Tag Archives: Devil

Are Video Games Good or Evil?

When asking the average person, albeit a parent or middle-aged adult, about video games, most will tell you they are a waste of time and “rot your brain.” Video games have gotten such a huge amount of negative attention over the last couple of decades. They are usually the first thing people point fingers at when a horrible act of violence occurs. It seems as though mainstream media refuses to cover the fact that video games also have many positive effects on a person. So what happens when the positive effects and negative effects are stacked up against each other? The results may seem very surprising, as video games have far more positive effects than negative, and are, in general, good for people.

First, let’s look at why video games are always thought about negatively. It really comes down to lack of responsibility for parents, and looking for something easy to blame. Video games have become a very mainstream form of entertainment over the past fifteen years, with more and more people playing them every year, often young children. Parents are busier than ever, and often use things like video games as a “babysitter.” Then, when their child acts out, they need something to blame. Video games are usually at the brunt of this blame. But this blame is very misplaced. Parents act as if there is no way to keep their children from playing games that might be considered violent. But, in all actuality, there are precautions put in place to prevent kids from playing such games. First, it is illegal for someone under seventeen to go into a store a buy an “M” rated video game. Second, there is a rating on the box that gives a detailed listing of the content in the game. It is a parent’s responsibility to know what kind of content their child is consuming. And when the content is so clearly made apparent, there is no excuse.

Speaking of kids and video games, what kind of effects do games have on youth? According to Marilyn Price PhD, a speaker in the field of Human and Organization Development, while there “are incidents where socially isolated, unstable teen have committed acts of violence”, studies have shown there are many more good effects of playing video games on young people . First, playing games appears to make kids closer to their families. Kids are also more involved in activities, and better mental health. It doesn’t end there. Video games that show sharing, cooperation, and empathy help children develop these traits (Price).

These aren’t the only positive effects that playing video games has. A study by the Max Planck Institute for Human development also found many positive effects from playing video games. In this study, they had adults play Super Mario 64. They played for 30 minutes a day for two months. After testing time was complete, they found that playing games “showed increases of grey matter, in which the cell bodies of the nerve cells of the brain are situated.” This can have a positive effect on your brains spatial orientation, memory formation, and strategic planning, and fine motor skills, according to the study (qtd. in Dyer).

The American Psychological Association has also found many positive effects on the brain from playing video games. First, it was found that people who play first person shooters had “faster and more accurate attention to allocation, higher spatial resolution in visual processing, and enhanced mental rotation abilities.” These skills are said to be the same developed when taking formal courses that teach them. Next, it showed that gamers show less activity in their brains when problem solving, which means they use neural resources more efficiently. Evidence also showed that video games helps increase creativity (qtd. in Shapiro).

What about video games effects on emotion? This is another field in which video games can have a very positive effect. If someone is feeling angry, or stressed, they know that a video game is a safe environment to let out all of that anger or stress. They can do this without effecting anyone else, or causing any harm to anybody or anything. Learning the rules of a video game, and then overcoming challenges within those set rules, also has a positive effect on a gamers emotions. It gives them a sense of accomplishment, and can even make them feel better about themselves.

According to the American Psychological Association, video games also help people become more social. People often believe the stereotype that gamers are nerdy, social rejects. But with so many of today’s games being online, people are encouraged to speak to their teammates and work together. The APA states that “70% of gamers play their games with a friend, either cooperatively or competitively.” This can also help promote teamwork, as gamers often have a common objective they are working towards. It has even been shown that these cooperative traits translate from gaming to real life (qtd. in Shapiro).

The biggest argument against video games is that they cause violence. According to a study by Christopher Ferguson at Texas A&M University, “no link between violent game play and actual overt violent of aggressive behavior” could be found. The study took 302 youths from ages 10-14. 75% of them said they played games regularly, with 40% of those being violent games. Out of all of the kids, only 7.3% had actually been involved in some sort of violent crime, albeit assault of theft. The results showed that depressive symptoms played a very large role in violent behavior. It was concluded that violent video games were not a predictor for violence (qtd. in “New Study..”).

The biggest problem with blaming violence on violent video games is that almost everyone plays them. Video games are the fastest growing form of entertainment today, and may soon overtake movies as far as popularity goes. It is hard to lay the blame for violence on something that is so common is everyday life. Not to mention, but the crime rate has actually fallen more and more as video games have become more popular.

