I am a huge fan of video games.
Bro playing Atari is one of my first memories. Mom and Dad got Bro and I a Nintendo right when they came out. We got a Tandy 2000 when they first came out, and I can remember Bro and I teaming up for hours of Kings Quest. This one summer, my friend and I beat every level (and star levels) of Super Mario World just to see what happened (SPOILER: all the turtles turn into weird/creepy Mario heads. we were suicidal for weeks). The first shooter I REALLY got into was Quake II (high school computer class was really just an hour battle-royal). College was full of Halo and Starcraft and Xbox and PS2.
While I love video games, I suck at most of them. I cheated at Duck Hunt. I cheated at Mega Man. I cheat at Zelda. I cheat at Final Fantasy. I actually preferred to watch Bro and his friends play Super Contra. My friend beat WAAAAAY more levels of Super Mario World than I did. But I am actually pretty good at first-person shooters, and my favorites are statergery games– Red Alert, Age of Empires, Starcraft, etc. World of Goo is friggen awesome. Love strategery.
Turns out growing up with video games is why Im a super genius:
“People that play these fast-paced games have better vision, better attention and better cognition,” said Daphne Bavelier, an assistant professor in the department of brain and cognitive science at the University of Rochester.
… He added that students who played “pro-social” games that promote cooperation were more likely than others to help out in real-life situations like intervening when someone is being harassed.
But there is always someone hiding behind a corner, cant wait, cant resist saying something stupid:
Gavin McKiernan, the national grassroots director for the Parents Television Council, an advocacy group concerned about sex and violence in the media, said that when it comes to violent video games, any positive effects are outweighed by the negative.
“You are not just passively watching Scarface blow away people,” McKiernan said. “You are actually participating. Doing these things over and over again is going to have an effect.”
Um, I guess the Parents Television Council is afraid of kids who play video games all the time. Since there is no evidence kids who play video games are any ‘more violent’ than kids who dont, I can only assume the PTC is terrified of a hoard of children who grow up to be like me and my bro, HIV researchers and engineers…
And then theres stupid comments from the lead researcher:
“As you know, most of us females just hate those action video games,” she said. “You don’t have to use shooting. You can use, for example, a princess which has a magic wand and whenever she touches something, it turns into a butterfly and sparkles.”
Daphne Bavelier, I know you are a woman doing video game research, but youre kinda over compensating for the sexism thing and going to the opposite extreme. “Us females” in my computer class played Quake II with “those males” and had a marvelous time. My Super Mario World partner was an “us female”. “Us females” love Halo too. And Im pretty sure “those males” have a thing for Zelda, despite all its fairies and sparkles.
Dont patronize us, female.