So... Just how HAVE Videogames affected you?

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They've helped me flush a lot of time down the tubes.

In the end, the only thing video games bring to the table is an interactive medium allowing yo to have an effect on the world you happen to be in, not seeing a solution to the worlds problems unfold,but being that solution and that's why Okami HD is my game of last year.(better late than never ,right?)So yes in the end video games allow us to immerse ourselves in a way not possible in other media and is fun because of it and that's how it has impacted me,immersing me in more interesting worlds ,stories and just breaking the monotony that life would be otherwise.

they made me accept and love all things nerdy

I'm not sure I can call myself a "true" gamer as I tend to focus on story first and foremost...which is a medium like games seems silly

its not my fault though Bioshock did it

manic_depressive13:
the latter to my being a useless piece of shit.

who makes some good points now and again

not to get all "therapist" but....come on, seriously

Got an intrest in history from Rome: Total war. Which, funnily enough, made me see just how historically innacurate the game is.

They helped me improve my English when I was playing the shit out of Premier Manager 98 and Baldur's Gate back in '99.

Other than that, not so much. Perhaps Football Manager helped me understand tactics/strategies on the pitch, but other than that: not so much.

Affected me quite a lot to be honest. My love for gaming brought me to Pure Pwnage where I ended up becoming an admin and meeting my fiancée. I then went on to start up an NFS community which saw me visiting various EA offices around the world, attending GamesCom, meeting loads of cool people (and a _lot_ of dicks) and generally having a rip-roaring good time.

Gaming also got me indirectly into IT which I spent a large chunk of my working life in though I've now ended up in community management. I can trace all this back to first playing the NES when it first came out. Fun times.

Well. Games where you choose how you play can give you some insight into yourself; what are your values, what you actually hold dear. I mean, yes; often it does take more effort to take things other than 'this is fun' from games as opposed to books or TV series. However, surprisingly often, I think you find that what you take from games entirely depends on how you go about playing them. If you're just there for a bit of lighthearted (or dark) fun then games can provide that. But if you want to go a little deeper and look at some more interesting things, how you behave in games, why you make certain choices (assuming you're not just going for the 'phat l00tz'), the bonds you form with other characters and why, you can find there's a surprising amount of interesting little things there. And that's just a few ways of how you can look at them, when you get particularly into it. Outside that they can influence you with ideas, perhaps a certain art-style or aesthetic, and can affect your friendships with other people. Videogames might be that one particular thing you have in common with someone that helps a strong bond to form. Just like information; it -will- affect the way you think. The only question is -how-. Will you take it as a chance to have some insight into yourself whilst you have fun? Or will you snort in derision and wave the idea to the side? "It's Only A Game" after all...

CpT_x_Killsteal:
Prevented me from committing suicide during depression.

Take THAT anti-videogame people!

Well hot damn. Nicely done there. ;D

You know, given that Ive been a gamer since my first chew toy was a 2600 joystick and having a mouse in my crib I would have to say gaming has had a wide array of effects on my development.

I think old school rpgs and action adventure games like Zelda cemented a life long love for everything sword and sorcery. More than that, I would almost say its where I developed a sense of honor.

More action centric games like Battletoads, TMNT, Bayou Billy helped instill a dogged determination that no matter how many times you get knocked down, you get back up and try again.

Many of the late 90s PS1 sci fi games such as colony wars and descent helped to paint some of my idealism for the future. During that same time, many fighting games like Tekken, bloody roar, DoA, Virtua Fighter, etc gave me a new appreciation of how games can be used as social mechanisms as well as sharpened my reflexes

MMOs such as Everquest taught me that I have the capacity to be a charismatic almost cult like leader, and also painfully pointed out how all my dreams of someday ruling the world were way beyond the insane amount of aggravation and work to be worth it.

