Does a Game a Day Keep the Doctor Away?



Gaming is a semi-new form of popular culture and has taken its place among the older forms of entertainment. It has also taken some, if not more trouble than other forms of entertainment and has been bashed heavily by politicians saying video games are a “real problem.” Gaming has come a long way and has caused happiness, sadness, anger, and anything in between. The question everyone is asking is, “Is it healthy?”

Gaming is one of the various forms of entertainment, like watching T.V shows or movies, listening to music or sitting down and reading a good book. The thing about certain games is they are able to pull all of these elements together and let people experi

ence all of it.  Many people believe that a perfect game has great visuals, an amazing soundtrack, and a wonderful story.

When gaming is associated with its fan base the fans are called gamers. Gamers can span from ages eight to seventy eight and there are many different types of gamers. Casual gamers just play games to have a good time and do not pay attention to other stuff that is going on. Experienced gamers play games to pay attention to the story, the characters, and other details in the game.

There have been arguments that video games only have bad qualities. A test conducted by the American Psychological Association said that all video games help improve spatial navigation, memory, reasoning and perception. There is also a rumor saying that video games cause stress when in reality according to Weeks Annual Review of Cybertherapy and Telemedicine they reduce stress. Visual Development Lab of Ontario’s McMaster University says fast paced games like Call of Duty, Battlefield, or Medal of Honor improve decision making skills and eyesight by making players pinpoint small blips and dots on the screen. The University of Mississippi says games like Total War or Assassin’s Creed provide history lessons by putting the player in the middle of historic periods and letting the player see and learn about what happened during that time. Other games like Dark Souls or Portal teach gamers how to deal with trial and error and also how to overcome difficult challenges that are thrown at them.

Gaming is not all about health benefits, there are drawbacks with certain games like addiction, depression, anxiety, and aggression proven true by the American Psychological Association. These can be avoided by decreasing the hours played, playing games with lighter moods, and taking frequent breaks.

Gaming is a huge part of the current generation and new games are constantly coming out, but every gamer gets nostalgic when they return to their first game. If gamers play an appropriate number of hours and take breaks often, the game will provide more positive effects than negative effects along with the sharpening of many skills.