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Videogames are good

Postby Starky » Thu Jan 28, 2016 9:53 am

We had a brief discussion not too long ago with Niall outside in Lenzie about ("serious") videogames and their point, if any. I respectfully disagreed with the idea that serious videogames are pure entertainment and/or a waste of time for several reasons.

1. Analysis. Many games, perhaps first-person shooters, RPGs and RTSs especially, require analysis and critical thinking for one to be good at the game. This includes comparing different options, understanding statistics and probabilities and questions of cost v benefit. Learning these skills helps people in real life.

2. Problem solving. This is related to the previous point. When stuck at points in linear games, if individual analysis needs to be supplemented, gamers can use the internet and/or suggestions from friends to consider solutions to barriers. The process of weighing up different solutions and comparing their potential effectiveness relative to one another is itself the same as when used in the real world.

3. Patience. Do you give up when you die in a fun game? Probably not for a while. Learning to persevere can be helped by playing challenging but eventually manageable games.

4. Conflict resolution. This can be a social aspect of online or multiplayer cooperative gaming, but in many RPGs in-party conflicts among non-player characters have to be resolved by the player. Many of the methods used for doing this can find analogies in real conflict situations at work.

5. Priorities and perspective. Understanding which tasks are important and which have precedence over others and, by extension, why are key skills in many RPGs. These skills can also be useful for work in one's life outside videogames.

6. Teamwork. Especially relevant for multiplayer gaming as with number 4, but also in party-based RPGs or RTS games the player needs to understand how to employ different characters/units effectively together. Understanding strengths and weaknesses and how they can be minimised or overcome is also necessary as part of personal development in one's personal and professional lives.

7. Language learning. An often overlooked aspect of videogames is that many, being mostly in English, are useful for language acquisition. I have recommended in the past that my students play videogames with dialogue to improve their language skills and often noticed an improvement as a result of this being done.

I think we can find other points in support of the usefulness of videogames. Disagreement is also welcome, though.
Iakobus1 wrote:
smr wrote:This is a thread I wasn't sure was exactly suitable for the "Sports" forum :P

True, but we sadly don't have a "Furious Masturbation" forum.

Brainwave: we should have a "Furious Masturbation" forum.

Jose Mourinho wrote:The style of how we play is very important. But it is omelettes and eggs. No eggs - no omelettes! It depends on the quality of the eggs. In the supermarket you have class one, two or class three eggs and some are more expensive than others and some give you better omelettes. So when the class one eggs are in Waitrose and you cannot go there, you have a problem.

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