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Video Games as a Outstanding Hobby

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Surrounded by many of my notable hobbies, going out, spending time on the computer, sports, reading , music, etc… there is one that stands out amongst the rest. On my free time I casually play computer, video, and/or casual games. Videogames are played for the sake of entertainment. Whether they are played on a television or a computer they still attract millions of people to take part in this activity every day. In fact they are one of the most popular leisure activities in the world. By playing a simple game maybe 30 minutes to 1 hour a day can vastly improve your thinking skills (Russell). By simple game I mean a game that is very easy to learn but incredibly hard to master. Games like Solitaire and Tetris.

The Technological PhenomenonAlthough playing games may not be my greatest accomplishment I feel that it helped me in unforeseen ways. I first discovered my hobby ever since I was a child; I was introduced to my very first gaming console the basic NES which is short for Nintendo Entertainment System. As the gaming industry moved on so did I. Within the time span of 10~15 years, the gaming industry has grown to new heights and the complexity of games themselves has evolved at a quick rate this phase is commonly referred to as “The Next Generation” (Stahl). This era of video games introduced the very first 32-bit, 64-bit, and 128-bit processors designed in home console machines. This period is filled with advances in technology that enables more “realistic and immersive experiences for gamers.”(Stahl). Video games of all sorts are a 10-billion dollar industry and is continuing to grow.

The Positive EffectsIn the past video games have been blamed for making kids obese, introducing them to sex and violence, and shifting them away from the important aspects in life such as school. In spite of these differences video and computer games contain hidden features to improve certain characteristics that an individual has. Despite what parents or other individuals say “It’s a waste of time”, I would have to disagree with that statement as I only play these trivial games to relieve stress because in the end; hobbies are actual ways for adults to learn stress relieving activities. There are both positive and negative effects to playing these games. Most negative effects are endured by excessive playing. Positive effects include improvement of hand-eye coordination, strategic thinking, and cooperative participation.

•Sight Skills: Ironically enough gamers that play shooting games have much better visual skills then most of the population. They are good at spotting details in a busy environment, distracting scenes and can adapt with more distractions then average.

•Reduce Anger/Stress: One of the biggest advantages to games is that it reduces stress. People often see games as a more passive way to escape reality for a few minutes. By playing for 30 minutes to an hour a day will help concentrate your mind on something less important so you can forget about the more stressful issues. Playing a video game is easier and could be much more enjoyable then planning a vacation or even resorting to alcohol to relieve stress.

•Social Skills: Ever since developers have launched massive multiplayer online games into our society more and more people are connected to this network. With the use of technology players can actually use microphones to communicate with one another. Within these massive multiplayer games there are teams. Players leading these teams gain a large amount of coordination skills and management skills. Management skills may include assigning specific roles, delegating tasks, strategic planning, and managing a crisis.

More specifically the U.S military buys simulation games to help troops tone their survivability skills. A game like Full Spectrum Command teaches troops how to survive ambushes, it tests organization, decision making and the ability to recognize threats in a peacekeeping setting. In fact the Pentagon is joining forces with video-game industries to train and recruit soldiers. (Wired News)The Different GenresThere are different genres in video games that can fuel an individual’s interest. What’s interesting about games is that it doesn’t limit the player to only one certain aspect rather it gives a variety of different paths for the player to choose. There are so many different genres in gaming today and modern games have mixes of different genres which makes it difficult to present its own category. The major genres we see in games today are:•First Person Shooter: Emphases shooting from a first person perspective. Commonly known as FPS, this perspective is meant to give the player a live experience of actually “being there”.

•Role Playing: This genre often takes part in a fantasy type setting and forces the player to assume the role of the protagonist and drives the game play into an important storyline.

•Massive Multiplayer: These games usually take place online where thousands of other players all interact in the same virtual world. As of today most of these games are subscription based and the most popular type. In 2004 Blizzard Entertainment designed a massive multiplayer game called World of Warcraft which as attracted over 6 million players today. (Wikipedia)•Simulation: These games strive to stimulate a real live atmosphere for the gamer. A popular title first introduced in Japan is Dance Dance Revolution (DDR). This game is actually played using a dance pad that has four arrows (left, right, up and down). These arrows are pressed using the player’s feet, in response to what the player sees on the screen. Many news sources have reported playing DDR can be good aerobic exercise as some regular players lost over 10~50 lbs. (Wikipedia)•Sports: Sporting games often emulate the live practice of an actual sport. Some sport games emphases on playing the sport while others focuses on the strategy behind it. Franchise titles like Electronic Arts (EA) have been designing their games based on NHL, NBA, NFL, and MLB for over a decade.

In conclusion, video gaming is a great hobby to participate in. They provide a fun and social form of entertainment of people of all ages. Video games are not narrow like other hobbies instead they offer a wide assortment of different types. It is a known fact that 63% of the population plays video games, with the average age being 30. Despite all the negative stereotypes that society bestows upon gamers, games can provide benefits. Benefits such as improvement in social skills, hand coordination and most importantly reduces stress. In the contemporary world video games have become the new form of entertainment as they surpass books, music and movies. Whether or not the majority of people play video games, gaming has become a major hobby and a huge factor in society and is no longer a small community of 14 year olds.

Works Cited

Nisbet, Robert “Video Games ‘good for you'” BCC News. 28 May 2003. 08 November 2006Russell, Michael. “Want To Relieve Stress – Play A Video Game.” EzineArticles09 Sept 2006. 08 November 2006.

Stahl, Ted. “Chronology of the History of Video Games” 19 Feb 2005. 08 November 2006Wikipedia “Computer and Video Games” Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. 08 November, 2006Wired News. “Military Training is just a Game” Wired News. 03 Oct 2003. 08 November 2006

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