Mixing real life and video games research

While I have yet to develop a clear thesis and outline for my research paper, I know that I am most interested in how the aspects of videogames that attract such widespread popularity can be applied to real life in order to make it a more interesting and rewarding place. My favorite piece that has been assigned so far this semester is Jane McGonigal’s Reality is Broken, which I will lean on heavily as I develop my paper. While I am mainly focused on how videogames can be used to improve our lives, I think it is important to first look at the opposing arguments in order to get a more comprehensive idea of what I am getting into.

One article I plan to use in my paper is a study that was published at Iowa State University ( http://www.news.iastate.edu/news/2014/03/24/violentgamesbehavior) about how violent videogames promote aggressive behavior in the children who play them. I was captivated by the enormous study that was conducted and showed that children who frequently played violent videogames learned to use that aggressive behavior in real life. The argument was compelling because the data was vast and the explanation simple: if you practice something over and over again, part of that will always stay with you. Such is the case with behaviors learned as a result of violent videogames.

Though this article seems like it would go against my paper on finding ways to work videogame aspects into everyday life, it is actually excellent support because it proves that videogames really do stay with us and that we do, in fact, perpetuate what we have been taught. This article is negative because it focuses on violent videogames, but if we are able to take the good aspects of games and practice them enough to do better in real life, a big difference can be made in general life satisfaction. The big issue here seems to be deciding what games should be played; this means that the issue is centered around content, not the idea that videogames should be more a part of everyday life.

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