video games

Justin

Jedi Master
To the extent that video games focus your mind and require interactivity, I think they are better entertainment than watching TV or other types of passive entertainment. However, I have definitely finished video game sessions feeling foggy-headed and mentally drained. I have also had lots of fun playing them, especially in the early stages when there is a great deal to learn. As far as whether or not they make people smarter or better at certain tasks, I think it depends on the person and the type of game. Just my 2 cents :)
 

monkee

Jedi
Justin said:
I think it depends on the person and the type of game.
I agree. My taste of game differs slightly that what you all mentioned. Basically I play adventure games involving puzzles and mysteries. I also learnt a big deal of geography and history by playing historical strategy games.
There is one game that affected me emotionally. It's called Kana Little Sister. The story is mainly focused around Kana, even though you play in the shoes of her brother. Kana spends most of her life in a hospital because she was born with a chronic illness. As a result, she struggles with every aspect of life, while dealing with the dark presence that mires each day of her life: the threat of death. I was emotionally drained after playing this game. IMO the positive side of it is that it gave me certain understanding of people who are terminally ill.
Just with everything else, moderation is a virtue.
 

Cyre2067

The Living Force
Thought I'd add some data I'd found whilst surfing for interesting journal articles:

The relationship between online game addiction and aggression, self-control and narcissistic personality term traits

Abstract
Objectives. This study aimed to explore the relationship between online game addiction and aggression, self-control, and narcissistic personality
traits, which are known as the psychological characteristics linked to ‘‘at-risk’’ populations for online game addiction.
Method. A total of 1471 online game users (males 82.7%, females 17.3%, mean age 21.30  4.96) participated in this study and were
asked to complete several self-report measures using an online response method. Questionnaires included demographic information and
game use-related characteristics of the samples, the online game addiction scale (modified from Young’s Internet addiction scale), the
BussePerry aggression questionnaire, a self-control scale, and the narcissistic personality disorder scale.
Results. Our results indicated that aggression and narcissistic personality traits are positively correlated with online game addiction,
whereas self-control is negatively correlated with online game addiction ( p < 0.001). In addition, a multiple regression analysis revealed that
the extent of online game addiction could be predicted based on the person’s narcissistic personality traits, aggression, self-control, interpersonal
relationship, and occupation. However, only 20% of the variance in behavioral consequences was explained with the model.
Conclusion. An interesting profile has emerged from the results of this study, suggesting that certain psychological characteristics such as
aggression, self-control, and narcissistic personality traits may predispose some individuals to become addicted to online games. This result will
deepen our understanding of the ‘‘at-risk’’ population for online game addiction and provide basic information that can contribute to developing
a prevention program for people who are addicted to online games.

 2007 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.
Keywords: Online game addiction; Aggression; Self-control; Narcissistic personality traits

I can email anyone the paper who wants to read the whole thing. It's quite technical and that above bit sums it up rather well for discussion purposes. I was shocked to see how large their sample size was, lots of gamers in Korea! What I'm wondering now from this brief glimpse is that if gaming addiction can cause or increase NPD traits, aggression and harm one's self-control. Talk about a mind-control...
 
H

Hildegarda

Guest
Pinkerton said:
"I'd still be plenty concerned if my child played them all the time," Prof. Bialystok said. "Sure, they're getting better at rapid search and response problems, but I really would prefer my child read a book."



this is exactly the point. Video gaming is a sensory addiction, and, if your mind has been trained to thrive on over-stimulation, a a book just looks too boring afterwords. Of course I am talking about, say, "War and Peace", and not about a fantasy novel.

there is a whole trend on foot here, and video-gaming is a part of it, along with decrease in verbal STA scores and rise in ADHD, be it diagnosed or actual.

Marc Prensky writes about impact on video games on children's brains, his take is entirely positive (\\\http://www.marcprensky.com/writing/default.asp) It appears, however, that he and other video game proponents are simply putting a positive spin on trend which is beyond our control and scope of understanding.

