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Games that make leaders: top researchers on the rise of play in business and education

Madison, Wis. — If the last video game you played was Pac-Man, you might have missed the advances that turned games into immersive training tools for skilled professionals and leaders.

Three University of Wisconsin-Madison professors, among the top researchers in learning through game-playing, explained the advantages of games over traditional teaching tools Thursday evening.
Ed Meachan, CIO of the UW System, called their research one of the better-kept secrets of the university. But the games they study, such as Halo, Half-life, and Lineage, are anything but secret.

The $10 billion-a-year gaming industry has already eclipsed Hollywood box-office sales, said Constance Steinkuehler, a UW-Madison cognitive researcher, and is on track to beat the music industry and home-video rentals. About 37 percent of both men and women say they play online games, she said, and more play a variety of single-player games.

“When you consider that we have 50 percent who even vote, we’re not doing that bad,” Steinkuehler said.

She and fellow UW professors James Gee and Kurt Squire argued that these types of games are much more than mindless entertainment, and derivatives of them could be used in schools or for corporate training. They work with the Academic Advanced Distributed Learning Co-Laboratory at UW-Madison, a testing ground for learning games.
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Video games let their players step into new personas and explore alternatives. Not only that, but people can try to solve problems they’re not good at yet, get immediate feedback on the consequences and try again immediately.

Gee said the ability to explore right away makes games more engaging than textbooks or lectures. In schools, “you have to read 500 pages of biology and then you get to do biology,” he said. “Of course you only actually read 200. [A video] game allows you to perform before you’re competent.”

Because games keep things “pleasantly frustrating,” Gee said, players have incentives to keep on improving their performance. That can lead to learning outside the game as well. After his son started playing Age of Mythology, he started reading more about real-world mythology, Gee said.

“It’s the next big thing just because teachers have tried for the longest time to grab students’ attention, teach them concepts such as science,” said Ankur Malhotra, chief operating officer at NeuronFarm, which makes Web-based games meant to improve reading skills. “Gaming deals with a lot of these concepts, as they learn about all the tools, classifications and what makes a civilization function… I think there are some real lessons to be learned.”

One of the biggest users of games as training tools is the U.S. Army, which released the free tactical game America’s Army to boost its recruitment and has worked with commercial game companies on a variety of other titles.

“Gaming is old as dirt in military culture,” Squire said. Now, though, video games are becoming a more viable alternative to mock combats in the field.

Games such as America’s Army and Full Spectrum Warrior—which is available commercially with a fraction of the features the Army’s version has—are part of a culture shift in the military, he said. They contradict the view that soldiers are cannon-fodder and bolster the Army’s new branding of itself as a high-tech, professional workplace.

In Full Spectrum Warrior, Gee said, players lead a team of soldiers and must keep them all safe by using the right formations and maneuvers. Losing even one means the game is over.

Gee and his colleagues would like to make similar games that let players be scientists or take on other professional roles. Squire has worked on a game called Biohazard in which firefighters must react to dangerous situations. They learn the most effective ways to, for example, evacuate people from a mall after a sarin-gas attack. Firefighters like the game and even play it over break because it allows them to be heroes, he said—and because the game characters are smartly dressed.
Games also let players be producers rather than just consumers. Many recent games allow “modding,” the insertion of new plot-lines, graphics and characters, or even the creation of entirely new games.

Squire mentioned the strategy game Civilization III, as well as first-person shooters such as Half-life. Role-playing games such as Neverwinter Nights also allow players a high degree of control.

“You can use Neverwinter Nights as an application development environment,” said Preston Austin, chief architect at Clotho Advanced Media, Inc. The game includes an event-driven programming language that lets people set up their own complex plots and scenarios, which they can share over the Internet.

Parents and teachers have not seen all of the current crop of games as good for children—some say violent games lead to violent behavior—but the three researchers said they contain valuable learning technologies.

“We’re not pushing games as good or bad,” Gee said. “It depends on what you’re doing.”

Jason Stitt is WTN's associate editor and can be reached at jason@wistechnology.com. Les Chappell is a staff writer and can be contacted at les@wistechnology.com

Comments

Flaor responded 9 years ago: #1

Great article, I am glad the event is getting coverage.
Hopefully someday we'll all look back at this and say this is where Wisconsin's World reknowned educational videogame industry began.

nathan stiles responded 9 years ago: #2

I have long believed that games further education rather than hinder. I am a med student and think the idea behind the biohazard game is particularly interesting

mcp responded 9 years ago: #3

“We’re not pushing games as good or bad,” Gee said. “It depends on what you’re doing.”

Violence isn't always bad, but using violence as a means to train someone is.
I'll only be interested in games that are realistic, extreme situations arn't needed. It's like killing a ant with a hammer.

m responded 9 years ago: #4

Demons, guns, known gods and evil.... How could this really create a caring society ? The techniques are great but some of the topics, tools and
ideas are evil. That needs to change.

bob dobbs responded 9 years ago: #5

you gonna trust your surgery to a surgeon trained only on video games and not books? I have news for you- the human mind is more powerful than any video game will ever be. By reading, you exercise the mind, so it can handle any situation that comes up. Video games only stimulate the sensory and motor skills, which leaves the mind weak since it wont have a base of data to deal with new and unknown situations.

The idea that video games are a legit way to train for anything other instrument panel driven activities (flying, driving) is ridiculous. Full simulators are another story of course- but consumer games are a joke.

Matt responded 9 years ago: #6

Games are fine for teaching pre-cognitive reactions, which is why firefighting, army training, and that sort of thing works so well. If what you want to do is ingrain instinctual reactions, simulation works fine. The example of Neverwinter Nights is a bad one - now the student isn't *gaming* at all, but using a game as a *programming* platform. Are you going to teach the programming *inside* the game, or through some other mechanism? I totally believe that Neverwinter nights can be a great motivation for programming, but not a mechanism for teaching it.

Show me a game that can teach partial differential equations, that's also fun on its own and I'll change my mind.

hcw responded 9 years ago: #7

To the above poster: maybe that's true for most first-person shooters, but what about RPGs games that require interaction and solving puzzles?

There's more to gaming than Half-life, despite that being what everybodys making a big deal about.

J-F responded 9 years ago: #8

I disagree with the above statement. Books can be mentally stimulating, but so can video games.

On the other hand, books can only be mentally stimulating. They do not develop sensory or motor skills.

To be honest, I would rather be operated by a surgeon that played it than the one that read it.

keith responded 9 years ago: #9

UW-Madison are not the only people researching the potential of games for learning - check out http://www.seriousgamessummit.com and http://www.seriousgames.org.

Some Call Me Tim responded 9 years ago: #10

The ideology of a game can be adapted to to culture of the student; obviously religious zealots will not be inclined to allow teaching their kids outside their ideological idiom, unfortunately most of their idioms are so narrow as to allow only simulations of going to church and praying without wandering into the moral minefield of real life situations - se la vi. My children will eat theirs for lunch, because they won't cry when somebody says boo -- in the game, of course ;) If you find our imaginations repugnant, wait till you awaken and see our lives.

