Long-standing concerns over gaming less valid than benefits

J.Q. Church, Web Manager

Gaming has come a long way since its release of Pong in 1972, 1975 with the release of the Atari, 1978 with Space Invaders, to last year when the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 made their mark on the gaming community.

Games have been a major part of history since late 1940 with the first complete “Black Jack” game. Although not overly popular nowadays, it helped the industry move to the Atari and arcade style games that would involve you in strategic gaming, developing faster reaction times and intellectual prose.

Some players prefer to engage in controller based games, while others prefer free spirited adventures like “Dungeons and Dragons.”

“In many ways, I think the old style RPGs would develop intellectual skills similar to what current video games do,” Jason Beyer, Professor of Philosophy and Religious Studies, said.

“You learn how to plot out courses of action in order to reach goals, and how to adjust to changing and perhaps unexpected circumstances,” he continued.

The games would drive for riddles, puzzles and clues to be solved. These would require a work of imagination due to less predetermined outcomes.

“From my own experience, I can say that the times I was Dungeon master or Judge, I put at least as much intellectual effort into crafting an adventure as I did into my homework and that brings together both planned elements that advance the adventure while still bringing in the random elements that give an aspect of realism,” Beyer adds.

The work of these games are to provide spontaneity and employ quick-minded wits to advance play and have the best adventure possible.

For those who prefer controller based games, such as myself and my brother, the role-playing games that allow us to choose attributes and characteristics are the most enjoyable.

“Games like Mass Effect, a trilogy and now a returning franchise, promoted the physical, emotional and psychological development of your character whether female or male,” Zaire Church said.

Mass Effect gives timed slots, sometimes ten seconds or even less for the person to respond.
These responses trigger Paragon, which is the best of grace and good, or Renegade, which is the darker and more brutal choices.

“Personally I drive for Renegade because I want my character to be a force to be reckoned with,” Zaire said.

There are other games like this such as “Skyrim,” “Fallout” and “Dante’s Inferno” that hope to develop the gamer as well as the storyline.

“Parents just don’t understand!” Will Smith used to say. Parents generally don’t understand what games can really do.

Games like this aim to shape the person to be capable of faster responses, better choices, to come up with more options than what is overtly presented, leveling stressful situations and being a leader. This is a lot more complex than the first games released decades ago.

It’s safe to say that gaming has come a long way; whether it is ‘“round table” style or platform style we can utilize all that it trains the mind to do.

Enjoy the topic? J.Q. can be reached at [email protected] for more discussions.