As a hardcore PC gamer, I’ve heard the good and the bad benefits of gaming. Everything from telling a good story and enhancing muscle memory to rotting my brain or becoming more violent have all been tossed around not just at me but also at other gamers around the world.
While I understand the stigma around modern gaming, especially the calls that gaming causes violence with the various shootings that happen in the world, I believe that the benefits of PC gaming are far more beneficial than the bad stigma.
Working with my brain
Whether the game is a slow-paced strategy game or a fast-paced action clicker, I have had to use my brain and the mouse in tandem to complete my goals. I have to coordinate my character’s abilities, the objectives of the game, and the various sound and visual cues coming at me in a certain timeframe to win.
In addition, I’ve had to play several historical strategy games, and I love delving into the history behind the game and studying the tactics and methods of the armies I was playing/fighting against. Understanding the history helps me connect with the game and the characters, and even helps me in education by connecting the game to real-world events.
Working on social skills
Not just online MMO’s helped me out with my social skills, but single player dialogue trees helped me deal with the social skills of life. By looking at the various ‘good’ ‘bad’ and ‘neutral’ responses for friends, enemies, and lovers in single player games helped me understand what to say to friends, enemies, and lovers in real life. For a socially awkward teen, being able to have a cheat sheet of social phrases to base my own words off of really helped me out
Also, talking with friends and working with other players to solve a certain problem can foster casual and personal relationships, because nothing brought me closer to my battle group of six guys than when we slew the Lich King by playing off one another’s abilities. That tale is still told to this day!
Nothing infuriates me, or other gamers, more than hearing young kids swearing during an online match in a mature rated game. Aside from the fact that young (10-15) kids shouldn’t be playing violent games dealing with mature topics, it’s just shocking to see the gamer culture that’s developed because of it.
I got my first real game at nine years old and it was Lego Star Wars. Over time my parents bumped it up to teen rated games when I became that age, and by the time I was 18, there was a process for getting me my first mature game. Because my parents held my hands and walked me up the ladder of maturity in games, I was able to handle it.
While gaming can have negative events and skills blamed on it, I choose to believe that video games were a big part in making me the man I am now, and if I had been exposed to the medium in any other way, I’d have turned out completely different.