Make Known Unknown (Blog 9)

Video Games: A Waste of Time or A Resume Booster?


When I still lived at home, before I went to boarding school, video games and my generation’s attention span was a hot topic around my house. My dad never really approved of video games, as he thought they were a huge waste of time and did not add any benefit to someone’s well being by playing. My younger brother would beg for a video game console, but to this day is still game-less.

When I went to boarding school, it was impossible to meet a boy who didn’t play video games during every free minute they could find. I thought it was the weirdest phenomenon because they all seemed so addicted to playing and I couldn’t understand what the appeal was. I soon observed that boys at school were incredible at multi-tasking and seemed to always be thinking creatively yet realistically. Of course, the last thing I would guess these positive characteristics were attributed to was video games, but New York Times article, “A Multitasking Video Game Makes Old Brains Act Younger” thinks otherwise.

brain-on-videogames-main(Photo from discovery.com, click to enlarge.)

The article summarizes a how brain scientists have recently discovered that playing video games can improve the short-term memory and long-term focus of those who play. “Some people as old as 80, the researchers say, begin to show neurological patterns of people in their 20s” (Richtel).

It also states that, “The study highlights an emerging field in which researchers are trying to better define and even expand the limits of attention, which is seen as crucial to performance, memory and intelligence. Previous studies, done at the University of Rochester and focused more on young people, show that heavy use of certain off-the-shelf, intense shooting games can lead to improvements in a user’s ability to ignore distractions, and even learn” (Richtel).

The article goes on to talk about possible negative outcomes also associated with playing video games, but of course it seems that anyone can look at this glass half empty or half full, because the field of research is so young.

What will be interesting is analyzing the long term effects of these video games. I have heard about other studies that showed that people who play video games are also more likely to be risk-takers in their careers, a quality very sought after in some areas of business.

Who knows? Maybe one day my friends can put “239487234 hours of video games played” on their resumes.

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7 thoughts on “Video Games: A Waste of Time or A Resume Booster?

  1. I know that many of friends long for the day that video game hours played is something that one can put on their resume. I too went to boarding school and like you described know people who spent their lives playing “world of warcraft” (or WoW, as gamers like to call it). While these guys were plugging away at their laptops, potentially becoming better “multitaskers”, you have to ask what they gave up. Do people become less social? Are they less active? Maybe their aren’t definite answers but with all things I think there needs to be some moderation, even if they could one day put it on their resume

  2. This was a very interesting post! We usually hear only about the negative impacts of video games so it’s nice to hear about a different perspective on the topic.

  3. I have heard both sides of the argument. It definitely is a interesting thing to think about. If in some way playing video games could help a surgeon have the optimal focus then I absolutely agree. However, I also think there needs a to be a balance so that a social life still remains intact

  4. I found your post so interesting because I once read an article where an neurologist said something along the lines of the human brain is just like an ocean. What we know really only touches the surface, there are so many parts that we have yet to discover. There is so much about the brain that people are unaware of, so hearing of a study that finally goes against the grain and possibly suggests that video games can be beneficial is so intriguing.

  5. This is a really cool topic- and like you, growing up my father banned video games from ever crossing through the front door. We know some of the possible negative effects of violent video games, but I appreciate how your post presents another side- a positive side!

  6. Pingback: Patriots Super Bowl Champs! | csmithbucknell304's Blog

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