The Truth Behind Video Game Clichés and Myths

Video games and the time invested in playing them are a major concern of parents of children and adolescents. currently.

There is a real increase in the consumption of video games in Spain and in the world, which generates a powerful stressor among parents (and adults in general) due to the stigma of society towards this type of game. leisure offer.

Recommended article: “Do Video Games Make Us Violent?”

In addition, with the rise of the video game industry and the great popularity that the e-sports or “e-Sports” branch is gaining, criticism of this sector has become harsher and in some cases more severe. radical. This sets off a strong alarm among parents concerned about their children’s hobbies., This will encourage them to pay more attention to information that corresponds well to their prejudices, resulting from the fear of possible harm to their children.

Video games and addiction

Perhaps the main alarm factor for these parents is the addiction factor. Usually, video game fans tend to devote a lot of their free time to it, which generates a strong sense of disapproval from parents, in addition to being repeatedly accused of being addicted to video games. .

Admittedly, video games can be addictive, but in the same way, the hobby of cultivating the body in the gym can also be, to give an example. The truth is that human beings have the power to be addicted to many types of hobbies and here the turning point is education, the way the desire to gamble is self-regulated.

Learn more: “Eight Important Psychological Aspects of Video Games”

Data and Analysis

To shed light on the issue of video games and attempt to ward off fears, we would like to cite the results of an interesting study conducted to Explode, Masferrer and Aguirre in 2001 in which they conducted a conscientious survey of 321 subjects aged between ages. of 13 and 33. In this study, personality characteristics, behaviors in everyday life and some cognitive variables were compared between two samples, one of which showed continuous, habitual and abundant use of video games, while the other sample showed a total absence of video game use.

Although these are widely used arguments to disapprove of the use of video games, the results of this study clearly showed that the continued and regular use of video games does not imply any relevant changes from those who do not use them, in aspects such as adaptation: school performance, school performance, family climate and adaptation, consumption of toxic substances, physical problems such as obesity or headaches, the child’s psychological history or social activities.

In addition, in variables of a clinical nature such as personality models, aggressiveness, assertiveness or clinical symptoms and syndromes, no significant difference was evident from the non-gamer group (Exploded, Masferrer & Aguirre, 2001).

The benefits of playing video game consoles

Not only are video games not the bad that the media sells us sometimes, but they also bring cognitive benefits.

As we have seen in one of the many examples, empirical evidence shows that the continued and routine use of video games does not pose a real threat to young people.

In addition to failing to reach alarming conclusions, research in health and video games shows that it is a powerful modern tool that can produce benefits in aspects such as cognition, emotions, motivation and social behaviors.

In 2014, Granic, Lobel and Rutger conducted a major review of the APA (American Psychologist Association), on the existing literature with reference to studies demonstrating the benefits of video games for young people, in particular in the aforementioned fields. Since conducting an analysis of each of the areas is beyond the objectives of this article, we will only cite a few benefits of each, leaving these reviews for future publications..

1. Cognition

In terms of cognition, the benefits are very broad as they promote a wide range of cognitive skills. Shooter-themed video games are particularly relevant in this area, as they require a high level of attention and focus, dramatically improving spatial resolution in visual processing, mental skill rotation, and attention (Green & Babelier, 2012).

2. Motivation

In the field of motivation, video games play an important role because many of them, maintain a very precise adjustment in terms of “effort-reward” which allows young people to be able to develop their skills through effort and to be rewarded in a fair and desirable way, thus generating behaviors in favor of a malleable and potentiatable intelligence and not like a stable intelligence and by omission (Blackwell, Trzesniewski , & Dweck, 2007).

3. Emotions management

When it comes to emotional benefits, some studies suggest that some of the most intensely positive emotional experiences are associated with the video game context (McGonigal, 2011) and given the great importance of experiencing positive emotions on a daily basis, the benefits generated by this premise are very significant.

4. Cooperation

Finally, due to the strong social component of today’s video games, which rewards cooperative, supportive and useful behaviors, substantial improvements in player behavior and prosocial skills are highlighted (Ewoldsen et al., 2012 ).

Video games are not enemies, but allies

The conclusion of this whole review on video games dedicated to parents should be the acceptance by them, of video games as a powerful ally in the education and growth of their children, By combining them with the discipline and responsibility that we ask of them but that their promotion depends on us.

We were thus able to see the benefits that video games can come to generate or at least warn that all these theories which accuse them are unfounded and result from disinformation. Video games are not to blame for the problems associated with youth.

Bibliographical references:

  • Blackwell, LS, Trzesniewski, KH and Dweck, CS (2007). Implicit Intelligence Theories Predict Successful Adolescent Transition: A Longitudinal Study and Intervention. Child Development, 78, 246-263.
  • Exploded, J., Masferrer, M., and Aguirre, C. (2001). Long-term effects of using video games. Psychology Notes. Notes on Psychology, 19, 161-174.
  • Ewoldsen, DR, Eno, CA, Okdie, BM, Velez, JA, Guadagno, RE and DeCoster, J. (2012). Effect of playing violent cooperative or competitive video games on subsequent cooperative behavior. Cyber ​​Psychology, Behavior and Social Media, 15, 277-280.
  • Granic, I., Lobel, A. and Engels, RCME (2014). The Benefits of Playing Video Games The American Psychologist, 69 (1), 66-78.
  • Green, CS and Bavelier, D. (2012). Video games for learning, attentional control and action. Current Biology, 22, 197-206.
  • McGonigal, J. (2011). Reality is collapsing: why games make us better and how they can change the world. New York, New York: Penguin Press.

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