Does gaming have a positive effect on you? Does it promote healthy habits , give you lessons unattainable in the “real world”, and help you make tough ethical choices? Recent studies done by psychology and social work professors point towards a brighter future for gamers.
These studies showed that gamers have less violent tendencies, better moral values, the possibility of faster reflexes and decision making, and even live healthier than non-gamers.
This is good news for me, since I myself am an active gamer. Take me as a test subject: I play video games for maybe 3 to 4 hours a day on weekdays and 6 on weekends. From first person shooters to role-playing to massive online battle arena games, I cover most of the basics of gaming as well.
For starters, I have mixed feelings on whether their argument that gamers are less violent. I can admit that I rage a lot when I play video games. But besides gaming, I am usually very calm and never lash out. I feel like taking any anger I may have out on a video games leaves me less likely to be mad or violent in the outside world.
The concept that gamers have better moral values is personally a tricky one seeing as I have never been put in a moral situation. I don’t steal, if that’s what they’re asking. But a decision like choosing to save someone or not in a video game has always been the former for me. If I am ever put in a real life situation like that, I feel like gaming has taught me well enough to help out someone in danger, even if I can’t dodge bullets.
As for every day life, I feel like some of the things I’ve picked up from video games are helpful, such as coordination from Dance Dance Revolution and reflexes from Resident Evil 4. Having less than a second to react to something 100 or 200 times in a game can help with tasks such as catching a ball or stepping out of the way of that wall of water splashed up from a speeding car.
However, I thoroughly dispute that playing video games helps you have a healthier lifestyle. I don’t think I have ever felt tired after playing a video game the way I do running around the block. Unless you’re playing on the treadmill, you are not going to get the same results playing video games as you would playing a sport.
This study is very interesting and sheds some light on aspects of gaming I never thought of. I can now feel proud for racking up 30 hours a week of gaming and help erase the stigma that gaming is a waste of time.