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INSPECTORATUL COLAR AL JUDEULUI BACU

COLEGIUL NAIONAL GHEORGHE VRNCEANU BACU

PROIECT PENTRU OBINEREA ATESTATULUI DE


COMPETENE LINGVISTICE LA LIMBA ENGLEZ

THE IMPORTANCE OF VIDEO-GAMES

Profesori coordonatori,

Candidat,

Diana Popa

Adam Vlad-tefan
2016

CONTENTS
Introduction..Page 1
Chapter I How Video-Games can improve our brain?......Page 2
I.1. Brain development................................Page 2
I.2. Do people make the right decisions faster .Page 3
I.3. Evolving reading speed/Sports..................................................Page 4
I.4.Interactive workout/ Coordonation......................................................Page 5
Chapter II How Video-Games improve mechanical skills?..............Page 6
II.1. Evolving eye and hand coordonationPage 6
II.2.Burn victims form their pain/Medicine ...............................Page 7
II.3. Evolve as a person ..Page 8
ConclusionPage 10
Bibliography

Introduction

The term "video game" has evolved over the decades from a purely technical definition to a
general concept defining a new class of interactive entertainment. Technically, for a product to
be a video game, there must be a video signal transmitted to a cathode ray tube (CRT) that
creates a rasterized image on a screen. This definition would preclude early computer games
that outputted results to a printer or teletype rather than a display, any game rendered on
a vector-scan monitor, any game played on a modern high definition display, and most
handheld game systems.] From a technical standpoint, these would more properly be called
"electronic games" or "computer games."

Today, however, the term "video game" has completely shed its purely technical definition
and encompasses a wider range of technology. While still rather ill-defined, the term "video
game" now generally encompasses any game played on hardware built with electronic logic
circuits that incorporates an element of interactivity bonus and outputs the results of the
player's actions to a display. Going by this broader definition, the first video games appeared
in the early 1950s and were tied largely to research projects at universities and large
corporations.

Computer games are a form of entertainment. They can be divided into different genres, like
action, strategy and sports. You can choose to play on your own, together with your friends or
against people on the Internet.

In the next chapters I will talk about how can we develop as individuals and how video games
cand improve our brain and mechanical skills.

Chapter I: How Video-Games can improve our brain?

I.1. Brain development


Video games provide a quick and easy way to light up the pleasure centers in our brain,
activating the positive chemical mixtures typically produced only when we do something
really outstanding. The thrill of completing a challenge or, better yet, helping your friend
achieve a goal boosts your mental state whether or not the whole activity took place in a
virtual world. In summary? Games make us happy.

Not only that, but they also act as a conduit for our
human instinct to play. As with all forms of play,
video games are initiated by the players and have a
set of rules that everyone agrees on. Whether
solitary or collaborative, gaming involves the mind
in an active way.

A new study has found that video gaming can


stimulate neurogenesis (growth of new neurons) and connectivity in the brain regions
responsible for spatial orientation, memory formation and strategic planning, as well as, fine
motor skills. Researchers at University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) have created a
specialized video game that may help older people boost mental skills like handling multiple
tasks at once.

Some researchers say that specialized video games might one day be able to boost mental
abilities of people from all walks of life and ages. Specifically designed video games could
benefit children with attention deficit disorder, people with post-traumatic stress disorder or
brain injury and older adults with depression or dementias.

I.2. Do people make the right decisions faster


Cognitive scientists from the University of Rochester have discovered that playing action
video games trains people to make the right decisions faster. The researchers found that video
game players develop a heightened sensitivity to what is going on around them, and this
benefit doesn't just make them better at playing video games, but improves a wide variety of
general skills that can help with everyday activities like multitasking, driving, reading small

print, keeping track of friends in a crowd, and navigating around town.

The researchers tested dozens of 18- to 25-year-olds who were not ordinarily video game
players. They split the subjects into two groups. One group played 50 hours of the fast-paced
action video games "Call of Duty Infinite Warfare " and "Unreal Tournament 4" and the other
group played 50 hours of the slow-moving strategy game " The Sims 4."

After this training period, all of the subjects were asked to make quick decisions in several
tasks designed by the researchers. In the tasks, the participants had to look at a screen, analyze
what was going on, and answer a simple question about the action in as little time as possible
(i.e. whether a clump of erratically moving dots was migrating right or left across the screen
on average). In order to make sure the effect wasn't limited to just visual perception, the
participants were also asked to complete an analogous task that was purely auditory.The
action game players were up to 25 percent faster at coming to a conclusion and answered just
as many questions correctly as their strategy game playing peers.

It's not the case that the action game players are trigger-happy and less accurate: They are just
as accurate and also faster, researchers say. Action game players make more correct decisions
per unit time. If you are a surgeon or you are in the middle of a battlefield, that can make all
the difference."