Multiplayer shooters like Halo, helped further refine reflexes as well as snap decision making skills and allowed me to better understand gun mechanics of which I had never really been all that interested in, that I feel had a major role in saving my life as detailed

viranimus:
Overview

viranimus:
Further elaboration

These are just a few ways I can fathom that games have effected me, and I would postulate that there even more ways that I am not even considering. But I do know that given it has been a life long activity for me and something I have carried from infancy to adulthood I would think gaming has helped shape and define me as a person for good and ill.

they made me hate Romans, seriously fuck the Romans man.

no seriously they were pretty handy when I grew up considering my dad is an abusive bastard, but I didn't have to meet him because I was playing video games, yay.

they also gave me something of a interest in technology which has come in handy several times.

At most games have affected my productivity levels and some of the conversations that I have with my friends. And you could say that about almost any other medium out there.

I think games have impacted me in mixed ways.

On the positive side, I think some games I've played over the years have had a very good tangential learning effect. For instance, playing Civilisation 5 caused me to do a bit more research on the rulers you can play/play against. Some other games caused me to develop some problem solving skills, so puzzle games, and even some other genre's, such as Deus Ex, which was a case of path finding and strategic placement.

On the negative side, I do wonder how much time I missed not socialising or doing other things because I was playing video games. But then again, my friend group did center around those things for a time. Now my social circles are a bit more varied. And it perhaps has caused my attention span to suffer, especially with some of the more fast paced games. But, then again, the new wave of ADHD in young adults is being born out of frequent internet usage (and thus instant access to information, social feeds etc).

They give me a way to connect with friends and family beyond just chatting. My brother lives in another state, and a good friend of mine lives on the other side of the continent--but we can all log in to battle.net and fight the minions of Diablo together.

No. Idea.

While Games have helped me in terms of reading, spelling and many other things, games have also affected me negatively. At the end of the day I really don't care.

i think its shaped my morals, informed and made me inquire about certain things much like a good book or film.

i've always been drawn to narratives. the games i enjoy the most have story and most satisfying stories contain some form of morality.

i've always been drawn to "interesting facts" and many games are quite secretly educational. how many of you guys have a basic working knowledge certain elements of Roman or Greek society and/or myth "from a video game" ? i think many people are drawn to do the whole investigative cross referencing "i wonder what that was..." thing when they come across something that interests them in game too.

i've always like games. maybe that's the same for everyone at the start. but when i was a kid video games were a totally new thing and didn't really have much story at all. seriously Pac-Man had a story ? no. but its when they started to have tales to tell i really became interested. the thing is i think the two still exist and can coincide. sometimes you just wanna have fun and there are films and even books like that too. but for me its the prospect of interactive storytelling that's the other extra hook over everything else that makes me commit to saying "i'm a gamer". that and indulging my love of building stuff...

Every time I see a tower of any kind, I have the urge to climb it. Damn you assassins creed.

they saved my life
also made me a better typist

Rock Band/Guitar Hero helped me rehab my arm. Without them, I probably wouldn't be able to play guitar.

Radeonx:
Nothing.
I play games to kill time for some entertainment, similar to the Escapist or anything else I do for fun.

Pretty much. Now that I spend a lot of time out and about, organising and doing uni work I don't do it, simply no time.

Videogames didn't really affect my life AFAIK, apart from that I am not drunk every saturday, but rather stay in and play some Starcraft with friends sometimes.

Also I can bond with people easily when they are gamers too, which makes things easier for a socially awkward being like me.
On the other hand I got looked at funny by people who don't play games, who judged me only on the basis that I play games, and also games rated 18+, aswell as banned ones (Germany here). I come from a town near Winnenden, where one big schoolshooting was and lots of people told me that I would be "insensitive" for playing the games I like near a place with that kind of history, and also calling out people on bullshit when they said it.

tl;dr: I like talking with people about videogames, some like me for it, others hate me.

EDIT: thinking about it, they also helped me through a depressive phase, I had for the past 2 years, so that's certainly a plus.

