Catching the gaming “bug”


Kaylee Zuhlke, Staff Reporter

Violence, crime, drug paraphernalia, adult themes, and fantasy-world stupidity are usually associated with video games by those who have never cared to seek new depths to their true importance in today’s society. The most popular belief swimming around in today’s media is that video games are bad for kids and they will encourage them to perform dangerous and illegal behaviors that they learned from the game. Rationally thinking, just how many children have you witnessed run over an entire horde of pedestrians in real life just because Grand Theft Auto taught them to?

Most people arguing that games are bad for the youth don’t seem to realize all of the benefits that they carry. Looking past the mainstream row of games that are ridiculed for their violence and gore, there are plenty of games out on the market designed for children that could not harm them more than simply keeping them entertained for a couple hours.  No murderer that I’ve ever heard of has blamed Nintendogs for their rampage.

On an intellectual level, players have been shown to have improved skills of hand-eye coordination, faster decision-making speed, higher self-confidence upon beating a game, and studies have even shown that they help the dyslexic read faster and with better accuracy. Handheld games such as Angry Birds and Bejeweled also offer a puzzle incorporated and disguised into the gameplay that challenges the human mind as the game progresses.

With obesity being an ever-growing problem in the United States, many video game developers have published titles that are focused on incorporating physical exercise with entertainment. Games such as Dance, Dance Revolution and Wii Sports skyrocketed to fame as they hit the market, satisfying the needs of both parent and child alike.

I’ve always heard people complain that video gaming is for nerds, those who sit at home on World of Warcraft and live on a diet of Hot Pockets. With no facts to support that statement, how is it any different to spend an hour on Xbox playing Call of Duty as compared to an hour on Fruit Ninja?