Their neural simulations shed light on why action gamers have augmented decision making
capabilities. People make decisions based on probabilities that they are constantly calculating
and refining in their heads. The process is called probabilistic inference. The brain
continuously accumulates small pieces of visual or auditory information as a person surveys a
scene, eventually gathering enough for the person to make what they perceive to be an
accurate decision.

The brain is always computing probabilities. As you drive, for instance, you may see a
movement on your right, estimate whether you are on a collision course, and based on that
probability make a binary decision: brake or don't brake.
Action video game players' brains are more efficient collectors of visual and auditory
information, and therefore arrive at the necessary threshold of information they need to make
a decision much faster than non gamers, the researchers found.

I.3. Evolving reading speed/Sports


.
A small study in the journal Current Biology found that playing action video games helped
children with dyslexia read faster and with better accuracy.
Twelve hours behind the controller "improved childrens reading speed, without any cost in
accuracy, more so than one year of spontaneous reading development and more than or equal
to highly demanding traditional reading treatments," the researchers write.
By improving attention span, video games lead to better reading skills.
New research from the journal Psychology of Popular Media Culture finds that kids who play
sports games are over time more likely to actually go and play the real version of the sport, as
reported in Pacific Standard.
It can be hard for kids to learn the ins and outs of a sport, but playing a virtual version of
soccer, football, or hockey helps them learn the rules and basic skills before they get onto the
field or rink.
Additionally, the researchers said that there is a confidence connection playing those
specific types of games was associated with higher self-esteem, perhaps because of the
increased knowledge provided by the game. That, in turn, made it more likely for them to go
try the real thing.
Counterintuitive as it might be, playing sports video games might be the key to teaching kids
to get outside and play sports with their friends.

I.4. Interactiv workout/Coordonation

.
According to a study published in the journal
Nature, researchers "discovered that swerving
around cars while simultaneously picking out road
signs in a video game can improve the short-term
memory and long-term focus of older adults," The
New York Times reports.

A group of adults between the ages of 60 and 85 were were recruited to play a game called
NeuroRacer for 12 hours over a month. Six months after playing the game, the older adults
were better at multitasking, retained more information in a short period of time, and had
stronger attention skills.
Endless hours parked in front a computer screen generally does not lead to weight loss. But
games that pair virtual worlds with exercise could get people who are less inclined to workout
to start moving.
Researchers have found that playing games on a Nintendo Wii that force people to get up and
move for 20 minutes at a time is a legitimate and potentially more interesting alternative to
traditional aerobic exercise.
Another study in the journal Pediatrics found that playing games like Dance Dance
Revolution was equivalent to moderate intensity exercise for kids, making it a "a safe, fun,
and valuable means of promoting energy expenditure," according to the study.
Video games may also be more effective at changing behavior. In a study from the University
of Indiana, people who received workout advice through a game called Second Life reported
more positive changes in healthy eating and physical activity than people who went to a
traditional gym, even though weight loss was the same in both groups.
Playing video games on the Nintendo Wii improved skills needed for laparoscopic surgery, a
procedure in which a thin tube with a camera is inserted into the abdomen to see organs on a
screen, instead of cutting patients wide open.
The study, published in the journal PLOS One, found that doctors who spent one month
playing either Wii Tennis, Wii Table Tennis, or a balloon warfare game called High Altitude
Battle performed better in simulated tasks designed to test eye-hand coordination and
movement precision.
The Nintendo Wii "may be adopted in lower-budget institutions or at home by younger
surgeons to optimize their training on simulators before performing real procedures," the
researchers
concluded.

Chapter II: How Video-Games improve mechanical skills?

II.1. Evolving eye and hand coordination?


.
A team at the University of Toronto suggests that playing action video games regularly helps
gamers learn new sensorimotor skills, especially eye and hand coordination. Sensorimotor
skills include tasks like riding a bicycle or typing, which rely on using what you see with your
eyes and coordinating your muscles so that they operate accordingly. Although all people start
as novices with such skills, with increased practice they become experts. Eventually, the skills
involved become second nature and happen almost without thinking about them.
Think of learning how to ride a bike. Once you've learned, you get better, and eventually, you
can ride a bike without consciously thinking about it at all. Thanks to this new study, you can
probably learn to ride a bike faster if you play video games.
In their first experiment, researchers had 18 regular gamers (those who played action games at
least three times a week for at least two hours each play session) and 18 non-gamers.
Researchers set volunteers in front of a computer and told them to play a game using a
computer mouse to track a small square on the screen in front of them that moved around in a
complicated repeated pattern.
At first, neither of the two groups had an advantage over the other with this eye and hand
coordination task. However, over time, the gamers improved faster, becoming better at the
game than the non-gamers. This suggests that gamers have an advantage in learning patterns
that require sensorimotor skills.
In their second experiment, researchers had both groups play the game again, but this time,
the pattern didn't repeat but changed randomly. Both groups performed about the same this
time, but the gamers learned the patterns better.
Good sensorimotor skills are important in technology, specifically for surgeons using new
robotic surgery techniques that require extremely accurate control of those tools while using a
computer interface.
A small study from Deakin University in Australia found that children ages three to six who
played interactive games, like Wii, had better object motor skills than those who played noninteractive games. This includes skills like kicking, catching, throwing, and bouncing ball.
It's likely that electronic games improve hand-eye coordination, but researchers also note that
children who already have better object motor skills could have been more drawn to
interactive games in the first place.