I have been talking about this subject to friends who have embraced their children's interest in the games (interest that to me looks like full blown addiction, but anyway). By this time, I am seeing that their kids are growing up into decent young people, despite their gaming, or may be even because they received some benefits from actual gaming or being allowed to follow their interests.

There is one common thing among all those people though -- it's a general lax attitude to one's life, equating happiness with bodily comfort, and assuming that whatever makes you feel good is good for you. They would say, of course, that the latter applies only to a narrow spectrum of generally acceptable, morally sound and obviously non-criminal activities. And, they do like the word "moderation"a lot -- the thing is, they define it as it suits them, and the scale of "moderation" may change from discussion to discussion, there is no objective criteria.

I also found that their very opinion on some issue may turn around 180 degrees, but they still find ways to make it match with whatever system of values they espouse. It's very much about "creating your own reality", even if they don't refer to it this way.

And it is THIS that bothers me most of all. Video games are about entertainment and taking the player away from objective reality, and they do it insidiously, too. Consider the following example: if "good" video-games are about learning and have benefits, then ok -- a surgeon-in-training should practice every day shooting green dots on a black screen and enjoy the increase in visual perception and better reaction time. But would he\she be interested enough to do it? No, because it's boring. It's the pretty packaging we are going for in the video-game, and that's what people become addicted to -- not the game's "meaning".

Learning is fun, but it's not easy, while game-based learning wants us to believe that we can have our cake and eat it too.
 

RedFox

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Thought I'd jump in here as this is also. Computers and computer games have been a crutch for me for years.

I must have been 7ish when I first discovered computer games at a friend’s. Spectrum +2 (you had to wait 5 minutes for the game to load by tape!). I remember that once a game crashed out, and left its code on the screen.

So my two favorite addictions where born, computer games and computer programming. I suppose they weren’t addictions initially, but they went that way.
Both are incredibly escapist. I remember about the age of 15 (in the middle of writing a computer game) 'I wish the real world was as predictable as programming a computer'....funnily I also realised about the same age that I could 'reprogram' my mind any way I wanted.....although was never quite sure what to do with it...lol
Looking back I can see how much I used it to avoid reality entirely.

I was never brilliant at interacting socially from childhood...mostly through fear (imagined or real) during interactions...school bullies added to that. So I escaped into a worlds that where logical and instantly rewarding. Years playing sonic the hedgehog, and coding my own games.

Discovered Wolfenstien, Decent (my friends would get dizzy watching do flips through those tunnels), Doom and Quake. Discovered the joy of high speed internet Quake2 and LAN games at university. Halflife, UnrealTournement, Quake3Arena, HL:DM, Diablo2, Tribes2. Years and years.

I've found this thread quite sobering. I wonder if alcoholics go through this?

I play a few hours a month now. Mostly FPS Deathmatch. Or if a decent single player FPS comes out (halflife series, bioshock) then I'll play that in virtually one sitting. Although even thats too much now. The more Work I do the less I want (need) to play. Although I still seem to be using other avoidance strategies more.

I've read previous threads on here about computer games, but this seems to have nailed it a bit more for me.

A few thoughts crossed my mind while reading others posts, so heres what I came up with.
Dreams, it defiantly effected my dreams!! I'd still be running from and shooting hordes of zombies all night long. Wake up feeling drained. The dreams became routine. I have wondered if the poor sleep pattern, and stress from the games (and dreams) can lead to adrenal fatigue.
One thing is for sure, whenever I was ill and played computer games, I'd stay ill or get worse.
My addictive side (program?) also seems to show itself more when tired/fatigued, so am more likely to stay up until 5am playing a game if I was already tired to start with. So for me they can be part of a draining/self-destructive cycle.

