Video Games & Social Skills

Writing about web page http://www.usatoday.com/tech/columnist/kevinmaney/2005-07-12-video-games_x.htm

This entry is half moan, half wonderment.

On’t bus this morning I tried to sleep through 15 whole minutes of a schoolboy’s non-stop description of a video game.

His
friend didn’t get a word in edgeways as, overflowing with enthusiasm,
he gave him a blow-by-blow account of the game – along with a running
side commentary of special tips.

Anyway – asides from being
mildly irritated – I was amazed at how articulate he was for such a
young age (I’m guessing he was a first-year) and how engaging he was on
the subject.

So – who says that video games mean that your
child will grow up without social skills? It was clearly a
conversation-starter for them.

In fact, the article that
I’ve linked to at the top of this entry explains that some of the
decision-making type of games are extremely good at improving people’s
logic and reasoning.

It’s long been said that shoot’em-ups
are good for hand-eye co-ordination – but frankly get out and play
cricket or rounders. Then you can practice hand-eye co-ordination and
get a little bit of exercise.

Had to mention my favourite quote (!) from Miami University’s Psychology Dept:

Video
games furthermore “empower” certain children who have a difficult time
in social situations. For example, a child who is an outcast may gain
social standing because he is a video game aficionado.

(And, yes, this quote has been specifically chosen to tease members of a certain SU society.)

And finally – amusing screenshots from The Sims at University

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Comments
9 Responses to “Video Games & Social Skills”
  1. Helen Ryan says:

    Things I have learnt fron games:
    1. What to do if there are Space Invaders attacking
    2. That I am stuck in a cave with a British Rail sandwhich
    3. How to survive a storm when sailing a galleon (I learnt that yesterday)
    4. Not to go near stars cos that’s where anarchists hang out (from Elite)

  2. Jon Harley says:

    Sims
    2 University is fun, but it’s a shame that they’re forced to leave once
    they graduate – there is no option to become a research student!

  3. I’ve learnt so so many things… Not least how to win swordfights by using rhyming insults

  4. Tom Sharp says:

    I’ve learnt that without teamwork you are quickly a corpse in America’s Army.
    http://www.americasarmy.com

  5. I
    learned that learning all the expert tricks is far more likely to get
    you to the top of the leaderboard than actually being able to hit a
    target.

    Seriously.

  6. oh
    yeah, fast shooters have been shown to improve the speed at which
    people can assess and examine their environment, specifically the parts
    in their peripheral vision. The same is technically possibly with
    sports, but not even lacrosse is anywhere near the same speed.

  7. Holly Cruise says:

    I learned that too much Tetris makes you see blocks even when there aren’t any…

  8. the blocks are always there, waiting… hiding…

  9. Helen Ryan says:

    I have the same problem with minesweeper, I used to go to bed thinking about where the bombs would be.

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