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The splendor of gaming

November 16, 2010
Kayla Herrera

I still reminisce in the days spent hunched over an old Sega Genesis, furiously button-mashing against an opponent in Mortal Kombat or raging in result of a frustrating level in Sonic the Hedgehog 2.

The vivacious graphics, though horrid in comparison to today's videogame graphics, epitomize a critical era of gaming.

From inside my mother's womb, I could hear the unforgettable theme song of Altered Beast, thus my video game fancy began young.

Throughout my lifetime, we came to own an Atari, Sega Genesis, PS1, PS2, PS3, and Wii.

Clearly a Sony family, it never stopped me from exploring other consoles and all they had to offer.

When I understand what guys are talking about when they talk video games, they express a great deal of surprise.

Even though girls are not typically stereotyped as being fans of video games, I think more girls should let themselves become consumed by the splendor of gaming.

In an article concerning video games on associatedcontent.com, a study by PopCap Games found that 88 percent of all casual gamers play to relieve stress and 41 percent said that is the largest reason for wanting to play.

It is true that some video games are frustrating, but this kind of frustration is different than those associated with daily life.

The video game frustrations allow the player to focus on the game's issues rather than their own. And once some part of the game is solved, a sort of sense of accomplishment befalls the player.

Playing video games not only presents meager satisfactions sporadically, but also doses of stress relief for a more sane and stable individual.

According to the latest Teenmark data from Mediamark Research, girls are 40 percent more likely than boys to experience stress on a regular basis.

Shouldn't this fact in itself be an indicator that girls should start playing more video games? Maybe this statement is a fact merely because girls do not play enough video games.

A lot of people like to say video games fry your brain, rot your knowledge or make you dumber, etc.

Au contraire!

In research gathered by a study conducted by the University of Rochester, it was found that video games can actually promote the ability to examine objects in their visual field faster than a person who does not regularly play games.

They are more apt to process visual information quicker than those who do not play.

From this study, it is thought that the sense of danger in a game raises the awareness and trains the brain in visual response.

From an article on mental development at Kaboose.com, "While reading may activate the imagination, games help your brain learn how to think by forcing you to weigh evidence, analyze situations, consult your long-term goals and make a decision."

Not that it is an important aspect of female game-playing, but with a girl's knowledge in video games, it makes it easier to relate to guys.

When a guy starts spatting video game talk, using vocabulary only a fellow gamer would understand, it is always fun to shock him with a response just as knowledgeable.

Some girls are afraid to let other people know they like video games.

Why?

Be proud to be a gamer!

I know there are a lot of girls out there who, like me, can never have enough video games.

Forever we will be educating the rest of the female population in the proper ways to eliminate creatures and solve ridiculous puzzles in Silent Hill.

Or the importance of a team effort in the co-op version of Xbox 360's Resident Evil.

Or the beauty of landing a double-barrel roll in Need for Speed.

The simple pleasures obtained from playing video games can amount to a well-rounded female individual in numerous ways and help to strike at the stereotypes that encompass us every day.

Kayla Herrera's e-mail address is krherrer@mtu.edu

 
 

 

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