January 18, 2006

Let’s Go Play Video Games

Posted in Robert Sanchez at 3:50 pm by groupone

Some parts of this blog may refer to: http://www.nerve.com/screeningroom/books/interview_stevenjohnson/

Needless to say video games and TV affect are everyday life.  Children are exposed it TV and video games at an early age because it makes it easier for parents to do what they have to do.  Of course there are bad TV shows and bad video games but there are ones that have a positive impact.

Many TV shows of today are much more complex than the shows of yesterday.  The shows make you think and do not show everything up front.  Many shows keep you guessing: who is the killer?, what clues point to him/her?, etc.  Just from personal experience I have noticed TV has gotten smarter.  The Simpsons, for example, I have watched it my entire life and the older episodes I could sit down a laugh out loud for no reason but now I have to watch an episode twice through before I get all the comedy that is not on the service.  The newer episodes have a more sophisticated humor that takes some thinking outside of the box to understand.

Video games are also more complex than they used to be.  There are of course the older video games that did make the brain work like Myst, for example.  In Myst, the player had to solve puzzles in order to advance in the game…no one can say that game didn’t make you think.  Although Grand Theft Auto may not sound like a complicated game, it takes strategy to get through the missions.  On the surface it may just look like senseless violence but mostly is a representation of what is actually going on in the real world: gang wars, senseless violence, car theft, etc.  Many people belief it is bad but it is an outlet for anger that cannot be expressed out in the real world.  When someone feels really upset and wants to “kill someone” it is better they do it in a video game and relief the stress than do shoot up a school.

Unknown to most, the educational system is already changing in some aspects.  The Army, for example, already uses video games to start to train their soldiers.  There is no better way than to place them in a real life situation with some experience of what happens when certain actions are taken.  The video game allows them to try out certain actions that they would not normal do on the battle field.  Although not widely used there are games that teach math and reading on the computer.  Some of these could be incorporated into the school day and supplement the class room material.

    There are good television shows and bad television shows.  There are good video games and bad video games.  We just have to sort through them are realize that not all are bad and some that may look bad on the surface actually help us in some way.

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2 Comments »

  1. groupfour said,

    I agree that t.v. and video games could have a positive affect but when used in moderation. I think that video games could be used in helping with your hand eye coordination and creating strategy. As far as t.v. goes I think that educational programs are helpful when trying to learn stuff but for the most part I think that it is purely entertainment. People should spend more time outside or reading a book.
    Jonathan Wooten (group four)

  2. Carrie Driggers said,

    Yes, the Army does use video games to train soldiers, but they also use the games to desensitize the soldiers to killing and brutalization. If it works for the army, I would think that video games can also desensitize civilians who play violent games as well. I think care should be taken when people, especially children and teens, are playing video games.

    Carrie Driggers


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