Definition- yourfavoriteanon

The Video Game Experience

When I was little, video games were becoming more and more popular in society. Of course, my parents and many other adults would tell us about how much of a waste of time they were or how they were going to turn our brains into mush. I never listened to them because I felt passionate about video games and I couldn’t just give them up. Balancing school work and playing video games never gave me a hard time. Studying would have been a good way to spend my time but I wasn’t much interested in school or what work we had to do. Starting high school, I knew I wanted to find something other than video games to focus on during my free time and what better to do than sports. 

            Being physically active was something that I wanted to start trying because before that I was just a couch potato. Blaming video games for my laziness would be silly because that was all I knew and all I was interested in. I really wanted to play a sport but I didn’t know which one to play. My final decision of football was finalized on me wanting to learn the game because I knew it was so popular. Football was very competitive and it was a long and hard journey for me because I knew if I wanted to become great, I would need to be assertive. The beginning two years for me consisted of me getting stronger and learning the game.

            Something new was a great change for me but I never could drop video games completely. I believed they helped me escape into my own worlds and sparked my imagination. Not only that, they helped me learn valuable lessons that would help me throughout my football career and life and showed me how to compete. You could easily relate that to staring a new video game. A consistent strategy I would use to learn how to play a video game would be to test out all the buttons to understand the controls to learn as I go before advancing into the game. This is also what I used during football because I would test out certain exercises that would show me limitations and help me narrow down on which position I would play.

            Single player games show players different lives and emotions that are reflected in the real world. Multiplayer games and cooperative games promote teamwork and the importance of trusting in your teammates. These skills needed and gained for playing video games originated and real games like dominoes or card games. According to Dr. Randy Kulman (2014), “Researchers in Italy, led by Sandro Franceschini, found that 12 hours of playing action video games (selected action-based mini games from Rayman Raving Rabbids ) resulted in more improvement in reading fluency than 1 year of traditional reading training.”(Kulman, 2014, p. 34) Children can learn basic skills way faster through video games rather than traditional methods. The big difference that not many people acknowledge or see in videos games and board games is that video games are a lot more expansive in critical thinking. Board games are super limited to what you can do and what decisions you make and video games can be the same. Although, video games add more of a pressure to think about what you should do next because video games can range from the most linear storylines to the most open world, “you decide” games.

            Choosing from the first person games to the third person games all depends on preference. Those aren’t the only two types of games but they have proved to be the most popular. Whether you choose third or first person, you have to make decisions for your character either for the story or to gain rewards. Rewards come in experience points, in-game currency, or even more content to play. The entertainment value of gaining a reward is a big part of why video games are popular but what’s not always acknowledged is what the player can learn from it all.

            The common mindset adults preach to kids and people becoming more responsible is to work hard for what you want. The decisions one makes in life can affect not only them but the people around them. Nobody’s perfect, as much of a cliche that is, but what helps us is learning from our mistakes and failures to become better or stronger as a person. Video games have a mutual connection to these lessons by making a player grind for what they want. When you boil video games down to the simplest of concepts, the objective is to get better at the said game as well as progress further.

            Goals and checkpoints in the games work as milestones for the player to show them where they are at and how far they are to the end. Some games, such as some multiplayer games, don’t have a definite end because the developers want you to keep on playing. The obvious reason for this is because it brings them more money but that doesn’t mean you can’t take anything out from it. A popular single player/multiplayer game, Destiny, gives the player a story but also allows them to continue playing in multiplayer raids and other missions. This gives players the want for better loot and to play more.

            Since Destiny is a single or multiplayer game, it encourages people to play with others to play for better chances of loot drops and to make the mission easier. Destiny greatly promotes the importance of team work. “Team work. The game contains threeplayer strikes and six-player raids, requiring communication and teamwork.” (Chicago Weekend, 2017) Simple lessons like teamwork can help a kid learn to work with people. As long as there is something to play for, there will be something to gain. People don’t just play video games to learn about life but they are great representations of outlets that teach kids and any other gamers important things in life.

