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By Cameron Robinson | @camfrazrob on October 25, 2014 at 7:30PM PDT
Flex those mental muscles and join Lucy James on a journey of discovery in Reality Check, the show that investigates the science behind your favourite games, and spawns a few wild theories of its own.
Crew:Chris BeaumontDave Jewitt
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i learned english through a online game! not school. i played maplestory for years! and now i know about 80% english. when i started playing maplestory back in 2005 my english was poor. i didn't even know what "offer" means.
about language that is 100% ture i could not learn it in school (English is far from national language (Latvia)) now i have 0 problems to understand 95% (damn i dont know scientific words that well:D) but that halped really a lot
It's really interesting to hear the advantages of gaming, but I'm also interested to hear the disadvantages (to remove bias). There's a media perception that the amount of video games children play is on the increase, and that this may damage their physical health, face-to-face social abilities, and in some cases mental wellbeing. But is there any truth to any of it, Cam? Parents want to know! :)
I'm Swedish and I can definitely attest to games being a major factor in me learning English. Especially early on. I wanted to play those sweet video games. That also lead me to an interest in computers which also is an area where English skills are important and of course later on when the internet became a thing in the late nineties. Sweden not dubbing movies except for children's movies also helped a lot.
When my nephew was about 5 he would play computer games with text bubbles telling him information, and he was constantly dragging me or someone to read it for him. He eventually learned to read these messages and now reads very well. I'd say gaming gave him early encouragement to learn to read.
I learned things about my mom I never would have known without first-person shooters.
i learned english mainly trough games, playing pokémon at 10 in english while my mothertongue is dutch for example
Hmm... a good game is very engrossing. That's handy for me when I'm sick. If I can get focused on a video game instead of, say, how much I need to cough right now, it seems to cut the symptoms down.
How about spatial skills? We navigate through a lot of 3D areas in our gaming. Recent, ultra-linear games might not be helping as much as playing a game of Descent but still.
During a recent IGN podcast (Beyond 364, referenced again in 365 about 11 minutes in) one of the hosts was recounting the point at which he inexplicably had to swap from an inverted FPS control scheme to standard because the inverted method he had used his entire life suddenly no longer worked for him. As if his brain stopped functioning that way. I myself experienced this, honestly quite jarring and surprising change in habits a year or two after the launch of the PS2. Evidently as to did many others who wrote into the show to share their accounts of this strange phenomenon. I created a forum post way back when on Gamespot about it, looking for more people who have had this happen to them and to my surprise there were a fair number but none seemed to have a satisfactory explanation as to why.
I think an investigation into an explanation as to why this happens to a lot of people could be an interesting topic for an episode considering the number of people who experience this is far more than at least I initially expected.
Love the show keep it up!!!
Some people just bad at something,me and my pal like to play shooters but he is much more slow at them,and when we played real football he was also a noob at it,while I scored 2 goals.Last week we went to jump on trampoline and guess what,I learned to do a backflip in 10 minutes while he couldn't jump and land on a same spot:)
I've read numerous times that gaming also improves your ability to point out details in the environment, particularly first person shooters.
The first part surprises me. I would have thought action gamers would be better at following the random movement as well. I think the gamers showed better pattern recognition, not better hand-eye.
I can think of some other benefits of games, apart from the enjoyment. Simulations are obviously useful for training people for real tasks. Action and timed puzzle games require players to make many rapid decisions with high accuracy. And strategy games require us to make complex decisions and balance short- and long-term considerations.
All games (apart from games of chance) give us skills. Some are more applicable to real life than others.
Hard to believe video games improve your English when half the commentors don't know the difference between 'then' and 'than'.
I want to know who at GS cant ride a bike now....lol
Interesting thing about the bike riding though, 90-95% of the time I bike without touching the handle and I also make turns most of the time without touching the handle.
Interesting episode. I hadn't thought about or heard the second reason before.
Also, what's the music you guys use for this show, and for your shows in general? Are they composed specifically, or are they under creative commons licenses?
@naryanrobinson I think they have a subscription to some service for royalty free music.
One of the great reasons gaming is good for you is it helps you stay single.
You get a lot less headache that way.
I got a boost in english learning
@PETERAKO As did I. I was an especially hardcore gamer throughout my childhood and English was also my strongest subject. I can believe there's a correlation there, since I'd always ask my nanna (who'd often watch me) what certain words that appeared on the screen meant.
