How Did Gaming Come About?
What is its Social Impact?


A short history of gaming by Leonytus Blaqman

Gaming came about somewhere between the 1940s and the 1950s when researchers and computer scientists began designing and including in their dissertation simple games and simulations. The console gaming system came about when Sanders Associates, Inc. invented a prototype multiplayer, multi-program video game system that could be played on the television. Video games were popularized by commercial establishments who saw the benefits of catching on to the new craze. In other words, commercial establishments such as restaurants used video games as a lead generation tool.

With advances in technology, over time, the gaming industry was further developed, and more efficient higher quality games were developed. Within the years 2005 and 2006, Microsoft’s Xbox 360, Sony’s PlayStation 3, and Nintendo’s Wii kicked off the modern age of high-definition gaming. Though the PlayStation was successful in its own right, Sony, for the first time, faced stiff competition from its other market participants who were determined to position themself as “Gaming King”. Not to make you feel old, but here’s some news for you:

● Gameboy was launched in 1989 by Nintendo. It was discontinued in 2013

● Before the invention of gaming software and applications, there were only game cartridges. They looked a lot like tape or cassettes.

Social Impact of Video Gaming Playing video games help children develop problem-solving skills. Playing strategic video games such as role-playing games can improve problem-solving skills in adolescents. Children's creativity can also be enhanced by playing any kind of video game, including violent games. Simple games such as "Angry Birds,” that are easily accessed and played quickly, may improve players' mood, promote relaxation and stave off anxiety.

Playing video games can make people happier and seems to be a fundamental emotional benefit that is considered when creating video games. Video games may be effective tools for learning resilience in the face of failure due to the nature of some games. By learning to cope with failures in an augmented reality, children could build emotional resilience that they can depend on and use in their everyday lives. Decision-making capabilities for children are also improved with video games. With the playing of video games, children and adults alike participate in a virtual world where decisions need to be made in a split second. This everyday practice becomes the norm for the children as their minds are yet to be conditioned. Quick thinking and rapid decision making become a part of them and the way they process and do things. Cognitive development, critical thinking, analytical processing, problem-solving, and decision making are skills that are honed and developed by playing video games. Video games can also improve their teamwork abilities. In the virtual space of video games, the technology used enables players to cooperate with each other to pass levels and share tips and tricks. This fosters a cooperative mentality.

The content of some video games, however, can cause severe societal ills. Some video games are quite violent. It is easy to influence a child because their cognitive function and social skills are not yet fully developed. As a result of their susceptibility, they may think it is okay to act out what they see on screen. It may be hard for them to discern what is the real world and what is augmented and virtual reality. As a result, they may become violent thinking that they are still in-game.

Like everything in life, there is positive and there is negative. Video games can be used as exceptional tools for brain development and cognitive function in children. It can also be used to foster cooperation. It may promote feelings of happiness in adults and boost mood. A depressed adult may find relief in playing video games. Children learn a lot through playing games.