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“Video games – the cool and the not cool!”
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“Video games – the cool and the not cool!”

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Harnoor Gill picVideo games are part of the popular culture, but as Harnoor Gill, 17, a Commonwealth Correspondent from Georgetown in Canada writes, there are pros and cons to electronic recreation.

Ever since I was little, I have always been given the opportunity of interacting with technology in everyday tasks.

My first encounters would be with computers, television sets, DVD players, floppy disks and digital cameras. After that, I got into different sports such as hockey, soccer, tennis and basketball, some of which I was talented in. Once I realized that sports, television and the occasional piece of homework were fun, there was soon a new trend that was introduced to me – video games. I was proactive in life back then and usually didn’t have time but when I felt the need to play something fictional or mysterious, I would drop on over to a friend’s house for the pleasure of video games.

I was introduced to my first-ever console, the GameBoy AdvanceSP, with the game of Pokémon FireRed that came with the bundle. I was always learning new things about it, interacting with my friends, learning vast amounts of vocabulary through different animals’ names without realizing how this would help me in the future and how pointless it actually was.

Sooner or later, I realized that the game had terrible graphics and that the story didn’t make sense. I also realized how I was foolish enough to constantly play that game in order to level up Pokémon for no apparent reason. My parents didn’t mind until they heard how it affected my education because I was getting lazy, procrastinating and became bored extremely easily.

My parents are the wonderful adults that helped me realize the pros and cons of gaming. They guided my experience with it today, and helped me realize how gaming is a recreational activity and not a violent sport.    

There are positives to video games that are important to talk about. These include improved multi-tasking, encouraging co-operation and teamwork, building confidence and promoting exercise.

Multi-tasking is easily improved with any game you play such as Pac-Man because you need to run away from all four ghosts, pay attention for the holes in the wall as well as keeping an eye out for large pellets.

Co-operation and teamwork are all shown within an FPS game of Team Deathmatch and confidence is built when someone achieves a trophy for completing certain missions. Nowadays, fitness is promoted through the Wii Fit, PS3 Move and the Xbox 360 Kinect.

The cons are not many in my opinion. Among them are addiction, negative effect on academics, and the tendency to make some people anti-social. Many people are only addicted to video games because of the quick gratification response that provides satisfaction for some gamers. Any compelling game will always affect academics because the person won’t be focused on the task in front of them when there is something as immediately distracting as a video game to watch or participate in.

Today I experience video games with my Xbox 360 where I play a couple FPS games, Minecraft, NBA 2K13 and Skyrim. I am still a good student at school who participates in extra-curricular activities, gets good grades and volunteers in the community. Whenever I feel tired or bored out of my mind, I might play with a couple of my friends for a limited time as to not get addicted. As well, my parents have set time limits for me so I don’t just sit in front of my TV all day. I also want those people reading this article’s pros and cons regarding video games to realize that it’s useful for them to know both sides of the argument.

One important message that I want every reader to realize is that violence is not caused by video games alone. It is the result of complex factors that can include bad experiences in the past, mental health issues, or other social and environmental influences.

It used to be comic books that were considered violent, now the video games are “violent”. Who knows, “iPhones” will maybe be considered violent in the next 20 years.

Just remember, work hard and play hard at an equal pace with one never being bigger than the other!

photo credit: xbox 360 controller via photopin (license)

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About me: I am a student in Georgetown, Canada, and founder of the Peace Welcome Club. I love to volunteer, read, write, and play basketball. I volunteer with local environmental and youth organizations and am dedicated to raising awareness about youth volunteering. My writing has been published in Indo-Canadian Voice, Asian Journal, Times of India, The Independent & Free Press, and in Amazing Kids! Magazine.

https://www.facebook.com/PeaceWelcomeClub

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Opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the Commonwealth Youth Programme. Articles are published in a spirit of dialogue, respect and understanding. If you disagree, why not submit a response.
To learn more about becoming a Commonwealth Correspondent please visit: http://www.yourcommonwealth.org/submit-articles/commonwealthcorrespondents/

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