The COVID-19 pandemic forced billions of people to spend a couple weeks up to a whole year indoors. Those who are used to going out started to feel cabin fever as they are not accustomed to being cooped up for a long time. It took only a couple days for people to come up with something to entertain themselves with such as hopping on the trend of posting videos while dancing on a social media application, whipped coffee, dressing up, deep cleaning the entire house, reading books, and playing video games. This research paper sample will discuss video games and its advantages and disadvantages.
What is a video game?
A video game is a kind of interactive digital entertainment where the player engages himself in playing games using different mediums such as a console, computer, phone, or tablet. There are also various kinds of video games that people of all ages could play. There are single player games, multiplayer games, simple, and complex kinds of video games. A player may opt to enjoy a video game alone or with his friends.
Young children and the elderly typically play single player puzzle video games that is aimed towards developing or maintaining the mind. As children grow older, they discover other types of video games that they can play with their friends such as sports, racing, fighting, shooter, building, and strategic games. They may also enjoy single player role playing video games and there are also fighting and shooter games that are to designed to be played by a single person.
Game developers make sure to build games that can cater gamers of all ages – however some only focus on a certain age group especially if their game involves violence. They usually reiterate that there are other games that are more suitable for their children to play like adventure, puzzle, and arcade games that also doubles as educational video games.
Due to the proliferation of the internet, video game players now have the option to use their computers to install and play video games that they can play online or offline. Offline video games are usually single player only while online games have a much wider range and may connect you to your friends. Some gamers opt to use a console, as consoles remind them of how they first started playing video games and is more comfortable with it.
Due to portability, smartphones and tablets can also be used to play video games. There are thousands of games to choose from in the app store of their device which they can install or uninstall anytime. Video games that can be downloaded in smartphones and tablets have just as much diversity as those that can be played in computers. The only difference being, video games available in smartphones usually do not involve the use of a mouse, keyboard, or console.
There are simple single player video games where an individual can play dress-up games, build a house, simulate everyday life or a profession, mix cocktails, complete puzzles, and color pictures. There are also simple multiplayer video games where a player maintains a farm, exchange gifts with friends, play board and card games, and guessing word games. The complex single player and multiplayer video games typically involve fighting, collaboration in building, massively multiplayer online role playing, team sports, and shooting.
Video games had been around for decades and have been developed for different platforms to be enjoyed by as much people as possible. Today, playing video games became more than just a hobby. Some Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games (MMORPG) have dominated the video games scene and have been declared a sport. There are even gamers who make money by making gaming content by streaming their video games on online platforms and social media.
In 2020, there is an estimated 1.5 billion gamers in the Asia Pacific region alone. This is not so surprising as Asia Pacific is the heart of the industry of video games. Meanwhile in the United States, only less than a third of their population is not engaged in playing video games. Because making video games a hobby means spending money – may it be for the console, personal computer set up, the video game itself, and some in-game purchases, it is really no wonder that the gaming industry is on the rise and shows no signs of declining anytime soon.
History of Video Games
The creation of video games goes way back to the year 1952 when a British professor created the game tic-tac-toe for his doctoral dissertation. Ten years later, the first multiplayer video game was developed that could only be played on a computer that could be found mostly in universities. Within half a decade, video games that could be played on television was developed. However, it took another half decade for it to be released to the public.
This is the birth of the home console video game. It is a device that enables a player to play video games on a television and features a multi-program system where an individual can play with a friend. A multi-program video game system means that there are many games to choose from. One of the games from this home console video game became an inspiration to the first ever arcade game to be developed.
By 1977, a different game developer developed what would become known to be the dawn of the second generation of home consoles that features joysticks and interchangeable game cartridges. Aside from that, the games are now in multi-color. The classic video game, Space Invaders, was released the following year. Other classic video games like Pac-Man, Donkey Kong, and Flight Simulator were created in the same decade.
After the quick rise of home consoles, the video game industry suddenly experienced a sudden crash due to low-quality games and consoles being developed. The crash lasted for a couple of years and led several gaming companies to inevitable bankruptcy. However, the video game industry began to recover after a famous Japan-based company, Nintendo Entertainment System, came to the United States and improved the colors, sound, and gameplay of their declining games and home consoles.
Nintendo also released a number of classic games like Super Mario Bros. that people up to this day would come to know and love. Nintendo also enforced stricter policies in the development of third-party games as they want to ensure that it is of high quality before being released. Right before the 1990s, Nintendo spearheaded the creation of handheld gaming devices like Game Boy and Nintendo DS.
It was in the mid-1990s that violent video games started to appear on the market. Ever since, descriptive labeling has been used to label games as there were complaints about it that escalated to having congressional hearings conducted. Not long after, the era of 3D video games has started. The interchangeable game cartridges were exchanged for CDs but handheld gaming devices and game cartridges were still not phased out.
In the mid-2000s, game consoles like Sony Playstation and Microsoft Xbox dominated the video game scene. Soon enough, game developers realized that they could put video games in social media to increase the number of users – and that is exactly what they did. Video games found in social media caters to individuals who are looking for a more casual gaming experience where no fighting and blood is involved.
The next evolution of video games involved plastic toy figures that is to be used to bring a character into the game, touch screen remote control, and games with using cameras that senses a person’s movements. A virtual reality video game experience was soon developed by game developers where players themselves are immersed and are experiencing the game firsthand and controlling the game via virtual reality (VR) goggles that sometimes matches with a handheld console that looks like tools to be used in the game through the VR goggles.
