Steven Johnson believes that the answer to this essay’s title is a resounding yes. Although a print writer and presumably an avid reader, Johnson argues that while the virtues of reading are immense, other forms of culture such as gaming have its own intellectual or cognitive virtues that could actually be comparable to the rewards of reading. He starts his argument by stating that video games are perceived rather negatively and viewed as a complete waste of time by the society in general, more specifically by educators, cultural authorities and parents.
An explanation of this would be, the flaws and imperfections of this nonliterary culture are greatly highlighted because the criteria used in judging it are the same criteria applied in assessing novels and other forms of literature. The merits of gaming apparently lie elsewhere. Johnson argues that video gaming has become increasingly challenging – by the same standards used to measure reading’s cognitive benefits – over the past thirty years. Furthermore, video games sharpen a different but equally important set of mental abilities than the ones honed by reading.
There also seems to be an experiential gap between gamers and those who have no experience whatsoever about gaming. The latter believes that games are just another culture that offers instant gratification. However, those who have at some point in their lives immersed themselves in video (or online) games know that an enormous amount of time is spent performing tasks that are absolutely not fun in order to receive a certain reward. Gratification is actually so delayed you wonder if it is going to appear at all.
Video gaming is good for everyone because it is useful for rehabilitation, relieves stress, and helps the elderly. Have you ever played a video game? Did you get totally immersed in it, and it made you feel wonderful afterwards? There have been recent studies and tons of articles written which show that, indeed, video games are good for everyone! Not just your usual young players (ages 10-17), and ...
Interestingly, the same group of people who endure tedious tasks in virtual games are disinclined to perform chores in the real world. Even more remarkable is the fact that kids seem to soak in more information when delivered to them in game form. Gaming therefore provides a powerful learning experience where kids learn without actually being aware of it. Gaming and its Benefits 3 The neurotransmitter dopamine, having a large role in the reward circuitry of the brain, is pointed to as one of the reasons for such a phenomena.
When expected rewards are not met, such as when a pack-a-day smoker misses his morning cigarette, the disappointment is triggered by low levels of dopamine. Consequently, lowered levels of dopamine set off a craving for that missed experience. The same principle can be applied to gaming. The brain craves for rewards that the virtual universe is teeming with. Unlike in the real world where rewards are abundant yet not well-defined, the rewards in games are more articulated such as more life, increased level, new equipment and new spells.