Embodied Gaming

Computer games and game addiction is often the subject of criticism, focusing largely on the influence of objectionable content and prolonged game play on minors. In the 21st century Gaming is a major part of everyday life, contributing to general human evolution.

Although they can be useful in many ways, they can also cause serious problems. Computer games have long been a source of controversy, particularly the violence that has become commonly associated with video gaming in general. Video game addiction is another cultural aspect of gaming to draw criticism, as it can have a negative influence on health, on social relations and, in the most extreme cases, has led to death as a result of prolonged gameplay. The problem of addiction and its health risks seems to have grown with the rise of Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games.

This essay will focus on the positive aspects of Gaming (which benefits people) and shed some light into the negative side (an intelligent man is able to think for him self and choose the right game selection).

Sociability, perception and memory can be improved by playing games and of course many more skills can be acquired. They bring more opportunities to people, and interact with new concepts, images, characters, moralities techniques that they would not have been exposed to before. Sometimes even they offer smart and accurate solutions to problems that sometimes humans may find difficult.

By playing video games any person can experience virtual situations and may learn new things, and new skills can then be utilized to perform well in the game. Of course, each game is different and will require different type of skills and a different way of thinking therefore playing a variety of games will be useful for later on and the experience that are gained could potentially be used in real life situations. The latest games are very realistic, they are up to date with all the information, graphics, gaming content and knowledge. This will appear to be more realistic to the player and create an illusion of total immersion into the game world.

Generally games with the correct approach can improve reflex, perception, memory, vision and other techniques, always depending on the game. The latest trend in gaming is online gaming. This enhances group work and unity in order to succeed of a mission assignment, targeting towards a common goal and indirect for personal satisfaction.

Game preference by genre for game preference and game types

Not everyone prefers the same type of games. Genre is also responsible for the game selection. The test showed that male players are keener on simulation and action games because these games use physical force, however females are keener on logic and thinking games because their natural strengths tend to be greater in these genres.

Claudia Quaiser-Pohl, Christian Geiser and Wolfgang Lehmann tested: ”

This study examined how computer-game preference relates to mental-rotation test (MRT) performance and to gender differences. Subjects were 861 German secondary-school children (mean age = 14.67; range 10-20 years). Latent class analysis with the data of a computer-game preference scale revealed three types of players: ”non-players”, ”action-and-simulation game players” and ”logic-and-skill-training game players”. Large gender differences were found with respect to class assignment. More females than males were found in the ”logic-and-skill-training game player” class (82.9%) and in the class of ”non-players” (81.9%). Males in contrast were overrepresented (81.7%) in the class of ”action-and-simulation game players”.

So depending on the video games each specific genre the player prefers, we have different types of skill sets the players are exposed to. For example action games are usually quite violent because their main feature is shooting and beating – giving the subcategories of ‘shoot ’em up’ and ‘beat ’em up’. Adventure games are about an investigation and exploration in order to solve a mystery and complete a final goal. They usually involve human like characters that interact with the player. Some of them also use other style to view the game, that the gamer takes the first person’s place.

Casual games are the games that include puzzle solving and word processing. They can be real table games but also can be transferred on a digital form and played on the pc. Driving games are mostly the games that involve a handling of a vehicle. Simulation called the games that involve a representation of a model or situation. Everyone can think that it is a primitive form of an emulation of a real thing. Strategy games are mostly games that involve strategic moves in order to accomplish a mission. Role playing games are almost the same with strategy games but the user keeps one person as its player in the game (role).

One of the most classic games that has been played in mostly console gaming machines is Tetris.

Adventure games exploring virtual worlds: MYST, a first person adventure game, the gamer can learn how to explore new worlds. It is like the predecessor of recently made virtual worlds like Active Worlds and Second Life. Second life is an internet based virtual world that by using the client software enabling them enables users to interact with other users throughout this world and generally live a virtual life. It is a program in a form of a game although not exactly as it does not have winners, losers or scores. It is a software program, contains pleasant 3D graphics with the same attitude that all modern games do and someone will run it for fun, so it can be passed like a game within which users “residents”1 can emulate a person’s life, first build a profile, socialize with other people, explore the places and trade stuff using an internal currency method.

This game will teach in a more safe way firstly negotiating with people and money and finally making a small or even a big size business. Trading inside the game is quite advanced. All users manager their finance and they can buy or sell anything like a real life. Second life can show its users how could be living a real life as long as it has in a great percent all elements of a person’s life. They can form their character inside like it’s a reflection of their own real life character and personality.

Games for helping teaching

Embodied gaming can also be used for educational purposes. It is a real possibility that in the future computers may replace the current teacher role occupied by humans. Computers today are not so advanced to replace the teachers completely, but they can provide the right software and learning environment to help students study and improve their learning skills. AquaMOOSE 3D is a software program that retains many aspects of a video game although its intention is highly educational2 and is mainly for helping students understand mathematical fractions and formulas. The idea is creativity with practice, the forward point of this program is to test new formulas and parametric equations and see the result in the screen.3

With its use students will see in real time their mathematical functions taking a 3D representation so will help them understand the idea of parametric equations with more convenience than studying and solving them on paper as they usually do even now. This program is acting like a game based on 3D graphics so this makes it quite exciting.4 The whole idea is based on motivation because as everyone knows that most people are finding difficulties to understand mathematics and subjects similar to them.5 Students love fun activities because of motivation.6

According to Groccia students for this occasion will be motivated by the use of this software because it is with the form of game and every young person likes plays games. Because every young person wants to explore the unknown and a game is a form that a young person wants to explore by playing it.7

It is made for students because of its iterative design is based on student research.8

Robotic Technology and games

The main idea behind creating a robot is to imitate a human. Starting of creating the software of a robot there are 5 main principles as Alexander Stoytchev says.9 Any robot can learn with the way that a young person can learn. One of the five principles is Embodiment, with this way of learning robots can recognise figures easier and quicker. Brown UTRA Program made by iRobot Corporation is the program that made for getting advantage of Embodied robot learning.10 This naturally results in reasoning that if a robot can learn through embodied gaming, a human can also learn in this same way.

