Technologyis currently taking over our modern world. Just a few years ago flying cars was something we only saw in a futuristic universe on a movie screen, but now, technology like this seems to be right around the corner for society. We are constantly advancing our technology to cater to our wants and needs. We are gaining more and more knowledge as we advance and move forward with technology.
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Even children are becoming smarter from this technology, but would anyone ever guess this could be because of video games? Studies show that video games could improve a person’s intelligence and possibly lead to the solving of some of the world’s problems. Of course, the world’s problems today are extremely drastic and complex in today’s society, but what if gaming could change all that?
According to Jane McGonigal, a game developer, it is far less improbable than it may seem. She believes that gamers can use their creativity and ideas to change and possibly save the planet. McGonigal’s work was deemed as one of the ” Top 20 Breakthrough Ideas” by HBR as well as “#1 Bright Idea of the Year” by Brandweek. She has worked hard on discovering ways in which to prove this topics importance. At the World Innovation Forum in 2012 she spoke of her innovative idea, she stated that there are one billion people that play games for at least an hour a day and gave valid statistics of the popularity of certain games.
This shows the large amount of people with very creative capabilities in the world today, including young children. Gamers are proven to be capable of solving real world problems easier than those who neglect the hobby. Overall, gaming is deemed important and several studies show that gamers could lead to solving the world’s problems with their ideas and inventions in the future.
The Book ” Can Digital Games Help Seniors Improve their Quality of Life?” by Sauvé L., Renaud L., Kaufman D. and Duplàa E. provides information how not only children, but it is proven that already full-grown adults can learn and play digital games that could possibly influence both theirhealthcondition and their ability to carry on activities in theirenvironment. The study that was provided with this idea consists of a goal to explore and define the user requirements for developing digital games of learning among older Europeans.
This focused mainly on types of learning games, motivational and social aspects, and the preferences and views people may have on game controllers. An experiment was performed in the initial stage which included a qualitive focus group study of people in the countries of Spain, The Netherlands, and Greece. In this group games existing in the market and others that were developed and created as other European Commission projects were also included and presented to them.
Both games were presented on video presentations and there was a possibility that some of these games were also provided to be able to be tested out as well. From this experiment, it was found that the causes or main keys to adults desiring to play these digital games was challenge, fun, escape from daily routine, socialization and the providing of learning opportunities. These learning opportunities and attractive qualities to these games could lead to better creative thinking and the more they are played due to their addictive qualities, the better thinkers these gamers become.
These game users describe themselves with characteristics such as active and participating in many leisure activities. This level of activity the subjects describe appeared to be related with the contents which are proposed for videogames such as physical activity, culture, arts, history, geography, traveling, human sciences, daily life skills, etc. This knowledge and information gathered and interpreted from focus groups can and will be used as input for the design of a learning game that will be largely compatible with the needs and abilities of a wide range of the older Europeans.
The New York Times wrote an article on the statements and questions of experts who have played the videogames that Americans have spent ten thousand hours playing by the age of twenty-one. Edward Castronova, a professor of telecommunications at Indiana University, provides information that, ” Gamers are engaged, focused and happy. How many employers wish they could say that about even a tenth of their work force?” Castronova has also studied and designed games online and goes on to state that there are similarities between the activities in games and the activities done at the work place.
He states, ” Many activities in games are not very different from work activities. Look at information on a screen, discern immediate objectives, choose what to click and drag.” A well-known and credited game designer and researcher at the Institute for the Future, Jane McGonigal, sums up this new arisen argument in her book, ” Reality is Broken: Why Games Make Us Better and How They Can Change the World.”
Her book basically provides the encouragement as well as the persuasion for designers to aim higher with games that could solve scientific problems and possibly promotehappinessin daily life. In the way distant past even, the emperor Charlemagne called a scholar who then gathered puzzles and games to challenge the young minds of the century at the time. Even the British during the less distant past credited their victory over Napoleon to the intelligence games played on the fields of Eton.
When the time eventually came to the age in which intellectual games went digital the activity was denounced as ” escapism” and an ” addiction.” This was due to the fact that industry’s revenues rivaled Hollywood’s at the time. This time was also when children and adults gradually started to become more and more absorbed in these games and soon they even forsook television.
This caused for gaming’s unhealthy and troublesome reputation that has carried on over through the years, even up to present day. But meanwhile, at this time a group of researchers seemed to be more interested and occupied in understanding why players had become this focused and absorbed into the games they played in the first place. Gamers seemed to be achieving a certain state of ” flow” that psychologists had used to describe championship athletes as well as master musicians.
Except with gamers, this flow did not take years of training to accomplish. Nicole Lazzaro, game-design consultant and president of XEODesign, conducted an experiment or study in which she recorded the faces of those who were playing video games to take note of their facial expressions. She also planned tointerviewthe gamer as well as theirfamilyand friends to find the important and crucial factors provided within a good game.
” Hard fun” was a factor that was said to be important to be included in an entertaining game. ” Hard fun” is described by Ms. Lazzaro as conquering and surpassing obstacles to reach an end goal. Even games and puzzles of older design had this attractive factor to them that gamers enjoyed. But the difference is that with video games, they now provide instant feedback and continual encouragement from the technology used, as well as fellow gamers.
Most games provide video gamers with rewards using a steady and constant system throughout the entirety of the experience. As they progress in gaining more points and reaching higher levels, the challenges faced increase in difficulty as the players experience with the game as well as their skill with it increases. This causes formotivationand determination to defeat and progress the game despite the repetitive failing included in the experience.
Dr. McGonigal has worked constantly on using this feeling and vibe from games for good in the real world. She has designed Cruel 2 B Kind. This is a game in which players advance by being nice and showing kindness to strangers located in public places. It has been played in more than 50 cities on four continents and has only had a positive impact overall. There are also other games and websites like Cruel 2 B Kind that improve peoples mood as well as actions and interactions with others.
There is a massive number of positives to video gaming as well as this type of interaction that occurs between people. As we improve our technology further we are also improving the quality of video games and their positive influences and impacts on not only children, but adults as well. Hopefully as we continue to progress, the purposes of video games will contain more importance as well as unique and critical lessons and knowledge for all. But for now, video games are positively and greatly affecting our world and will hopefully continue doing so for generations to come.