Benefits Of Playing Games Essay

Have you ever thought why people do sports? Absolutely, many people seem not to know the reasons. As a anectode, there are many people who do sports for nothing around us. Everyday we can encounter with these people. They regularly do sports; however, none of them realizes the benefits and importance of sports. In fact, vice versa, some people want to be fit and attractive, look smart. Unfortunately, these people can’t consider other benefits of sports. In my opinion, there are several benefits of sports that people often do not consider: sports are required to be healthy people, are needed for enjoyment, and are great market for countries’ economies.

The first advantage of sports for people is that they help people be healthy, and be fit. Throughout history, people can’t give up their interest at their body. I belive that now many people love themselves no matter how beautiful or ugly they are. Naturally, people’s first aim should be healthy and fit with the benefits of sports. Due to this fact that Sports keep our body healthy. As a possible example, imagine that there is a car which has not worked for years. If you try to run the motor engine, it will not work anymore since it has been rusted and its engine may be broken down. As a result, people is smillar to engines and motors. If we don’t do sports, we will be forced to rust, in other words, decomposition of our body; afterwards, we may have some problems with our body when we even need to small walk. In addition, sports balance our body’s blood pressure and circulation. According to many researchs which have been done by scientists, we can prove the importance of sports for our health because 70% middle aged people who did not do sports in their youth are now struggling with the problems such as high tension, trouble with blood circulation, easily become tired due to the lack of sports.

The second advantage of sports for people is that they are required for our daily lives and competing at the internatinal area because of enjoyment of sports. For many years, sports have been done by people. For example, have you ever thought why people want to play football or other games? The answer may be easy since sports are entertaining. They are sometimes magics as they catch our attention and give us pleasure as much as we need. Sometimes overwhelming life conditions may be unfair and make us unhappy. However, if there is a sport activity when we are unhappy, we will probably be motivated and be refreshed again after the sport activity. This should be the most important benefit of sports because many people do sports for this reason. In addition, have you ever thought why millions of people watch World Cup match without breathing? There might be some reasons behind the action of watching football match. The most important one might be the excitement and enjoyment of sport. Football match is exhilating because it gives us pleasure to watch. In the pitch and near the pitch, there are more than 18 men, and they are the representative of our sport culture. Within the excitment of sports, countries are able to compete in the international area. Due to this fact people like sports since they and their countries are able to compete and beat opponent countries and this is the most important reason to take pleasure from sports.

The final and least advantage of sports is that they are the huge market for countrie’s economy. First of all, if we look at only football industry. There are more than thousand professional team and at least these team have 25 players. If this is calculated, there are approximately 25000 players without working staff, scouts, coaches and managers. This shoud be the largest industry which employs many people in Turkey. In addition, countries and clubs have to establish new facilities for sports game. Some of them are the largest buldings in the entire country that represent countries, for example Ataturk Olympic Stadium in Turkey. Supplying funds for this buldings may be the publicity of countries since constructing well designed stadiums help country preapare or organize big competitons such as World Cup, Olympics, and Tennis Tournaments. Finally, sports allow advertisement companies to make publicity of strong brands. For example, sponsorship is one of the best publicity of one company. Everyone watchs thier favourite team or atlethe, and audiance will probably see the sponsor of team or atlethe. For example, in England, Manchester United which is one of the most powerful clubs in international area has a sponsor called Vodafone. I am from Turkey, and I even know its sponsor. This will probably show the effectiveness of sponsorship in sports.

All in all, we can conclude that there are several advantages and benefits of sports. First, sports are required by people to be fit, smart, and good looking. Second, sports are entertaining due to many facts. Third, sports are the huge market for countries’ economies. In my opinion, despite sports’ advantages, many people can’t believe that sports are useful and beneficial. I hope that in the future these people will tend to be more optimistically to sports since they are the neccessity of our lives.

Melih Sozdinler

In the United States alone, an estimated 99 percent of boys and 94 percent of girls play video games with 97 percent playing at least one hour per day.    The revenue from the video game industry topped $25 billion dollars in 2010 alone (compared to Hollywood's box office sales of $10.8 billion for the U.S. and Canada) and video games have become an important part of popular culture.

Media stories continue to warn about the potential dangers of video game playing, including potential addiction, violent behaviour, and depression, usually in the aftermath of a violent incident linked to video game use (such as the revelation that Sandy Hook Elementary School gunman, Adam Lanza, regularly played shooter games).   After decades of research into the negative effects of video games, the results remain controversial despite a rise in treatment programs intended to wean young people off excessive video game use.

