Whether it's Space Invaders on the Atari 2600 or Halo on the Xbox 360, no video game has been without people eager to point out its benefits and dangers. Concerned parents have led the continued demand for studies on video games to determine the impact of media on their kids.
Can video games make you better at school or on the job? It's true that games can be educational and improve hand-eye coordination, which have positive real-life applications. Studies of violent video games, though, suggest a correlation between the games and increased aggression and anti-social behavior. So, whether or not you benefit could have more to do with which games you choose to play.
No matter the game, however, there are universal concerns that significant time spent playing games can negatively affect your physical and mental health. For example, increases in childhood obesity are linked to kids exercising less, which may be attributed to watching television or playing video games. Innovations like the Nintendo Wii game console address this with a "get off the couch" approach, requiring the player to balance on a board or move their arms to control game play.
This article explores whether those who play video games make better soldiers. Is the first-person shooter experience a realistic introduction? Do gamers have better tactical skills? Let's start with a general look at how video games can aid in education and training.