Dan responded 9 years ago: #11

So what does the Army do when the video game hero gets in a real battle situation and fills his pants due to fear. Video games might simulate a real situation, but don't seem to simulate the real emotion one feels in that situation. Does the doctor that performed very well on a video game using a controller all the sudden have shaky hands and can't handle the unexpected when surgery occurs because it didn't happen that way in the game?
I think games along with true knowledge gained from study and books would be good tools together.

Tim responded 9 years ago: #12

When I was a kid all the adventure/RPG games on computers required you to type out sentences. I was 4 years old and learning terms like "inventory" of my own volition, and went on to read books that most would consider far out of my age range (e.g., Lord of the Rings when I was 6 or 7). So I completely agree that games are not just evil time-wasters. Many of them are, no doubt, but games with high cognitive requirements for kids, or games with subject matter that stimulates interest in history are terrific. Anyone ever play Oregon Trail in grade school?
The one issue I have with things like simulations is that it is very hard to code for the type of unpredictability you would find in a real operating room or airplane. However flight simulators have been extremely successful, so I see no reason why you can't train a surgeon this way.

Shadow responded 9 years ago: #13

An unexpected event can always be simulated, if they log enough hours. Who says that they are only going to run through one possible situation?

This is an excellent idea, and will possibly give people the right idea that video games are not always immature, or mindless. They require a great deal of consideration (take Myst for example). They involve the user, instead of show, and what is most important is that people will stay interested.

mike responded 9 years ago: #14

I'm sorry but the majority of you guys seem to be missing the point. They werent mentioning this as an alternative to all other learning. They are hopeful that it can ADD to training and education that is already in place. To enhance it not to replace it. I believe that if used properly it can add a great deal to the learning process in just about any field that it is applied.

Steph V. responded 9 years ago: #15

"To be honest, I would rather be operated by a surgeon that played it than the one that read it."

I agree with you! What the article says, is that by playing simulations, you could also get MORE interested in that field (ie: Age of Mythology). Playing AoM doesn't make you a historian, but reading afterwrads on the matter could very well lead you to studying History and become one. Everything is not Black & White as Mr. Bob Dobbs suggested above. And by ONLY reading on a topic, you won't be better at something than by ONLY playing/simulating it. Same applies to maths: you cannot learn all mathematical functions just by reading them, you have to try some on your own. Be it in a game or not, you have to DO it in order to perform better.

Chris responded 9 years ago: #16

I think some may have missed the point of the article, espicially those that are imagining playing Half Life or Doom as a school assignment. The idea being presented is to use the technology: the graphics rendering of Half Life, the advanced scripting of Neverwinter Nights, and so on. These tools could allow the creation of content that is truly useful for learning purposes.

I would never, ever allow someone who's only read a book about surgery to operate on me. Heck, I can go to the library or purchase medical texts, but it doesn't mean I know what I'm doing. By the same token, someone who just played a game isn't going to be anywhere near qualified either. The hope is that books and specialized games could supplement each other.

While we're on the subject I'd like to address the few zelots who seem to be posting: I am a gamer. I played Doom at 10 years old, and Half Life before I made it to high school. I'm also sane, social, and don't own a gun. I'm not a violent person, and I have a firm grip on reality. Demons, guns, known gods and evil indeed. I seem to recall certain religons committing atrocities in the name of a certain god, but I don't think I'd hold the many responsible for the faults of a few. I'd ask the same in return.

Ed Bishop responded 9 years ago: #17

It seems from some of these posts that people are assuming the logical extreme, but while at the event I at no time heard anyone say we should have our doctors in training play lineage and skip med school. I believe they argued that games (some types at least) can be a valid learning tool / cognitive experience to help people learn. They are not "The" substitute. They allow people to take risks they could not do in real life (an important contributor to learning) and do so cheaper than a real world simulation would do. If studies show that a surgeon who warms up with Monkey Ball before she operates or one who plays a few hours of video games a week (both valid published study results) show that the surgeon has a statistically significant smaller chance of (sometimes fatal) complications, I know who I'm going to want working on me. How about you? Same goes for combat medics and regular soldiers - games are a potential learning tool and if they don't totally prepare a soldier for the grim realities of combat, so what? If what they learn saves one extra life in a hundred, for once I count that as a win for the game, not just the player.

JBrew responded 9 years ago: #18

I'm in high school,
and I'm glad someone's
finally standing up
to the common "video
games make murderers
" school of thought.

yurimi responded 9 years ago: #19

"The techniques are great but some of the topics, tools and
ideas are evil. That needs to change."

Even violent games have their merits as kids and adults work through their frustrations in a controlled, fantasy environment.

frankly responded 9 years ago: #20

I played a couple games once. I learned that I wasn't very good.

WGibson responded 9 years ago: #21

As an Athropology major that is currently studying a videogame for it's story content, I'm glad a university is showing that there is more to videogames. I agree that they can be a valuable tool when coupled with other forms of learning.

August West responded 9 years ago: #22

Dang, man.

I'm really excited by the prospect of the video game interface for educational advancement! I think that some of the people here (who seem so vehemently against the notion) probably haven't played many video games themselves.

I mean, crap man, has anyone ever played Diablo (D2X)? My wife started to appreciate the complexity of the game as I explained to her the different skill tree matrices and such. I play single player and feel like a champ. I play online and am "schooled" by some of these 14-year olds who know more about this game and its sundry errata than a college course in the same could afford!

I mean, think about it!

"Statistical Warrior II: The Rise of Regression"

"Hey Josh! You gotta come over quick! I just got factor analysis capability on my IB (Inferentials Barbarian)! It's killer, man! Only 200,000 more experience points and I'll get progressive adjustment!! Think about it...moderators!"

amnesia responded 9 years ago: #23

Anyone who says games only exercise motor skills and don't exercise the mind is clearly an imbecile. Even simple arcade games like Pacman build reactive decision making skills - and more complex simulations like Civilization or SimCity promote a wide range of neurological skills. Studies have proven over and over that people who regularly play video games have quicker reflexes, better problem solving skills, and more creative cognitive skills than people who don't. MRI scans have shown brain activity is greatly heightened during game play - much more so than reading a book (which actually only exercizes a very small part of the brain by comparison). The comment about surgeons who only read books being more proficient is ridiculous - I read a recent study that showed that cosmetic surgeons who regularly played video games had a 35% less chance of failures/mishaps - because they had better coordination, better reflexes, and better problem solving skills. I know I definately wouldn't want to ride in a plane who's pilot had only read books and not spent any time in a flight sim. I know NASA would never send anybody up in a billion-dollar probe who had not gone through rigorous computer simulation. My 5 year old nephew has learned far more from educational software than from kindergarden -- in fact he's well above the reading/counting level of most of his classmates, mainly due to playing educational childrens software. MMORPG's often promote and reward teamwork and community effort - which also promotes good social behavior and teaches valuable cooperative skills that are essential in the real-world (why do you think every job description says "must have good communication skills - must be a team player"). Playing strategy games, like Warcraft or Command & Conquer, especially against others, promote more cognitive skills than I have room to mention here. There are far more options and decisions and problems to solve in your typical computer strategy game than in traditional strategy games like Chess or Go - are you saying Chess doesn't exercise the mind? That's funny, because for more than a thousand years, most of civilization has thought otherwise. There's also a logical dichotomy here -- if Chess is an accepted "brain booster" in real life, but computer games "don't exercise the brain", then what happens when you play chess on the computer? Does it magically loose all of it's benefits just because the board is represented electronically? That's absurd!

