Some actual benefits

Superb blog Reticulating Splines (Blog Name Of the Year Award 1998) posts some more “games are damaging” journo-nonsense for our mockery and puts up some standard, if eloquently-constructed, defences.

Why do people always talk about games improving reaction time?  While that’s true, I think it’s perhaps not nearly as vital as games improving judgement.  Intelligent games require you to develop a skillset to make a series of rapid effective judgements within a set of highly constrained parameters: essentially synthesizing one of mankind’s greatests acheivements (rationality) and excercising it.

Judgement is great, we use it all the time (hopefully), and it makes us do stuff correctly and helps us on the way to competence.  Games allow people to achieve competence in abstract and have fun while they do it, they also allow people to examine the processes by which the attain competence in activities, which is also profoundly useful.

So there.

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2 Responses to “Some actual benefits”

  1. DuBBle:

    Thanks for your kind and critical words 😀

    I agree with what you say about games requiring an extension of rationality, and in response to your remark (in response to my remark :p) about reactions… I’m clearly going to have to search for some empirical evidence to back up my claims, but I certainly feel as though every day activities that require similar skills displayed in say, a driving game, are improved by gaming.

    Your blog is now on my roll 😀 Some excellent writing here

  2. Paul:

    Well, “thank you for the add” etc! Delighted to be on your roll…sigh there’s no polite way of doing mutual bloggery without it sounding horribly sychophantic. Anyway, cheers.

    You got caught by our spam net, but I retrieved you.

    It’s an interesting point – look forward to anything you can find.