Video games have also been shown to be a strong educational tool, mainly in a historic sense. Game like the Assassins Creed series, while putting its own spin on things, delves into many historic events, and often involves many famous historical figures. Not only this, but it can also help people develop foreign languages. Assassins Creed, once again, is a perfect example of this. Instead of going full out with Italian, it drops an Italian word every now and then in the middle of an Japanese sentence. This allows the gamer to use context clues to figure out what certain words mean, instead of trying to learn it all at once.

Gaming has also been found to be a good alternative to sports when it comes to developing hand-eye coordination, according to Deakin University in Australia. Preschoolers who play interactive games, such as the Wii, were found to be better at skill such as “kicking, catching, or throwing a ball (qtd. in Weber).”

According to Lisa Weber, video games “force kids to think quickly.” Video games present people with a problem that needs to be solved, usually “very quickly.” This helps kids develop critical thinking, and forces them to test out “different solutions” to every problem (Weber).

While video games have all of these positive effects, there can also be some bad things that come along with being an avid gamer. The most obvious is weight gain. Some gamers gain a considerable amount of weight, more and more the longer they play. But this can’t be blamed on the video games their selves. A person should be able to have some sort of self-control, and be able to realize that they have a problem, and do something about it. If the case of a child gaining weight, they do not realize the consequences of gaining weight. Therefore, it is up to the parents to realize their kid has a problem, and to do something about it.

Even though there are some health problem that can come with playing games, the positive effects of gaming greatly outweigh any negative effects. The general negativity that surrounds video games all stems from people refusing to educate themselves. They only see one side to the subject, and that is what mainstream media presents to them on TV. As someone who avidly keeps up with studies about the effects of gaming, it is clear that the positives outweigh the negatives. People need to realize this, and start embracing video games for what they are: an art form, and a mainstream way to consume entertainment. The sooner people do this, the sooner they can start looking at the real things that cause violence, or have a negative impact on society in general. Until that time, video games will continue to unfairly be a scapegoat for things it has nothing to do with.

Works Cited
Dyer, Mitch. “The Positive Effects Games Have on Your Brain.” IGN. 4 Nov. 2013. Web. 2 Mar. 2014.
“New study: game violence doesn’t predict violent behavior.” Destructoid. 18 Dec. 2010. Web. 2 Mar. 2014.
Fleming, Nic. “Why video games may be good for you.” BBC. 26 Aug. 2013. Web. 2 Mar. 2014.
Price, Marilyn. “Effects of Video Games: More Good than Bad for Youth Development?.” RootsOfAction. n.d. Web. 2 Mar. 2014.
Shapiro, Jordan. “4 Reasons Video Games Are Good For Your Health (According To American Psychological Association).” Forbes. 27 Nov. 2013. Web. 2 Mar. 2014.
Thornhill, Ted. “Video games are GOOD for you: Even violent shoot-em-ups boost learning, health and social skills, finds study.” DailyMail. 26 Nov. 2013. Web. 2 Mar 2014.
Weber, Lisa. “Positive Effects of Video Games on Children.” GlobalPost. Demand Media. n.d. Web. 2 Mar. 2014.

Editor’s Note: RealGamerNewZ has moved web servers, some older posts can no longer be commented on and have been preserved without their images. Thank you for your understanding in this matter. This article was written by Brody Arnold on 20140413 and was last modified on 20140413 .

Black Sabbath – 13 (Music Review)

Band: Black Sabbath
Album title: 13
US release date: June 11, 2013
D. Mac rating: 4 / 5

Even in times where knights of actuality slay dragons of improbability (and, in one instance, afford me a free bottle of Dr. Pepper1), one could still be hard-pressed to believe a new full-length Black Sabbath album featuring the original line-up of Ozzy Osbourne, Tony Iommi, Geezer Butler and Bill Ward would ever see the light of day. In 2013, more than thirty five years after the prototypical giant of heavy metal succumbed to rust, we still have not received… but what we have been given is awfully close.

