3 different net/gaming cafes in Hamra. All full on a Sunday night.
Everytime I pass one of these net/gaming cafes, I’m always shocked at how full they are! Especially the second one, Net Cafe.. It’s like all of the guys go there just to play the same game with each other (it’s pretty obvious that they aren’t checking their email).. so focused are they, that they don’t even turn to look at someone who is quite obviously taking their photo. 😉
But maybe there is something bigger, more exhilarating going on behind those screens (and inside of their heads) that I’m not even aware of. And maybe, just maybe…I’m not allowing myself to understand the appeal of these games just because they don’t appeal to me. I mean, there has to be a reason that these cafes are full almost every night (I know bars and restaurants who would do anything for that kind of loyalty), and are beginning to mushroom all over the place..right?
Writing this post made me think of an article I came across the other day titled, Video Games: An Hour A Day Is Key To Success In Life. In it, Jane McGonial, Author and Game Designer says,
“The single biggest misconception about games is that they’re an escapist waste of time. But more than a decade’s worth of scientific research shows that gaming is actually one of the most productive ways we can spend time.
Why are we increasingly turning to games? According to my research, it’s because games do a better job than ordinary life of provoking our most powerful positive emotions — like curiosity, optimism, pride, and a desire to join forces with others to achieve something extraordinary. Games also, increasingly, are a particularly effective way to bond with our friends and family — strengthening our real-life and online social networks in ways that no other kind of social interaction can.”
I still don’t know how I feel about people spending hours a day (or even 1 hour a day) hooked to these games like drones..but I realize that this statement is pretty hypocritcal as I spend 8+ hours a day, 5 days a week, glued to my computer myself..blogging, tweeting, facebooking, linkedining, socializing, reading, commenting, learning..! And I can truly say that the time I spend online really does enrich my life. So how exactly, does that make me any different from avid gamers?
According to the same article,
“When we play a good game, we get to practice being the best version of ourselves: We become more optimistic, more creative, more focused, more likely to set ambitious goals, and more resilient in the face of failure. And when we play multiplayer games, we become more collaborative and more likely to help others. In fact, we like and trust each other more after we play a game together — even if we lose! And more importantly, playing a game with someone is an incredibly effective way to get to know their strengths and weaknesses–as well as what motivates them. This is exactly the kind of social knowledge we need to be able to cooperate and collaborate with people to tackle real-world challenges.
The good news about games is that recent scientific research shows that all of these feelings and activities can trickle into our real lives.
For example: kids who spend just 30 minutes playing a “pro-social” game like Super Mario Sunshine (in which you clean up pollution and graffiti around an island) are more likely to help friends, family and neighbors in real-life for a full week after playing the game.
People of all ages who play musical games like Rock Band and Guitar Hero report spending more time learning and playing real musical instruments than before they started playing the videogame.
And just 90 seconds of playing a game like World of Warcraft – where you have a powerful avatar – can boost the confidence of colleges students so much that for up to 24 hours later, they’re more likely to be successful taking a test at school… and more outgoing in real-world social situations.”
get this shirt here.
Right about now, my 12 year old brother is reading this and laughing. I used to watch him in awe when he would run into the game room the minute he got home (when I was his age, I ran into the kitchen to get a snack) to play Call of Duty, or as they call it, COD, with his friends from school. I remember asking him why his name in the game was “yo momma“..he told me it’s because everytime he kills someone, it would show up on their screen as “you have just been killed by yo momma..” which, naturally..he thought was hilarious. Somehow, I highly doubt he is internalizing positive life lessons from these games.
I don’t know..what do you think? Is this me becoming a gaming sympathizer?
Are you a gamer? Why or why not? What is your opinion on games and gamers..and on the future of gaming in Lebanon?
Update: Upon reading this post, one of my friends sent me a link to a game that is controlled by the movement of your tounge while kissing..you have to see this!
Descrtiption: The pleasure of kissing and the thrill of gaming, both rolled into one. The Kiss Controller enables users to control a bowling game by moving their tongues while kissing. The controller requires one user to place a magnet on their tongue that provides a sensor input while the other wears a headset that acts as the sensor receiver. When the players kiss, the one with the magnet affixed to their tongue is able to control the direction and speed of the bowling ball by moving the tongue accordingly.
Thanks for this J.E.!