The Pros and Cons of Gaming

The Pros and Cons of Gaming

Have fun and game on.
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Everyone needs a little downtime, and gaming, by far, is probably one of the most popular forms; anything from Mario Cart to MMORPGs. Being in college, the gaming scene is interesting, to say the least. The dorm halls on a Friday or Saturday afternoon are filled with the muffled sounds of video games and people celebrating or shouting. You can always tell which rooms are celebrating a victory, and which rooms are aggravated with defeat and frustration. Gaming, despite all of the negative backlash it can get from society at times, has more pros than cons, I find.

Pros:

Probably the biggest pro to any form of gaming is its sense of decompression and stress relief. Even something as casual as Angry Birds can be a nice stress relief after a long day. For some, though, Angry Birds isn't enough. They need a way to channel out a really long and stressful week, so they turn to something like Call of Duty or Grand Theft Auto.

Another big pro to gaming is how active it keeps your mind. Most MMOs (massive multiplayer online games) require you to strategize with a team, or even solo to achieve certain rewards in-game. All of the thinking and planning out in these games happens subconsciously, for most, but it shows up sometimes in the real world when you need it. Hand-eye coordination also goes hand in hand with this. Most notably are the handheld game consoles like the Nintendo DS or Playstation Portable (in fact that was a huge selling point for most of Nintendo's early hand-held consoles).

Certain games can also let you unleash your creativity. The Sims is probably most known for this, where you get to create characters with families and little towns. Even some combat games let you customize your main character by choosing elements of their look from armor to hair color to body type. After you've played with the same characters for a long time, you become attached to them and they become your children, in a sense.

The best feeling coming out of any form of gaming is the sense of achievement you feel when you've reached a goal in the game or beat it in its entirety. There's this deep-seated sense of satisfaction in pride at looking back at your little achievement stamp or badge and saying to yourself, "Yeah. I did that." This feeling, I've found from experience, is amplified when it comes from completing a hard level or task.

Cons:

The biggest con, for me and many others I'm sure, of gaming comes with procrastination. You get so into the game you're playing that you put off sleep and chores and other important things until the last minute. Disclaimer: many people, myself included, are procrastinators by nature and it is not the games that make us procrastinate, but instead act as a catalyst to further said procrastination. For some, however, games do make people procrastinate.

If you've sold your soul to a specific gaming company or two, you may find your bank account crying after you've got the newest game or console. My Pokémon fans know what I'm talking about after Moon and Sun's release this past week. Hopefully, though, most people realize the hobby they've gotten themselves into and have a stable job that allows them to maintain such a collection of games and consoles.

Of course, when you've beaten the game or played it to the point where you have to wait for new updates, you feel a sense of emptiness because you've devoted so much time and effort into this game that now you don't know what to do with yourself. Your friends or parents might joke with you that "you aren't playing that game today?" or that they're "so proud," because sometimes gaming can make you a bit reclusive.

One of the biggest issues in the gaming industry especially in MMOs and combat games is this inherent sexism that comes with the games. Women in most of these games can only be thin and lean or the only armor options are revealing bras and bathing suit-esque bottoms that leave the character sufficiently unprotected. This sexism even reaches outside of the game itself and often time men accuse women of being "fake gamers" or "they're only playing to get a man's attention." It doesn't even seem plausible to them that women can enjoy gaming for the sake of gaming and not to gain male attention. This concept seems mind-blowing to many men and that's a sad fact.

The most controversial draw back of the gaming industry is how sometimes gamers' aggression can bleed out from the game and into real life. It doesn't even have to be a violent game like Call of Duty. Mario Cart and Wii Sports can tear friendships apart just as fast. As my dear roommate once said, "There's a reason Wii remotes have a strap." Honestly, most people who've ever played a game has been a little guilty of getting aggressive with the game itself. I've pushed friends, and they've pushed me off of couches over something as casual as Mario Cart. It happens to us all, but if you find your aggression outweighs your ability to have fun with the game, it's probably time to put it down and go take a walk.


Because that's the whole point of games: to have fun. Despite all of the cons that come with the gaming industry (or the people in it), what really matters at the end is that you're enjoying the game. That's why the industry is such a lucrative industry. People want to have fun and they want to play these games and be distracted. So if the next time you're strolling through the game section of a store and are debating on getting that new game you want: just do it and treat yourself. Have a little fun and game on.


Cover Image Credit: Pawel Kadysz

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21 BuzzFeed Quizzes To Take When You're Trying To Procrastinate

Why study when you could be on BuzzFeed?
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According to my previous article, 12 Things That Are Only Acceptable In College, spending 2.5 hours taking BuzzFeed quizzes is completely acceptable if you're in college. With it being that time of the semester when the list of things to do is never ending, sometimes it's easier to just ignore your problems and spend your studying time procrastinating. If this sounds like something you need to do, here's the ultimate list of quizzes to waste your time on.

1. Reply To Your Crush's Texts And We'll Reveal Your Future

Wondering what you're going to do with your life since you're probably going to fail that exam that you have tomorrow? After all, you are taking BuzzFeed quizzes right now instead of studying. This quiz will answer that question for you.

2. Which "Gossip Girl" Character Are You Based On These Random Questions?

This one's a classic that you just can't possibly skip.

3. Build A School Uniform And We'll Guess Who You Were In High School

If you're like me, you always secretly wished you had a uniform in high school so that you didn't have to pick out an outfit every morning. Now you can live out that dream and find out what it says about you.

