Here are some pros and cons of playing video games that are (mostly) supported by research (I made a few up myself!)
- Increases resistance to distraction (especially when playing action games).
- Increased visual acuity. Your peripheral vision is improved quite significantly.
- A great social activity, whether playing some games at a party or playing games online.
- Can teach people more about life. Virtual pet games, for example, can help teach people about what is involved in raising a pet.
- Puzzle, adventure and word games can help improve problem solving and logic skills. Sudoku is a game that greatly increases these skills. Adventure games where you have to complete certain goals can also help you to ‘think outside the box’ (note that if you use a walkthrough, you aren’t increasing any of these skills).
- Can be used to assist in education. Studies have shown that children playing educational games learn more because they do not realize that they are learning.
- Increases attention span.
- They are fun!
- If you are playing the Nintendo Wii, you can actually get a reasonable physical workout! Studies have shown that you use much more energy playing the Wii than the Playstation 3 (ps3), the Xbox 360 or the PC.
- Some people can become completely addicted to video games and they do not go to work (or school), do not eat properly and do not exercise enough.
- Playing video games (even on the Wii) does not constitute a proper physical workout.
- Some people can become desensitized to violence when they a lot of violent video games. There have been reports of criminals copying violent video game crimes (such as those featured in the controversial Grand Theft Auto series).
- Some people may think that taking drugs, getting drunk and smoking are not harmful when they are presented in video games without the characters feeling any effects from their behavior.
- Can give people false expectations of real life, as real life cannot be perfectly simulated by video games.
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