Go out and play REAL football ( the unbiased version)! or Stay at home and save the world!

3 May

My last week’s post dealt with the question whether playing computer games is a waste of time and money or not. I quickly pointed out it is and this is what caused me create this post right here, because I have to make a confession.

I wasn’t a good boy. At least not a good blogger, since I did not put my theory as a question really. Actually, my blog’s quintessence was clear before I even started researching and I only searched for sources supporting my thesis.

As an evidence that I can and will better myself, check out this week’s post where I illuminate also the benefits of playing for everyone:

This time I entered the term “Computer games: waste of time?” into Google blog search and, check this out, the first page Google offered is called “Good Reasons Why Video Games Are Not A Waste Of Time” and lists 5 statements to prove its point. One of them is “Anything that gives us pleasure is never a waste of time…” and that goes in the same direction my old blogging companion Arina tried to push me with her comment on my last post. Not completely convinced as this blog post was done by an administrator of a PC gaming forum who is also the author of masterpieces like “Secret Gold Guide Review – Are You Looking For Maximum Gold Returns In Planet Of Warcraft?”, I kept on searching the web.

Shortly after, I came across a woman who wants us to spend 7 times more time playing video games than we currently do. Jane McGonigal, director of game research at the Institute for the Future, claims that gaming can solve the world’s problems. Of course, I thought she’s nuts but check out her talk on ted.com, which to describe detailedly would go beyond the scope of this post, unfortunately.

Even though I still have some remaining disbelief in her theory, her approach and arguments are extremely fascinating and a must- see if you’re interested in this topic. She offers a massive amount of interesting facts and numbers as e.g. according to a study by Carnegie Mellon University, young people from countries with a strong gaming culture have spent 10000 hours of playing until the age of 21. That’s just as much time as American kids spent in school from the fifth grade till High School graduation. Hence, the competencies acquired by playing video games are enormously well trained.

To find out more about these gained skills, I looked up “benefits playing video games” and after some weaker ones I found a good post on shutupnrelax.com. It presents a study by Daphne Bavelier and Shawn Green proving that video games increase visual skills. Steady gamers were able to respond to actions on the screen much quicker than non- gamers. Furthermore, after only 10 hours of playing the ego- shooter “Medal of Honor”,  the test takers  “showed a significant improvement in visual and attentional skills.”

When I think of one of my earlier history lessons at high school, I remember a certain day when we were talking about the “D- Day” and I basically had quite a profound knowledge as to that topic thanks to “Medal of Honor”. So by sending masses of virtual Nazi henchmen to the sand of a highly pixelized French beach, I actually got to know something about one of the most important battles of WW II without being bored to death by Mrs. Whateverhernamewas in room 138.

VS.

 

In conclusion, I have to admit that with an honest examination, playing video games is maybe not the worst thing to do and there are some undeniable benefits. Still, in my opinion,  a necessary obligation is to take care of how much time we spend on playing and back out of the life out there. If mankind really was to spend 21 billion hours a week in front of a screen as Jane McGoglin suggests, there’d be a lot of empty football fields!

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4 Responses to “Go out and play REAL football ( the unbiased version)! or Stay at home and save the world!”

  1. Stephanie Krogmann May 4, 2011 at 10:40 am #

    Hey,

    I really liked how you linked your second post to your first one. There are so many different opinions about videogaming and I think it is definetely wrong to say it´s a waste of time or even bad when you don´t have an idea about it and never tried it before. I am not a gamer, but I still understand the relaxing effect it might cause for some people. And I hold the opnion that one should think about the fact that we all do stuff that might be a waste of time. How is watching Chcik Flicks on a Sunday afternoon better than playing ganes? When realizing that I checked out positive things about that, there are no benefits 😀

    I really liked that you def. wrote about something you are interested in, that makes your post really vivid.

    Thanks

  2. Dian Stefanov May 4, 2011 at 10:42 am #

    Hi,
    First I want to congratulate you about the title, which is very provocative. When I read these five reasons why video games are not a waste of time I was a bit confused, because for me these video games are totally waste of valuable time. I mean, when somebody thinks something is valuable it is absolutely possible to find some arguments in support of his thesis. From my personal experience I can say that playing video games, especially by children, leads to addiction. When I was a child I was literally obsessed with these Playstation video games, I just played the whole day. There even came a moment when I skipped school to play. It was just horrible. But thanks to my father, who threw my playstation away, I managed to continue my life of a student. From this moment on I am totally against any type of video games. For me the term “playing video games is helpful” does not exist.
    Despite all said, I really like that you put some emphasize on the topic of video games, because its topic that is very important nowadays.

    Nice one!

  3. Sophie May 4, 2011 at 10:43 am #

    Hi!

    To put it short, I loved your blogpost! Even though I am not an avid game player myself, I’ve always enjoyed ‘Game One’ on MTV and therefore, know a little bit about contents and strategies of games.

    I found Jane McGonigal’s theory very interesting. Just like you said yourself, it might be a little bit too exaggerated, but very entertaining!

    And I can imagine that ‘Medal of Honor’ might be much more fun than school and as we all know, learning with fun is much better, than being forced to learn.

    Thank you,

    Sophie

  4. lisabu00 May 4, 2011 at 4:45 pm #

    Philli,
    brilliant post. Another time (not the first time during our blogging project) I was fascinated how people discovered topics I never had tought off before.
    You showed the other side of the medal, nobody normally talks about and showed the few benefits computer games offer.
    Althought the only gaming contact I had in my life was with ‘the sims’, I know how it is to have a computer game addiction. In the end it gave me nothing else than sleepless nights, bad marks in school and angry parents.
    And I wouldn’t assert, that I will be a better mom in some years or an organizational talent 😉
    So, all in all, your post gave an perfect impression of the broad topic and that there’s not only black and white.
    Thanks for that.
    I’m really looking forward to read how you will continue this path…
    good job!

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