4. We Can Guess Your Age After You Build Your Own Dream Home

If I got 70's, does that mean I have timeless taste or terrible taste?

5. Pretend To Go Shopping And We’ll Figure Out If You’re More Ann Taylor Or Ann Taylor: Loft

Ladies, this is an important one.

6. Plan Your Day And Find Out Which "Grey's Anatomy" Girl You Are

Maybe if whatever you're doing right now isn't working out, you could become a doctor...

7. Create A Makeup Look And We'll Tell You Which Hogwarts House You Truly Belong In

Or you could become a wizard.

8. Pick An Outfit And We Will Tell You What You Do For A Living

And if neither of those work out, this quiz will tell you exactly what you should do.

9. Spend All Your Money At This Drug Store And We'll Tell You What You Should Be Doing With Your Life

And in case you didn't like either of the previous suggestions, you can see if this one is any better.

10. Build A Dream Castle And We'll Tell You What Type Of Unicorn You Are

Since unicorn everything seems to be the rage right now, you'd better keep up.

11. This Reverse Word Association Test Will Uncover Your Personality Type

This one's for those of you who don't have the patience to get through the Myers-Briggs test.

12. Design Your Future Backyard And We'll Reveal How Many Kids You'll Have

If you're going to have more than 2 you better get back to work so you can support them.

13. Pick An Outfit From Patagonia And We'll Tell You How Long You'd Survive In The Wild

Find out if running away to the wild is really a better option than struggling through that 10 page paper that's due at 8 am tomorrow.

14. Which Character From "The Office" Are You At YOUR Job?

Let's hope you don't get Kevin.

15. Which Meryl Streep Character Is Actually Most Like You?

Are you as mean as Miranda Priestly?

16. Take This Picture Test And We'll Tell You Your Best And Worst Qualities

No need to prepare for your next interview, just give them these answers.

17. What Kind of Bathroom Guest Are You

Are you actually a terrible guest?

18. What % Gross Are You Actually?

Or maybe you're just gross in general.

19. Your Food Preferences Will Reveal Which TV Character You Are

Are you more Blair Waldorf or Michelle Tanner?

20. What Grade Are You Getting In Life?

Are you literally failing at life right now?

21. What Type Of Emoji Are You?

Instead of a signature scent, you can have a signature emoji!

And if these didn't take you long enough, you can always check out BuzzFeed for more.

P.S. Good luck studying for that exam. Maybe you can find a quiz that tells you how to ace it.

Cover Image Credit: Julia Waterbury

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Wasting Time Online Is Pretty Beneficial According To Smart People

It's time to learn something new today about how technology is changing the world of interactions!

theianl
theianl
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I think one of the greatest investments you can make in modern time is anything to do with technology. It feels that every single year we keep getting introduced to newer crazier tech. Tesla is literally out here making cars drive themselves, we just put another rover on Mars, and I can use Alexa to turn on lights in my room, the future is here! These are positive changes in society, I'll tell you why newer technology even more valuable than ever before.

Alright now that I set you up with a great teaser, it's time to give some backstory.

So, researchers have been studying this concept known as Symbolic Interaction Theory (SIT) for many years, but it hasn't been until recently where they discovered how new technologies can help explain/enhance concepts to take them to the next level. SIT, originally created by philosopher George Herbert Mead (he had a great mustache) in the earlier 20th century, looks at how everyday social interactions make up society. In other words, he explained that individuals communicate together using symbols and context that define the overall interaction.

After this revolutionary discovery, researchers had a freakin' field day. A lot of studies about influence, shared meaning, and perception have been done as a result of SIT, but now thanks to that good ol technology, SIT is getting revamped in a pretty awesome way.

Researcher DJ Gunkel took some time away from spinning records and started looking at social interactions through online video games using avatars. To his amazement, he noticed that despite all the interactions taking place online, they mimicked how real-life interaction would take place. Pretty standard stuff, right? Wrong. This is huge for the field of SIT and it impacts each one of us, yes especially you.

My dude Gbola Olasina did a study demonstrating why this information is important.

He realized as technologies become more realistic, virtual worlds can be used to study how interaction happens in the real world. Instead of putting together major research studies that are expensive and time-consuming, researchers can now use simulations to get almost identical results. Results can be applied to an insane amount of possibilities. Teachers in a classroom practicing new methods? Easy. A business implementing new employee protocols? Cake. Why suburban moms feel the need to speak to a manager? You bet!

It's like that time Neo learned how to fight in the Matrix except we're using it for productive reasons.

What kind of technologies help with this you ask? Well, have you heard of HTC's Vive Virtual Reality console? The research possibilities are genuinely limitless.

Let me fill you in with an example. My roommate Austen is currently a research engineer for a company I don't know if I'm allowed to say or "cidkiiats" for short. In one of his recent projects, he created an entire store showing off brand new items his company had to offer, all in Virtual Reality. As people joined in and visited the store using their Vive, "cidkiiats" was able to watch their consumers interact with one another and talk about which products they were most excited for in real time.

They were able to track interaction and gather data about their consumers from remote locations! Georgey Mead would be foaming at the mouth with these types of possibilities ladies and gents.

It's interesting to think about the fact that a theory that was created over a century ago is getting reused thanks to a changing world. The potential is unmatched, we'll understand interactions and how they naturally occur all through some video games or simulations. This is what it's all about ladies and gents, the future is only going to get smarter.

It's ironic that all my "wasted" time on video games could potentially become valuable data for researchers.

Checkmate mom.

theianl
theianl

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