Video Games Better Prepare People to Develop Skills Needed in the Real World
Nowadays, a significant number of young people play video games as a leisure activity (Brooks et al. 36). However, there has been a controversy over whether video games better prepare individuals for or merely distract them from developing skills they need in the real world. Video games contribute significantly to the development of an individual and have proven to improve social, communication, problem-solving, survival, and decision-making skills needed in the real world. Thus, video games better prepare people to develop the skills they need in the real world.
Firstly, video games provide a suitable medium for enhancing social skills, specifically collaboration and teamwork. Social skills are among the most needed skills in the real world since they allow individuals to relate, communicate, connect, and build healthy relationships with other people. Empirical studies have proven that using video games boosts social skills (Safdar 156). Granic et al. (73) also reveal that playing video games enhances social skills since more than 70% of individuals play with a friend either competitively or cooperatively. Supporting the idea that video games improve social skills, Johansson (n.p) urges that playing of video games is often considered a cooperative leisure time activity for young people and individuals who play video games more frequently are socially cohesive with their peers. An example of a competitive and multiplayer community video game is Starcraft 2 (Ashinoff 3). Also, Borderlands 2 video game helps improve collaboration skills. This is a cooperative first-person shooter game that Gearbox Software created in 2016. Players cooperate to battle a variety of enemies while obtaining loot and weapons against a vibrant cartoonish background and attendant story. The player’s selection of character classes, which range from a tank-like “Gunzerker” to a stealthier assassin, supports a variety of play styles (Barr 87). Through playing cooperatively, the game enhances coordination among players. Thus, it is evident that video games enhance the social skills of gamers.
Secondly, video games provide a means for improving decision-making skills. Usually, each decision made by an individual carries a certain amount of risk. Since some risks are greater than others, having the ability to determine the risk level in any situation and determine the possible outcomes is a life skill required in the contemporary world. Empirical studies have shown that playing video games provides a means of improving decision-making skills. For instance, Reynaldo (211) studied whether video games boost decision-making and cognitive skills. Findings revealed that video games enhance decision-making and cognitive skills (Reynaldo 211). Research also reveals that video games can be utilized to enhance decision-making abilities since they have qualities like multilinearity that force players to select from a variety of options and instant feedback that enables them to comprehend the results of their decisions (Toh 1). Therefore, there is sufficient evidence to prove that video games help improve decision-making skills.
Additionally, video games serve as a means for improving verbal communication skills. Effective communication is an important skill in the real world since it ensures that there is no room for alteration of messages or misunderstanding, thus, reducing the potential for conflicts. In an investigation to determine the likelihood of video games to improve communication skills for EFL learners. Results showed that video games enhance intercultural and communication skills (Toufik and Sarnou 292). One of the video games that helps improve communication skills is My Word Coach. My Word Coach, a game created in partnership with linguists, offers players a fun approach to increasing their vocabulary and vocal communication. The game allows players to fill in missing letters from words, spell out definitions, select the term that best fits a given definition, and create specialized words with Scrabble-like tiles.
Also, video games such as Minecraft assist an individual in developing survival skills. Survival skills are needed in the real world since they allow individuals to acquire basic necessities for the sustenance of human life. An example of a video game that helps develop survival skills is Minecraft. This is a randomly generated sandbox game with building, exploring, and survival features. Usually, players in a single-player mode are free to roam around the world to gather (or “mine”) materials like wood, metal, and stone to make (or “craft”) a variety of structures, tools, and weapons (Barr 87). Sourcing woods to build a home allows the gamers to develop survival skills.
Lastly, video games allow gamers to improve their problem-solving skills. Problem-solving skills are among the most needed in the real world since people are faced with several circumstances requiring them to utilize these skills. Multi-level and mission-based games are designed in the form of complex puzzles that require to be solved over the course of several hours. Sometimes solutions vary depending on how one plays the game. The ability to strategize and think quickly under pressure in a fast-paced fantasy setting can be applied in real life. Empirical studies have also shown that video games improve problem-solving skills (Adachi and Teena 1041).
While video games better prepare people to develop skills they need in the real world, they also have some harmful impacts. Excessive use and addiction to video games may result in poor mental health and dopamine addiction (Nielsen and Daniel 60). Scientific studies have confirmed that playing video games results in releasing of similar amounts of dopamine as taking ecstasy drugs. As such, this may result in dopamine addiction. Other negative effects of video games include poor professional and academic performance, especially where most time is spent gaming.
Overall, video games provide a means for developing social, decision-making, communication, survival, and problem-solving skills needed in the real world. Despite these benefits, video games are also associated with negative effects such as dopamine addiction and poor mental heal issues. However, the benefits of video games outweigh the drawbacks. This is because the adverse effects of video games result from addiction, something that can be controlled. Thus, it seems to me that the potential benefits of video games are more significant than the drawbacks. Thus, I strongly support that video games better prepare people to develop the skills they need in the real world.
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