Jessica Ohio

How Video Games Are Helpful

A lot of people think that video games are useless and shouldn't be played because they think people are wasting their time, but video games can be really helpful in a lot of ways.

Dear Next President,

I’m writing to you because a lot of people think that video games cause violence and health problems. Parents often say to their children to stop playing video games because they’ll rot your brain. Others say that people get violent because they play violent games or that people who play video games are dumb because they are not educational, but video games are not bad for you. There are also a lot of people, including myself, who really enjoy playing them. Studies show that video games do not make people violent or cause them to act negatively and there are even video games specifically designed to help with the concerns people have which shown how video games are beneficial.

Violent video games don’t make people violent. One of the biggest problems people have with video games is that they think they cause people to commit crimes and act violent. However, one article says that “Studies have shown that violent video games can have a positive effect on kindness, engagement, and "prosocial” behaviors” ( "Violent Video Games" 3 June 2016, 11:27 a.m., I have also read another website that says, “Playing video games, including violent shooter games, may boost children’s learning, health and social skills, according to a review of research on the positive effects of video game play to be published by the American Psychological Association” (“The Benefits of Playing Video Games,” Isabela Granic, PhD, Adam Lobel, PhD, and Rutger C.M.E. Engels, PhD, Radboud University Nijmegen; Nijmegen, The Netherlands; American Psychologist, Vol. 69, No. 1.). This shows how even violent games alone can be beneficial to people and children. However, I am not saying people should let really young, impressionable children play really violent games. I am saying that parents should let their kids play age appropriate games, even if they are a little violent because they are fun and kids can learn from them.

Video games in general can benefit people by helping them get into shape and learn. I found an article that says, “A new generation of video games may relieve at least the concerns about physical inactivity while playing video games. The Nintendo Wii and Kinect for Xbox use sensors to simulate movements such as playing sports, dancing, and more. Nintendo released the Wii Fit game that was solely dedicated to fitness” (Video Games." Opposing Viewpoints Online Collection, Gale, 2016. Opposing Viewpoints in Context,). There are also a lot of learning and educational games. Some examples may include Brain Age: Train Your Brain In Minutes a Day!, Big Brain Academy: Wii Degree, and even websites like Funbrain and Cool Math are used in schools because they are centered around educational games for kids. At home and at school games are used for encouraging people to learn and to be healthy because playing games make kids want to learn and exercise because they are fun.

Video games can also be really helpful in other ways too. There is one website that gives a lot of examples of research done on how video games are beneficial. One thing they said was, “Fast-paced games require quick thinking and fast reactions to avoid being killed. In real-life situations, active gamers have a better sense of what is going around them and are able to make decisions faster, according to scientists from the University of Rochester.” They also said, “The study, published in the journal PLOS One, found that doctors who spent one month playing either Wii Tennis, Wii Table Tennis, or a balloon warfare game called High Altitude Battle performed better in simulated tasks designed to test eye-hand coordination and movement precision” (“15 Ways Video Games Make You Smarter And Healthier” Business Insider Dina Spector and Kevin Loria). This is extremely helpful because not only are the games helping people with the world around them they can also help people with their jobs.

Maybe to help people see how video games are helpful and beneficial to them you could talk about some games and encourage people to play them more or even use them more in schools to help kids learn. People do not have to play them if they do not want to since not everyone likes them, but they really can help people and a lot of people really enjoy playing games. Some people may say that video games should not be played at all because they cause people to commit crimes and cause health problems that they don’t want their children or others to be a part of; however studies have shown that video games do not cause violent behaviors and there are games designed to help with certain health problems. Although, video games should not be played 24/7 because too much of anything can be bad for you, but overall they are actually really beneficial. They are important for helping people learn and developing social skills and exercising and letting them have fun while doing it. That’s why video games should not be banned or taken away from children because they help kids learn and have fun.