Patricia Greenfield’s chapter on “Video Games” focuses on the downsides to video games and the possible solutions to such problems. The main arguments against video games seems to be the lunch money teenage boys appropriate for arcades, their “apparent” addictiveness, and associated aggressive behavior. However, studies have shown that families with gaming consoles spend an average of 42 minutes a day as opposed to an average of TV habits which double time spent on gaming. Another concern is the price of such a habit, though, it is shown that kids spent only 5 dollars a day and skill is rewarded with increased play time. But what is the attraction?
It can be most closely associated with the everyday use of TV and its dynamic visual imagery. Games that see more users usually possess a higher level of dynamic visual imagery. Also, games provide of interaction with the visual imagery. Being able to actively control what occurs on the screen has an attraction to children because they make a personal connection to what is going on.
Violence in video games has been associated with aggression of the player, but other factors are important in this subject. Video games that involve the presence of two players, whether cooperative or competitive, seem to act as catharsis for users instead of provoking aggression. Also, the popularity of games does not depend on violence. So, instead of creating games with undesirable social themes, game manufactures should aim at action games without violence because popularity will not be at a loss.
Another benefit to video games is the skills involved with them. Gamers are presented with obstacles, but not just static physical ones. They have to account for the computers programmed movements. Two primary skills are hand-eye coordination and parallel processing, especially in action games. Some games, such as fantasy games, involve creation and a multi-dimensional character structure. If the benefits of games are employed correctly they can be transferred to actual life skills.
Vital to gaming is the challenge it puts forth. Having a series of levels greatly determines the amount of interest and time a player will spend on one game. Having a series of levels may be responsible for addictiveness, but it can better be described as long term appeal.
Video games definitely have a function in life, though bad does come with good. If game manufactures design games wisely then the skills learned from them can be carried over into other aspects of our lives.