Knock on wood, I have never been in a car accident. Granted, I’ve only been driving for 4 years, but you’re first few years of driving are supposed to be the most dangerous. I attribute this stroke of good fortune to my fast reflexes and ability to quickly asses a dangerous situation — skills I picked up during my years of being a gamer.
I’ve always felt that the hours and hours I have spent playing video games as a child were not spent in vain. Well, it turns out that gaming can also save the world:
(First of all, if you have no idea what TED is, do yourself a favor and check it out. Anyone who watches at least 1 TED video a day will not only become smarter, but will undoubtedly become happier in the proses.)
There is this stigma in America today that gaming is sucking the productivity out of our youth. Instead of reading books or studying for a class, a good portion of today’s youth can be found playing video games — and yet many people still see it as a waste of time. It’s hard to see the positives behind gaming if you yourself have never spent a significant amount of time with a controller in your hands. I used to play a lot of video games and here are just a few things video games have taught me:
1) Critical Thinking Skills – It might look like we are just mindlessly blowing stuff up, however many games today need a large amount of critical thinking to complete levels.
2) Goal Setting – A popular genre in gaming today are RPGs, may of which require step by step completion of many tasks, which force the gamer to make plans and stick with them.
3) Running a Country – Surprisingly, I have learned a great deal about how societies are created and maintained by Sid Meier’s Civilization 4.
The list can go on for quite some time.
The truth is, video games really are a skill set on their own. In addition to all of these benefits, video games excite and motivate their players like nothing else and they also truly mastered the psychology of incentives and rewards. As seen in the video above, if we can manufacture video games to impact our real world (as opposed to some fictional game world) we may be able to solve many of the world’s biggest problems. Gamers may not be geniuses, but when put together to work on a task, they become our most valuable resource.
But what happens if these ideas get utilized by the wrong people? Well, you’ll have to wait until Wednesday to find that one out.
Photo Credit: mattc3004