Home Tech & Gear Video Games: The Good, The Bad, and the Undecided

Video Games: The Good, The Bad, and the Undecided

Do you remember when the first video game came out, way back in 1972? You probably don’t, and neither does the author nor most of the people reading this article, because that’s a long time ago now. More than four decades have gone by since Pong came out and changed the world and those students that earned a computer science degree continue developing more games more quickly than ever. In this article you will find information about computer programmer jobs that are prevalent in the video game industry along with some arguments for and against addiction.

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Since that time, and as long as this author and anybody he knows can remember, there has been the debate on whether video games are “good for you” or “bad for you”. The truth obviously and definitely lies somewhere in the middle, because there are obvious positives and obvious negatives to the impact video games have had on our culture.

Even in the 1970’s and 1980’s there were definite cases of video game addiction, but about fifteen to eighteen years ago, things got a whole lot worse, as 3D graphics and fully immersive environments in games game into being.  Everquest was one of the first successful MMORPGs (Massive Multi-player Online Role Playing Games) on the market, and it changed the world with its success. The problem is that some people definitely took it too far and that is why it is important to weigh the pros and cons of videogaming.

There is a very strong counter-argument, however. For every case of extreme addiction like the one described above, at least one person can come forward and say that they made friends for life online by playing video games, or even met the love of their life in such a manner. And there remains the undeniable fact that video games with a real-time component often can and do improve abilities like hand-eye coordination in subjects. They have also been shown to improve cognitive function in many other areas, like problem solving. There has even been put forward the argument (once again by those themselves involved) that playing video games gave kids that would have been socially awkward their whole lives social skills they never would have obtained anywhere else (at least, according to them). At any rate, there is no doubt that video games are not just a waste of time, and do bring various benefits to the table.

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So the question remains, are video games a net positive or a net negative? Once again, it’s impossible to give a binary yes or no answer to that type of question. This depends a lot on the individual. Some people are prone to addictive behaviors, and video games can definitely be a catalyst for that. Others simply learn quickly how to put things in balance. Others (granted, a very few others), spend a lot of time playing video games and become professionals earning big money in tournaments.

Just as an aside, and to close out this article, the author wants to point out something very interesting. Professional e-sports players (meaning those who play video games for a living) as of a few years ago started changing their routines. They found that, instead of sitting a player in front of a computer almost all of his or her waking hours, performance was actually improved more by incorporating a couple of hours per day of intense physical activity into their routines. Getting their bodies healthier improved their reaction times and concentration, which in turn improved their gaming mechanics. So maybe the solution is in balance, after all.

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