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David Eisenbaum

Jennifer Rodrick
English 115
Video Games: A Tool for Learning?

I have been playing video games for as long as I can remember. The first memory I have

of a game is playing the first Halo on my Xbox when I was in 1st grade. Playing online has

allowed me to interact with so many different people, expanding my vocabulary and my social

skills. Video games are proven to increase reaction time, coordination, memory, concentration,

and social skills. So I believe that playing video games, since they increase abilities such as

social skills and intelligence, can make up a large portion of a persons identity because qualities

are important in someones individuality.

A large percentage of a persons identity comes from their education. Children usually

hang out with kids similar to them. Smart kids hang out with smart kids and the less fortunate

kids hang out with akin. Most of my friends play video games and thats what we do when we

are with each other. A study by Dr. Cristian Vasile shows that families with higher educations

are more satisfied with each other. And families with parents who did not graduated high school

showed more distress. This is just another benefit that obtaining a higher education can offer to

you and your loved ones. One of the ways children are learning in primary school is through the

use of games on computers. Harbor Beach School in Michigan had a class using a program

called BrainWare. BrainWares developers claim that it can help with students cognitive and

problem solving skills with video games. Many teachers assumed that it would only help kids

with math or science, but the program is to teach kids how to think better in ways involving

problem solving or increasing their academic achievement. In the end, the program helped the

kids understand what their teacher is instructing, take better notes, and improved their cognitive

ability. According to a professor of psychiatry, Viviane Kovess-Masfety, writes In a sample of

over 3000 young children across six European countries, high video game usage (playing video
David Eisenbaum
Jennifer Rodrick
English 115
games more than 5 h per week) was significantly associated with higher intellectual functioning,

increased academic achievement, a lower prevalence of peer relationship problems and a lower

prevalence of mental health difficulties (Viviane Kovess-Masfety). The study states a

correlation on how video games improve peer relationships. Peer relations are so important in

your identity, they practically make up your identity in High School. Who you hang out with

influences you, whether it is for the better or worse. The people who have the biggest impact on

you are your friends. In high school, how you are seen is very important. Every high school puts

the same labels on each group. There are the jocks, emo kids, cheerleaders, etc. Since video

games improves peer to peer contact, you are better at making friends with different types of

people, leading to a successful and happy time in high school. The friends you make when you

are younger determine how you will act in the future, I still remember all my friends in

elementary school. Most of my friends in middle and high school I am already forgetting those

juvenile contacts. Kids who play more than 5 hours a day show higher academic achievement!

Show that astonishing figure to someone who says gamers spend too much time playing instead

of studying.

A common term or adjective that people love to identify themselves with is creativeness.

Being creative is a quality that guarantees success and allows you to accomplish massive feats.

From renaissance painters and poets, such as Leonardo Da Vinci, all the way to software

developers like Mark Zuckerberg, there is a reason why we hear these names so often. Yes they

were geniuses, but there creativeness and imagination allowed them to fully access their

intelligence and to share their art with the rest of the world. School does not do a satisfactory job

of teaching students to be creative. A lot of my peers never had classes such as art, music, or
David Eisenbaum
Jennifer Rodrick
English 115
dance when I was in elementary school. For the first eighteen years of a persons life, they are

just lectured to for the most part. Very few classes allowed children to express themselves; we

could only absorb the teachers information. A teacher, Mary Fran Daley, wanted to reach out to

the kids struggling with their grades in middle schools. She then put them in a class and taught

them to use an MIT developed program, Scratch. Scratch is a basic coding software that can

allow, primarily children, to create games. The very first day the teacher saw the kids having fun

for the first time in a school. In the end, the children were interacting with each other and making

creative games. Daley recalled in her article, USING VIDEO GAMES TO EMBRACE

INQUIRY: Learning for Life Through Fun, My Scratch students learned about science, digital

storytelling, x/y axis placement, and social interaction (Mary Fran Daley). The children were

interacting because they had a fun, new game that allowed them to finally learn something they

found interesting in school. They had a fun time playing the game but also creating them.

Obviously, games take a lot of creativity to make. They require the creator to find a way for

users to have fun, which is not always a hard task, making a source of entertainment for different

types of people is a difficult task; I struggle with my two friends. These once troubled kids were

taking baby steps to a path that can lead them to great lengths later in life. For once, the students

paid attention, did their homework, and finally passed a class. Video games are art. The

aftermath of the class was shocking. The teacher did not suspect the following outcome. The kids

were participating in group work, finished assignments, and they encouraged their peers often.

