Video Games: Gaming Impact
We are at an age where technology is ubiquitous. At this point it’s rather impossible to imagine our life without all the technology we enjoy today. While, you may think that video games can’t influence our culture as much as telecommunications, and social media, it actually does impact our culture, history, and our whole way of living.
Video games has been impacting our culture for more than 30 years. Remarkably in 1981, with Nintendo’s masterpiece, Donkey Kong, and not only the introduction of the titular character, but the protagonist, Mario, who would become the mascot of Nintendo for years to come.
I often recall when my brother and I used to play Contra, Pac Man, Battle City Tank and many others. These were the good old times when technology wasn’t that consuming as it is today. Even though children played video games on different platforms like Nintendo, Atari, Sega, Play Station etc. it didn’t completely absorb whatever was left from their childhood. Mostly these video games were inspired by current events, like the war on terror in Iran, Iraq, and Afghanistan which was reflected by the Call of Duty series.
Here’s the thing, my 14-year old brother is a gaming addict and I approve it and here’s why. He learnt new vocabularies that no school could have ever taught him, his reading improved and became impeccable that even I ask him about the meaning of words sometime. So gaming has greatly influenced education. Who would’ve thought, ha?
Furthermore, video games have a set of clear, meaningful goals, multiple goal structures, scoring system, adjustable difficulty levels, random element of surprise, and an appealing fantasy metaphor, all things a good education system should have. So, today, video games have surpassed the mere “entertainment” factor and became a platform for educational, business and therapeutic purposes.
At the Max-Planck Institute of Human Development, in Berlin, Prof Simone Kuhn also researches the effects of the video games on the brain. In one study, she used functional MRI technology to study the brains of subjects as they played Super Mario 64 DS, over a period of two months. She found that three areas of the brain had grown – the prefrontal cortex, right hippocampus and cerebellum – all involved in navigation and fine motor control.
There have many many researches taking place all over the world in an attempt to investigate the potential hidden benefits in video games. At the University of Geneva, Prof Daphne Bavelier has compared the visual abilities of gamers and non-gamers. In one test, subjects must try to keep track of the position of multiple moving objects. She has found that individuals who play action video games perform markedly better than those who do not. Prof Bavelier’s theory is that fast action video games require the player constantly to switch their attention from one part of the screen to another while also staying vigilant for other events in the environment. This challenges the brain, making it process incoming visual information more efficiently.
Playing video games can also be used as a business training tool as executives could learn how to deal with business and the different changing environments. Just like IBM Innov8 or IBM CityOne simulation games. The game enables players to learn a variety of skills, including strategizing and leadership capabilities.
Re-purposing games to make them profitable in the business world is one thing, but research has shown that video games can be exceptionally effective in the medical arena as well. Scientific studies have shown that playing video games helps patients heal faster with a reduced need for pain medication. Video games allow patients to connect with each other, remain socially active and even develop relationships. So, basically they’re using their brain and moving their arms or hands or whatever they’re working on in specific patterns as they have fun.
Yes, there have been many controversial topics that some video games generated violence in children which is not always the case. My little man never threw a tantrum nor experienced an anger episode nor did he get in a fight.. EVER! Arguments can still be made for video games and their connection to violence, however, there can alternately be arguments made for video games and their beneficial, positive, effect on our world today. The games frequently stand accused of causing violence and addiction. Yet three decades of research have failed to come to consensus among scientists.
Video Games companies are constantly working on new project involving Internet for video games. Chances are in favor that the way we play games will be completely different, again, just two or three years from now.
Today, video games have become more advanced and moved beyond a mere TV screen and a joystick. It became far more interesting than what it used to be. Here are five of the latest gaming advances.
1.Virtual reality: is a simulation generated by computers of a three-dimensional image or environment that can be interacted with in a seemingly real or physical way by a person using special electronic equipment, such as a helmet with a screen inside or gloves fitted with sensors.
2. Augmented reality: Augmented reality is the integration of digital information with the user’s environment in real time. Unlike virtual reality, which creates a totally artificial environment, augmented reality uses the existing environment and overlays new information on top of it.
3. Wearable gaming gear: Another technological advance in gaming is the use of wearable gaming gear such as VR headsets, gaming platform connected wristbands, specialized hand gloves, and neural impulse actuators. The gaming wearable niche is likely to experience rapid and explosive release of new gear in the near future.
4. Gesture control: Gaming fans can now challenge virtual opponents using advanced gesture control technology. Modern gaming hardware rely on 3D cameras, powerful artificial intelligence algorithms, and trackable points usually placed on specific parts of the body to deliver surreal gaming experiences.
5. High definition graphics: Powerful graphics cards, GPUs, and data compression algorithms have ushered gaming into the era of high definition displays. You can now buy gaming screens that support 4K (4,000 pixels) from local or online retailers.
Where is all of this technology heading to? 3 decades ago, technology seemed that it was front-line of the one that was about to come. And perhaps the same will happen. While it’s not possible to predict the future, it is fair to say that video games has been a developing topic recently. We’ve never been in a more exciting time for gaming, and we’re nowhere close to finished innovating.