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15 Myths About Playing Video Games Debunked

Entertainment
15 Myths About Playing Video Games Debunked

Slowly but surely, video games are taking over as the most popular entertainment medium there is. With a ton of titles launching every year, video games are far from dying and we can see a long history ahead of it. In the years and decades to come, we can’t help but feel excited about what developers will offer us in the future.

Video games haven’t been around as long as TV, newspaper or movies. The earliest history dates back to the late 1950s and it has only started gaining popularity in the mid-1980s. In its short but heavy history, video games have mystified minds and many have tried to get a deeper understanding of what makes video games tick.

Throughout the years, video games have managed to accrue a sizeable amount of myths and beliefs that gamers have been wanting to have answered. Aside from the usual “video games cause violence” line we’re all tired of hearing, there are other claims that finally have answers. Here are the top 15 video gaming myths that have been debunked and answered.

15. There Is Money To Be Made In Video Games

Gamers’ parents are often yelling at the top of their lungs when saying that their kids are wasting time on video games. The reason behind that is that there is no money to make in playing video games alone. That used to be true but with the advent of competitive gaming, E-Sports, and YouTube, it’s possible to make money simply by playing.

Countries such as South Korea even consider their E-Sports players as real athletes. This means that competitive gamers in South Korea are paid to do what they love most. That’s not all. The prize pool in E-Sports tournaments like TI for Dota 2 reaches several million.

When it comes to YouTube, Let’s Players get money from videos of themselves playing. With a big enough viewer base, YouTubers could live their lives through video games. PewDiePie is the most well-known Let’s Players around and is also the most followed YouTube channel to date.

14. Video Games Can Be Used To Train For Combat But Only With The Right Conditions

It should be no surprise or secret by now but yep, the government uses video game simulations to train their soldiers. It is said that it helps soldiers improve their accuracy, reflexes and more. Since this is the case, many believe that these same video games could have the same effect on regular gamers.

Former military psychologist and moral reformer David Grossman states that regular gamers are being trained like soldiers using video games. With games like Call of Duty and Halo being shooters and all. What the psychologist does not take into account though is the fact that soldiers are placed in a certain curriculum wherein they know that they have to learn about combat from the video games.

Regular gamers play video games for the sole purpose of having fun and not training. This mindset is what divides military training to just regular gaming.

13. Video Games Do Help In Developing The Brain

It’s commonly believed that video games offer no other benefit to gamers aside from giving them hours upon hours of fun and entertainment. This is one of the many reasons why parents are so against games and they believe that this form of entertainment is just a waste of time.

Video games aren’t as simple as pushing a shape through the appropriate hole. Some titles require precise accuracy, strategic planning and a ton of critical thinking. Even if developers don’t flaunt that their games help a person develop his mind more, it’s already given that playing games is a good exercise for the mind.

There are a ton of titles geared towards training our minds. Puzzle games or other brain-oriented titles are often used to help a child develop critical thinking skills and decision making.

12. DLCs Aren’t All Bad

One of the latest trends in video gaming is paid, downloadable content, better known as DLC. It’s basically extra content for the game that comes at a price. Gamers loathe DLCs simply because they believe that the content from it should already be part of the base game already. Others believe that they shouldn’t have to pay for more than the price they bought the game at.

While some DLCs are bad, a few developers aren’t too bad when it comes to making DLC for their games. Good, paid DLC quality comes at a case by case basis and players need to do some research before they pay for the extra content.

Take the Blood and Wine DLC for The Witcher 3 for example. The Witcher 3 is already an amazing game on its own but the Blood and Wine DLC would suffice as a separate game already. It was highly praised and it’s one of the primary examples of DLC done right.

11. The Primary Target Market Of Video Games Isn’t Kids

Honestly speaking, when one thinks of video games, many instantly think that it’s just an advanced form of toys for kids. Many advise teenage or adult gamers to “grow up” after being spotted playing video games as these “toys” are allegedly made for kids only.

There’s a reason ESRB ratings exist in the video game industry. Some titles are more appropriate for adults, while some are made for kids. Video game developers don’t primarily make kids their target market. In fact, most developers focus on making titles for older gamers.

Teens and adults are the ones with most access to video games simply because they have the time and money to do so. Kids manage to get their hands on one simply because of their parents. It’s a logical move to target an older audience for video games since it is a bigger market.

10. Pong Isn’t The First Video Game

Ask any gamer what the first video game is and it’s almost certain that they’ll answer Pong. It’s been a huge debate in the gaming community as to what the first video game was but what’s certain for those who did their research is that Pong isn’t the first video game ever made.

When asked what the first video game is, many experts point to William Higinbotham’s Tennis for Two. The game dates back to 1958 and it was made as a demonstration for an open house at Long Island’s Brookhaven National Laboratory.

Pong didn’t even follow that game. After Tennis for Two, Steve Russell and a few others at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology designed Spacewar in 1962. Pong is far from being the first game ever made but we can always agree that it’s one of the pinnacles in video gaming.

9. Video Games Don’t Isolate Us From Society

The common setting a gamer is depicted in is in a dark room, all by himself, and with a ton of snacks and soda to get him through the day. Parents would tell their kids to get out more to socialize but little do they know that in games, we can get as much socializing as we can in the outside world.

Even before the invention of online gaming, players get to socialize with each other through local multiplayer. It was all fun and good to hang out with buddies for either cooperative or competitive fun. With online multiplayer being the norm nowadays, it’s easier to find and meet new friends online.

Games help out those who just can’t get the hang of personal interaction. Most gamers start out new relationships online and then move it on to the outside world through meet ups. Video games don’t isolate gamers from society, they even help gamers socialize even more.