But is video game playing necessarily harmful?   A new review article published in American Psychologist suggests that we need to look at the positive aspects of video game play, as well as the negative.    According to Isabela Granic and her fellow researchers at Radboud University in the Netherlands,  media stories relating to the video game phenomenon largely ignore how video games have changed in recent years to become more complex, realistic, and social in nature.   Research in the last five years has documented the benefits experienced by children and adolescents playing these new, interactive games.     The Dutch researchers suggest that not only do the newer video games provide young people with compelling social, cognitive, and emotional experiences, they also can potentially boost mental health and well-being.

Research into developmental and evolutionary psychology has long underscored the positive benefits of play, especially as children grow and develop.   Not only do social games allow children to test out different social scenarios, they can learn how to handle the kinds of conflicts they might face in the real world.   This allows children to develop social experiences that can be valuable as they mature.    Themes such as power and dominance, aggression, pain, and separation can be rehearsed under non-threatening conditions.   This allows children to learn to cooperate and accept their peers.  

More recently, brain researchers examining play fighting in rats have found that play fighting releases chemical growth factors in regions of the brain coordinated for social activiities. This includes the orbital frontal complex which becomes stimulated and more developed as a result.   Since there are strong similarites between some forms of human and animal play, Granic and her colleagues suggest that play can provide the same sort of brain stimulation in human children as well.  

Although there is no question that ordinary play can provide a wide range of benefits for young people, does the sort of play allowed by interactive video games produce the same benefits?   Again, Isabela Granic and her co-researchers argue that it does.   Not only do video games allow players to interact with the game systems in a way that would not be possible for more passive forms of entertainment such as movies or television, but they can be played either alone, with others, or in competition with thousands of other online players.    Video games can also be played on dedicated systems such as Playstation or Nintendo Wii, personal or tablet computers, and even cell phones. 

Among some of the most popular games played online today is World of Warcraft allowing more than twelve million players to customize their own gaming experience, battle human or computer opponents, and explore complex virtual worlds.   Minecraft has millions of players using simple elements to construct complicated structures and mechanisms to be shared online and to create enormous virtual landscapes.    In The Sims 3, players can create virtual realities where simulated characters can interact wth other characters online to learn new skills, work and play in dedicated environments, and form complex relationships.    Given the thousands of other interactive game systems available to players,  it is hardly surprising that the wide range of gaming experiences has spawned a gamer culture with virtual and non-virtual gaming communities around the world and distinctions among casual, "core", "hard-core", and even pro gamers earning some or all of their income from gaming in serious competitions.

As for the actual benefits that come from playing video games, Isabela Granic and her co-authors provide a comprehensive review of the research literature showing that video games can develop skills in the following areas:

Cognitive development - Research into action games show enhanced mental rotation abilities, faster and more accurate attention allocation, higher spatial resolution in visual processing.   Meta-analysis studies showed that spatial skills can be learned in a relatively brief time by playing video games and that the results are often comparable to training in formal courses designed to enhance those same skills.    Cognitive advantages from video games also appear to produce greater neural processing and efficiency, improve attention functioning,  and help with pattern recognition.   The best results appear to come from "shooter" video games as opposed to puzzle-solving or role-playing games though modern games tend to be too complex to make easy conclusions about the kind of cognitive benefits they can produce. 

Open-ended video games and other interactive media available online allow young people to improve problem-solving skills by learning to solve puzzles through trial-and-error.    Interactive games also appear to improve creativity as well.   Although it is still not clear how well the skills learned from video games generalize to real-world situations, early research results seem promising. 

Motivation - By setting specific tasks and allowing young people to work through obstacles to achieve those tasks, video games can help boost self-esteem and help children learn the value of persistence.   By providing immediate feedback as video game players solve problems and achieve greater expertise, players can learn to see themselves as having skills and intelligence they might not otherwise realize they possess.   Gaming helps young people realize that intelligence is incremental, i.e., something that can increase with time and effort rather than being fixed.     Immediate feedback also keeps players in the "zone of proximal development" which allows them to solve problems on their own while working towards specific goals.    Since difficulty level rises as players advance, the skills they gain from gaming continue to improve with time.    Games also provide intermittent reinforcement to encourage players not to give up despite growing challenges.    

