Video gaming is big business and it is here to stay. It is part of our American culture, especially, with people who grew up with them. Video games have been part of our lives for decades. Video games can enhance people’s lives of any age, especially, older folks like myself (I am sixty-one).
I hope this website helps people understand how video games for adults and kids can be helpful, informative, educational, improve our minds and bodies, or just have some plain fun.
New studies are also showing the benefits for kids and older adults as well. Video games for seniors can be very helpful as we age. For kids, video games can be a useful learning tool if properly applied.
I want to explore the evolution of video games. I will examine how the various usages of video games can affect our lives, both in positive ways and negative ways.
We will not only look at usages but also look at the benefits of video gaming. I will explore how they affect our minds, our bodies, and other areas of our lives.
There is an amazing variety of games today, as well as different consoles or computers. Gamers have total control over what they want to play or purchase.
Also, we need to look at the money side, especially for people on a limited income (Kids and grandparents). We’ll examine the costs and the requirements to have a pleasurable and fun experience without breaking the bank.
So I hope you enjoy this journey with me. I want to do everything I can to make this website the very best. May I grow as it grows. Thank you very much, Grandpa Johnny, the Gray Wolf.
History of Video Games:
Video gaming started while I was still playing with a rattler.
I was born in 1956. The history of video gaming dates back as far as the early 1950s.
One of the early games was Spacewar. It was developed by a group of computer scientists as part of their research.
Video gaming became very popular in the 1970s and 1980s. Video arcade games, home gaming consoles, and advancement in computer gaming became a major form of our entertainment and part of our cultural fabric.
In the 1970s, first-generation consoles introduced a game called “Pong”. It was originally manufactured by Atari (A major pioneer and contributor to the gaming industry). It was first introduced in 1972. This was my first experience with video games. I loved it.
Companies like Atari, Apple, Sega, and Intellivision were pioneers in the gaming industry. People were able to play on their home TVs. No more saving every quarter you could get your hands on and hang out at the local 7-11 for hours.
In the 1980s, Nintendo released a hand-held portable gaming system called Game & Watch. Video games were now mobile.
Around 1983 third generation consoles (8-bit), Nintendo and Sega, hit the scene. In 1987, (16-bit) fourth generation consoles arrived. Graphics got better and more realistic.
In the 1990s, innovations in video games changed the industry. 3D graphics created drastic changes in game designing. Handheld gaming changed were we play. We no longer had to be in front of our TVs or computers. New genres arose like first-person shooters, real-time strategy, and MMO (Massive Multiplayer Online).
Video gaming graphics continue to improve with 32 and 64-bit consoles (1993-2005) with Sony and Microsoft getting in “The Game” (Ha Ha).
Fast forward to today, we are now playing eighth generation consoles. Fierce competition between the big three, (Nintendo, Microsoft, and Sony) and PCs continue to improve our gaming experience.
Video gaming has come a long way. The future is very interesting, especially, with virtual reality games in its infant stages. A VR gaming system is definitely on my wish list. (Santa, I will be good)
I am so excited. Please join me on this exciting adventure with an old kid who still loves playing video games. “May the Force be with us”. Let’s go “Gaming with Grandpa”.
Usages/Benefits of Video Games:
Versions of video games can be part of a doctor’s surgical training. They can help a patient be more adherent to treatment regimens.
They are part of education for medical students, doctors, and patients.
Video game simulators can be tailor-made for different diseases or injuries, which can only help with the quality of one’s life.
Positive Effects of Video Games on Children:
Critical thinking increases. Problem-solving improves.
Gaming helps with social development according to a study by Psych Central. People from any part of the world can work together with others to solve tasks and go on different quests.
Video games are highly motivating for children with Autism. They provide stress-free opportunities for successful learning.
MOMS and DADS, your kids can make a living from their gaming “PASSION”.
Not all video games are mindless. Educational games are becoming a motivational tool in the classrooms.
Children can learn math, basic grammar, anticipate movements, and improve spacial-relationship skills as a result of video games.
Playing sports is not the only way to improve hand-eye coordination. At Deakin University in Australia, researchers found kids who play interactive video games have better motor skills than kids who don’t play them.
Even skills such as kicking, catching or throwing a ball can improve in children who play video games.
Venting frustration or anger in a game may help diffuse stress or pressure, especially in kids who are not into football or other aggressive sports.
Both violent and non-violent games can have a relaxing, almost meditating effect on children.
Most adults need stress-relieves as well. Instead of smacking our neighbor or co-worker, just pop in a copy of “Mortal Kombat” and start opening a can of whoop-ass on your virtual enemy.
