Videogames: a Healthier Alternative to Books
Monday, 10th December 2007 at 4:47 pm
Parents and teachers might have to rethink their long held belief that the more a child reads the better. In Book of Games Volume 2, just out in stores, the authors cite research showing that video games actually can be better than books– both for your mind and your body.
“An obvious but largely overlooked fact is that reading is one of the most sedentary activities there is, says one of the book’s editors, Erik Hoftun.“In a society where obesity has become a serious health issue, watching television has rightly been blamed as a major culprit, but strangely reading is never mentioned. Video gaming also gets its share of blame, but the fact is that new video games and hardware actually can be great tools in fighting obesity, so much so that video games are finding their way into physical education programs in schools both here in the US and in Europe.”
Parents do not have to be told that video games develop dexterity and hand-eye coordination, having made a fool of themselves with their children’s game controllers desperately trying to copy the seemingly simple maneuvers their child just performed.“What may still surprise is research such as an experiment that showed how doctors perform better at surgery after practicing with regular video games,” Hoftun continues.
Hoftun goes on to explain what he as a parent finds most intriguing when comparing video games to reading:“Reading is a passive activity, not only in the physical sense. You are completely at the mercy of the author, having to accept the story as it unfolds, with no influence on the outcome. Of course no one objects to be taken on such a ride, as long as it is a good one, being it through a book or a movie. The question is; what develops a young mind better: Passively reading a book or actively playing a video game where you are in charge and where your actions and reactions decide the outcome? And more importantly: What prepares you better for real life?” Being an avid reader himself, Hoftun hastens to add that there“…of course are good and bad video games out there, just as there are good and bad books. My point is that video gaming is a valid and sometimes better alternative to reading. I believe it is high time for parents and teachers to educate themselves and understand what this new world their kids love so much actually is about. An added bonus is the fact that video gaming is just as fun and educational for adults.”
“It may seem contradictory to publish a book about video games, but we thought it might be fun to prove that video gamers actually can read, Hoftun says wryly and adds:“We are surprised that an industry that is surpassing the music industry and is almost as big as the movie business, has next to no representation in bookstores. At Barnes&Noble and Borders there are rows and rows of books about music, movies and computers, but try to find a book about video games. We thought it time to do something about that.” The Guinness book of Records franchise seems to be thinking the same. They are planning to publish a special video game edition of their book next year.
Book of Games Volume 2 is a 400 page book presenting 100 of this year’s best games along with intriguing feature articles on topics such as gaming in schools, video games as art and fascinating stories from the depths of hard core gaming. With literally thousands of screenshots and photos the book accurately represents the wonderful visuals of video gaming making it a wonderful holiday gift. An extensive section with glossary and tables makes this a true reference book for gamers, parents and anyone interested in the fascinating world of video gaming. It is available in major bookstores and on Amazon now for $24.95.
About the publisher:
gameXplore® is a video game analysis and technology company, specializing in systematic gameplay categorization and description of video games. The company provides a series of B2B and B2C products and solutions, to guide people through the jungle of games. gameXplore® does not subjectively judge or grade games as good or bad. Instead, each game is tested, analyzed and described objectively and consistently. Our goal is to provide trustworthy and useful information about video games, so consumers easily can find the games that are right for them.
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