Video games taught me how to read and probably helped me NOT commit suicide. Ya....I didn't have the best time in Elementary and Middle School, I was a nerdy anti-social loner with social anxiety disorder and Aspergers Syndrome and as you can tell by now, that didn't go over well with the overall group mentality of the school. All those days of physical and verbal abuse I had to deal with, was tempered each day out of my mind by focusing on Pokemon Yellow and Gold, and some N64 games to a certain degree. They helped me forget about all the terrible things that was happening. So while I can't say for certain what would have happened if I didn't play video games, I can tell you they definitely decreased the risk of me doing anything stupid.

Like many gamers who use game pads and controllers, my hand/eye co-ordination is fantastic!

I also get loads of cool ideas and concepts from games, I am not a writer, but it is cool to make up cool stories in your head with tons of different game concepts mixed together!

They didn't. Games, TV, films, books and other cultural influences have all totally failed to affect me in any way, because I am a rational person that makes decisions solely based on...nah, no-one's going to buy it.

Video games have given me the road to what I want to do with my life as a profession. I want to be part of the creation of a world and the have it be enjoyed, or hated even, by the masses.

They also pull me out of reality and I love immersing myself in interactive stories. That's also something I want to do for other players.

It'll just be a while before I get there.

True, though somewhat awkward, is that video games kept me a virgin through out high school. I'm a girl, by the way.

I grew up in a small city in upstate New York that is literally surrounded by cows. With the exception of a couple movie theaters and bowling alleys there wasn't much for young people to do except get high and have sex. It was rampant in my high school, and my home county has the highest drug and alcohol abuse rate in the state. Even higher than NYC. A fact that made most of my school mates proud. Ick.

Except I was at home playing video games, and lamenting over the fact that Auron wasn't a real life person*. My high school boyfriend was also too busy playing Halo with his dude-bros to actually attempt something with me. While my classmates were out making poor life decisions, some of which they are still paying for in the forms of unplanned pregnancy, alcoholism and sexually transmitted diseases, I was battling my way across Spira or Middle Earth or the various Disney worlds of Kingdom Hearts. Or, I was building empires in Age of Mythology.

A little less awkward is how Civ building games helped spur my love of history and my actual working knowledge of it. You could learn a lot through Age of Empires, and I once used Caeser 3 as a reference point of a paper on the Roman Empire, for which I got a perfect score. The rest of the games I spent my life with have mostly been of the fantasy/sci-fi genre, which is my bread and butter, so it has only served to deepen my love of and respect for fantasy and sci fi.

* I still kind of lament this, and now Alistair from Dragon Age Origins has joined the roster.

Smolderin:
Video games taught me how to read and probably helped me NOT commit suicide. Ya....I didn't have the best time in Elementary and Middle School, I was a nerdy anti-social loner with social anxiety disorder and Aspergers Syndrome and as you can tell by now, that didn't go over well with the overall group mentality of the school. All those days of physical and verbal abuse I had to deal with, was tempered each day out of my mind by focusing on Pokemon Yellow and Gold, and some N64 games to a certain degree. They helped me forget about all the terrible things that was happening. So while I can't say for certain what would have happened if I didn't play video games, I can tell you they definitely decreased the risk of me doing anything stupid.

You sound a lot like my best friend in 5th and 6th grade, only we added Magic the Gathering to our nerdy-woes. Recess was spent pouring over new cards or discussing the most recent episode of the pokemon anime and then we'd go over to his house and play FF3 (ok, 6 really) on Snes, or play with his N64. That's another thing gaming gave me, people to share it with. I firmly believe that people like you, Aspergers and Social Anxiety included, are some of the best people in the world.

Well besides the hours of entertainment they provide they have made me a much more calm and level headed person, Ironically. I played some multiplayer games a good few years back and they led to rage and I stepped back and thought how stupid that was so i've become the calmest of my friends easily.

They also have killed and yet fuel my passion for writing. I would love to write some fantasy or sci-fi novels some day and ideas storm through my head constantly, but I constantly have to look and see that names, places, and ideas weren't things I just unknowingly took from a game I like.

Lastly, I get really immersed in games so sometimes when RL is boring or nothing is happening I tend to just imagine how im actually in a different scenario, imagine im Hitman or traveling in Skyrim, Fallout, anything really, heck, even in the Sims. I don't even think about it really, and its absolutely harmless, just a little bit of time passing fun.

