Argumentative Essay: Video games, beneficial or detrimental?

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Reuben Rolle

English Composition I

Mrs. Linda Davis-Fisher

Argumentative Essay

Video Games Beneficial or Hazardous

        Video games have been a growing phenomenon since the mid 1980’s. With the vast improvements in technology the video gaming industry had evolved from simple two dimensional games to realist, fast paced, life like experiences. Along with it’s growth there has been an ongoing discussion of whether video games are beneficial or hazardous to children and adolescents. Some are of the view that video games are indeed hazardous because they are meaningless times wasters that encourage anti-social behavior, have a negative impact of the health of children, and because they are filled with violent content. However, I do not share these views. In my opinion video games are a wonder pastime which has the potential to be very beneficial on many levels.

        Many believe that video games are a useless form of entertainment that is in no way beneficial, therefore it is considered a waste of time. However, video games are a real brain workout that invokes abstract and high level thinking. These skills are usually not taught in school, but they are prevalent in most video games. Some of these mental skills include: problem solving and logic, hand-eye coordination, quick thinking, making fast analysis and decisions, strategy and anticipation, perseverance and inductive reasoning and hypothesis testing. According to researchers at the University of Rochester, Led by Daphne Baveler, a cognitive scientist, games simulating stressful events such as those found in battle or action games are a good training tool for real world situations. Also to successfully complete a game, players must deal with immediate problems while keeping their long-term goal in sight. This term is called “telescoping.” (Steven Johnson). James Paul Gee, professor of education at the University of Wisconsin-Madison says:

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Playing a video game is similar to working through a science problem. Like students in a laboratory, gamers must come up with a hypothesis. For example, players in some games constantly try out combinations of weapons and powers to use to defeat an enemy. If one does not work, they change hypothesis and try the next one. Video games are goal-driven experiences, which are fundamental to learning. (106)

        Some people feel that children spend too much time playing games and as a result they become socially isolated, which affects the time spent doing home work, other physical activities and interacting ...

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