Again, there is little evidence showing that the motivational benefits from playing video games necessarily carries over into the real world.  Still, many of the problem-solving skills learned in games can be applied to real-life problems.   The motivational benefits from video games likely varies depending on the personality and individual circumstances of the player.

Emotion -  For most gamers, video games are played for enjoyment and to help improve their mood.    Along with distracting them from real-world problems (a special concern for young people looking for escape from bullying or other negative life situations),  succeeding in video games can lead to positive feelings, reduced anxiety, and becoming more relaxed.    Many gamers report intense emotions of pride and achievement by immersing themselves in games that allow a high sense of control that "takes them out of themselves."    According to Mihály Csíkszentmihályi,  the concept of  flow refers to the mental state often reported by gamers during which they are performing an activity that leaves them fully immersed without feeling self-conscious.  Flow experiences have been linked to positive outcomes such as greater self-esteem and a sense of achievement that can translate to greater mental health benefits though this has not been directly tested in video game research.

The positive emotions that can result from becoming immersed in video games on a regular basis may also increase awareness and encourage a more novel outlook on life.   According to psychologist Barbara Frederickson who first proposed a broaden and build theory of positive emotions,  experiencing positive emotions can help broaden the number of behaviours seen as desirable and build social relationships that provide support for achieving goals and coping with failure.   Frederickson also suggests that positive emotions can counteract the effects of negative emotions which decrease motivation.    While it is still not clear whether video games produce the sort of positive emotions that can lead to the sort of broadening and building to which Frederickson referred to in her research, many gamers report emotional benefits they perceive as important to them.

Social - Perhaps more than ever before, video games have become an intensely social activity.   Instead of the stereotypical gaming nerd who uses video games to shun social contact, over 70 percent of gamers play with friends, whether as part of a team or in direct competition.   Games such as World of Warcraft and Farmville boast millions of users, with online social communities and regular interactions with fellow gamers.   Social and prosocial activities are an intrinsic part of the gaming experience with gamers rapidly learning social skills that could generalize to social relationships in the real world. 

Though many games have a violent content, they still provide players with an opportunity to learn social skills by focusing on cooperation with team members.   Research has shown that playing violent video games in groups reduces feelings of hostility better than playing such games alone.   More research is definitely needed, but there seems to be a strong potential value of cooperative play in developing social behaviour and curbing antisocial thoughts and behaviours.

Although video games are largely seen as pure entertainment, their popularity has inspired new initiatives to "gamify" medical interventions to motivate patients and keep them informed about treatment options.   One particular success story involves the  Re-Mission video games, designed for young cancer patients.    Conceived by Pam Omidyar and developed by the HopeLab Foundation, the shooter game allows players to control a nanobot injected into the human body to shoot cancer cells and monitor patient health.   Children playing the game learn about their own illness, side-effects of cancer treatment, and the importance of treatment adherence.   Research studies have already demonstrated that patients playing Re-Mission become better educated about cancer and develop greater treatment self-efficacy.   Already played by more than 200,000 patients, Re-Mission is widely recognized as a valuable tool for cancer treatment.

Countless video games have already been developed for a wide range of different academic subjects,  including everything from foreign languages, history, geography, science, and mathematics.    Research into the teaching value of these games already suggests that educational video games may well represent a new way of teaching that could help meet the challenges faced by educators in the coming decades.   Still, relatively few of these educational video games have ever been formally studied by researchers so the question of quality control remains important.   There is always a tradeoff between making games fun as well as educational and most of the games developed so far tend to have relatively limited appeal. 

Despite the potential value of video games,  much of the media coverage up to now has been negative, particularly due to concerns about potential video game addiction and their violent content.   As Isabela Granic and her colleagues point out, attaching labels such as "good", "bad", "violent", or "prosocial" largely overlooks the complex picture surrounding the new generation of video games now available.   Players are drawn to the video games they prefer and the benefits or drawbacks to how they interact with these games is largely shaped by their motivation for playing.  

Future research needs to concentrate on both the positive and negative aspect of video game playing to get a better understanding of the influence games can have on social, cognitive, and motivational functioning.   That also includes understanding how games can affect young people at different stages in their development.   Though the current game rating system developed by the video game industry supposedly carries warning labels describing some games as being inappropriate for anyone under certain ages, there is no research to back up the actual value of this.

All that can be said for certain at this point is that video games seem here to stay and their impact, both good and bad, are just beginning to be understood.  Along with addressing the very real problems of video game addiction and media violence,  the potential value of using video games for educational and medical applications, among other things, will be challenges that need to be faced.

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