Analysis of Johnson's Views on Video Games

Analysis of Johnson's Views on Video Games - Dye 1 Jacob...

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Dye 1 Jacob Eric Dye Professor Sauve WR-121 14 March 2016 The complex of games and their value Games: Are they cognitively valuable to the people that play them? Or are they just a waste of time and energy? Games have and always will have controversy in their actual value toward the people whom play them. Specifically, to the cognitive gain and viable improvements in those people; the argument, is whether or not individuals whom play games (gamers) obtain any increase in their cognitive abilities to make decisions or to prioritize. Author Steven Johnson of Everything Bad is Good For You suggests: “…far more than books or movies or music, games force you to make decisions. Novels may activate our imagination, and music may conjure up powerful emotions, but games force you to decide, to choose to prioritize” (Johnson 44). Johnson’s claim is one that has had extreme opposition over the history of game-playing and always will, but the substance of what he says in his statement is strong. Whether users of games (gamers): gain new pathways to understand new information, enhance their decision making, or simply gain additional cognitive ability to focus, games and video games alike offer valuable cognitive skills to their users. The evidence to this is irrefutable. Comprehension of new information has been a subject matter of adult educators since the beginning of education’s foundation. What knowledge of information and which environments allow the brain to improve its ability to comprehend new information? Author Mark Bauerlein of The Dumbest Generation suggests traditional knowledge is the answer: “Screen intelligence doesn’t transfer well to non-screen experiences, especially the kinds that build knowledge and
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Dye 2 verbal skills. It conditions minds against quiet, concerted study, against imagination unassisted by visuals, against linear sequential analysis of texts…” (Bauerlein 23). In layman's terms, Bauerlein suggests that technology is a poor institute for knowledge growth and preludes to the idea that through the comprehension of general/traditional facts of information taught in school, children will be capable of far greater understanding of new information in the future; Specifically, children will be far better off in Bauerlein’s suggestion of comprehension than in any other form or another. Though Author Mark Bauerlein is methodical in his approach to prove his point here, he refuses to validate the opposite end of the argument, the modern end: that the comprehension of new information is a skill that can be learned simply through the thorough understanding of pop culture and playing video games. The modern end to this argument is important because it offers a counter to this extremely debatable topic and helps to eliminate biased conclusions. In addition, as it is modern, it is more relevant to the argument.
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