Sure, games like GTA are inappropriate for younger players. But I'm sick of people blaming the video game for bad parenting skills. If your child is too young to understand the content of mature games, then don't let them play it! You don't let them watch porn or snuff films do you? If your child is old enough to play those games but can't discern right from wrong, it's not because the game is evil, it's because you are a lousy parent! I'm sick and tired of video games getting a bad rap just because some parents can't control their children and don't take the time to actually be a parent to them. As a parent, it's up to you to give your child the knowledge to be able to properly sort out whatever data is given to them - whether in the form of a video game, movie, song, tv show, or any other media. If your child doesn't understand that killing people is wrong, or that in real life you can't just run up to any car in the street and jack it - don't blame the media, blame yourself!

One final point in my long rant. Everytime I read an article like this, I'm surprised that they always leave out one of the most glaring benefits of the gaming industry in general - the fact that the game industry is largely (indeed mostly) responsible for pushing the hardware industry to make things bigger, better, faster, and cheaper. You don't think nVidia and ATI spend millions each year trying to make faster and cheaper graphics chips so people can do their taxes with higher frame rates? You don't think hard drives are getting bigger, processors getting faster, ram becoming cheaper is all because of spreadsheets and the internet? Nope, it's because the computer game industry is constantly pushing the limitations of the hardware. So even if you don't like video games - you should be happy the rest of us do, because if we didn't, your computer would be much slower and more expensive than it is.

Final note: does this mean video games should replace books? Of course not! It means we should look at the benefits of gaming as a positive thing, and find a way we can create educational software that utilizes those benefits. I think the point of this discussion is not that we should have kids playing Half Life in the classroom rather than reading books - I think the whole point is that printed text is incredibly out-dated in our "multimedia age". Kids find textbooks boring, plain and simple. Kids find games interesting and engrossing. If we can find a way to utilize the benficial aspects of gaming to create an educational environment that kids WANT to learn in, then I think we'll have a winner.

UntamedPlayer responded 9 years ago: #24

I note that I came to this thread through the Slashdot link title "Games: Games Better Than Books?". As titles go, this is misleading and inflamatory. Effective performance in any complex endeavor typically involves the fusion of theoretical understanding, analytical skills and instinctive reactions. Whether you are driving a car, surviving a streetfight, giving a speech, or handling an angry customer, theory an analysis are useful before and after, but not during. IMHO the opportunity to fail without consequence, analyze, adjust,and try again is priceless.

Ferry responded 9 years ago: #25

Very good. Playing a videogame is like reading a novel. The only difference is that you (partly) write it yourself. For example Half Life 2. In this kind of game you really have to puzzle to get your way around. So, contrary to what is said before, videogames do not involve a passive brain. I think it will be the way to learn in future, giving more equality between people. Best would be to have a game extra to a book. So when you want to succeed in the first chapter of the game you need to have studied the first chapter of the book. This will be stimulating for those that don't like to read. An internet site under supervision of the teacher with the results (eg high scores) of the students on the subject will give competion between the students and will further stimulate certain students. For the ones that don't need all that, they can just do it the old fashioned way, just with the book.

GamingScientist responded 9 years ago: #26

Something a RPG game like Neverwinter Nights can help people do is plan ahead! As your character advances in the game you make decisions about what professions to learn, skills to learn, etc. It can teach people how to build skills and how to think of where you want to be x years from now and what you have to do between now and then to get there. What would be great is if someone could take that game engine and simulate a 4 (or 5!) year college plan where your character takes different classes and then you see where their skills are at the end of it. What would be tricky or difficult is fitting that into a specific school's curriculum and having some way to assess whether your final character build is what you want or not (ie if you want to be a doctor vs if you want to be a mechanical engineer vs if you want to be a historian, etc). The author(s) of such a program would have to determine what skills sets are necessary for various professions, which wouldn't be that easy. But it would still teach college freshmen the value of planning ahead and how to apply what's a fairly basic practice in RPG video games now to their real life.

amnesia responded 9 years ago: #27

Anyone who says games only exercise motor skills and don't exercise the mind is clearly an imbecile. Even simple arcade games like Pacman build reactive decision making skills - and more complex simulations like Civilization or SimCity promote a wide range of neurological skills. Studies have proven over and over that people who regularly play video games have quicker reflexes, better problem solving skills, and more creative cognitive skills than people who don't. MRI scans have shown brain activity is greatly heightened during game play - much more so than reading a book (which actually only exercizes a very small part of the brain by comparison). The comment about surgeons who only read books being more proficient is ridiculous - I read a recent study that showed that cosmetic surgeons who regularly played video games had a 35% less chance of failures/mishaps - because they had better coordination, better reflexes, and better problem solving skills. I know I definately wouldn't want to ride in a plane who's pilot had only read books and not spent any time in a flight sim. I know NASA would never send anybody up in a billion-dollar probe who had not gone through rigorous computer simulation. My 5 year old nephew has learned far more from educational software than from kindergarden -- in fact he's well above the reading/counting level of most of his classmates, mainly due to playing educational childrens software. MMORPG's often promote and reward teamwork and community effort - which also promotes good social behavior and teaches valuable cooperative skills that are essential in the real-world (why do you think every job description says "must have good communication skills - must be a team player"). Playing strategy games, like Warcraft or Command & Conquer, especially against others, promote more cognitive skills than I have room to mention here. There are far more options and decisions and problems to solve in your typical computer strategy game than in traditional strategy games like Chess or Go - are you saying Chess doesn't exercise the mind? That's funny, because for more than a thousand years, most of civilization has thought otherwise. There's also a logical dichotomy here -- if Chess is an accepted "brain booster" in real life, but computer games "don't exercise the brain", then what happens when you play chess on the computer? Does it magically loose all of it's benefits just because the board is represented electronically? That's absurd!

Sure, games like GTA are inappropriate for younger players. But I'm sick of people blaming the video game for bad parenting skills. If your child is too young to understand the content of mature games, then don't let them play it! You don't let them watch porn or snuff films do you? If your child is old enough to play those games but can't discern right from wrong, it's not because the game is evil, it's because you are a lousy parent! I'm sick and tired of video games getting a bad rap just because some parents can't control their children and don't take the time to actually be a parent to them. As a parent, it's up to you to give your child the knowledge to be able to properly sort out whatever data is given to them - whether in the form of a video game, movie, song, tv show, or any other media. If your child doesn't understand that killing people is wrong, or that in real life you can't just run up to any car in the street and jack it - don't blame the media, blame yourself!