Disadvantages of Video Games
Some kids have been borne into this world, where people are actively playing video games. Meanwhile, some adults have witnessed the creation of video games and have played classic video games on arcade machines. Needless to say, people of all ages are now exposed to video games. After the creation of violent video games, more and more people – especially parents – are complaining of how damaging playing video games actually is.
The disadvantages of video games seems to outweigh its advantages as most adults and the elderly are commenting on how it negatively affected their teenager or husband’s behavior. With the proliferation of video games and continuous rise on the market, it is actually good to inquire about the disadvantages that playing video games pose.
1. Students prioritize playing video games over their academics. Instead of playing video games to reduce stress, video games have become a distraction in a student’s academics. Some students tend to forget what their priority actually is. Some students use not only their free time but also their time to do assignments to play video games instead. Video games may cause attention problems to develop, especially in the younger population, and this significantly affects the academic achievement of a child or teenager.
2. Playing video games makes people more impatient. Because most gamers prefer fast-paced video games like shooter and MMORPG, these people tend to expect the real world to flow at the same pace. People tend to expect instant gratification as they are used to making in-game purchases and conquering enemies in a snap. When things do not go the way they want it to in real life, they may get easily frustrated.
3. People who play video games get deprived of sleep. Some people play video games non-stop. It is such an unhealthy habit as some refuses to stop playing for a while even to eat their dinner. Sleep, as they say, is for the weak and would push their bodies to the max. Some of those who play video games prefer to play non-stop until the sun shines again or for as long as they like. As everyone knows, getting enough sleep is important to keep the body healthy and functioning normally.
4. Video game friendships are given more importance than in-person interactions. While making friendships and connecting to people are important, it may become a bad thing if a person gets to engrossed with the screen and forgets that he has real life family and friends to interact with. Some people who play video games tend to not go out of their rooms for as long as they can because they are busy playing and talking to the in-game friends. Gamers should make an effort to have in-person interactions with members of their household or real life friends.
5. Video games can be quite addictive. As can be noticed from all the prior listed disadvantages of video games, playing video games prove to be quite addicting. The gameplay itself, may it be building worlds, exploring wastelands, escaping from an endless loop, or conquering towers, is built to be addicting so that more and more people will play it. Over time, a gamer may get disconnected from his actual life if his addiction to video games is not controlled. Some gamers will have their eyes glued to the screen for hours on end, forget about the time, and even disregard his health.
Benefits of video games
However, the impact of playing video games is not all bad. Like all things, playing video games bring benefits, even though it is often ignored especially by those who do not play video games. All those hours spent playing video games have the possibility to contribute positive things to a person who plays video games and does not actually go to waste. Here is a list of advantages of video games:
1. Playing video games makes a person more aware of what is happening around him. Because playing specific genres of video games, requires a person to constantly check what is right in front of his character, the map, if there are enemies not in his line of sight, and where his teammates are, a person develops the ability to be more attentive and observant. In real life situations, they are often the ones who notice small movements and gesture another person makes. Their sense of sight and hearing is attuned to always be on the lookout for anything unannounced.
2. The ability to organize information and solve problems more rapidly is enhanced. Fast-paced videogames, especially strategic video games and MMORPG, pushes a person to think on his feet and decide what is best to do next. Even if there is a respawn feature in video games, players do not rely on it too much and opts to find the most efficient solution available to them. Some video game players have the ability to get the job done well if they are appointed as leaders in group projects in class.
3. Playing video games improves concentration and focus. Concentration and focus are the most important things when it comes to playing video games. Video game players are able to sit in front of their computer and focus on the video game they are playing in an effort to attain the goal of the game. More often than not, a video game player’s concentration is hard to break once they get engrossed in something – even in their academic work.
4. Video games can improve vision and hand-eye coordination. Over time, after putting in hundreds of hours playing video games, a video game player’s vision and hand-eye coordination noticeably improves. They may get better at controlling their character, aiming their shots, and getting their timing right. Playing video games enhances an individual’s ability to detect movement and make sure that their own movement matches that of what they observed.
5. Playing video games can enhance memory. Memorizing maps, a character’s stats, behavior of enemies, and remembering storylines improves an individual’s memory. The mind is far from being idle when playing video games. A person uses their brain in playing video games just as much in school or work. Playing video games can help a person retain and recall memory faster than normal.
6. It can help ease anxiety and depression. People who play video games become more energetic and confident. It may help a person earn how to communicate with others and learn social cues. Video games also give a reason to get up from bed and have something to do – which may not seem impressive for some but video games have been found to be a strong motivator. Playing videogames makes people feel better about themselves.
7. A person can make money from playing video games. Finally, time spent playing video games can hardly be called wasted time especially if a person is a beta tester for game developers, streams their game online, or if they are a professional e-sports player. Honest money can be made from playing video games alone which means that a person can now play video games for a living.
Video games surely bring a lot to the table may it be positive or negative. Gamers spend an awful lot of time playing video games. While some may think of this as extremely disadvantageous for a person’s well-being and academic or work performance, playing video games actually helps a person do his tasks more efficiently and improves his overall mental well-being and motor functions as long as he can manage his time properly.
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