Second, I completely disagree with this quote. I know for a fact that gaming does directly help people. For example, I have been to elderly homes to visit passing relatives and have noticed in their Physical Therapy centers that they have Wiis, I've actually spoken with some of their Physical Therapists and they say that while its not the only thing (certainly) that they use to help patients, that it is a useful tool in some situations.

Hand/Eye coordination is a widely proven benefit, if nothing else.

You also mention that it degenerates the mind, I disagree again. Video games provide some of the most complex and challenging scenarios in any arena. Of course, it depends on the game you play and whether or not you cop out and use GameFAQs, but over all there is still legitimate opportunity to challenge your mind and thinking skills.

Not to mention anything you do that causes you to think, process information, and analyze situations is generally positive for your mind. Gotta keep those synapses firing somehow. Its been shown that elders who tend to continue to play "games" like crossword puzzles, card games, and the like generally stay more mentally sharp as they get older and older. Certainly this makes sense, they are actually using their minds to solve problems, something that some elders simply let fade away.

Now video games are not crossword puzzles and card games, but some would argue that they are more complex than these previously mentioned games. While the content of the game has to be challenging (playing something like Doom 3 has significantly less mental stimulation than say Bejeweled). Every game has a challenge aspect, otherwise it wouldn't be a game. To have a goal, you must have obstacles to meet a goal. Obstacles are meant to be overcome by mental work, so simply by definition games are mentally stimulating.

All of this is not to say, of course, that video games are a "perfect pastime" that will cure you of all of your ailments and make you a super human. No, nothing is. And as always: moderation is the best policy. But you saying video games have no benefits is simply untrue, and along the same lines of the, mostly, ignorant statements made by the media.
 

geldonyetich

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Aug 2, 2006
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I'm pretty sure that games, by nature of being trials that test you, are indeed a basis of self-improvement. When you get better at playing a game, you have improved the aspects of yourself that make you better at playing that game. So, anyone who suggests games are completely unable to promote growth is surely ignorant of this fundamental fact.

Recommended reading on the matter, Raph Koster's Theory of Fun [http://www.amazon.com/Theory-Game-Design-Raph-Koster/dp/1932111972], where he logically deduces that the game developer has a lot in common with educators.
 

BallPtPenTheif

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Jun 11, 2008
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People who play videogames have a reaction speed twice that of a non-gamer. I read that in an article somewhere and so far I have never rear ended anybody in my car.
 

Phyroxis

Witty Title Here
Apr 18, 2008
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geldonyetich said:
I'm pretty sure that games, by nature of being trials that test you, are indeed a basis of self-improvement. When you get better at playing a game, you have improved the aspects of yourself that make you better at playing that game. So, anyone who suggests games are completely unable to promote growth is surely ignorant of this fundamental fact.

Recommended reading on the matter, Raph Koster's Theory of Fun [http://www.amazon.com/Theory-Game-Design-Raph-Koster/dp/1932111972], where he logically deduces that the game developer has a lot in common with educators.

There has also been some talk in the media about how games can be used as a strong learning tool, something I find pretty obvious. I just hope they start making some decent learning games for kids. I played a couple of the "Jumpstart!" games when I was in grade school, they helped me out quite a bit, especially with math... Need some more like that. The whole Dora the Explorer thing seems too similar to the "Superman movie! we should make a Superman game!" philosophy. We should have educational games made to be educational, not just based off of some (terrible) TV show.
 

NeedAUserName

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Aug 7, 2008
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This website. If we weren't gamers, we would all either be on different sites, or have nothing to talk about as we have very little else in common.
 

Phyroxis

Witty Title Here
Apr 18, 2008
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Caliostro said:
Phyroxis said:
Now, I started playing games extensively when I hit the third grade and my teacher actually rented games out to us! (This was back with Windows 95, when there was no DRM) So I may have grown up in a totally different way were it not for these little gems.
I have to say, I laugh out loud nowadays when I hear people talking about windows 95 as something from the stone age.

