Video Games: A Therapeutic Tool
Updated: Jul 14
Video games are electronic games played on different video display devices. It usually come on CDs, DVDs or digital download. People can play a game on portable video games anywhere. Mobile devices (running operating systems such as iOS or Android) also can download games, making them portable game machines. A specialised device used to play a video game at home is called a console. There have been many types of consoles and home computers used to play video games. The best selling video game console of all time is the PlayStation 2, made by Sony.
Like other media, such as rock music (notably heavy metal music and gangsta rap), video games have been the subject of objections, controversies and censorship, for instance because of depictions of violence, criminal activities, sexual themes, alcohol, tobacco and other drugs, propaganda, profanity or advertisements. Critics of video games include parents' groups, politicians, religious groups, scientists and other advocacy groups. Claims that some video games cause addiction or violent behavior continue to be made and to be disputed.
But other side of the story is that it has been shown that action video game players have better hand–eye coordination and visuo-motor skills, such as their resistance to distraction, their sensitivity to information in the peripheral vision and their ability to count briefly presented objects, than nonplayers. It has been suggested by a few studies that online/offline video gaming can be used as a therapeutic tool in the treatment of different mental health concerns.
Learning principles found in video games have been identified as possible techniques with which to reform the U.S. education system. It has been noticed that gamers adopt an attitude while playing that is of such high concentration, they do not realize they are learning, and that if the same attitude could be adopted at school, education would enjoy significant benefits. Students are found to be "learning by doing" while playing video games while fostering creative thinking.
In spite of the alleged negative effects of video games, certain studies indicate that they may have value in terms of academic performance, perhaps because of the skills that are developed in the process. "When you play games you’re solving puzzles to move to the next level and that involves using some of the general knowledge and skills in maths, reading and science that you’ve been taught during the day", said Alberto Posso an Associate Professor at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, after analysing data from the results of standardized testing completed by over 12,000 high school students across Australia.
The Guardian also reported that a Columbia University study indicated that extensive video gaming by students in the 6 to 11 age group provided a greatly increased chance of high intellectual functioning and overall school competence. Video games have also been proven to raise self-esteem and build confidence. It gives people an opportunity to do things that they cannot do offline, and to discover new things about themselves. There is a social aspect to gaming as well – research has shown that a third of video game players make good friends online. As well as that, video games are also considered to be therapeutic as it helps to relieve stress.