Real life and Simulation. Reality and the Virtual World. Consequences and Results.
When it comes to video games influencing our society, most legislation would consider how video games help cause mass shootings. They would usually state that video games have educated violence in our youthful society, and that anyone who plays a violent video game would soon become vicious monsters with the intention of taking others lives. Most of these occurrences have been in schools and colleges where the least amount of security around gun control takes place, either due to the influence of past tragic shootings or the mental stress and illness the suspect causes. Mass media empires would be on the scene with news of said tragedy and willing to bring up the debate of whether video games were involved in the mass shooting, nevermind to question whether a stronger gun control bill is needed to stop future catastrophes. Although there are responsible gun owners who understand the dangers of owning an arm weapon, compared to other world countries, the US is the highest in the number of deaths in gun violence by over 25%. Instead of providing stricter laws on owning or purchasing an armed weapon and placing a ban on certain weapons, such as semi-auto or auto rifles, some legislation has either turn an away from the problem or ease requirements and propose alternative solutions, such as security guards and teachers to carry an armed weapon, in hopes to prevent future shootings, which have left uncomfort feeling for most people in the country, especially in parents who have their children in school. Some states in the control provide no laws on certain guns, allowing people to have free will to own a weapon of their own. Despite this, the blame would usually go to video games as reporters, investigators, and government officials feel that video games have the power to teach people how to use a weapon. While video games have certainly evolved from 8 bit pixels to 1080p, the ideal of understanding how to properly load in a magazine, cock the weapon, have a firm grip of selected weapon, be in proper position, and pull the trigger is different between two realms. One centers around the use of thumbs and fingers to maneuver an avatar and use a weapon, while the other requires training.
Although many of the media and legislature have considered the thought of video games teaching kids the negative side of life, not one single news by major media companies or approval from legislators were given about teaching kids the positive side of life. In most cases, games are actually used for education purposes in a simulated way. Take myDriveSchool and their VR simulation of educating teens and young adults about driving. Students use an Oculus VR headset and a steering wheel to simulate driving on a viable road. They’ll learn about how to maintain speed, brake, use turn signals, turning on various roads, and the importance of patients and safety. Other VR games practice students being pedestrians and understanding the safety of crossing the road, focusing on knowing when to walk on a signal light, avoid impatient drivers cutting the light, and never to J walk on roads that cause more accidents than prevent it. Now in no way does this mean that people are going to get it right away in the real world, after all there’s a major difference about getting into a fender bender in the virtual world then getting into an actual fender bender in the real world. However, the major goal about these games isn’t just about the education but rather the confidence the student gains. Nearly those who wish to do such a task do not have the confidence in achieving their goal. This can either be fear instill them by the consequence that can occur if something goes wrong, or the self doubt that they’ll never be able to have help overcoming their stigma of not being good at all. Class do offer ways to be able to help students overcome the fear, with having a coach beside them and guide them step by step on what they need to do and when they need to do it, including reminders about signs or signals that the student miss, and what possibly could happen once the student takes a driving exam. Not to knock on coaches on the passenger side, because personally I learned how to drive from a driving school and the coaches who helped me were fantastic teachers, but the big elephant on the road had to be the impatient drivers who barely acknowledge the basics of driving, including students who are on the road. Simulated video games help give students at least some confidence about driving without dealing with crazy people as a way to have them know what it feels like to be on the road and what to expect before taking a chance on an actual vehicle. This doesn’t mean they’ll be experts at said task, as it does require students to get a feel of an actual moving vehicle rather than something they’ll feel at home. But the practices in the virtual world can translate in the actual world, giving students a knowledge of what to do in certain cases, added in more educational experience in the real world and soon the confidence to take on the everyday life.
Although the example I used has been with driving, playing video games, including simulation, does help gamers in a positive way depending on the game they are playing. It does build confidence in the gamer by having them participate and learn about how to do certain tasks in the game, but it should also influence them as well about what they are learning and inspire them too. Take Cooking Mama for instance, a simulation about cooking, House Flipper, a simulation about Renovation, Flight Simulator, a simulation about aviation, and Farming Simulation, a simulation of agriculture. Each bestows players' ways about how things work in real life and how to be able to improve their skills within the simulated world and influence them of said interest. Again, this doesn’t mean they’ll become a master chef, a genius of renovation, a head pilot, or a farmer, but the basics is given to them and soon the influence has been shot to the brain to have them at least give it a try in the real world and understand how things work, even if they need a coach beside them to guide their way. While video games can be entertaining, we must understand that video games do have the power to educate but also give certain types of perks that put those who participate in the simulated verse an advantage over those who have yet to make a move on educating themselves or go to school to be educated.