One final point in my long rant. Everytime I read an article like this, I'm surprised that they always leave out one of the most glaring benefits of the gaming industry in general - the fact that the game industry is largely (indeed mostly) responsible for pushing the hardware industry to make things bigger, better, faster, and cheaper. You don't think nVidia and ATI spend millions each year trying to make faster and cheaper graphics chips so people can do their taxes with higher frame rates? You don't think hard drives are getting bigger, processors getting faster, ram becoming cheaper is all because of spreadsheets and the internet? Nope, it's because the computer game industry is constantly pushing the limitations of the hardware. So even if you don't like video games - you should be happy the rest of us do, because if we didn't, your computer would be much slower and more expensive than it is.

Final note: does this mean video games should replace books? Of course not! It means we should look at the benefits of gaming as a positive thing, and find a way we can create educational software that utilizes those benefits. I think the point of this discussion is not that we should have kids playing Half Life in the classroom rather than reading books - I think the whole point is that printed text is incredibly out-dated in our "multimedia age". Kids find textbooks boring, plain and simple. Kids find games interesting and engrossing. If we can find a way to utilize the benficial aspects of gaming to create an educational environment that kids WANT to learn in, then I think we'll have a winner.

dale responded 9 years ago: #28

Im 40 years old and grew up in the video games are evil world for the last 30 years or so. Videos games are not evil, yes they can be over the edge, but thats why we have those things called parents. Remember them? Parents teach their children what is right and wrong and choose for them.
I personally let my children play video games a few hours a day, they can tell you more about the history of the game (and maybe some real history becuase of it) and the articles/stuff they are using. They can also learn to budget, save money to buy more things, the thoery that working for something pays off in the end (and sometimes it doesn't). Pong wasn't the devlis work, Asteriods didn't make me rob people for quarters, Galaxia Didn't turn me into a druggy. In fact they all turned me into a (i think) well rounded business man who works very hard to achieve his needs. sadly they never taught me to speel correctly.

Sam responded 9 years ago: #29

Video games are a good supplement. Personally, I think textbooks teach the trivia, while videogames are the more in depth exploration. According to my Calculus teacher, a deep exploration of 1 thing's far better than knowing the surface of many (in grad school at lead). Although some skills learned in the games don't really get you anywhere in life (i.e. saving up 100k gold ever since you started the character and spending it all on the best weapon isn't really a good thing to teach), simulations are the closest you can get.
As for the med school students and residential trainees, perhaps an ER or OR game could be developed, and that could be a good place to practice for 3rd and 4th year students. It's better than failing on a real patient and getting yourself and/or the school sued. Perhaps just to add pressure, we could have a strict grading procedure based on video game aptitude (similar, but better than the way DDR grades the way you dance). It'd be hard to put in "the patient's life's at stake" situation and really make the student/trainee feel that, but an economic reason to perform well is still a good reason. That way they could get more of a feel for what it's like to operate under pressure, no pun intended.
Anyway, just my thoughts. I'm also a high school student so I wouldn't really know what's best, but videogames are like any public media; they're good if you use them well.

The Wooden Badger responded 9 years ago: #30

I find this story very interesting. Education and true learning can truly be stimulated by game play. In some cases it can prove to be superior, in some inferior. In many cases a joint approach would be ideal. I find some of the comments interesting and some downright laughable. I'll pick on one and call it a day. I would not allow a surgeon to touch me that learned solely by book or game. I would much rather have a surgeon that learned by current methods. Having taken multiple anatomy classes in my college degree program, I can't even imagine a game that can come within lightyears of the experience of looking at many different cadavers and seeing how the body's parts sit next to each other and how amazingly different people can be from each other and the examples in anatomy books ( or the limited variety that would occur in a game). Games can be great, but there are significant limits on the "reality" they attempt to portray. This is doubtlessly true in many other fields and examples.

Jon responded 9 years ago: #31

The key here is the emmersive environment that video games represent. Like movies and television but interactive. We now know that tv can b used for both valuable and worthless things. I agree video games can be similarly harnessed.
This has been long enough in comming. So long as it's done right videogames can become an invaluable resource.

Greg responded 9 years ago: #32

The experience isn't the primary target for replacment here. Condensing book work and keeping interest in the mundane that's the primary focus.

Barry Kelly responded 9 years ago: #33

Interestingly enough, I finished reading "generation kill", the story of an emedded reporter in the latest Iraq war. One of the points he makes is that in WW2, a suprisingly high percentage of soldiers didn't fire their guns - even when faced almost directly with the enemy. Now-a-days, the ratio is extremely high. After a particular firefight the reporter went through (in generation kill), the soldiers were comparing it to GTA, a video game. I thought that was pretty interesting, the effect that gaming has had on those soldiers. From a military point of view, a good effect (the people are better at killing). From a civilian point of view, a bad effect (the people are better at killing).

ufoathome responded 9 years ago: #34

To the above poster, I'm not sure if GTA would be a prototypical game to makeing people "better at killing." Frankly, a FPS would do a better job, but still, only on a psychological level. Even then, if you had any emotional reponse, I doubt games would actually deaden one's fear of killing in real life.

mercury responded 9 years ago: #35

I think its fascinating to read this kind of research. One of the things that feels most lacking in educational environments is a non-intrusive interactive environment. Often a class setting is either too interactive, pushing the boundaries of a student's comfort levels, or not engaging enough.

The teachers I have had throughout the years have always tried pushed their students to interact, often saying that group interaction and class interaction simulate the real world, but as a young person, most people have an adverse reaction, because of the way this forced participation feels unnatural. It only seems logical that video-game type software, where the consequences of action and interaction don't seem so harsh, is a good direction to go.

Markian responded 9 years ago: #36

It's the Next Big Thing (tm) is it?
Socrates was the Next Big Thing. So was radio. Moving pictures was going to revolutionize the way people taught and learnt. Television was going to change the classroom irrevocably; combined with the telephone, everyone would be able to learn at home, all the time. Universities and schools would be obsolete. Until the computers changed everything. It would never be the same after that, until the internet came along. The internet will make travel entirely outmoded.

It is a great relief to hear that it is actually GAMES that will change the world. As I do research at the University of Alberta with the GAMES group (www.cs.ualberta.ca/~games), I am both relieved and vindicated!

Jason responded 9 years ago: #37

A video game could actually train soldiers to have faster and more accurate enemy-identification skills, thus reducing the number of civilian deaths. GTA is not that game, and can't be blamed for producing the opposite effect. It is the army's job to develop games (or other methods) that train soldiers to reduce wartime casualties for both sides (while still achieving victory). If the soldiers are killing civilians, then it's the failure of the army, not the failure of Rockstar games.

Marjee responded 9 years ago: #38

As a student of the people that presented I would simply like to say that I am really glad that this semi-controversial topic is prompting people to talk about what learning is, what it means to "know" to problem solve, and how it is that we become good at things. One of the early posters made the embarrassing comment that once someone develops a compelling game that teaches differential equations-than s/he will be convinced. This shallow understanding of teaching and learning is the foundation upon we built modern schooling, and exactly the type of thinking the game research challenges.