Nintendo Wii

The newest video game console of Nintendo is Wii. It is a next generation console that uses a wireless controller to make people use body movements in order to play the games. This is its main feature that makes it unique because none other video game console or computer device exists that does the same. It can detect any point and acceleration of the player’s body in three dimension’s space, so at the end playing games with this console can give to the body a good exercise like some of them that could be done in the gym. It is really stimulating and motivating and makes gaming really fun.

Nintendo Wii promotes exercise. The new creation from Nintendo aims, besides fun and Amusement, to improving the players’ health. Sport games like tennis golf and others require the players’ actual physical movements, so without really noticing you exercis by throwing the ball, running or chasing – in some way ‘Living out’ the sports played in there. Nintendo Wii is not only about Sport games. It’s an innovation itself and it marks a new era of video games.

Martial Arts Lessons: Kung-Fu

Another very interesting example of learning with embodied gaming is an unusual idea of gaming. It is a about a project by Animaatiokone Industries that is using a more expensive installation than one pc or a console. The project is named “Kick Ass Kung-Fu” and is an embodied gaming technique that can lead to embodied learning because in order for someone to start playing this game they have to learn the basics of the Kung-Fu martial art beforehand. After practicing/playing this game they can gain knowledge about the subject, appropriate Kung Fu moves. The installation includes a cushion playfield that a user can move around and a video camera as a source of the player moves. As Doug Fox presented it in his blog webpage, the software after receiving the player’s moves the software creates these moves on the game simultaneously.11

Video Games for illness treatments

Video games can also be used for treating methods. They can help patients suffering from Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) as some types of games contain an alternative to drugs like Ritalin.

Dr. Margaret MacDonald after using Smart BrainGames, a system that works by giving feedback on monitoring brainwaves using a hat of sensors. The system then makes video game reacts accordingly the expected reaction of succeeding the game. This works like training the player.

“If they don’t do the right thing, then they can’t steer and they’ll crash, and eventually, the brain will keep trying to do what it has to do to succeed in the game.”

Test results showed that patients after fowling these sessions reduced their medication till they stopped it completely.

Action Video Games Sharpen Vision 20 Percent

In the university of Rochester recent studies showed that eye vision can be improved by playing video games. The types of video games that can boost up the eye’s perception to 20% a month are mostly the action style. The results based on tests made on students that had never played games before. They were split into two teams, playing two different types of games. They had their eyes examined before beginning and after 1 month of playing. The results proved that students that played the action game improved their vision to a good standard. The research’s conclusion was: “games push the human visual system to the limits and the brain adapts to it. That learning carries over into other activities and possibly everyday life.”

Navigation inside games

It took a lot of time to develop the sophisticated game maps and advanced functions that gamers enjoy today. Modern games, with the improved graphics, can support detailed maps that assist players and help them better organize their plans for playing the game. Quake is one very popular game in which users playing a soldier role use map navigation within the game in order to get informed about the game level. To make them even easier for reading and understanding by the players these maps are set in the style of normal maps that can be found and bought by anyone for journeys. Someone who has played this game will be used to reading a regular map.

In the newer Need For Speed game series by Electronic Arts the map is very important. The city models are huge and are many multiple routes for reaching the end of the lap. It is quite important to follow the map in order to succeed the mission. For that reason is also placed on the screen in a small version. The map of this game is not one hundred percent accurate as the level also contains some secret places within its self to motivate the players to explore the big city and find these secret places the map does not show. It also has GPS, another useful tool in modern society, which is used by many taxi drivers and professional drivers to find a specific location and within the game itself. Without using it in the game the player will not have the same performance with someone that does, so they are almost certain to use it. After the gamer get used with the games GPS will certainly have a rough idea of what a GPS looks like and how it works. Although every GPS device has its own ways of operation, someone that has played the game will find it much easier to operate one in real life than someone that has not seen it at all.

Inside the game there are new marketing/advertising opportunities that exist in many games that include places like modern cities. This is about advertising through games. In the Need For Speed: Underground game and in all the games in this series later than this, there are advertisements throughout the streets. In the roads inside the game exists big billboards with company’s advertisements for cell phones or other products. This technique is called Clever Cellular Marketing.

Nowadays computers help new challenging drivers to advance their knowledge and skills. Various companies created software for those that are interested to get an additional help there is special software created by various companies for the new potential drivers. This software helps everyone to learn, at least on a theoretical level, about driving a car. This briefly includes information and tests about signs, parking and finally driving.

Using this software the user will get confidence and more knowledge about the subject. This will practice the driver giving him tests and this software is an aid to anyone that anyone’s instructor will be obvious of this use and will help him to give better and more than the basic advices with the knowledge that will be gained. These skills can be used before, between and even after lessons with the real instructor.

The 3D graphics that includes makes it look like a game so the whole involvement is highly enjoyable. During the journey into the driving experience it has step by step guide.

All those games can be really useful in our daily life. Maybe not Quake, because its goals are to kill people, but simulation games like Need for Speed will really help someone to understand the basics of driving a car and the concepts around it. It gives you the idea of how to drive, and although it doesn’t necessarily mean that you can actually drive, it is sure that you will feel the idea on a big level. Reality does differ from most games intension but, with a logical thinking and proper parental guidance, this game and others similar to that can be really useful.