I have seen a great deal of posts on this blog regarding the negative impact of gaming on youth, particularly about violence in video games. So, after spending dome time being aggravated and arguing back, I’ve decided to make a post about a positive effect of gaming. I am referring to the effect of gaming on one’s decision making process.
Games promote the idea that your actions have consequences, and these consequences can be positive or negative. When playing a game even as simple as Super Mario Bros, the player always has an immediate goal in mind, and makes decisions to try and reach that goal. If you are trying to cross a hole in the ground, you might just walk over it the first time without thinking. At this point you learn that you can’t just walk forward without paying attention– so the next time you try jumping over. And maybe it requires one more attempt to get the jump just right– but what is important is that the player is trying to accomplish a goal, and then implements various different strategies in trying to achieve it. They also see immediate results in the game, as opposed to in real life where they would have to wait possibly for years to see results of their actions.
My point in all this is that gaming is all about the idea that your actions have consequences, and that you alone have the power to decide your future. This is a really empowering thought for somebody coming from an unprivileged situation. When all seems hopeless as a child, as if you are destined to be poor and unhealthy for your whole life– these games introduced at a young age will teach that we can each choose our own actions carefully in order to achieve the future we want.