Oh and they have taught me plenty; Games taught me to read and read better, and to learn and explore the lore of games which can translate into a thirst for knowledge for other subjects.

Catie Caraco:

Smolderin:
Video games taught me how to read and probably helped me NOT commit suicide. Ya....I didn't have the best time in Elementary and Middle School, I was a nerdy anti-social loner with social anxiety disorder and Aspergers Syndrome and as you can tell by now, that didn't go over well with the overall group mentality of the school. All those days of physical and verbal abuse I had to deal with, was tempered each day out of my mind by focusing on Pokemon Yellow and Gold, and some N64 games to a certain degree. They helped me forget about all the terrible things that was happening. So while I can't say for certain what would have happened if I didn't play video games, I can tell you they definitely decreased the risk of me doing anything stupid.

You sound a lot like my best friend in 5th and 6th grade, only we added Magic the Gathering to our nerdy-woes. Recess was spent pouring over new cards or discussing the most recent episode of the pokemon anime and then we'd go over to his house and play FF3 (ok, 6 really) on Snes, or play with his N64. That's another thing gaming gave me, people to share it with. I firmly believe that people like you, Aspergers and Social Anxiety included, are some of the best people in the world.

Ah, well thank you for the compliment. One thing I know for certain is that people that are on the high end of the so called "Autistic Spectrum" are some of the nicest, most intelligent, and most understanding people that I have ever met despite their social flaws. I worked at a Cafe once for a couple of years where everyone there had some form of mental disorder, and the common similarity between all of us was that we had an undying love for video games. When you live in a world that scorns you for being different, I consider it a blessing I was born in a day and age where you could forget about all of that and let are imaginations roam wild in worlds entirely different from our own.

In fact video games did more than just save me, they inspired me to create worlds of my own. It was through games that I learned I had a talent for writing fantasy and science fiction stories, and it was through games that eventually I decided I wanted to have a career in writing fantasy and science fiction so that others may escape into my creations just like I did in the past with others.

Beyond the physical elements of hand-eye coordination and quick reflexes (at least in my fingers), games have enabled me to develop better problem solving abilities and the ability to process information quickly. Mostly though, it just has allowed me to escape from my problems for a while, even if just for a few minutes. It can also be incredibly theraputic to load up some shooter and imagine the enemies are your troubles and worries and just eliminate them ruthlessly. Ultimately, games are just a great stress relief in my life. It's for this reason that I think video games have prevented a hell of a lot more violence than they have caused.

Honestly, probably not for the better.

Had I not been captivated by video games at an early age I probably would've done the following:

- possible career in hockey.
- definitely in better physical shape.
- better grades in school
- girlfriends / wife maybe.

These of course are all 'what ifs' and video games aren't to blame for all of them. However, it's hard to deny that if my focus had not been wavered by electronic escapism some of these may be true.

Playing video games has made me better at video games.

tigermilk:
Playing video games has made me better at video games.

And it's that all that really matters?

Nouw:
Hand-eye co-ordination and all that jazz. They've been pretty beneficial to my life I'd say, killing boredom when necessary, providing entertainment and for the first time last year, providing an emotional experience.

Mycroft Holmes:
-Hand eye coordination

-Reflexes
-Problem solving

Fappy:
I wouldn't attribute video games specifically to many aspects of my life/personality, but certain bits and pieces of the experience have shaped who I am for sure. The only things video games as a whole have done to/for me is: improve my hand-eye-coordination and my problem solving skills.

Kiyeri:
Video games did all of the expected things, like better hand eye coordination, improved reflexes and the like.

I don't get these people talking about better "hand eye coordination". How do you even measure a thing like that? Does a big +1 pop up over your head when you put down the controller? Who's to say you wouldn't be as coordinated had you played half as much? I know games and all forms of interactive media are scientifically proven to enhance such reflexes at a relatively early age, but to talk about it as a distinct effect seems a little over the top.

