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How video games can be good for students?

They say that computer games teach only bad things – to shoot, kill or steal cars, that computer games cause aggression, deviant behavior, and degradation of personality. But is it that bad? Maybe games have a bright side and they can teach us good things? As a student, I greatly benefited from certain games and didn’t have to pay someone to write my research paper for me.

The media often write solid negative things about games: a teenager who staged a massacre at school, played Doom and Painkiller; the shooter at the Dark Knight movie premiere – in the brutal World of Warcraft. Sometimes video games are blamed for such incidents. The player may develop an addiction, which leads to terrible consequences. But you can’t blame everything on video games.

The reason may be problems in the family, a mental disorder, or, sadly, the real world itself. 

The problem is smaller – the child is too fond of games and forgets about studying. There are already games being scolded by parents and teachers. A gadget is seized from a young gamer, access to a computer is restricted, ultimatums are issued. In general, it is also not pleasant.

Which games can teach good things

Games can also help with learning, and not just be entertaining. For example, Minecraft Education Edition. Designed specifically for use in school, the project is used in teaching various subjects. With the help of the game, students study, for example, chemistry, history, literature, and geography. During the lessons, students can observe various natural processes, participate in historical events, and conduct experiments. The game also greatly expands the player’s capabilities. And let all this happen in a cubic world, the scale of the platform’s application is impressive.

On the project’s website, you can download ready-made worlds and find a lesson plan. Of course, to use the game in teaching, you need an equipped classroom and teacher training. But such training will bring new experiences to both students and teachers. After all, this is not only computer science but also many other school subjects. The solution is ingenious in its simplicity – to take what children love and give knowledge through it.

There are other games designed for schools. For example, GTA can be used to teach traffic rules, Subnautica – to explore the underwater world. Elite – for exploring the universe. During the game, we can get not only pleasure but also knowledge. It can be the development of some skill or the expansion of horizons. Someone has learned English through games, someone has mastered the skills of correct and fast typing on a computer.

Laboratory tests

Is it possible to take a person with a lagging brain in terms of attention and concentration and give him a boost in development through training? One of the most extensive studies ever conducted on this topic belongs to Daphne Bavelier, a researcher of brain functioning, who is an associate professor of cognitive science at the University of Rochester. Daphne studies human learning processes. Her research involves testing and analyzing brain functioning in MRI scans of people who play or don’t play computer games.

She notes that computer games have long ceased to be child’s fun. Of course, it cannot be denied that about 90% of children play computer games every day, but this does not negate the fact that the average age of a video game player is 33 years old. This is ultimate entertainment, which can also delay the aging of the brain. This phenomenon is as widespread as watching TV once was, from which most of the youth today refuses at all.

The results of her research show that computer games not only do not cause destruction in the brain but even help to develop such properties as multitasking, concentration, and others. In addition, the results prove that games do not worsen vision, but even have a positive effect on its acuity.

Despite widespread myths, video games not only do not cause degradation of thought processes but also improve such indicators as flexibility, concentration, attentiveness, memory, reaction speed, and non-trivial thinking.

Another misconception of those who fear the influence of video games on progressing humanity is that interactive entertainment makes people unassembled, they will no longer be able to concentrate on something. At her performances, Daphne Bavelier always conducts a regular game test using the names of colors written in a different color. Thus, a dissonance of color and name is formed in the head. Similarly, they check the degree of concentration of the test participants in their laboratory. It is the degree of concentration that is responsible for how quickly and effectively the brain will adapt and overcome this discrepancy. As a rule, fans of computer games cope with this task better. It means that computer games at least do not make a person’s concentration worse.

In addition, there is an improvement in the ability to monitor the environment. Active computer games perfectly develop peripheral vision. This can be observed in tests with tracking of several objects on the screen. Ordinary people can keep track of 3-4 objects. A person who is passionate about video games can pass this test with 6-7 simultaneously moving objects.

Computer game players have many different advantages in terms of mindfulness. Attention and concentration become their strengths, even if they could not boast of this before. And these skills come in handy everywhere, whether you drive a car, cross the road, follow people or animals.

It is believed that when distributing attention between two tasks, a person loses the ability to quickly respond to non-standard situations (for example, a car flew out in front of you). Tests show that fans of video games cope with similar situations faster.

Of course, no one, and even researchers, will argue that spending too much time playing video games may be harmful. Everything needs to be used in moderation, and excessive use of anything always leads to unpleasant consequences.

When Bavelier talks about the therapeutic properties of computer games, she is talking about games whose purpose is to teach and train, to make the brain work more efficiently. Video games can be used to improve brain functioning abilities. Games can increase the ability of the eye to distinguish between contrast and small details. Video games increase attention and concentration.

A new study has given reason to believe that real-time strategy games can significantly develop the ability to make decisions and act quickly, as well as draw conclusions from past mistakes. This confirms the possibility of developing cognitive abilities in humans with the help of video games. Many players note that it is not a problem for them to plunge headlong into work as well as into the game. This undoubtedly improves the quality and speed of their work.

It is worth noting that games are becoming more interactive. Virtual reality helmets provide a new level of immersion for players, while for developers they are new tools and opportunities that can be used, including for educational purposes.

Video games have numerous features, they have a positive effect on the plasticity of the brain, its learning ability, attention, vision, and much more. It is necessary to study this influence more deeply to create games that will contribute to education in the future.

Scientists from the University of Wisconsin, who study the brain of game lovers, compare video games with food – no one ever asks the question: “What effect does food have on the body?”. It is logical that everything depends on the food itself, its composition, and its quality. It’s the same with video games.

Of course, we cannot say that all games are equally useful. Different video games have different effects on the human brain, and to find out for sure exactly how this or that game changes the perception of reality, it is necessary to conduct numerous scientific studies. One thing is for sure: video games are a powerful tool, and you need to learn how to use them correctly.

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