Caleb responded 9 years ago: #39

My $.02 worth -

Why should it be Games Vs. Books ? I think books along with the right games can be much more effective as a teaching/educational tool.

Jeremy responded 9 years ago: #40

in response to a surgeon being trained by a video game: I would trust a surgeon trained on a computer simulation and books rather than just books. Computer simulations offer hands on experience when real world hands on experience is either impossible, impractical, or just too expensive (is that redundant?). You can only learn so much from a book. The best way to learn is to read, then apply with supervision, then unsupervised.

lepton responded 9 years ago: #41

Another thing you have to keep in mind is market forces. The game industry's best talent is out there developing Half-Life, GTA3, Madden 2005, and the like. You'd be hard pressed to get someone like John carmack or Shigeru Miyamoto working at an educational software firm. There's just isn't enough financial incentive to develop quality educational games (and quality educational media in general).

So people who think video games are useless for teaching have a point, but it's mostly because we haven't really tapped into their potential.

Chris responded 9 years ago: #42

Okay, here, watch this.

Video games are good for more than one purpose, and also, here's an idea, possibly not for everyone!

If you don't like video games, don't play them. If you think they're evil, don't let your children play them, even though they will get ahold of them anyway. Whether you'd like to believe it or not, video games improve on reflexes, decision making skills, and motor skills. For some people, its entertainment, and nothing more, but for some people, it's a life changing experience.

Most people who are trying to argue against them just don't have an open mind. Ignore the ignorant and move on with your lives, those of you who are intelligent and probably agree with me.

Rightly so.

Don responded 9 years ago: #43

I think many people who object to using the video games for training are missing the point. The video games are not going to be the ONLY training the surgeon or pilot has, but will be used as a tool to enhance their performance. There will still be books and reading. There will still be actual hands-on experience. The idea behind using gaming for learning is to be used as a tool - not to replace conventional learning techniques. To think you could completely replace books with games would be nieve, but so is thinking that using games (or simulators) isn't an effective tool.

To add a comment about a personal feeling about video games being evil and teaching children violence - People are looking for a scapegoat to explain away the terrible tragedies of kids killing kids. Video games is the easiest target. How about the parents of the kids who did these things? Maybe if they taught their children some morals and were more interactive with their kids these things wouldn't have happened. Wake up people. Video games aren't evil - they are a way of the future. Get on board or get out of the way.

Derek Bowen responded 9 years ago: #44

I see the gamming world as an extention of the art world. When was the last time a new art form came to us via technology? Motion pictures perhaps? Society was scared to death of them for their innate immorality. However, no one will deny the educational value of a well designed documentary or PBS children's programming.

Excuse this feeble analogy but I think it works for the situation. A steak knife can be used to feed yourself, or kill another. You choose the use of the tool. NOT THE TOOL IT'S SELF!!!!!!!!!

More power to the gamming world and shame on those that use it for shameful purposes.

Ponyboy responded 9 years ago: #45

It is one of my biggest pet peeves to hear someone talk about how video games degrade our society and that it makes people more violent. I view video games as a greast way to relieve stress that a person my be feeling and i have even heard of some therapists using video games to relieve stress in patients and to solve anger-management problems.

I for one would rather have someone operate on me if they were trained through a video games, it is infinately better to have the action presented to you and then doing it yourself than it is to read about it and look at pictures of the step being performed.

Im not saying it can inflict the certain emotion that you may feel, but wouldn't it be nice to be so used to the event that emotion is no longer a problem? There is no replacement for the real thing, but we can get so damn close it's scary.

It's my opinion that the people who are against video games are just mad because they know they are losing the battle. Recently the video game industry surpassed the total box office sales world wide, and is on the brinking point of surpassing the music and home rentals industries, 10 billion a year, and still rising, almost half of all people in the US play video games, you can't stop it, power to the game! If you feel the urge to email me and complain, please do so, you will be argued with. If youe wish to agree with me, do so, and you will be considered a friend

IAstudent responded 9 years ago: #46

I'm a frequent video gamer, but a good student at the same time. I know of the bad rap games have gotten over the years. I believe though that games not only build hand-eye coordination, but also cognitive ability. I played RPGs through my preteens up to today. Looking back on them, they really taught me how to assess situations just as I would in real life. In those types of games, I'd have to plan ahead and make decisions like what to take with me, who to take with me, etc. Also, a lot of RPGs have to deal with numbers and mathematical formulas, particularly in combat situations. The games themselves might not replace a college education, but certainly they're not all bad.

sumkidxP responded 9 years ago: #47

I'm a 14 yr old kid that luvs to play games and watch anime. Books are great and all and good learning tools, but I WOULD NOT SIT THERE TO LEARN (letz just face it reading isn't fun -___- DUH). From my own personal experience when a student is able to interact with other students and share information and ask questions, like in labs, that individual is more capable and willing to learn since he/she is able to interact with his/her peers (and play with chemicals >.< ). While, i have not lifted a single page of my chemistry book xP my teacher makes learning fun (she's the only teacher I know that feeds her students candy, cookies and popcorn, ALOT!). In return, we the students respect her, and are willing to listen and ask questions. Kids don't WANT to do bad in class many times we are too afarid to ask questions b/c of many teachers' attitudes towards students, however, our chemistry teacher is nice and actually teatrs us as EQUALS =O (no offence or anything, but most adults think "I'm older, therefore I'm smarter, therefore I'm always correct and kids are always wrong, therefore we can neglect the jibberish from the ignorant child's mouth"). Simlar to this form of learning are MMORPGs (massive multi player online role playing games) and television. Through television we learn about real life secenarios and how to cope and deal with certain emotions and changes in life. While in MMORPGs we are able to interact with others; we expirement with certain aspects of the game similar to the real-world, and we learn from our experiences cause and effect, actions and consequences. For example, for those of you who have seen "Gundam Seed", you probablly witnessed the strong political views within the anime; it included issues dealing with nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction, peace treaties and violation of international laws, different points of view on the concepts of "freedom and liberty, etc. For those of you who have played a MMORPG (like L2, D2, Rag, FFXI, etc.), you have probably have all ready learned when someone offers you free stuff its probablly too good to be true and you get tricked one way or another.

P.S. Whoever said violence in videogames and television causes children to become violent, I suggest that individual to quit pampering his/her child, and blaming the rest of the world just b/c of his/her own parenting issues.
Games and television might teach your child how to use a gun, but it doesn't tell your child to use it, If your child goes around shotting people with a real gun its prob because of behavior issues that needs to be resolved sugges YOU and your child receive sum counselling ...ooo yea heres sumthing i learned in health class... a childs behavior and personality is mostly influenced by the parents taka guess y ur child might be violent =]

jayson responded 9 years ago: #48

Well most Japanese games have these anti-war themes.
Konami's espoinage game series Metal Gear is one good example.
You act as an agent out to destroy nuclear devices that threaten our
existence. And you can finish the game without any violence. In my
opinion, American games are more violent.

Mr. tofu responded 9 years ago: #49

"(letz just face it reading isn't fun -___- DUH)"

Well, If you haven't noticed, people have such things called opinions. If you offend a person's opinion, your opinion will be attacked by others. Anyway, I like video games and books equally, although that is my opinion and you are entitled to kick it around.

