Video Games Can Be Good For You

Video Games Can Be Good For You



Video Games Can Be Good For You
Millions of​ Americans enjoy video games-for the​ adrenaline rush,​ the​ companionship,​ the​ competition,​ and the​ chance to​ become a​ conquering adventurer,​ at​ least in​ a​ virtual world .​
The good news is​ Americans don't have to​ break the​ bank to​ play the​ video games they love .​
Turner Broadcasting System's GameTap is​ one of​ the​ latest and greatest options for consumers to​ get their game on​ and experience all the​ good things about games .​
The first of​ its kind broadband entertainment network,​ GameTap (www.gametap.com) offers hundreds of​ the​ greatest games across multiple platforms for an​ affordable $14.95 per month .​
Turner created GameTap because they wanted gamers to​ have a​ wide variety of​ games-a virtual vault-that allows them to​ experience all types of​ thrills including role-playing,​ action,​ and puzzle games,​ says Stuart Snyder,​ General Manager of​ GameTap .​
But in​ addition to​ being fun,​ can playing these games really promote self-improvement? Hold on​ to​ your controllers: some researchers and social critics are now arguing that video gaming has its virtues .​
It can speed reflexes,​ improve mental abilities and even reduce violence .​
While nobody is​ arguing for a​ 24-hour diet of​ video games,​ many observers now see some hidden values .​
Consider research done at​ the​ University of​ Rochester in​ New York,​ which concluded that young adults who frequently played video games can improve their video attention .​
In one experiment,​ for example,​ test subjects were asked to​ quickly figure out whether or​ not a​ certain shape-a square or​ a​ diamond-appeared within one of​ the​ six rings .​
Video gamers came out on​ top .​
The researchers said that video games force players to​ simultaneously juggle a​ variety tasks,​ such as​ detecting and tracking enemies,​ and avoiding getting hurt .​
Those game-playing skills can translate into more general visual skills that apply to​ everyday life.
We sometimes think of​ popular culture as​ a​ passive recreation,​ but there's nothing passive about video games-they are the​ most interactive,​ demanding entertainment medium ever created,​ said Snyder .​
If the​ GameTap staff of​ overachievers is​ any indication,​ video games are a​ great way to​ learn how to​ think on​ your feet .​
Simulation games,​ where players design everything from roller coasters to​ cities,​ can get kids interested in​ mechanical engineering and urban planning .​
Wrote author Steven Johnson: My nephew would be asleep in​ five seconds if​ you popped him down in​ an​ urban studies classroom,​ but somehow an​ hour of​ playing 'Sim City' taught him that high tax rates in​ industrial areas can stifle development .​
Johnson,​ the​ author of​ Everything Bad is​ Good For You: How Today's Popular Culture is​ Actually Making Us Smarter,​ has become a​ prominent defender of​ video games .​
He has also entered the​ controversy over whether video games promote aggression,​ arguing that crime among teens and adolescents has dropped by almost two-thirds since 1975 .​
Whether video games can take credit is​ a​ matter of​ strong debate,​ but Johnson suggests that video games may act as​ a​ safety valve .​
Video games may even have therapeutic value .​
Mark Griffiths,​ a​ professor at​ Nottingham Trent University in​ England,​ argues that video games can help distract children undergoing chemotherapy and treatment for sickle cell anemia .​
The games may also work as​ physical therapy for arm injuries .​
Like many researchers,​ Griffiths advocates moderation in​ game play .​
GameTap's Snyder agrees .​
At GameTap,​ we​ love games,​ we're immersed in​ them,​ and we've got hundreds to​ choose from .​
But we​ also know the​ importance of​ putting the​ controller down .​
a​ virtual world can be fun,​ but there's no substitute for the​ real thing.




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