References

  • Kulman, R. (2014). Playing smarter in a digital world: A guide to choosing and using popular video games and apps to improve executive functioning in children and teens, based on the LearningWorks for kids model. Plantation, Florida: Specialty Press/A.D.D. Warehouse. https://bit.ly/2F4tCIp
  • A date with destiny: Video games teach kids life lessons. (2017, ). Chicago Weekend. https://bit.ly/2XNvQTH

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5 Responses to Definition- yourfavoriteanon

  1. davidbdale says:

    Hey, Anon.
    A note about sources.
    I was intrigued by the outrageous claim made by Kulman that 12 hours of video gaming gave kids the equivalent of a year of reading classes, so I dug a little.

    Kulman names Francheschini and provides a footnote in his book (which I found at Rowan when following your link back to the library database), but his footnote doesn’t lead back to the study. It goes to a Huffington Post article (not usually scientifically rigorous). I was expecting to find the 12 hour / 1 year comparison there, but instead I found this:

    A study from the University of Padua throws cold water on the idea that video games are bad for the brains of young children. In February, the Italian researchers presented evidence that playing fast-paced video games can improve the reading skills of children with dyslexia.

    The team separated children age 7 to 13 into two groups, one of which played an action game called “Rayman Raving Rabids” while the other played a lower tempo game. When the reading skills of the children were tested afterwards, those who played the action game were capable of reading faster and more accurately. The authors of the study hypothesized that the action games helps kids increase their attention spans, a skill considered crucial to reading.

    That’s the whole entry about Franceschini, in an article called: “9 Ways Video Games Can Actually Be Good for You.” It doesn’t make the claim Kulman mentioned.

    Next step. HuffPost gives a link to the study. It goes here:
    https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0960982213000791

    Notice the emphasis on Dyslexic children, a detail Kulman didn’t mention. I haven’t read the article yet, but I’m going to save this Note for now and see what I come up with. I’m going to this trouble to make an important point. Your research will be MUCH more convincing if it’s based on original sources. Yours is third-hand, Franceschini’s study as reported by Huffington Post as passed along by Kulman. Kulman’s claim sounds outrageous because, perhaps, it’s untrue or not entirely true. Readers lose faith in writers immediately when sources don’t check out.

  2. davidbdale says:

    At the Franceschini report, I found this highly technical paragraph among dozens of highly technical paragraphs finding improvements in reading for very narrow classifications of reading skill that the games were specifically selected to address:

    To test this hypothesis, we measured the phonological decoding of pseudowords and word text reading skills in 20 children with dyslexia before (T1) and after (T2) two video game trainings. Ten dyslexic children were assigned to AVG and ten to nonaction video game (NAVG) training . . . Each child was individually treated by playing a commercial Wii video game (Rayman Raving Rabbids) for a total of 12 hr. The relevance of this result can be fully appreciated by noting that the pseudoword-decoding improvements obtained after 12 hr of AVG training (mean 0.18 syll/s) were higher than the mean improvements expected in a dyslexic child (0.15 syll/s) after 1 year of spontaneous reading development.

    This appears to mean that dyslexic children who made reading improvements without any interaction or training (that’s how I read “spontaneous reading development”) made significantly faster improvements using the games. And here we do find the 12 hour / 1 year comparison.

    So, if you want to claim that Franceschini claims dyslexic kids improve their decoding of pseudowords much faster after playing a specific game than they would without the game, you could safely make that claim. But that’s a lot less impressive than the claim Kulman made and indicates why following sources back to their origins is both MUCH more accurate and often pretty disappointing.

  3. davidbdale says:

    On the bright side, the Franceschini study lists about 38 sources in its own references section, most of which seem to have good news to report about improvements in performance of various types by players of video games. So the study might lead you to others more beneficial than the one you first chanced to find.

  4. davidbdale says:

    YFA, I’ve left considerable feedback for you on this post without hearing back from you, so I’ve taken it out of the Feedback Please category.

    You’re entitled to as much Feedback as you wish, provided you engage in an exchange of comments with me. When you make revisions to this post, or if you have specific questions to ask, by all means put the post back into the Feedback Please category. Be as clear as you can about what changes you’ve made or what questions you have. And if you’re getting the kind of advice you find helpful (or not at all helpful), I’m eager to know that too.

    • yourfavoriteanon says:

      I’m sorry I didn’t reply, I’ve been very busy with all types of work so I couldn’t get to reading all the feedback but what I have so far has helped me greatly. Thank you!

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