Fantaz responded 9 years ago: #50

Now that children are finding it harder to learn and the education system is dropping it would be wonderful if you could download game courses and homeschool yourself. This has been proven to work far better for kids with learning disabilities and ADD. I hope to see games as the future of academic study! Keep up the research!

Ben responded 9 years ago: #51

Adventure games could be a big example of story driven media which could essentially replace books if the support is kept up.

sumkidxP responded 9 years ago: #52

This might sound crazy and all, but has anyone heard of a program where they play kids to learn and do well in school. My friend attends this program at this lawfirm where they recruit children to work and learn at their offices. Each child is given their own office, even computer access, and given many privileges. They must goto the lawfirm around two times a week to do their hw, and are assigned projects (real law cases). In return, if you do well on your test (at your actual school) you get rewarded with MONEY, and you are payed to continue your studies. I believe this program is a great way to motivate kids to learn even if they do not want to become a lawyer when they grow up. I myself wanted to join that program but you couldo nly join through 6-8 grade. Some may say giving children money this way is a bad idea, but i find it better than your parents awarding you when you do good in school, and it creates a sense of accomplishment when you're awarded by someone else for your hardwork.

gromos responded 9 years ago: #53

About the adventure games: Maybe somebody remembers Gabriel Knight series? Awesome historically and gameplay wise! GK2 introduced me to Wagner and GK3 to the legends of the holy grail and Rennes-Le-Chateau.
Or philosophy-based Planescape the Torment?
It would seem that gaming has enormous educational potential waiting for the real creativity and, can i say, wisdom.
Just my 0.2 cents :)

Adam Carstens responded 9 years ago: #54

The research in the new book "Got Game" (www.gotgamebook.com) shows how games do help people become better employees by making them more sociable, better risk evaluators, better team players and better decision makers. Clearly, the educational potential of games is just beginning...it will never replace books, but may take a very prominent position right alongside them.

Steve Zanini responded 9 years ago: #55

I concur with Adam Cartens position that games can take make an impact as an educational tool that hones skills in risk aversion, social interaction, impluse control, problem solving and a number of other competencies related to the emotional intelligence of an individual. As with any other instructional medium, you cannot expect to apply only one solution and hope it addresses a wider myriad of situations. The better route would be to use a varity of learning interventions to build on the transfer of knowledge. Books can provide depth of understanding, video games stimulate action, facilitative support provide context and social interaction - - the latter which I believe needs to take place to cement the learning. If I read a book and cannot discuss or apply the information then how do i contribute to the world around me. The same thinking can apply to video gaming or any other form of learning. What gaming does best is invite participants to test their innate skills and then enhance them or expose new ones.

Note that I mention gaming and not just video games. Boardgaming, (not to exclude role playing games and miniature gaming) is also experiencing a renaissance and can teach the same skills but in a social context. Boardgame Geek (www.boardgamegeek.com) provides a plethora of titles that can also be used in a business perspective.

Therefore any debate that attempts to argue that one form of learning is better than another seems trival versus the debate of which learning intervention is best to develop certain skills sets.

If I am going to be a doctor, I need to have the wealth of knowledge that allows me to devleop a certain skill set, augment that with a video game that allows me to practice those skills would that not improve the odds of being successful - also would a game that teaches emapthy or stress management help to round out the emotional skills that we hope a doctor would carry. A book could not do all this and neither just a game but in combination, they are powerful.

Rodrigo Coimbra responded 9 years ago: #56

its extremely idiot to see this. I can't believe that people of all the world really believe that videogames teach better then books. Im only 16, and ive been reading all my life, so I dont believe that games are better then books. Im studying informatic, I love programming, but books were, are and will continue being the better teachers of history.

Wow...this is called educational flame wars responded 9 years ago: #57

I disagree with Rodrigo Coimbra... I have been readin g my whole life and writing even before kindergarten. I have also been a gamer my whole life. Videogames and computers are like proxy's man... you could make an interactive book. They r like life emulators... therefore the medium is more expandable and interactive and less limited than a book.

P.S. I am a christian and I own tons of M games, etc... please dont stereoype... we're not all like mormons...jeez

AlChPa responded 9 years ago: #58

In response to the comment of teaching differential equations wit a video game:

This is an intriguing idea. Most of the strategy of solving diffEqs is tied to ones ability to visualize the function involved, or at least understand the nature of the problem, i.e. inertial vs. convective. I remember this was a difficult skill to master in the formal way it was taught. Probably, one still needs to do 10,000 problens or so to master mathematics through diffEq, but I wonder if there is some better way to help teach mathmatical visualization using video game methods.

Gallelian responded 9 years ago: #59

I agree with the research on the positive benefits of video gaming. I, for one, would probably qualify as an extreme example of these benefits. I am now 14 years old, a freshman at university, and an officer with Amnesty International and Unicef. When I was younger I was diagnosed as being in the highly gifted range of the Terman scale of intelligence, I was reading Jules Verne and Paradise Lost in the 2nd grade and I started studying high school physics and mathematics in the following year. But I am also A HUGE FAN OF VIDEO AND COMPUTER GAMES! I started off with online chess and eventually became attracted to RPGs and simulators. Since the debate seems to be "Games vs Books" i'll start by addressing that. By playing these games one may receive a resource which seems to offer "raw visual data" for the mind, thereby enhancing the flexibility of one's imagination. Often when you're reading (fiction in particular) you are summoning a visual depiction of the author's world, so having this resource may improve your skills in close reading of a text. In past centuries when many of the masterpieces which have been integrated into our school curricula were written, it was very rare for a reader or even the intellectual critic to see beyond the routine druggery of daily living (still the case today but it seems to be less so). Those writers who managed to excede these norms were ,not suprisingly, the wildest story tellers. After all, you need a vast trove of sensual knowledge and knowledge of the connections between those senses to create or fully appreciate the works of Shakespear, Hemmingway, Lewis, and their ilk.
Perhaps with today's technology we won't have to wait a century before we can appreciate a work of art, wouldn't that be great (unless of course we play to much and become addicted to electronic media or relies on it solely for imagination but there is more to that phenomenon than games). The same can be said for our appreciation and understanding of science. I owe it to video games.
I have this idea for a game where you play as a scientist and you have the option to either create new technology for the betterment of the world or for its destruction. If you choose to use it to help end starvation, stop a rampaging plague, etc you are rewarded with seemingly impossible albeit realistic powers. If you choose to use it to build a weapon of mass destruction, the game would likely end in your demise. In addition, all the projects would be fully customizable, there would be plenty of opportunities for fast paced action and reflex problem solving, and the player would be using REAL science and mathematics to build the constructs. In turn, the player would no longer simply be pretending to be powerful but would actually BECOME powerful.

By the way it would also seem that mathematics and science are, in fact, games themselves. They are composed of symbols invented by human beings and organized in such a way as to allow us to explore our experience. Mathematics also has its LIMITS, that makes it so remarkable and beautiful. Lets face it, humans are players, we are adventurers, why deny it? Fellow gamers, Im with you all the way!!

