I sort of slept through the cultural metamorphosis of video games. I’ve always known better than to question their validity as art but applied very little thought to them beyond that.
Up until very recently, the medium would only be permitted into the zeitgeist to be scolded for inspiring school shootings, distracting kids from their school work or accompanying the archetypal neck-bearded school dropout. Gradually, developers became more and more vocal in the defense of the intellectual, emotional components innate in their work. Now, it’s nearly impossible to claim ignorance about any of these associations if you’re under the age of 60. Ninety-seven percent of children spend at least one-hour playing video games a day, though that might not be such a bad thing. A growing pile of Meta-analysis studies suggests there are a plethora of benefits afforded by the hobby.
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Like any form of expression, the neurological impression varies depending on the form. The very best of platformers have been associated with improved cognition and the very best of open-world games has been favorably compared to literature. Moreover, something as ever-present as the console and PC game will invariably affect the way we interact with others, for better or worse.
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According to a new survey conducted by Century Link, one in three people between the age of 18 and 24, say video games have had a positive impact on their relationships. Of the 1,000 respondents queried only 42 said habitual gaming caused a breakup.
“Also in the 18-24 age range, over half the people who said they played video games themselves said their gaming life has had a positive influence on their romantic relationships. So keep throwing those banana peels on the road — someone will eventually fall for you,” said Alex Rivera of Century Link.
For whatever reason, Mario Kart has yielded the most positive impact on relationships, with Call of Duty, and Skyrim rounding out the top three.