Videogames are what you make of them

I think both of the articles for tomorrow’s class are fascinating and have valid points. While I think it’s hard to argue that videogames have absolutely no effect on the player’s ability, psyche, minset etc., I think the extent of that influence is definitely debatable. A large majority of the Penny ¬†article discusses first person shooters and the fact that there are many real life simulators that help to improve the marksmanship of real life soldiers. While this is definitely valid, I don’t think that any videogame will ever make anyone a marksman or someone with a gun on a psychotic rampage. The real effect boils down to reflexes. Videogames help to train your reflexes visually and kinetically. So even though you are holding a gun in virtual reality, if approached with a similar situation in real life you would have a similar reflex to flip around and point/defend yourself against the object that is about to attack. (Regardless of whether or not you have a gun.)

I feel like this extends beyond first person shooters, because other games that require you to look for secrets or put puzzles together in your mind can have a real life effect as well. They help with things like multi-tasking and being able to assess a situation from multiple angles. Honestly, good reflexes and the ability to multi-task don’t sound too terrible to me.

Side note – I think it would be fascinating to play some of the games mentioned in the second article, if only from a psychological standpoint. Rather than being frowned upon, I think situational games of intense pressure and intensity like 9-11 survivor could be used to study the human psyche and learn about those people who go against the grain.