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The Bell

June 9, 2024
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June 9, 2024



When I was a kid, sports really did not seem to be for me. I used to have bad reflexes, and my team communication was futile. I really wanted to get better at it, but practices were unproductive, so I decided to get away from sports, particularly soccer. I ended up being a kid with too much free time, and one day, my father introduced me to a game consisting of defending your lawn from zombies, with plants. Yes, you read it correctly, plants! Plants vs Zombies was one of the first video games I’ve played in my life, and I can say that since that moment I’ve been able to benefit from these recreational moments. Video games are often seen as a waste of time, an activity that does not have any productive or positive outcome. Nonetheless, according to recent studies, it’s been proven that video games actually can help you in specific areas of daily life.

Video games are proven to be helpful by enhancing the reflexes and making team decisions. Video games have recently had a huge improvement, relative to its initial process. Nowadays, there are certain video games that can be considered simulators, and this results in a considerable tool that can be used by engineers, car lovers, and even in the science field. There are several genres of video games, each one destined to a certain audience. They range from quiet platforms to frenetic FPS (First Person Shooter). These last FPS, along with MOBA games (Multiplayer Online Battle Arena) stand to be the genres of games in which allows for a potential acquisition of knowledge and skills. For instance, in a regular match of Call of Duty the rhythm of action is quite accelerated as you have to keep a constant movement through the map, watching and analyzing the minimap as well, looking for possible threats or just to be aware of the position of your teammates. According to the article What Gaming Does to Your Brain—and How You Might Benefit, “After years of research, they found that action games in particular—games where reflexes, reaction time, and hand-eye coordination are challenged—provided tangible cognitive advantages that help us in everyday life.” These advantages can go from an improvement on reflexes and time of reaction, for example, to shooting as soon as possible if an enemy pops up, or to twist the Tetris blocks as they fall in the hardest levels. It’s a matter of practice principally; the more you play a video game, the more proficient you become. Now, this process involves both the improvement in the video game itself, and the acquisition of better motor skills, which do not only serve in the video game itself, but in daily life as well. The process in your brain doing a “quick scope” in COD (Call of Duty) and catching at time the glass you accidentally made fall are basically the same.

Have you heard about the saying “Two heads are better than one”? Well, it refers to the teamwork, implying that often, solutions are better reached through the collective work and thinking of several individuals. In the matter of video games, long story short, there are single player and multiplayer formats that apply to the gameplay of the game itself. In multiplayer games, you generally would play with friends or even complete strangers, the point of the mechanic is that often you have to make decisions with the members of your group, so the communication between all the parts is substantially important. In Among Us, throughout the whole game the objective is to determine who is the impostor in the match, sabotaging the fictional mission you are all on, and killing the members of the crew. Each time a dead body is reported, you enter into a roundtable-like discussion, in which you would report what you were doing, who you do suspect is the impostor, and try to convince that you are not the impostor. In the Borderlands franchise, a Multiplayer FPS, you have to deliberate with your teammate to choose the best strategies and classes that the game offers to make a functional and more amenable gameplay. The game rewards good communication and the creativity at the time of making your own way to play. According to Teamwork Gaming: The Effects of Playing Video Games on Teamwork and Team Performance, “The teamwork in gaming helps employees build a good community as they have to work together towards a common goal keeping all the strengths and weaknesses of each team member in mind.” As it explains, video games help a group of people to bond more thoroughly, as they have to know each one’s fortes and weaknesses. That allows these players to engage in constant communication, earning experience of how to interact with other people to reach a common goal efficiently.

Besides helping you to create and enhance your online relationships (it is important to highlight that actual face-to-face interactions are as important as interacting with online people) and assisting the acquisition of your cognitive skills, video games can also be a considerable tool in the education field. Video games, characterized by its wide range of presentations, might offer products that can be useful in the educational process in specific areas. For instance, Minecraft is a sandbox video game that is well known for its premise; you have a random-generated world in which you are free to do whatever you want. Its potential use in the educational world, more specifically with the little ones, cannot be ignored, for it offers a series of benefits in matters of health and academic achievement. According to Minecraft: Exploring the Incredible Benefits of Minecraft,  “Minecraft and Portal are adaptable to some learning environments; for instance, Minecraft has been used for young children while Portal has been used by high school physics teachers. Portal 2 has also been used to develop cognitive skills in older undergraduate students, however.” The modern educational system sometimes can be boring, papers here and there, boring scholar projects that do not help the student to engage in the learning process. However, if video games are incorporated into the classroom or study time, the learning becomes more amenable, inclusive, and the students would benefit from both; a time to learn concrete concepts and a time to relax and enjoy the time with their peers.

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Wouldn’t you like a space between your classes in which the learning is something you really enjoy? Wouldn’t you like to be immersed in an activity in which you can be free to be yourself while learning interesting concepts? Well, nowadays video games are considered by many, a lack of time, a product that cannot contribute anything to our lives. However, it’s time to change the times. Benefited from these marvelous creations by speaking about the good things this industry can offer. Spend time with your friends or family in an activity everyone can enjoy. Construct, destroy, interact, explore, discover.

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About the Contributor
Ricardo Galicia
  • Lives in Brooklyn, New York
  • Mexican, born in 2002. Migrated in 2021
  • Existential Thinker, Bohemian Player.
  • Love reading, listening to music and playing video games.
“Life before death, strength before weakness, travel before destination”

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