As most of us seem to have started playing games when younger, it may be worth noting how they are tide to core programs we learnt when younger. For me I find most of my programs there. And all the undealt with feelings I avoided by playing the games.
One last side note, for me the ‘avoidance’ I found in computer games and programming transferred to online forums/social groups and online messaging (until 5am) instead.
 

foofighter

Jedi Council Member
I've recently become a stepdad in a family with three kids, all of whom are addicted to video games. The youngest have a lot of ADHD symptoms, and have trouble concentrating on anything but video games. All of them have self-esteem and self-confidence issues.

The strategy I am attempting in dealing with the situation is to start by simply writing a contract saying that they can only play 2 hours per day (it includes TV and DVD's as well), which is a drastic reduction. If they break it, there's no games or TV for a week. So far so good, and they keep track of each other (in a sometimes malicious way, but I guess it's a start). The next part of the strategy is to replace the game time with other things. We have begun playing chess and other board games with them, and also do more reading together and puzzle games like Sudoku. For the youngest who is hyperactive we are playing basketball and soccer, to get him physically stimulated and "wear him out", so to speak. So far it's going quite well, but any other tips on how to deal with situations like these would be appreciated. I'm a complete newbie on this stuff :-)
 
N

noise

Guest
Hi All,

Foofighter, I think your doing a brilliant job and personally, have given me a few creative ideas to put to use for my own family. Did a recent video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t9qVEBEM8yE with video games in mind. It's not really mocking games to any degree but is an attempt at getting gamers to think and look at the world around them, instead of staring at a screen in some digital made war simulation.
 

foofighter

Jedi Council Member
Steve M. said:
Foofighter, I think your doing a brilliant job and personally, have given me a few creative ideas to put to use for my own family. Did a recent video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t9qVEBEM8yE with video games in mind. It's not really mocking games to any degree but is an attempt at getting gamers to think and look at the world around them, instead of staring at a screen in some digital made war simulation.
It's great if you can try out some of the ideas I presented, and see how it works for you. About the video, I've played Oblivion some before and the video actually made it look quite fun and interesting again. I'm not sure how it's going to make gamers think to be honest. There does't seem to be any connection between the assembled game footage, and it being bad in any sense. If I were to show that to my kids then they will start playing Oblivion, more likely!

What in the video was supposed to make gamers think? Can you explain? Maybe it can be refined and updated to have more of an impact in the direction you want.
 
N

noise

Guest
Thought the castles burning and the flaming text, "the fate of the world.." etc.. There's the credits also. Guess it is a matter of perspective, where I thought it was in a clear light, it's actually in the dark. It's a re-revision of a video I did a few years back, maybe I should have left it back there, in the past.

My thoughts are that gamers go into a world thinking they have gained something by obtaining the sword of super-something or what have you. When the puter is off you have nothing, and no way to get back the time wasted. Guess that is how it goes in terms of all A influenced based things. This isn't to imply recreation isn't good or fun, but think it should be monitored so that we do not become so immersed we forget ourSelves. Just my two cents for what it's worth.
 

foofighter

Jedi Council Member
Steve M. said:
Thought the castles burning and the flaming text, "the fate of the world.." etc.. There's the credits also. Guess it is a matter of perspective, where I thought it was in a clear light, it's actually in the dark. It's a re-revision of a video I did a few years back, maybe I should have left it back there, in the past.
Ok, I see. Well, the credits are clear, but how the intro leads to the credits is not, I think. Maybe it would be clearer if the "credits" and video was interleaved, like one shot of castle burning, then a text with "What if this was real?" and a real video of something burning, and then back to the game, and back to reality with text explaining how wrong it is in the real world, and so on. Then it would be clear how weird the "hero"-thinking in games is, I think.

Something to consider!
 

GRiM

The Living Force
This is the description from a game that just got released, Mercenaries 2.

Mercenaries 2: World in Flames is an explosive open-world action game set in a massive,
highly reactive, war-torn world. A power-hungry tyrant messes with Venezuela's oil supply,
sparking an invasion that turns the country into a warzone.
But for you, international crisis
is all upside: You are a mercenary, and you profit from chaos. These are world powers with
deep pockets, deep grudges, and enough arms and ammo to start World War III.
This is your
kind of environment.