Not just for Kids, Grandparents:
All these positives effects of video gaming for children can also apply to older adults who play video games.
In addition, video games can bring grandparents and grandkids together. Having fun with my granddaughter, Sierra is some of the most enjoyable moments. She kicks my butt most of the time, but we always have fun.
Varieties of Consoles/PC and Games:
Let’s start with the big three consoles that dominate the market today (They are all good).
1. Microsoft (Xbox) offers a lot of great games. Their “Halo” franchise is still going strong in its continuing saga of intergalactic warfare.
2. Sony (PlayStation) is also a major player in the gaming industry with hits like, “God of War”, “Spiderman”, and “Horizon: Zero Dawn” (Beautiful game with mechanical dinosaurs).
3. Nintendo (Wii) has a lot of good games for kids or families. A couple of their exclusive titles include “The Legend of Zelda” and the classic, “Mario Brothers” series.
4. Most households have a computer (any brand of computer will work) of some form today. A lot of the games which are available for consoles are also playable on your home or handheld computers.
Today’s computers are very powerful and the graphics are very good. Two very popular PC games are “World of Warcraft” or “Diablo III: Reaper of Souls”.
The selection of games is massive and grows every year. You can play any sport from Olympic events to throwing the winning touchdown in the Super Bowl, or hitting the game-ending home run in the World Series, or shoot the winning 3-pointer in game seven of the NBA finals.
Players can take on the identity of their favorite comic book superheroes like Batman, Superman, or Sonic the Hedgehog. You can even play the villain. The dark forces of Darth Vader await you, “My Son”.
You can fly jets or WWII fighter planes. A player can drive tanks or charge into battle saddling the finest of Arabian steeds.
You can get into the driver’s seat of powerful race cars, boats, or motorcycles without the worry of dying in a fiery crash. Just hit “RESTART”.
Take on the personality of a warrior, a knight, a cartoon character, a detective, an animal, or a king building a virtual empire. The worlds to explore are unlimited and breathtaking.
The gaming choices are endless. Whatever your fancy, there is probably a game for it.
The artwork in some games is worthy of display in some of the finest of museums in the world.
Stories and dialogues rival many Oscar-winning movies.
Let me quote a line from the movie, “Conan, the Barbarian” (You can play him too). “Let me take you to a time of high adventure”.
Join me, my fellow gamers and shout out our battle cry, “LET’S GAME”.
Becoming a Videogamer: Cost and Requirements:
Having a TV is a good start, especially, a big screen. Game characters are bigger than life on a seventy-inch, high-resolution television. But having a TV is not always a requirement for gaming because of the hand-held game systems. You can play on your phone, or your tablet, or your computer.
Pricing can vary for today’s consoles. New ones can be purchased for a few hundred dollars. Refurbished ones are available for a fraction of the full retail cost.
Pawns shops are a great place to pick up good used systems. eBay is another source for finding affordable consoles or computers. Shop around to get the best deals.
Options for getting good games is endless. New games can cost forty to sixty dollars. For me, this is still a good deal. It takes me months to finish a game (Remember, I’m not that good at my gaming). I get my money’s worth.
Older games are usually offered at discounts (Sometimes more than half off). You can trade with friends. Pawn shops are an affordable way to save on games as well as consoles/PC.
Stores (Gamestop, Walmart, or Best Buy) have great deals during the holidays, especially Christmas. The internet is also a valuable resource for finding games at good prices.
Video gaming is very affordable for everyone. Be sure to take your time, do research, or just talk to your kids or grandkids for gaming advice. They will love to help you become part of the gaming world.
Gaming with Grandpa, the Gray Wolf!
I hope this post has been helpful. I enjoyed putting it together and have learned a lot myself. Please feel free to reply with any thoughts or comments. Maybe you could share some favorites moments about your own gaming experiences. I would love to hear about them.
Video games have grown a lot over the years. We have gone from hitting a tennis ball in “Pong” to flying the “Millennium Falcon” in Star Wars. The future of gaming is so exciting.
Benefits and usages from video games grow as we grow. Our health, our thinking, our education, our motor skills, and our relationships will, hopefully, improve as we learn more about this expanding technology.
We can play games that were unheard years ago. The different choices of games today are endless.
Most people already have a TV, a computer, a phone, a friend or a family member who can help them get started.
Also, video gaming costs are very reasonable compared to other things in our lives.
Let’s face it, video games are not going away. They have become a huge part of our digital galaxy. So, I say, “Let’s have some fun”.
Let’s buckle up in our virtual spaceship and explore this magical universe. “Let’s Soar like Eagles.”