Before I get to my introduction, what’s the first image that comes to your mind when I say gamer? due to stereotyping, you’re probably thinking of an overweight middle-aged man in their mother’s basement eating pizza and drinking soda. What if I told you that the definition of being a “gamer” is only by playing video games for 4+ hours in a week, that means that you’re only playing video games for roughly 45 mins a day, put that into the comparison of how much media (Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook etc) the average teenager consumes, it doesn’t seem like a whole lot. 9 hours is how much media the average teenager consumes daily. Today I am here to inform you of all the good things that gaming can do for you and maybe dispell some common misconceptions about the topic.
Having faster reaction times in life could be the difference between life and death. say for example you’re driving through town and a child walks out onto the road and doesn’t notice you, the faster your reaction time, the more likely that child is to walk away from that situation with no injuries. There are many games that require your reaction timing to be fast in order to beat your opponent. The video game “For Honor” is a great example of a competitive game where victory is based on reacting to your opponent’s movements and countering them with your own down to the nearest 50 milliseconds. You could probably imagine that reactions like that must be ridiculous and that gaming has nothing to do with that, but Washington state university conducted an experiment on the reaction times between gamers and non-gamers and recorded their results. non-gamer reaction times were averaged around 400 milliseconds, while the reaction time of gamers was around 300, although that may not seem huge, in the real world, going back to my previous example, that could be the difference between succeeding to prevent injury or failing.
The ability to communicate with others is unquestionably useful. whether working on a group project for school or just simply socializing with others, communication is key. I’m sure everyone in the class has played or at least heard of the ever-popular video game that has taken the world by storm, Fortnite. For those of you who somehow haven’t heard of the battle-royale phenomenon, it is a game that puts you up against 99 other players all fighting to be the last one standing, it gives you the option to team up with 3 others against other teams of 4. Communicating with your team and coordination with one another will allow you to dominate the un-coordinated teams with little to no effort. The University of Glasgow conducted an investigation with regards to the effect of playing video games on communication skills, they took a small group of students and asked them to play a total of 2 hours per week over an 8 week period, playing games that they were given “loosely defined” objectives in games that required the students to communicate. they were psychometric tests relating to communication skill in weeks 1 and 8 in order to measure their progress. there was a supposedly 95% increase in communication skills of the students.
You cannot go through your life without making some sort of decision. Multiple tests have been conducted by the likes of the University of London and the University of Nottingham on the effect of gaming on short-term and long-term decision making. The University of Nottingham tested the effect of video games on 12 adults that had disabilities that inhibited their decision-making skills. 6 in the control that didn’t play games, 6 in the intervention that played games like The Witcher 3 where the decisions you make through the game affect the ending you receive while there are three possible endings. They reported a significant increase in decision making over the 10 week period from the intervention group. While the University of London tested the effect of similar games on decision making and along with the increase in the ability to make the correct decision, they were found to be less susceptible to biases than other people.
In conclusion, I believe to have provided sufficient evidence that video games can be beneficial in developing your decision making, communication skills, and reaction timing. The hobby is becoming more and more popular with competitive tournaments even being aired on sports channels such as ESPN and Sky Sports. because of this and phenomenon such as Fortnite getting attention from the mainstream media after recently acquiring a player base of 40 million users worldwide to put that into perspective, that’s more than the population of 198 countries in the world. I hope to have changed the way that you view people who play video games in a positive way. Thanks for listening to what I have to say.