II. 2. Burn victims form their pain/Medicine


Researchers at the University of Washington are experimenting with virtual reality games as a
way to distract burn victims from their pain.
"Being drawn into another world drains a lot of attentional resources, leaving less attention
available to process pain signals," according to the university's HITLab.
In a preliminary case study, two patients with severe burns played Nintendo games while their
wounds were being treated. Both patients reported feeling significantly less pain while
playing the game.
Their follow up research showed that this ability to alleviate pain was useful for others
suffering from pain too, not just burn victims.
Those same University of Washington researchers are also using virtual reality devices to help
people get over their fear of spiders and even to help survivors of terrorist attacks recover
from PTSD.
One study participant was so frightened of spiders that she duct taped all her walls and
windows at night to try and keep them out. But repetitive exposure to a spider in a virtual
reality world accompanied by the music from Psycho, no less decreased her anxiety so
much that she let a live tarantula crawl on her arm.
Similarly, patients who had lived through a bus bombing experienced a simulated version of
the event through a virtual reality device, which eventually allowed them to the debilitating
emotions and anxiety caused by what they'd gone through.
Re-Mission is a third-person shooter game created by HopeLab to help young adults with
cancer. In the game players control a nanobot named Roxxi who races through the human
body fighting cancer with various weapons, such as the radiation gun. Players must also
monitor patient health, learning about different forms of treatments and how they work along
the way.
In a trial of 375 patients, researchers found game players took their antibiotics more
consistently and were more likely to adhere to chemotherapy treatments than others. The
players also knew more about cancer and had a stronger belief in their own ability to reach
goals while undergoing cancer therapy.
The negative effects of screens at night aside, video games give people more control over
their dreams and decrease nightmares, according to a psychological research out of Grant
MacEwan University in Canada, described in LiveScience.
A few studies have shown that gamers are much more likely to be lucid dreamers, people who
can consciously control what's happening in their dreams.

Psychologists think that this may be related to the "practice" that gamers have in inhabiting an
alternate reality.
Additionally, this seems to also to provide some protection from and even control over dreams
that would qualify as nightmares, especially for men.

II. 3. Evolve as a person


A recent Oxford University psychological study of 5,000 kids found that the ones who played
video games for moderate amounts of time less than an hour a day were more "well
adjusted" and got along with peers better than kids who played no games.
They were also less hyperactive, had fewer emotional issues, and were more likely to help
others.
The researchers think that this may be because the games gave kids a common language to
talk about, making it easier for this group to socialize. They say this should provide a more
nuanced perspective for people who worry about potential negative effects of games.
Video games are not just for entertainment. They can also "help solve educational and
scientific challenges," according to Stanford physicist Ingmar H. Riedel-Kruse, who designed
a collection of action games to teach people about biological processes.
The games involve a single-celled organism contained inside a square fluid chamber. The
player interacts or "controls" the living paramecia by applying electrical fields using a handheld device that resembles a video game controller.
Since the reaction of the paramecia is real and not based on simulations, the games can teach
players about micro-organismal behaviors, diffusion, and other biophysical concepts, the
authors write in a study published in the journal Lab on a Chip.
They add: "Students might be motivated to discuss and understand the observed phenomena
in order to identify other winning strategies in such games."
Slow-moving strategy games can change our thinking behavior so that we can learn to make
wiser, more ethical decisions in real-life scenarios.
That's the idea behind Quandary, a game that places human colonists on the Planet Braxos and
requires the player, or captain, to help work out dilemmas among the settlers.
Writing for Boston.com, Scot Osterweil, creative director at MITs Education Arcade
explained: "We dont believe that playing the game will automatically help players take better
perspectives in their own lives, but we think the game represents a playful way of introducing
ideas that can be further developed through reflective conversation with others, and through
additional activities provided on the website.

Conclusion

As a conclusion, with all the benefits weve seen, we still ought to mention the negatives
that can come with gaming. As with any activity, if too much time is spent on it rather than
studying, it can be detrimental to both school and social life. But if the right balance is struck
between play and work, video games can have positive effects on academics and everyday
life.

Bibliography

www.reddit.com
www.wikipedia.org
www.newstatesman.com
www.businessinsider.com