Mercenaries 2 features the latest and most dangerous in civilian and military tech,
everything from shiny new sports cars, to the future-tech satellite-guided bunker-busting
mini-nuke. Tanks, APCs, boats, luxury automobiles -- you name it, you can have it delivered
to you in real time. And if you run out of cash you can always 'acquire' the gear you need
in the field. You are not a soldier. You don't have to play by anyone's rules. You have your
own code: you will fulfill the terms of the contract, no matter what.


Barfbag please.
 

Gaby

SuperModerator
Moderator
FOTCM Member
GRiM said:
This is the description from a game that just got released, Mercenaries 2.

Oh yeah, I remember Venezuela was not very happy with that one...

Here is a google translation about this:

http://www.aporrea.org/tiburon/n79646.html

To invade Venezuela, overthrow a "power hungry tyrant" and ensure the supply of oil is the target of one of the last game that goes on sale in the United States, where the creators feed on controversial issues of reality to design their products .

The Vice President Rangel responded yesterday to this product and said that the government of George W. Bush is a "government of gangsters, drug traffickers and criminals."
 

Nienna

SuperModerator
Moderator
FOTCM Member
GRiM said:
This is the description from a game that just got released, Mercenaries 2.

Mercenaries 2: World in Flames is an explosive open-world action game set in a massive,
highly reactive, war-torn world. A power-hungry tyrant messes with Venezuela's oil supply,
sparking an invasion that turns the country into a warzone.
But for you, international crisis
is all upside: You are a mercenary, and you profit from chaos. These are world powers with
deep pockets, deep grudges, and enough arms and ammo to start World War III.
This is your
kind of environment.

Mercenaries 2 features the latest and most dangerous in civilian and military tech,
everything from shiny new sports cars, to the future-tech satellite-guided bunker-busting
mini-nuke. Tanks, APCs, boats, luxury automobiles -- you name it, you can have it delivered
to you in real time. And if you run out of cash you can always 'acquire' the gear you need
in the field. You are not a soldier. You don't have to play by anyone's rules. You have your
own code: you will fulfill the terms of the contract, no matter what.


Barfbag please.


Wow! A training video to hook and recruit more mercenaries to the likes of Blackwater et al.

Nothing like the razzle dazzle of no rules, lots of money, guns, explosives - heck, anything you want - to attract those who want nothing more than to meet their baser wants and "needs." :thdown:

It seems to me that either the private armies of the elite are not big enough yet, or they are foreseeing heavy casualties to come - or both.

Just my 2 cents
 

Sleepy

The Force is Strong With This One
I love computer games, and I am still playing from time to time (how would I othervise experience joy of saving Galaxy from Dominators, or explore
mysterious world of Morrowind?). I am 36 year old, and certainly at any time have more important things to do than running around with light saber saving...whatever there is to be saved. But I believe that even when we grow up, we remain children deep inside and that childish playfull side needs to be expressed from time to time. And anything that can be used, can be abused as well. Books are not different. If you don't believe, just ask my mother. When I was a child, I was not social, I was very shy and I used to spend most of my time reading books. Everyday, all the time, to the point of exhaustion. It was running away from reality, it was addiction, it was living in virtual world. One day, my mother announced
that if I don't stop that, and go out to play with other children, she would take me to doctor. So, even though I found nothing of big interest outside, I have started to play with other
children, just to satisfy her and behave according to "normality" in order to relieve her anxiety (ha, external consideration of a 12 years old child!). Today, I am aware of my addictive side, and I am trying to control it. Sometimes, only sometimes, I am allowing myself to play computer game, spend whole day reading andneglect chores, duties and work or eat whole pack of chocolate. But I am only limited and demented 3D STS being and on a day when and if I manage to let go of all those traits and do only what should be done, I probably won't be here any more.
 
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