When I started gaming These were a novelty. [http://www.crosswaysimages.ca/images/diskette.jpg] This [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sinclair_ZX_Spectrum] was my first computer. Lol.
Well, I dont see 95 as ancient.. It was just the first operating system I seriously played games on..
 

pigeon_of_doom

Vice-Captain Hammer
Feb 9, 2008
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Old point and click adventure games have given me a capacity for lateral thinking that gets me recognised as a genius or a freak, depending on the result of my elaborate problem solving.
 

muffincakes

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Nov 20, 2008
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You have to realize that for every one of you types of people, there are at least two of the Halo screamers. Sure, not everybody screams for two straight hours on a headset mic(and whose parents let them get away with that, by the way?), but they are the only gamers that the public cares about. I've read several studies about how games improve creativity and problem solving. I actually had a friend whose doctor recommended D&D for improving his reasoning skills! But, parents will blame anything but themselves for their bastard children, and so the current fad is video games. But as all fads do, this one will pass when the new big thing comes along. The previous evil was Elvis and Rock 'n Roll, and those became immensely popular, so have faith, and trust the Force.
 

Phyroxis

Witty Title Here
Apr 18, 2008
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muffincakes said:
I actually had a friend whose doctor recommended D&D for improving his reasoning skills! But, parents will blame anything but themselves for their bastard children, and so the current fad is video games. But as all fads do, this one will pass when the new big thing comes along. The previous evil was Elvis and Rock 'n Roll, and those became immensely popular, so have faith, and trust the Force.
And may the force be with you, wise muffincakes.

Yes, I totally agree. There are various types of gamers, some of which seem less..... tactful than others. Its a shame.
 

linchowlewy

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Nov 27, 2008
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first of all i would love to contribute my love for history with AoE. the information AoE 2 gave me was great and i learned a lot about that era.

I've found that games like D&D (i don't play thi i play other P&P games) have improved my creativity and improvisation skills as i constantly need to come up with new ideas to keep up with the input from the players and how they are changing things.

I also did enjoy educational games when i was a wee lad and found a particular math adventure game to be one of my fave games at the time. (i had doom back then as well)

Videogames have also gotten me interested into many things. videogames and anime has gotten me to start learning Japanese (i'm top of my class) it has also gotten me interested in programming, computers and 3D modeling.

finally this guy sums up my thoughts on videogames and learning quite well. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rN0qRKjfX3s
 

Lost In The Void

When in doubt, curl up and cry
Aug 27, 2008
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I don't believe games create traits but rather enhance them. An example is having good hand- eye coordination can be enhanced by playing a game where that is required. Bad reflexes are not solved by games.
 

geldonyetich

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Aug 2, 2006
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Lost In The Void said:
I don't believe games create traits but rather enhance them. An example is having good hand- eye coordination can be enhanced by playing a game where that is required. Bad reflexes are not solved by games.
I find this paragraph interesting. You don't believe games... create... "traits." Traits? Creating them? Like they're things that are poofed into existence? I don't buy that - seems to me a person has the same traits they have when they were born, they just learn to use them. However, this doesn't mean my way is necessarily the only correct way to look at it - why I find that paragraph so interesting is it shows a different way of how another person mentally frames the concept of self-improvement.

Well, to answer that properly, here's an article where Doctors Use Wii Games for Sports Therapy [http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/GadgetGuide/wireStory?id=4262970]. Apparently, they believe that bad reflexes can be resolved through gaming. Why not? Games are practice, and practice always helps.
 

Mariena

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Sep 25, 2008
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Superior hand eye coordination?.. Not so much. The ability to cast magic missiles (at the darkness)? Not really. Refining my leader skills by commanding a squad of goonies by using F1 through F12? Not at all.

However, playing games did basically teach me English. Playing games did make me want to know more about timeperiod x (and a lot of history in general), weapons array[y]; and probably something else z.

Then again, I am geekier than most girls, because I play video games ... and I study Electronic Engineering (or whatever it is in English) so I know all about bits and bytes (and nibbles).

Wait, going offtopic here.

Oh yes, games taught me how to be evil. In fact, the amount of people I've murdered in Oblivion so far is.. 5. Lesseee.. two random adventurers in some cave because they were looting chests I wanted to loot (so I killed them and got the contents anyhow). Accidently killed a Kvatch soldier in some quest. I guess my claymore was bigger than I thought. Rufio for the Dark Brotherhood initiation, that makes 4.. I also accidently killed Romana Faleria by thinking she was a necromancer (she was wearing a black robe! at night! near bandits!), but held no regrets.

See? KILLING IS FUN. MUHAHA.