8. Girl Gamers Do Exist

In this macho society, some men just can’t take the fact that video games aren’t just for the masculine part of society. It has never been that way. Even ancient games such as Pong or Galaga can be played and enjoyed by girls and women.

We’ve yet to know when or where this thinking originated but many gamers believe that gamer girls are a thing of fiction. It has never been that way as girls can be just as interested and devoted to gaming as men. There are even games out there that reach out to the feminine market.

Developers are now sensitive to the female audience and they often consider the fact that there’s a huge market in females playing video games. Online games are rampant with girl gamers. Girl gamers do exist and it’s not very hard to find one.

7. Polybius Is Just A Regular Arcade Game

Back in 1981, Portland, Oregon was graced with a new arcade cabinet that was expected to shell out countless pennies from kids. That arcade game was Polybius and it wasn’t just a typical video game. There’s a big mystery behind Polybius and it’s something that gamers have been investigating for years now.

Polybius was popular for a few reasons. For one, many believed it to be a tool for the United States government to test mental and physical capabilities of gamers to see who are fit for the army. Some have even said that the arcade game was a brainwashing tool being tested by the CIA at the time.

No one has yet to reveal the exact truth behind Polybius but let’s face the fact that it’s nothing more than a mere video game. All the rumors behind are just conspiracy theories made up by players who think that there’s more to the game than just button mashing.

6. The Lavender Town Curse Isn’t Real

Pokemon Red and Blue was a fairly innocent game. It was the first of many entries in a 30-year franchise and it was one of the most memorable RPGs for many kids who had a GameBoy back in the 90s. The game is not without its controversies though as one particular town, Lavender town allegedly pushed kids to the brink of suicide.

This quaint little town was just like the others in the game. However, it did have a particularly eerie music that would make the cut as a horror movie soundtrack. Aside from that, the town also spells all kinds of gloom. It’s the town where the players find out the Pokemon die!

This is all a hoax created by some bored gamers though. Lavender Town is indeed scary but let’s face the fact that it has no supernatural powers that cause gamers to commit suicide.

5. Video Game Testing Isn’t Fun

Before game releases, developers need to test it out first to see what’s wrong with the game and what’s already good in it. This process is known as video game testing and every young gamer has dreamed of becoming one when they grow up. Little do they know that game testing isn’t as fun as it sounds.

Game testers don’t simply play a game whenever they are tasked with testing it. They’ll be given a specific set of tasks to do over and over again to help determine the bugs that could plague the game at launch. Basically, it isn’t as simple as running through the game like you own it.

The tasks include opening doors over and over again and moving around several minutes on end. It’s a boring way of life and the only benefit from it is that game testers somewhat get their hands on the game before anyone has.

4. Video Games Don’t Cause Violence

Ever since Mortal Kombat took over arcades in the early 90s, parents have been on an exodus to stop video game production. Many believe that video games cause violence or give players violent tendencies. With every violent game that releases, parents are sure to rant about how it could affect their children in horrible ways.

No study has yet to suggest that video games do cause violence. Be it Grand Theft Auto, Call of Duty or Mortal Kombat, we can’t simply say that these titles make children violent as is. There were some shootings wherein the perpetrators were alleged gamers but that was it.

People are just wrong in the head sometimes and it just so happens that video games do include a little blood and gore from time to time. The NBA 2K series don’t make us professional basketball players so why would a violent game turn us into criminals?

3. It Can Be Used For Educational Purposes

Aside from entertaining people, video games have had more uses, especially in recent years. Thanks to the advancements in technology, developers are able to create devices and video games that can be used for educational purposes and video games as teachers are becoming more and more prominent.

One of the titles currently being used in curriculums is Minecraft. Thanks to limitless possible creations in the crafting game, it can be used to create a virtual ride through history. Some schools even use Minecraft to teach their students about architecture and engineering.

F1 driving schools use Gran Turismo and specialized controllers to simulate real life driving. The good thing about this is that the students can test drive all they want without the harm of being injured or hurt. With these teaching techniques, students are engaged in learning even more.

2. Video Games Are A Meaningful Form Of Expression

Gamers play video games for their own reasons. Some play games to simply pass time. Some play games to make money. Some play games to have fun. Some play games to meet others. Some even play games to express themselves. Contrary to what people commonly believe, video games are a good way for us to express ourselves.

With life sims like EA’s The Sims, a player can easily showcase the kind of lifestyle he wants to have through his virtual counterpart. Moreover, you can see a person’s preferences through the host of things he can build in The Sims. Although video games aren’t as deep as paintings when it comes to how it helps us express ourselves, there’s still a deep connection between games and our emotions. Some developers have even focused on creating artistic games for people to express themselves and this proves that even the most hardcore gamers are artistic and expressive in their own right.

1. Graphics Don’t Always Make A Game Great

Those who aren’t really avid gamers are still surely mesmerized by what today’s generation of consoles has to offer in terms of visuals. As compared to gaming in days gone by, video games today are closer to looking more realistic than they have ever been.

In hindsight, one can easily say that great graphics means great game but that’s far from the truth. There are still a ton of factors to consider including length, gameplay, content and of course, story. There are a ton of great games out there with graphics that could be achieved with early consoles.

For a better look into this issue, let’s take a lot at the PlayStation 4 exclusive, The Order 1886. The game was a true cinematic experience as it had some of the best graphics to date. When it comes to gameplay and content though, the game didn’t sit well with gamers. Compare that game to Undertale; a game with graphics from the retro era of gaming. Despite the poor visuals, Undertale is one of the beloved games of 2016.

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