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Saturday, September 23, 2006

Beep Beep

Just Cause arrived on my carpet this morning. By midday I was in love. It's now mid-afternoon and I've dashed to the library to tell you about it. Only I won't, because I haven't played enough of it yet to form a solid opinion other than OMG GOOD. Instead I'd like to tell you about my ailment. I'm cursed with an inability to make quick decisions. When behind the wheel of a speeding car in San Andreas or indeed, a plummeting whirlybird in Just Cause, I see all the directional and tactical options available to me and choose none of them. I panic. The result is usually a head on collision with a lamp-post, bounding over the central reservation or taking a newly acquired superbike for a swimming lesson.

But I'm sure my reactions would be even worse if it were not for computer games. I write this several days after Paul from Mode 7 Games commented, "Why do people always talk about games improving reaction time?". I've struggled to find empirical proof that games can help reaction speed, although there is a wonderful gaming network out there encompassing Serious Games Initiative, Games for Change and Games for Health. The network recently held a conference in Washington DC "to showcase their socially responsible games" - Games for Health. There is a potential for games to help humans improve themselves, as demonstrated by this event. What has yet to go beyond circumstantial or alleged evidence is that gaming can have a positive cognitive impact. I hold the opinion that gaming knowledge is only one well documented study away from making this leap.

I believe that with each and every horrifically mangled death, I learn a little more about myself. I hold out hope that one day, I'll learn to slow down.

1 comment:

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