Table of contents
- Personal opinion
In 1947, Thomas Goldsmith and Estle Ray Mann invented the first arcade game, which allowed a user to control a vector-drawn dot on the screen to simulate a missile being fired at targets (Wolf, 2008). Since then, the video game has received more and more attention and support, becoming an indispensable part of the entertainment industry. According to the data collection in 2019, the video game market was valued at 75 billion and its users have exceeded 1.3 billion (Christina, 2019). From this fact, we can conclude that video games are growing at an exponential rate and significantly influence our daily lives. To be specific, after working for more than 8 hours, people need some entertainment to release the pressure from the heavy workload. In this case, video games play an important role in reducing stress and adjusting moods.
Since video games have exerted profound impacts on individuals’ lives, we have to carefully consider the consequences of this kind of technology. First, video games have brought significant benefits to education. Video games have the capacity to engage children in learning experiences, helping them to improve their skills. For example, a mobile game called “geospace” allows students to manipulate or rotate 3D objects (Warburton, 2009 pp.25). Through this game, students will practice their understanding of multidimensional spaces. Also, teachers will receive more active feedback from students since students are more interested in video games rather than books. Therefore, if educators can combine education and video games in a harmonious way, this can be regarded as a milestone on the path of education.
Moreover, video games also can practice our multitasking skills. During the play, users not only need to pay attention to changes in the screen like incoming attacks but also required to move joysticks or press to adjust the characters’ movements. Therefore, with this constant training of hand-eye coordination, people will gain an improvement in multitasking. Not only this, video games can also be helpful in establishing social connections between people. Games like League of Legends can no longer be regarded as a tool for entertainment, they are more likely a social software because people need to communicate with each other about strategies to win the game, which will enhance the relationships between people.
However, there are some potential drawbacks of playing video games. First, it will indirectly influence your rewarding system. The motivation of playing games for most people is to seek reward and this kind of reward is short but stable (Wilmer, 2017 p.9). Nowadays, people do not have much patience or time to acquire a long term reward like romantic relationships, and they prefer something more direct and easy, such as smartphones or video games. If people are constantly addicted to video games, their rewarding system will undergo permanent changes, which will make them more and more unwilling to seek long-term rewards.
Furthermore, video games can also negatively impact our health. First, people will suffer a high risk of myopia, which will significantly influence their daily life. A national vision report in 2015 said around 500 million Chinese suffer visual impairment and most of them are fond of playing mobile or video games (Warburton, 2007). Thus, playing video games may be correlated with the growing rate of myopia.
Moreover, addiction to video games can also influence students’ academic performances. According to the experiment conducted by Jancee Wright, individuals who indicated that they did play video games had a much lower GPA. If students spend more than 4 hours on video games every day, they will not have time to do homework or prepare for tests. Meanwhile, students cannot fully focus on the study due to endogenous interruptions. Specifically, it is the user’s own thoughts that drift toward game-related activities (Wilmer, 2017 p.10). Thus, video games can be regarded as one of the biggest obstacles in the way of educational achievements.
I think the relationship between video games and our cognition can be described as mutually elaborative. First, video games shape our cognition both in positive and negative ways. On one hand, video games can improve our coordination, enhance multitasking skills, and increase our brain speed. On the other hand, video games may distract our attention, change our mentality, or lead to poor academic performance. Therefore, video games exert profound impacts on our cognition. Meanwhile, our cognition also affects the development of video games in some ways.
To be specific, the motivation for playing video games is often cognitive, like seeking entertainment. And this kind of demand grows as the pressure from the work or family. In this case, video games can help us to settle this problem. Thus, our increasing demands for entertainment boosts the growth of the gaming industry.
From my standpoint, video games can be seen as “good” technology. Some critics may assert that playing video games may cause violent tendencies or influence our health. I think this argument is ridiculous because the video game is just like a tool, and whether it is good or bad depends on users. For instance, if you shoot somebody with a gun, the responsibility is on you, not the gun. Therefore, educators should promulgate the awareness of self-control to children, instead of banning this type of technology. For me, I have played video games for 5 years, and it does not influence my study because I strictly control the time spent on it. I only play games on weekends, and its duration is about 3 to 4 hours each day. Thus, if students can well manage the balance between game and study, there is no problem at all. And the government should think about how to increase students’ awareness, not prohibiting this technology. Besides, we cannot ignore the benefits of video games like improving skills and enhancing social connections. Nowadays, whenever parents mention video games, they always describe it like a poison. However, people should judge it from a neutral position without any prejudices. Therefore, if governments can utilize the benefits of video games and figure out solutions to deal with the drawbacks, the future is promising.
- Wolf, M. J. (Ed.). (2008). The video game explosion: a history from PONG to Playstation and beyond. ABC-CLIO.
- Christina Gough. (2019). Game statistics and facts. https://www.statista.com/topics/1680/gaming/
- Warburton, D. E., Bredin, S. S., Horita, L. T., Zbogar, D., Scott, J. M., Esch, B. T., & Rhodes, R. E. (2007). The health benefits of interactive video game exercise. Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism, 32(4), 655-663.
- Wilmer, H. H., Sherman, L. E., & Chein, J. M. (2017). Smartphones and Cognition: A review of research exploring the links between mobile technology habits and cognitive functioning. Frontiers in psychology, 8, 605.
- Warburton, D. E., Bredin, S. S., Horita, L. T., Zbogar, D., Scott, J. M., Esch, B. T., & Rhodes, R. E. (2007). The health benefits of interactive video game exercise. Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and
- Metabolism, 32(4), 655-663. https://www.statista.com/topics/1680/gaming/