Monday, October 3, 2016

Are video games actually good for you?

So how many hours have you spent playing games on your console when you should have been studying? We’ve all been guilty of that, we just found one of those old Harry Potter games more interesting than the exam paper we would be sitting the next morning. Or “Black-ops”;“Grand Theft Auto”, playing hours away on games like “Undertale” and “Life Is Strange” to work out all the little kinks. What would’ve happened if I went this way around, what little secrets has the maker left for us?

In a survey I conducted where 9/10 have answered they do play video games, which only proves that video games have got more popular. Now they’ve advanced to being on your tablet or iPhone, so even if you don’t have a controller on you, you can still play games by touch-screen. In recent games like “Undertale”, there have even been a fourth wall break where the creator, Toby Fox has gone far and beyond at making have different modes for those who would rather pick another path to the one they would usually play in other games, fight or be killed. You can choose to become friends with monsters, you can fight them and have a (really) bad time trying to get past this skeleton that just doesn’t stop with the puns but you love him anyway. The other option is to befriend some and fight those left over, picking favourites. I’ve only played the first and currently stuck on the second path to playing this game but it gives you this feeling of power where it’s not too hard. It’s not that boss you just know you will never get past. With this game you know you will get through it, it gives you determination (quite literally) at the end of every game over, there is this booming voice which says “You cannot give up just yet… (Name you chose) Stay determined…” Even at every save point it gives you a reason to stay determined and carry on. Almost like Toby is giving us a life lesson in life, don’t give up and if you’re finding more monsters/dialogue then you’re most likely going the right way.

Anyway, enough rambling about one of my favourite video games, for now. Using statistics from here (hyperlink to ), ‘2 out of 5 gamers are female’, and yet we’ve been ‘estimated to be the 80% that are still playing on the Wii; that’s a likely story when I can name friends off the hand that would rather go to computer games or PS3. There’s also an ‘estimation of people spending 18 hours playing video games’, but all of this is just for the US so imagine it worldwide, especially in those gaming tournaments for online games like “World of Warcraft” where they spend any hour they’re not sleeping, playing even more to prepare for the next round.

As I’ve recently discovered with the documentary, “The Supergamers” (hyperlink to programme page: ) that was on BBC three in February, it showed these teams of people (ranging from all ages) who spent their whole lives going to new gaming tournaments to play their favourite competitive video game. Playing the games even more whilst sitting around in their underwear, with packets of crisps and energy drinks as supplies for the hours ahead of gaming, and then to play against professionals just like them who have also spent hours upon hours playing. They have coaches that literally train them to play even more than they usually would, but still have a good amount of sleep. It almost sounds bizarre how much video gaming has changed since the 1970s.
‘The average gamer is 32 years old’ – statistics & facts, and there are all these different kinds of video games; mind games that are made to catch us out on the bore of real life; RPG games where we can play as a this cool character, opposed to the boring one we’re set with for life; virtual pets, to make up for the ones we can’t afford/not allowed to have in our own homes in real life. Did you notice how I’ve referred to life in that sentence? Life is known as being the long, ongoing, ‘but YOLO’, still so dull; evidently it’s those scenes on video games which you can’t skip, you have to watch them over and over until you succeed. Sure, there are those moments where life is wonderful but it’s not nearly as exciting as the worlds in video gaming, where there’s always something going on, something to do, someone/something to fight for. Life isn’t as easy, it’s the “Bloodborne” without a warrior or controller to fight with.

To go back to the question, yes 
video games can be good for you, especially when these are those games that help you learn, they make the work seem fun; sure not all of these are successful but there are these few which can help a lot more than the staring into space you would be doing with the bagful of test papers. As long as you have a fair amount of hours in the real world, compared to the virtual world(s), you’re bound to be set for whatever life decides to throw at you. So although video games can help you out, they still can’t do the work for you; that’s all on your behalf. Video gaming can only teach you how things can be dealt with, but you’ve still got to figure out how fighting the big boss would work in real life, considering you can’t really take a sword to work and slash through your annoying boss and then your problems float away. Video games are there for that reassurance: that maybe you are working yourself off too hard in the real world but in this (virtual) world, you can take a break. You can let out your anger out on an ugly, unholy creature from the unknown. You can work as a team to defeat evil for good. Just like you would need teamwork in real life to get projects done. On those finding, mystery games you grow a keen eye that would start to notice the things not everyone would, shaping you as your own individual, not a copy.
To summarise, there are other sports games that actually get you fit and they’re not all just “Fifa”with a controller, you can actually get up and move around; whether that’s learning new moves to “Just Dance” with the Kinect (this senses your movement) on Xbox or Wii version or playing Tennis on “Wii Sports”. Video games aren’t just there to waste time, they can actually help in life,you just have to be playing the right ones.