The virtuous user experience doesnt always stem from playing the game, but also creating them;

therefore, these classes should be encouraged at every level of education.

David Eisenbaum
Jennifer Rodrick
English 115
One of the drawbacks of learning via games on computers is that it can cause laziness.

There are a lot of distractions on the internet such as Netflix, YouTube, and millions more. But

there are a lot of ways to block these disrupting websites. You can easily ask your ISP (internet

service provider) to monitor what your kids do online. And there are tons of free programs that

are able to block those distracting websites. In addition, laziness is a mindset, you can teach kids

how not to be lazy. There are many online resources that can help you overcome your laziness,

but most sluggish people, including me, are too lazy to read all those articles. Video games only

cause laziness because most games arent meant to teach kids. There are plenty of fun games

with their purpose to be educational. A lot of mothers may also be concerned with their

adolescent kids playing violent games. Playing plenty of video games can increase childrens

pro-social behaviors later in life. In the article, Is Time Spent Playing Video Games Associated

with Mental Health, Cognitive and Social Skills in Young Children? written by Viviane

Kovess-Masfety, found that children who play and interact online are more likely to take an

interest in civic engagement once adults.(Viviane Kovess-Masfety). Once these childrens later

grow up to be adults, once they find themselves in an engagement they will try to solve it

peacefully as possible. Usually in games, the user is given a choice if he wants to fight it out, or

try to negotiate without resorting to violence. Usually, the diplomatic route is quicker and easier.

These pro social behaviors were shown in kids who also played games classified as violent.

There is no correlation between these social behaviors of kids who played age appropriate games

and those who played mature, malevolent, and rough video games.

Frightened parents also may assume that it makes or gives the impression that their kid

is lonely, Ive heard my dad say, go outside and play with a friend while I was playing. But the
David Eisenbaum
Jennifer Rodrick
English 115
vast majority of kids play with a friend. Some games reward the players for teamwork, which

support a moral behavior. What a lot of people fail to realize that talking online, you are usually

in a big group and that can help kids later in life in those crowded situations. Even on Xbox Live,

when youre in a group discussion they call it a party. To this day, my friends and I spend time

together solely to play a video game together. The last generation had other ways of doing fun

and exciting activities; we choose to use a different platform that we find equally or even more


It is apparent that video games can influence a childs life in a positive way. It increases

so many fundamental, beneficial capabilities that a child will need later in his life. Most

importantly, playing video games increases a childs reaction time, coordination, academic

achievement, social behavior, and cognitive thinking. There is so much research that indicates

the opposite to contrary belief that it makes them lazy, unintelligent, or violent. Thousands of

articles and research journals say there is no connection between crimes and violent games, or

the amount of time playing and how successful the child will be later in life. Video games should

be instituted in school because most games are about solving a problem. I can guarantee that

your kid will face problems in school whether it involves math or a bully. Video games arent

something you should hide from your kid.

David Eisenbaum
Jennifer Rodrick
English 115
David Eisenbaum
Jennifer Rodrick
English 115

Boehmer, Curtis. Brain Training With Video Games. Learning & Leading with Technology, Feb. 2011, p.
28+. Expanded Academic ASAP,
9775&it=r. Accessed 25 Sept. 2017.

Cristian Vasile. Does the Level of Education Change Our Family Identity Perception? In Procedia - Social
and Behavioral Sciences, Volume 203, 2015, Pages 120-124. ISSN,
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.sbspro.2015.08.268. Accessed 26 Sept. 2017.

Viviane Kovess-Masfety, Katherine Keyes. Ava Hamilton, Gregory Hanson, Adina Bitfoi, Dietmar Golitz,
Ceren Ko, Rowella Kuijpers, Sigita Lesinskiene, Zlatka Mihova, Roy Otten, Christophe
Fermanian, Ondine Pez. Is time spent playing video games associated with mental health,
cognitive and social skills in young children? Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology,
Mar. 2016, Volume 51, Issue 3, pp. 349-357. Springer Berlin Heidelberg. http://rdcu.be/wgrW.
Accesed 26 Sept. 2017

Daley, Mary Fran. "USING VIDEO GAMES to EMBRACE INQUIRY: Learning for Life through
Fun." Knowledge Quest, vol. 40, no. 1, Sep/Oct2011, pp. 66-69.
EBSCOhost, libproxy.csun.edu/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&d
b=aph&AN=66835825&site=ehost-live. Accessed 25 Sept. 2017.

Learning with Video Games LearningWorks for Kids, 16 April 2013,

content/uploads/1fcd51769f8d3457600c5fc8f257b37b.jpg. Accesed 25 Sept. 2017.