Handheld Gaming Consoles As Friends
As you have read in our home page, mobile devices are becoming an integral part of our society. Hence, it is important that we understand how the use of such devices may affect us rather than focus only on their functions and capabilities.
On this page, we will discuss the benefits of handheld gaming - on the mind, our psychological and physical health and social skills. To start with, no handheld game would be complete without video games. Hence, it is of importance that we first explore how playing certain video games may be beneficial to us.
You can't tar all all games with the same brush
- Professor Mark Griffiths, Nottingham Trent University
On the Mind...
In recent years, a study was conducted on the benefits of video games and found that they can provide participants with a context to discuss scenarios and outcomes in order to better understand important concepts. To put simply, it means that one can apply what they learn in video games to real life contexts. Additionally, gaming can invoke your spatial abilitiesAbility to visualise 2D and 3D figures. Statistics show that children who play video games are better able to create and apply multiple strategies in order to get things done in a shorter amount of time as compared to those who do not game. Skills which gamers can pick up unconsciously during gaming include problem solving and critical analyzing. More notable is the visuomotorPut simply, sensivity of sight to behavioral reactions. Read on for better understanding. skills they develop in the process which gives them more sensitivity in peripheral vision and their ability to pick out briefly presented objects in comparison to non-players. With the emergence of educational video games in the market, studies of children who employ such methods have shown a significant improvement in their reading and spelling abilities. From this, we can deduce that gaming helps one to think out of the box which is complementary to the expectations of today's modern society and is something to be encouraged.
Nintendo DS's "Brain Training" for example, is a game designed to stimulate brain action and to train the brain to think in more complex situations which is supposedly driven towards improving a person's Intelligence Quotient. Designed by a prominent neuroscientistA researcher of neural and brain-related phenomenons. it is popular with the elderly as the game has been said to prevent dementia. No wonder my grandmother is such an ardent fan of the Brain Academy Series.
On Health and Psychology...
Now, video games have even been prescribed to patients for physiotherapy or occupational therapyTherapy which allows the impaired to participate in everyday activities. as they can provide the "cognitiveOf relation to conscious mental activities. For example, thinking. distraction" which aids pain management sometimes required to provide relief of pain and discomfort to aid their treatment process. For example, in chemotherapy and sickle cell disease.
Handheld gaming, in particular, has been utilized in physiotherapy of arm injuries whereby it helps to train arm movements and increase hand strength. Such therapeutic benefits have been reported for those with muscular dystrophyA genetic disease which weakens muscles required for movement., severe burns and spinal injuries as regular exercising may be too strenuous for them.
In a study on therapeutic intervention, playing handheld games have promoted and improved arm reach significantly for people who have suffered from traumatic brain injury.
On Social Skills...
Moving away from the cultural stereotype that only lonely geeks and nerds engage in games, teachers have found gamers to be more sociable.
As handheld gaming has now developed wifi and local wireless functions, it can allow for multi-player games both online and offline. Such games require extensive teamwork and to win, these gamers will have to compromise and complement each other, sometimes despite not knowing their team mates in the first place.
Teachers have reflected that gaming allowed students to work together with each other more effectively in comparison to non-gamers as they are better able to communicate and understand one another. Such traits will definitely be of help for these students in the future, whereby big school or even work projects require a joint effort to be completed successfully.
1. BBC News on how Computer game play 'aids health'. (8th March 2009)
2. Mary Schlimme on Video Game Addiction: Do we need a Video Gamers Anonymous? (8th March 2009)
3. Mark Griffiths explains how video games have a positive effect on our health. (8 March 2009)
4. Mark Griffiths on how video games are therapeutic tools. (8 March 2009)
5. Mark Griffiths' book - The Therapeutic Use of Videogames in Childhood and Adolescence, Chapter 10. (8th March 2009)