Video Games for Kids: Not anymore

Do computer games make smart, happy and successful? The thesis is less provocative than expected. Because science has long been able to prove why responsible use of games can improve the world.

Bad grades: That must be the many computer games. Again no promotion: Surely it was the many hours of “Angry Birds” guilty of kidnapping in a high school? Sure, he plays Counter Strike. The image that computer games have in the collective understanding of our society is anything but positive: computer games make lonely, stupid and aggressive. Wrong, as new studies prove: Because games not only make us happier, they also open up new opportunities to solve problems in the real world.

It’s no longer just pale-faced teenage boys who spend their free time playing PC and console games. Games have become a mass phenomenon that stretches across all ages: more than two-thirds of the world’s population at least occasionally plays the computer – 55 percent of them more than four hours a week online, 19 percent gamble more than 10 hours a week on the net. One can hardly speak of sociological marginalization. We subject the most common prejudices to a reality check.

Playing is just for kids

Anyone who grew up in the 90s with games for consoles or PCs, today goes to the 40 – and has never stopped playing in most cases: The average computer player is 37 years old and buys a new game at least once a month , The industry itself has grown up with the target audience and is increasingly producing titles for an adult audience of players. The term “adult gaming” does not denote pixel slipperiness, but games whose action is aimed specifically at adults. The game “Heavy Rain” caused a furor in 2010: The game interpretation of a psychological thriller was with her complex action and haunting atmosphere not just a milestone in the history of the game,

Computer games are a waste of time

“Who can play, can only win,” says computer game expert, undoubtedly one of the greatest in the field of interactive media in their new bestseller “Better than reality? She argues that not only can we personally benefit from computer games , but games can even bring about positive changes in the real world.

“Computer games offer rewards, challenges, and victories that the real world keeps from us,” says expert, “but who says we cannot use these mechanisms there?” “Chore Wars” shows how real-world tasks can be played out in a playful way, where players collect reward points in a virtual environment by taking care of their real household lives and 10 gold coins, toilet cleaning: 100 experience points the amazing thing: This simple-seeming motivational method works! Chore Wars makes even die-hard household muffle in the fight for virtual bonus points to real cleaning devils in the real world.

Playful problem-solving can of course also be applied to less trivial areas of responsibility: one of the most complex problems of biochemistry is protein folding. Long organic molecular chains are bent, twisted and folded into each other – thereby changing their chemical properties. Computers are extremely bad at finding useful protein folds, but human players are very good. That’s exactly what the free games “Fold-It” and “Eterna from: Players solve complex three-dimensional puzzles – and incidentally help biochemical research and genetics.