Gaming & Cognitive Development

There are several schools of thought when it comes to First Person Shooter games. In the realm of my limited friendships, I have found Three opinions pervading above all others. Those opinions are, at opposite sides of the spectrum to say the least. That being said, this can’t be counted as a big data aggregated poling survey since my friend base is not that large and thus can not be projected as a realistic sample size without bias. Nonetheless, I find the difference in opinions interesting.

I have several friends that love First Person Shooter games. Prying my buddy Jake away from Call of Duty is similar to the zoo keepers trying to get the Silverback Gorilla Harambe away from the child at the zoo. Nearly impossible without causing irreparable harm. On the other end of the spectrum lies what I like to call the go getters or doo’rs in life. These go getter friends of mine absolutely hate video games, and feel fairly strongly about it. They do not consider it a good time to sit in their room and play imaginary. This also manifests in to the school of thought that these video games will change your mind and thought process. When a mass shooting occurs or someone is acting strangely the go getters are always the first to lay blame on video games and first person shooter games.

After doing so library research I found that in fact there is a third viewpoint. Cognitive researcher Daphne Bavalier has a great you tube video about how video games can help us learn, focus and even develop multitasking abilities. The Youtube video that I found in Rochester Library is very fascinating. Her arguments are very strong and scientifically based.

So I pose the question, do first person shooter games have the ability to alter the perception and reality of the obsessive gamer? Is this a real thing or is it just an excuse that meatheads use to justify their anti-gaming sentiment? Maybe there is a middle ground outside of my small albeit opinionated friendship circle. Maybe video games can actually be helpful for cognitive development as Daphne Bavalier argues.

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