Gallelian responded 9 years ago: #60

Please excuse the typos, english isn't my first language :/

Gallelian responded 9 years ago: #61

By the way I dont suggest the traditional (scholastic) method of teaching math and science in that game idea, that would destroy it. They should instead be used to add flexibility to the player's designs. After all, its much easier for some people (me in particular) to type the equation for a straight line or a hyperbolic curve than to draw one free hand. Also, this would help player's stand out from thier fellows in games like MMORPGs by having radically different designs.

Briar responded 9 years ago: #62

I THINK THAT VIDEO GAMES ARE GOOD FOR CHILDREN THAT ARE OUTCASTS IN THERE SCHOOL OR FAMS KUZ IT PUTS THEM AS THE MIAN PERSON OF A STORY AND THAT MAKES THEM FEEL IMPORNTANT. SO VIDIEO GAMES ARE PROBABLY RESPONSIBLE FOR STOPING MOST SUICIDES!!!

Mole responded 9 years ago: #63

Video games dont kill people. People that are playing video games for the wrong reasons kill people. Parents must stop blaming everything on video games and start blaming themselves for not giving their children the proper life lesseons.

Zaid responded 9 years ago: #64

Utilizing serious games in education can no doubt have a huge impact, however the hype is beyond realism at the moment, which is much due to making dollars and sense. When this dies down like previous hypes such as motion pictures, radio, TV, Internet, etc. we will learn to utilize games appropriately in education.

However, my worry with the TV and gaming world is that kids especially loose that ability to nourish their imagination and visualization abilities, which is provided to them on a plate through too much visual stimuli. Although, we can argue that books are dull and not interactive (except for e-books), however, they provide that extra opportunity for learners to visualize and explore their imagination between the sentences and lines.

In other words, we need a combination of both. I have been a die-hard gamer in my younger days (Commodore 64, Super Nintendo, Sony Play Station 1), however I got to say books in certain areas are simply better (at the moment) in areas (e.g. philosophy), while games are better in other areas (e.g. flight simulation, tank training, IT training). Sometimes we need both modes (as well as other types of learning modes), sometimes games will do, sometimes game are not appropriate. The bottom line is to find the balance, and know when which mode is appropriate for what type of learning.

Warm Regards,

Zaid (Malaysia)

P.S. No point in trying to prove each other wrong, as electronic games are here to stay (whether we like it or not), so we better do our best to utilize it appropriately (Please no PlayBoy Mansion games to teach management :).

Dan Walsh responded 9 years ago: #65

I am writing my senior paper on the positive effects of video games and I am very pleased to see this site. Everywhere you look people are blaming video games for murder and all these things. I am glad that there are people who agree with the correct point of view.

Only video games that are not played in moderation provide negative effects. People who play video games all day, everyday, and can't get away from them are the people that are ruining it for the rest of the world. Video games are by no means perfect, but they contain many positive effects and they are an active and effective learning tool. However, when parents leave their children to play video games all day while they are at work or something, well that is their problem. Video games dimensions and reality are vastly different and children who don't know the difference should not be playing games that are not for their age level. Rating are put on the games for a reason. Games are played in moderation for a reason.

Once again, thank all of you for your opinions, this has helped me out greatly.

Chris responded 9 years ago: #66

Well all very valid points, but i believe that video games were meant for fun and entertainment (much like tv) Im sure they were not intended to be analized and critisised.....Most people just play them to relax and unwind. No one really cares!

james responded 9 years ago: #67

I think that this was a good article and I wish that they would consider making a game about Peshtigo, WI -- wish is a very small town 45 miles north of Green Bay

Peter responded 9 years ago: #68

i think video games should be used to test attention span, learning skills and problem solving in school aged children

Sapphire blob responded 9 years ago: #69

I think that when video games are used a limited amount of time, and the user has other educational opportunities then they provide a way to have fun and stimulate the brain. By the way I'm 12.

Carr responded 8 years ago: #70

I have been a vidoe gamer for about 13 years now. I have noticed the amout of time I spend and maybe an adiction;however, there are things in games that i have learned about that i probly would never learn in a class room. I play first person shooter and own a rifle in my name, but I have never have the urge to act like a grand theif auto person. sure the games get too violent sometimes but for every ultra violent game there are 4 nonviolent games that antigamers ignore. I t is always wise to keep an open mind on topic with no clear problem. but as I end this I would like to state that all the problems would be gone if the parents took a strong interest and watched, talked, and played these games with their childern. Parents are the true barrier that should control what their children play. the ESRB would not be nessicary if parents actively did their role.

Someone responded 8 years ago: #71

you gonna trust your surgery to a surgeon trained only on video games and not books? I have news for you- the human mind is more powerful than any video game will ever be. By reading, you exercise the mind, so it can handle any situation that comes up. Video games only stimulate the sensory and motor skills, which leaves the mind weak since it wont have a base of data to deal with new and unknown situations.

The idea that video games are a legit way to train for anything other instrument panel driven activities (flying, driving) is ridiculous. Full simulators are another story of course- but consumer games are a joke.


No your wrong becuase if u start playing viedo games then u can see what part is what but in book sometimes they dont have the picture of the part so maybe training from viedo games can be a good thing but too much violence is not

Tidus13 responded 8 years ago: #72

As I'm a 14 year old who loves computer games, my opinion here is probably considered very biased, but I'll say it anyway. Video games not only encourage teamwork skills, and cooperation, but problem solving,(ex. Battlefield 2, commander gives command for strategy, squads work together to achieve goal set by commander). You can say all you want that group activities in school do just the same thing, but when you're forced to work with someone that you don't know, and/or don't like, you're not likely to do as well as you could, and your teamwork skills are not going to improve.

As for any other imbecile that says reading is boring, or it does nothing,(yes im talkin to my peers), are you smoking?? If you find a book that interests you you're gonna read it and enjoy it. Sure, text books are horrible, because they just cram information onto you, with no real explanation or hands-on experience, but an imaginative book with a thick plot-line and such is going to interest you and stimulate your mind.

I've been reading some of the other comments on here, and anyone who says reading a book, and then playing a game that corresponds to the book, well, I agree whole-heartedly to that. Not only do you learn background for what your doing, but you get to actively do it. It would be awesome if there was a game was on the Trojan War, and you got to read background it.

And the comments about bad parenting, well, that's 50/50 for me. Are we just gonna blame the parents and the gaming industry? What about the kid that actually does the crime? Yeah, the parent did give the child the game, and the gaming industry made the game, but after that, even if there bad relations with the kid and parent, how are you not going to blame the kid for committing the crime? We may have it hard for workload now-a-days, but apparently we get it easy with the justice system, and i don't think that's right.

In closing, video games are good for training and building people skills, if you've got a history game, with background, that would be sweet, and dont let kids get whatever they want, give them some boundaries

Signor Markado O...K responded 8 years ago: #73

Games are great for learning. I especially enjoy palying with my frend thomas who helps me identify all the freckles on his face and dandruff on his head. Its a pretty good game.

