Most gamers have heard these lectures from their parents at one time or another. For some reason, the general non-video game playing public seems to think that video games are mindless jibber-jabber that do not provide any constructive manner to spend time. They say you cannot learn anything from a video game. They do not believe video games are good for you. I am here to tell you they are all wrong. In fact, I might go as far to say that you can learn as much from video games as you can in school. In fact, many studies have come to show the benefits of video games. However, many people do not acknowledge the potential and usefulness of the medium.
Video games can be beneficial to people of all ages. According to the Ready to Learn (RTL) Initiative study based on children aged four to five, a digital-based curriculum that included video games showed increases in letter recognition, sounds association with letters and understanding basic concepts about stories and print. Not only small children benefit from the playing of video games. A study published in Archives of Surgery, a medical journal, showed that surgeons who regularly played video games are generally more skilled at performing laparoscopic surgery. Playing video games can save somebody’s life. Video games have also been shown to increase multitasking skills and increase perceptual and cognitive ability by as much as two percent compared to non-game players. The facts show it. Video games are good for you.
For example, a game that taught me more about human emotion than any class has ever taught me was L.A. Noire. At first glance, L.A. Noire just seems like another violent game that uses shock tactics for cheap thrills. In reality, the game is a deep experience that gives you a look at the corruption and crime of 1947 Los Angeles. What L.A. Noire taught me the most though, was how to read facial expressions. One of the main facets of the game is interrogating suspects to figure out their motives and what information they can give you. However, the suspects lie a lot. You have to read their facial expressions to determine the truthfulness of the answers they give you. I suffer from Asperger Syndrome, a mild form of autism. I cannot naturally read facial expressions and figure out the emotions people are expressing. L.A. Noire taught me what to look for in facial expressions to know what emotions people emit. In the game, if I ask a question wrong, or accuse a witness wrongly, I may fail the case. I had to learn the hard way, but in the long run, L.A. Noire taught me how to read facial expressions and how significant choices can change your direction in life permanently.
Despite the low public opinion with the learning potential of video games, I think you can learn as much as or possibly more from a video game than you can from any other form of media. Only in video games can you physically interact with the world around you, with no real life consequences. In video games, you control the world and learn that actions have rewards and consequences. That skill is one of the most important skills you can learn in life, and without video games, I would not have learned it. Before you knock on video games, just try them, and you might learn something about life.