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Ministry of Education.

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“In 1993, the video game industry began putting ratings on video games (E for 'everyone,' T for 'teen,' and M for 'mature'). Psychologists such as David Walsh, PhD, have conducted research on how useful the ratings are and how easily children can purchase mature-rated video games.”


James Paul Gee, professor of education at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, says that playing a video game is similar to working through a science problem. Like students in a laboratory, gamers must come up with a hypothesis. For example, players in some games constantly try out combinations of weapons and powers to use to defeat an enemy. If one does not work, they change hypothesis and try the next one. Video games are goal-driven experiences, says Gee, which are fundamental to learning.”


“Despite the possible negative psychological effects of video game playing, there are many positive effects that may outweigh the negative consequences. For instance, the creativity of players may be enhanced by their involvement with video games. Players often create their own games with computer technology that allows them to use their own music and visual patterns. This may allow players to stimulate their brains and thought processes in order to create the often elaborate scenarios involved in complex video games.


Children’s educational games differ from adult games of the same type because they’re typically more basic and cover fewer concepts. An adult game may teach several ideas at once, such as Democracy, which teaches adults about elections, politics, and other issues. A child’s game usually takes only one topic, such as math or reading, and focuses the teaching on that one idea.

Learning or just playing?

Computer games could become part of the school curriculum after researchers found they had significant educational value.

The UK study concluded that simulation and adventure games - such as Sim City and RollerCoaster Tycoon, where players create societies or build theme parks, developed children's strategic thinking and planning skills.


Online video games with thousands of simultaneous players, such as “World of Warcraft,” have become hugely popular in the last two decades and are now a multibillion dollar industry with tremendous financial success. Joshua Smyth, associate professor of psychology in The College of Arts and Sciences at Syracuse University, recently conducted a randomized trial study of college students contrasting the effects of playing online socially interconnected video games with more traditional single-player or arcade-style games.


People who play action computer games become quicker at making decisions in real life, research shows.

Scientists found that fast-paced "shoot 'em ups" re-train the brain and improve the ability to perform tasks such as driving, navigating and multi-tasking. In tests, a group of nongamers aged 18 to 25 who played war game Call Of Duty 2 for 50 hours made decisions 25 per cent faster than those given strategy games like The Sims 2.

Boffins said this was because shooting games often involve a series of rapid decisions.


About 90 percent of U.S. kids ages 8 to 16 play video games, and they spend about 13 hours a week doing so (more if you're a boy). Now a new study suggests virtual violence in these games may make kids more aggressive in real life.

Kids shouldn't play games where hunting down and killing people is the goal, says one expert.

Kids in both the U.S. and Japan who reported playing lots of violent video games had more aggressive behavior months later than their peers who did not, according to the study, which appears in the November issue of the journal Pediatrics.


William Higinbotham created the first video game ever in 1958. His game, called "Tennis for Two," was created and played on a Brookhaven National Laboratory oscilloscope. In 1962, Steve Russell invented SpaceWar!. Spacewar! was the first game intended for computer use. Russell used a MIT PDP-1 mainframe computer to design his game.

In 1967, Ralph Baer wrote the first video game played on a television set, a game called Chase. Ralph Baer was then part of Sanders Associates, a military electronics firm. Ralph Baer first conceived of his idea in 1951 while working for Loral, a television company.

Published on: 06 Jan 2011