Riley Further studies using the game Space Fortress

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Riley Further studies using the game Space Fortress

Riley BremerDr. LudwigCollege CompDecember 8, 2017Video Games are good for you? Impossible! Or is it? Recent scientific studies have come to prove that playing video games can be beneficial to human health. Since the launch of the first video game in  1971, people had issues with them saying, “They rot your brain” and “they make kids fat”. Video games have been shown to enhance hand-eye coordination, help with physical therapy, increase decision making skills without sacrificing accuracy, and even increase memory(Kokkinakis 1). Even though it has taken science 45 years to catch up, video games are being proven to be helpful everyday.Computer games have come a long way since they were first invented. At one time, they consisted of just sitting for hours at a time to complete checkpoints and get to the end of the game. Now, computer games rely on a physical aspect. They make the player move around the room to perform certain moves in game. Players build muscles, improve their posture, and can even lose weight. People who play sports games are more likely to become interested in those sports out of the game. They join teams and practice the skills they see in the game. Some people play games with friends while other chose to play solo. Strategy games can be found all around the world with board games like mancala or chess to video games like Lol (League of legends) or Wow(World of warcraft). Scientists have found a direct connection between strategy games and Intelligence. Playing any form of a strategy game can tap into many different facets of intelligence such as being able to visualize possible moves, short-term memory rehearsal, and the ability to delay future gratification to increase future rewards( such as sacrificing a pawn to get the another piece in the correct place).  Later studies showed the reverse connection that higher intelligence leads to better game performance. For example, expert chess players have a higher IQ compared to average chess players. Further studies using the game Space Fortress to determine the correlation between IQ and game skill. Players with higher IQs didn’t show initial increase game skill but they did show advanced learning and overtime superior skill in the game. Therefore less time needed to master the game. With studies like this, it shows that video games need to be introduced to a classroom setting to increase intelligence in schools. (Kokkinakis 1) When it comes to proteins, diseases or even cancers, no one thinks to let gamers take control but that is just what needs to happen. Scientists have been trying to find an enzyme that could disconnect the HIV or AIDS viruses from the body for 30 years with no luck, Finally they turned to gamers. Scientists that were working on the cure for HIV and AIDS set out to create a game that gamers would be able to utilize as their way of fixing the disease. Fold It was introduced in 2008 for gamers to play. The game consists of folding or unfolding different proteins that were impossible for supercomputers to solve. After only 3 weeks, gamers had solved the HIV cutting protein, Significantly advancing the cure of HIV and AIDS. Humans have a significant distinct advantage over computers because humans can see multiple steps ahead and use that insight to make our next move where computers use brute calculation in an attempt to get ahead. This is what the scientists relied on when making the Foldit game, knowing gamers of all people would be able to use the game to find the answers to problems that they had for 30 years. Sometimes it’s good to let gamers take over for once, they provide a unique look at things.While many people focus on crosswords and Sudoku puzzles to sharpen their brains, there’s always going to be a select group of people that use video games. Video games can be incredibly beneficial to your mental health. Over time, patterns in video games become easier to recognize, and memorizing missions and characters comes easier. While looking for creative ways to get past the difficult missions in games, your brain is constantly working. The Wii has a game that makes the player do math and makes them move in order to answer. Simultaneously working the brain and the body significantly improves eye to hand coordination. Video games that require the player to memorize certain patterns or symbols help train the brain at keeping memories longer. Your memory and other cognitive abilities are boosted. You’ll also feel good about yourself as your memory improves and you beat your high scores. So, while you get a boost of serotonin, you’ll also get a boost of cells. Your hippocampus grows, and you’re at a lower risk for developing the likes of Alzheimer’s and dementia in later life. Yes, you really can fight off the aging process through gaming. The next time someone tells you to get off the game, point out that you’re just protecting your mental aging process. There are plenty of things that videogames can help with. From increasing the speed of recovery for stroke victims, to slowing down mental aging. According to a study done by the University of Iowa, playing video games at 50 years or older for just a mere 10 hours was able to reduce the cognitive impairment of age by 7 years(Guarini 7) . This means increased brain activity which is just like exercise for the brain. Individuals who had a stroke one to seven years before the study were assigned to one of two groups. The first group did exercises while the other played video games on Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and Nintendo Wii. While both groups showed improvement in things like grip, only the video game group continued to show improvement in hand strength after the study. The video gamers not only did twice the number of arm movements during each session but their movements were “goal-directed” and not repetitive exercises. It almost seems that videogames are magic, with them being able to slow mental aging and increase the recovery speed for stroke. Video Games could come to play a huge role in healing in the future, but for now most people are ok with just using them as a pastime. Video games lead to kids being antisocial and out of shape due to not getting enough exercise and never getting away from their television screens. Teenagers today play hours on end every day of the year. This could lead to problems with physical fitness and their social interactions. The average teenager needs roughly an hour and a half of aerobic exercises(Department of Health and Human Services). Playing video games can be a block that stops kids from going outside and getting their much needed exercise. With teenagers playing video games instead of getting physical exercised, this leads to obesity problems in the us. Not only does playing video games take away from your time outside, it can cause neck, back, and eye strain. Parents have always been leaning towards the “Video games make kids violent” side. This is merely because they don’t have all the information. Kids are no more violent after playing an hour of Call of Duty compared to if they played an hour of soccer. (Puiu,24)

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