Ryan Noobler responded 8 years ago: #74

I love games. not only are they fun but they help us to lern things to. For example, I search for glitches and then hack the game programing to help me understand why this happens, then I run a simmulation of the origional glitch data, then I edit copies of the same data to see if the glitch is actualy do to a programing error or ir it is actualy supposed to happen to help the game function corectly. I hacked into the Halo 2 data and found out that when you overload somthing (many people stand on it and it dissapears) it is actualy due to a programing error ( or as far as I can tell it is) due to the mass of characters standing on the object the game has to eddit room into the game to allow all the characters to exist, so the game tempararily edits out the item so that all the people can continue playing...but it dose't rid of the item, just its visabillity, you can still walk on it because it is still solid.

Micah responded 8 years ago: #75

Hi i just wanted to add that VIDEO games can be very social expessally when play on the internet. I have a wide network of freinds that i play online with some of them i go to school with and others i dont know and live on the other side of the country. online gaming can help some kids have much more of a social life because they might not have very many freinds at school but over the online gaming they can make freinds and have a fun time. Online gaming can widen ur social life because u can talk to other people and have Deep intelectual conversations. I know that i have many freinds through online gaming that i have never met in person but i have something in common we share common intrests and it provides a way for me to pop online and play for like 30 minutes where as without the internet gaming then i wouldnt hang out with anyone for just 30 minutes. it allows me to create more freinds and it takes a lot of stratgey and hard work to beat the enemy in any game you play whether its racing or world of war craft or Halo 2 they all capture my attention and i can have fun while working and hang out with my freinds.

carlos responded 8 years ago: #76

games are awsome, and they help inspire us teens to use our imagination. fuck the people whp rant on that. Devil May Cry, Prince of Persia, Tomb Raider have all inspired me, and fuck anyone who rants on video games

Star Wars fan! responded 8 years ago: #77

I'm 16 years old and my parents still keep a very tight
watch on what kind of games i play and how much time i spend on them. but even with those restaints i think that video games are the future. Heck, i want to be a video game designer when i get to colledge and i already have a game all written up! i agree with everyone here when i say that its not video games that get people killed. its the people themselves. those few people that continue to blame those violent video games need to find this out and FAST!

bob responded 8 years ago: #78

cool article. Helps the cause of gaming

Lori responded 8 years ago: #79

hi i really like your web site alot keep doing more like this!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

youngkid responded 8 years ago: #80

does anyone no anything about reflexes and video games?

me responded 8 years ago: #81

yup i had to do a report on reflexes a while ago. reflexes are greatly increased by gamers playing more than 5 hours a week, especially first person shooters, where you have to react quickly to even the smallest movements and decide things quickly. i did experiments, including one where the test subject had to stick out his hand (with the fingers in a vertical line, tumb and index finger on top), and a ruler was hanging just above the open hand. at a random time we would drop the ruler and see how fast the person reacted with closing his hand and grabbing the ruler, measured by how far on the ruler they grabbed it. i, being a gamer, got on average 5 cm 'faster' than those who didnt play games.
also people that play role playing games in massive worlds tend to pick up more detail in the real world as anything in a computergame can be interactive. so you notice that pencil on top of the cuboard a lot faster than someone who doesnt play, just as a example.

Breanna responded 8 years ago: #82

I am doing an editorial on technology and I was looking up when sould childern start to use the computer I didn't get the imformation I was looking for but I found somthing better. than you for provinding the imformation for people like me .

Sharaaz Jadoo responded 8 years ago: #83

im doin a research on video games + this sight is perfect.i play alot of video games and it really helps me to concentrate and think faster.how?think bout plaing some fighting games it helps your mind think alot faster than normal because you have to think on the spot like blocking a move or jumping to avoid it.so i think people who always think that it has alot of disadvantages don't know ehat they talking about although some may be right,its according to the mind of who soever plays it.

Cody responded 8 years ago: #84

I'm glad someone is actually realizing the importance of games. All the people that haven't played games believe that they are soley evil and all they do is teach kids violence. I actually have passed a few tests because of playing videogames. I applaud you guys for writing this and showing the world how stupid they can be.

kathya responded 8 years ago: #85

Well, yes, video games are interesting tools for learning, but don't you think that books feed our mind, and that
learning could be accompanid by technology and books? Children should know the value of a book and how, in it, words
of thousands of thinkers and philosophers were written.

Gerald Imo (from Africa) responded 8 years ago: #86

I think that poor African countries can utilize this opportunity (of video gaming) to create wealth by perticipating in international game competitions. Just like football is generating a lot of wealth in Africa, local game stations should create opportunities for local competitions.

Jen responded 8 years ago: #87

Video games are very educational but they can also be linked to social isolation in some people.

that one guy responded 8 years ago: #88

Let's look at your attempts at comparing doctors who study with books and those who study with games. Using a book, you know the terms, the diseases, all the basic knowledge. The problem with this is that it's ONLY knowledge. Using games, you are allowed to put knowledge to work. Games may only simulate real life situation, but it allows for practice without severe penalties (better a dead digital image than me). Not only that the Wii has a motion sensor controller, which can be held and moved around as if holding a scapel. With a book, would a doctor be able to see and interact with his/her knowledge?

acer responded 7 years ago: #89

Well I find all the information here very helpful. I am writing an informational essay only. I believe that gaming is good and that if you think they are bad for your brain or make murderers, then that is your opinion. You should also remember that children learn from every thing growing up and they will remeber what is bad and what is good. If not, you're not doing a very good job as a parent.

smiley responded 7 years ago: #90

Video games are getting blamed for something they didn't do.

Deborah responded 7 years ago: #91

My son is a gamer; is there anything out there that would help him with his Math and English skills? (College level)
Is there a way I can have his gaming put on and off at a certain time?

Also, I would like to start playing a game that would help me with organizationl skills.
Thanks!

Seth responded 7 years ago: #92

Finally, someone not bashing video games. I hope that people in the future realize that it's not video games committing crimes out there. You can't blame a gun for killing someone, so why blame games?

Karan responded 6 years ago: #93

Hi, I'm 13 and I'm currently writing a discursive essay on video games for my English assignment. I am for video games and I have found many of your comments helpful towards my essay. Thank you :)

Leeann Selenis responded 6 years ago: #94

I need games

Hermes responded 6 years ago: #95

This is a cool site! Thanks and wish you better luck! Brilliant but simple idea.

Zefopkku responded 6 years ago: #96

But you are say, that this idead is bad?,

Puteshestviy.Net responded 6 years ago: #97

Hello, wistechnology.com!
Very useful site! Thank you very much for this source!
Warmest regards,
Alicia.

Mike responded 5 years ago: #98

A great resource - many thanks!

noone responded 4 years ago: #99

I get the fact that we need books to learn, but who ever said "video games are the only way to learn"? That's right, no one (not me). No one ever said video games are the only way to learn. They can help, and that's great, but shut up about people saying that games are the only way to learn. And let's see, the people that shoot people don't learn that from games. They don't learn where to truly get guns or bullets from games. They don't make criminals, parents and bad influences make criminals.

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