Johnny Novgorod:

Nouw:
Hand-eye co-ordination and all that jazz. They've been pretty beneficial to my life I'd say, killing boredom when necessary, providing entertainment and for the first time last year, providing an emotional experience.

Mycroft Holmes:
-Hand eye coordination

-Reflexes
-Problem solving

Fappy:
I wouldn't attribute video games specifically to many aspects of my life/personality, but certain bits and pieces of the experience have shaped who I am for sure. The only things video games as a whole have done to/for me is: improve my hand-eye-coordination and my problem solving skills.

Kiyeri:
Video games did all of the expected things, like better hand eye coordination, improved reflexes and the like.

I don't get these people talking about better "hand eye coordination". How do you even measure a thing like that? Does a big +1 pop up over your head when you put down the controller? Who's to say you wouldn't be as coordinated had you played half as much? I know games and all forms of interactive media are scientifically proven to enhance such reflexes at a relatively early age, but to talk about it as a distinct effect seems a little over the top.

As the rest of my post implies it's really the only distinct effect I can think of.

Johnny Novgorod:

I don't get these people talking about better "hand eye coordination". How do you even measure a thing like that?

I know games and all forms of interactive media are scientifically proven to enhance such reflexes at a relatively early age, but to talk about it as a distinct effect seems a little over the top.

You admit that science can quantitatively measure it and yet you wonder if it's possible to measure it?

It's pretty easy, if your hand is able to more quickly and effectively coordinate with your sight to perform a task then your hand-eye coordination is better. If you play Call of Duty all day long(assuming PC because the mouse tracks every motion of your hand and those XBOX game controllers don't really do that last time I used one) you will suck at the start and then you will start headshooting everyone after hundreds of hours of play. You will be able to acquire targets very quickly after seeing them, move your targeting recticule at a high speed to get to the target and then slow it down quickly with precision over a small area of an often moving target.

That is a direct result of hand eye coordination, and it's how we know that ours has increased. I've actually had different results even based on which game I am playing. For example a game like ultima online at high levels can require you to hit in the upwards of 6 keys every second for minutes at a time often using extra designators like control and shift, and will take up the entire left half of your keyboard. When I was playing that, my left hand became much more dextrous than my right. When I was playing Call of Duty the left hand is much less utilized while high precision with the right hand is important, so my hands shifted in their relative utility.

It's not a coincidence that gamers out perform surgeons at hand eye coordination and fine motor control. And I would call that a pretty 'distinct' effect.

Video games provided - still do - me with entertainment that stimulates my brain and lets me explore possibilities I could only ever dream off. And they've helped my imagination, as well as provide an outlet for it with the way most of them allow for organically occurring awesomeness. In short, it's provided me with something movies, books, tv series and zoetropes couldn't - interactivity and agency; a continually organic world that can exist without me, which can be studied. And it just keeps on getting better as time passes.
Yea, the writing's not up to par yet, and we may be a bit close to the uncanny valley in terms of graphics now and then, but considering the youth of the medium (and where other screen-based media was after similar aging), I'd say gaming has improved rapidly and will continue to do so.

It's on an entirely different level than movies or tv (books at least let you imagine things, so that's some freedom), and that suits me perfectly, because I've always liked taking active part in things a lot more than just sitting idly by and watching shit happen. Which is incidentally why I don't get watching sports or religious sermons.

So I guess you could say it satisfied a desire in me that I'm not sure anything else could. Yeah yeah that sounds unhealthy, but you know what, compared to those people on etsy who sell animal skulls, I feel pretty well-adjusted. It's not like I go around stabbing somalian pirates while high, as the NRA would have you believe. Games have considerably mellowed me out and helped me learn english.

Also, my best friend and I bonded over Heroes of Might and Magic 3. Literally the first thing he said to me (after an awkward silence of us just looking at each other) was "do you like Heroes 3?". To which I responded by nodding so hard my teeth rattled.
Bastard was legendary at sieges, especially with Fortress.
We sometimes play Halo 3, but he gets so mad when I beat him that he ragequits.

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