“Mom, I swear video games are good for me”

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Jill Morton, Staff Writer

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I’m sure many of us have tried to convince our parents at one point or another that playing video games is a good thing. Maybe you’ve even tried to convince yourself of that now that you’re a real adult, on your own in the real world. But let’s be real; that’s bogus. It’s just something we try to tell our parents to make them let us play videogames endlessly. However, video games can be a great learning tool to improve your life.

The reasoning my brother would always use in how video games can be just as educational as history class. Some specific types of games actually have a lot of storylines with actual historical events in them. My brother played a lot of Civilization games.

The gist of the game is to build a civilization from a small settlement. As you go through the game, you learn about the true history of many of the societies of that time period.

Another way that video games can help us in everyday life is with reaction time. This is especially true for action packed games. According to a study from the University of Rochester, “Research shows that video game players develop a heightened sensitivity to what is going on around them.”

This goes beyond mere video games. People who game frequently can use these skills in other areas of their lives as well. This could even potentially help in real sports with improved reaction times.

Video games can also keep people active. This might sound contradictory, but think about how much more effort you’re putting in when you’re playing a video game versus when you’re sitting on the couch watching TV or mindlessly scrolling through social media on your phone. There are a lot of super active games like Just Dance or Wii Sports.

These help people stay active in an easier and more fun way. It’s also more ideal when dealing with the inclement weather. You can’t go play baseball when it’s snowing outside, but you can certainly stay warm inside and get your game on with Wii baseball. It’s also less dangerous for those “worrywart” parents. A player is way less likely to sprain their ankle playing Wii baseball than running around the bases outside in the dirt.

Those are a few good arguments if you ever need to convince someone of this. However, I’m going to say it again, this is bogus. Playing real sports outside is better and learning history in school is more accurate. I would say it’s much better for an individual to socialize out in the real world and not spend all their free time in front of a screen. However, on days with poor weather or when you have a little extra free time, playing an active or historically accurate video game can be beneficial to your everyday life.

Jill Morton is an opinion writer for Dakota Student. She can be reached at [email protected]

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