Great episode Cam!
Gaming can also make you think and feel. A good story can have a relatively strong impact on a persons thinking. That story can be in the form of a movie, TV show, book or a game for that matter. Some of my favorite stories or worlds in general are from games.
Games did improve my vocabulary and my grammar knowledge. I can say that for non English native speakers playing games is an excellent way to learn the language.
@gralvader As long as your paying attention.
@LJNkickstarter @gralvader *you're ;)
My teacher told me to play more video games to help with my hand eye co-ordination, since then my hand writing has improved.
Great news: If you're sitting inside all day on your behind and never leave your home you're much less likely to get ebola!
I must say my reaction time greatly improved, many times things would fall over and I'd catch them before falling on ground, would like to think this is because of gaming.
**** yea! gamers ftw!!
Oh yes, children are very good at English at young age when it's not their native tongue ... they can swear at you in more ways in English then, say Spanish or German or whatever. You'll be surprised at how consoles in particular stimulate player "interaction" via voice chat !
@Code135 tottaly true
when i was young i played stuffs like loz link to the past and sonic and now im at class 5 in english (which is for the smartest in english)
today my littile brother know how to say stuffs like that and its pissing me off
the new genaraiton will be the cod kids XD
@Code135 lol true. When I was young, games like civ1, age of empires and other offline games ruled my life. I'd say I definitely had a significant boost in my non-native English skills because of them, but granted; they were a lot more civilized in language
Thanks for making me feel better about my gratuitous playing of video games, Cam. I'm still not 100% convinced about the whole "video games improve your grasp of the English language" thing though. Have you read some of the comments on this website?
@plastiqueworld My native language isn't English and I can guarantee you videogames help A LOT. Movies and TV Shows do it too, but there's subtitles in that. Most of what I know of English language was learned by playing videogames and reading english subtitles (when available). We have to learn the language by ourselves to understand what we're interacting with.
@plastiqueworld Actually it does. Well I'm not perfect at English. But there was times when I couldn't understand English at all. And I mean at all. In school 4-10 grades my English pretty much was worth only 3 (Our grading system is from 1 to 10). So well I couldn't do it. After 10th grade I left school since I was literally complete loser. And well when I left, for 1year (after finally getting back to school and later to collage) I was playing RPG games day by day for whole year. Oblivion, Morrowind and stuff, making choices in the game I didn't really understood. So bit by bit I actually started to learn and by the end more or less I understood English without much problem. Of course later I improved my English. But pretty much for a basics and good starting point I should thank to video games. I liked them and by doing what I like I managed to learn what I was bad at.
GTA taught me how to function in society. Thanks, GTA!
I know playing MMOs taught me how to type better than any class in school ever did.
Surgeons , Nascar use video game to sharpen their skills. Hand eye coordination and I find I usually have faster reflexes than most people.
.Eve-Online...or How to create manage expand develop and maintain a company...
what's a three way game?
Good stuff, Cam. Perhaps this is why I passed my driving test the first time. =D
I've noticed that I'm much better at video games when I played stoned, so that skill must also translate to real life. Say what you want but... wait, what were we talking about again?
You should add, "in moderation" :)
Excessive video gaming, like an excess of just about anything, could be a sign of depression and obsession. I was recently reading a developer's article on Gamasutra called "Anything But Games". I think that the gist of the article was that it is important for game developers to be grounded in a reality outside video games. I think the same can be said of gamers.
On a lighter note, I think that playing certain games can give you a boost to your ability to tell an interesting story. Some games tell stories very well, and I feel that I've picked up a liking for music and story styles from RPGs that I've played.
Learned English when I was 7 years old, starting with Pokemon Yellow, self-taught. Thanks Nintendo!
Gamespot, for some reason the comment section doesn't load for me sometimes, and the only way to fix this is to log out and back in again. Why does this happen?Thanks.
@thermalmotion Same problem, I have to delete my cookies.
@thermalmotion Same here. And sometimes videos don't load until I start downloading something else, like my video request got stalled until something else started downloading. It's a shame too because some of the videos are really interesting.
@thermalmotion You're not the only one. Loading the the comments seems to be random at times. Not sure if it's a scripting issue of or if a 3rd party interface is not responding in a timely manner.