Have you every worried that playing video games, a popular pastime for many, will interfere with your schoolwork? If you answer yes, do not worry anymore. As a college student, I have often found myself playing video games. I have also often wondered whether I should be doing something more productive with my time, like studying or reading. Many of my peers and I have spent numerous hours playing video games and have often worried that our academics will be affected. Never has it crossed my mind that video games could actually help my academic performance. I always viewed video games as a method of fun and in no way did I think that they could be educational. However, I was surprised, and relieved, to find that recent research and evidence shows that video game play can actually be very beneficial to one's academics. According to the Federation of American Scientists and the Entertainment Software Association, video games can help students learn and develop higher-order thinking skills (Lister 45). Although conventional wisdom has it that video game play will have only harmful effects on one's academics, I say that video games in fact help accelerate one's learning and therefore improve one's academic performance.In this essay, I will present video game play as a means of informal learning that will prove to have a positive effect on the academic performance of college students. First, I will discuss exactly what I mean by informal learning. Next, I will allow my readers to understand to understand how influential video games are by describing the large audience that they reach. I will then move on to break down informal learning into the certain types of skills I believe will impact the academic performance of college students the most. These include spatial skills, cognition and motivation. I will discuss the Serious Gaming Initiative which will demonstrate that action is already being done to promote video games as a way on improving one's learning and knowledge. I will also discuss certain types of video games and what players can learn about subjects like math and vocabulary, just by playing these games. I will then provide arguments that help prove my thesis, as well as counter-argue some past research done by scholars in this field that may have overlooked the positive effects of video games. Finally, focusing on the home as the location and video games as the means of this informal learning, I intend for my readers to understand how the skills developed through informal learning will indeed help one's academic performance.
[...] A study performed by Daniel Kaye, a professor at the University of California, demonstrated the effects of video game experiences on the attentional skills required to process the quickly moving multiple iconic images that constitute the visual stimuli of action video games (Kaye et al. 119). This research explains that video game play enhanced one's attentional skills, thus helping one use those newly enhanced skills in other different areas of learning, including school. Besides the above-mentioned research, it has also been suggested by scholars that video games could teach hand-eye coordination, numerical concepts, word recognition skills, decision-making skills, and can enhance one's ability to follow directions (Greenfield and Subrahmanyam 96). [...]
[...] Positive Effects of Computer and Video Games in Learning”. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the International Communication Association. (2008) http://www.allacademic.com/meta/p113328_index.html Prensky, Marc. “Digital Game-Based Learning”. Computers in Entertainment (2003) Raghunandan, R. and Rao, P. Venkateswara. “Selection of an optimum sample size for flatness error estimation while using coordinate measuring machine”. International Journal of Machine Tools and Manufacture. (2007) 47. Salmi, Hannu. “Science centers as learning laboratories: experiences of Heureka, the Finnish Science Centre”. International Journal of Technology Management. [...]
[...] “Beyond Self-Selection in Video Game Play: An Experimental Examination of the Consequences of Massively Multiplayer Online Role- Playing Game Play”. CyberPsychology (2007) 10.5 717-21. Tough, A. Iceberg of informal adult learning”. NALL Working Paper #49. University of Toronto, Toronto Canada Works Consulted Anderson, Craig and Dill, Karen. “Video Games and Aggressive Thoughts, Feelings and Behavior in the Laboratory and in Life”. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. (2000) 78.4 772-790. Bjornsen, Christopher et al. “Apathy and Personality Traits Among College Students: A Cross-Cultural Comparison”. [...]
[...] The above findings challenge parents' and professors' common assumptions that video games are harmful to the academic performance of college students. I wholeheartedly endorse the idea that video games effectively help one's academic performance. Not only do they improve one's mental cognition and spatial skills, but they also allow you to understand the important concept of motivation. My findings certainly add weight to the argument that video games, through the idea informal learning, will improve one's academic performance. Works Cited Anand, Vivek. [...]
[...] In November of 2007, IBM, one of the nation's leading technological corporations, introduced an educational video game intended on helping students develop essential business skills (Marketwire). The article which discussed IBM's new game also mentions that: "The best kept secret in the world of computer and video games is the rise of a movement now in the thousands of gamers, universities and corporations dedicated to applying games to serious challenges such as education, training, medical treatment, or better government," said David Rejeski, director of the Serious Games Initiative”. [...]
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