An album twelve years in the making, 13 sounds like classic Sabbath: doom-laden lyrics hollered bitterly over chiefly slow, heavy grooves driven by a skilled and emphatic rhythm section. Perhaps, however, the music is a little too “classic,” by which I mean that there are several points on the album where the band sounds like they are reusing their own material: End of the Beginning borrows heavily from their eponymous debut song, God Is Dead? retreads Psycho Man, Loner is practically one note shy of N.I.B., Zeitgeist is Planet Caravan with less crooning and so on. While the product of this recycling does not best the alleged source, it does make the album more familiar and therefore, more accessible to fans past and present.

The crux of Black Sabbath and the downright deity of earth-shaking riff crafting, Tony Iommi takes center stage on 13; his forged-by-necessity guitar sound and heavy blues influence have not lost pertinence or appeal in favor of the countless debtors born in the wake of Black Sabbath’s earliest successes. To my unrefined ear, session drummer Brad Wilk (Rage Against the Machine, ex-Audioslave) does a seemingly good job of mimicking Bill Ward’s style; not that this makes up for Ward’s absence but when coupled with Geezer Butler’s ever-powerful presence, Wilk’s contribution proves valuable.

The weakest link in the album’s musicianship is Ozzy Osbourne, whose lackluster performance here is disappointing compared to the resurgent energy put into his previous solo record, Scream. Grossly similar melody lines are apathetically repeated ad nauseam throughout each song, though one could suspect that the monotonous melodies are the work of the album’s sole lyricist Geezer Butler. This could also be Ozzy’s age and physical condition no longer showing solely in live performances but also in studio efforts. Regardless of such speculation, I can say that Ozzy has never been as much a great singer as he is a recognizable voice, energetic front man and interesting character but here, he sounds far too reserved, even when he is being unnecessarily loud (e.g. Zeitgeist).

The production of the album has come under wide scrutiny for its employment of dynamic range compression, resulting in an excessively loud recording. Perpetrated by Rick Rubin, whose butchering of the levels for Metallica’s Death Magnetic propelled the recording practice toward greater public awareness and forced me to approach his work with some caution, the production on 13 is nowhere near as bad as the aforementioned distortion-fest but certainly not without flaw. Though the drums are already too loud in the mix, they, un-cooperatively with the guitar, generate an unfortunate amount of indiscernible fuzz, resultantly drowning out the bass and making the band sound more divergent during the album’s heavier moments (e.g. the later minutes of End of the Beginning and the choruses of Dear Father). Though the sound quality is forgivable at some points, overall it can make the album an unpleasant experience, especially when heard through headphones.

If any of what I’ve presented thus far has turned you off to the album… you can come on back now.

Despite its flaws, 13 is what metal fans want: new Black Sabbath in the modern age. In a time where the word “relevance” is gaining as much ground in the heavy community as “poser,” Ozzy, Iommi and Butler have greased the cogs of the machine they helped create and reaffirmed why their influence is timeless. My personal favorite track, Damaged Soul, is the closest thing to the primordial days the band has managed in three decades, recalling the spontaneity of A Bit of Finger… with its particularly “jammy” atmosphere and erratic solo. As a whole, this offering is certainly not perfect but at this point, Black Sabbath, be it whatever incarnation, have nothing to prove and knowing this allows the listener to approach the album with a sense of reverence as opposed to apprehension. It is not only a great listen but also, a surprising listen, as one would think that after nearly 45 years, Tony Iommi might have exhausted his riff catalog.  However, with a more-than-able rhythm section and a piercing wail in tow, the Sabs collectively manage to exude more passion and creativity within ten seconds than some metal acts have shown across ten albums.

Of course, we can’t have just one edition of our music anymore as every store vies for the rights to deluxe editions, special editions, tour editions and so on. As such, there exist at least three different editions of the album, with the Best Buy deluxe edition offering all four bonus studio tracks on a second disc. Of these tracks, Peace of Mind and Pariah follow the same scheme as the rest of the album while Methademic and Naïveté in Black sound like lost tracks from the recent Heaven and Hell endeavor. All in all, they are good tracks and there is no reason why they could not have been included in the standard edition. With the main eight tracks clocking in at only 53+ minutes and the four bonus tracks adding an additional 19+ minutes, putting them on two separate discs is grossly unnecessary as it is an underhanded means of extracting an extra four or five dollars from the buyer… and I’m a man who normally isn’t willing to spend more than $9.99 on new music. At least the lenticular cover art makes a great album cover even cooler.

The closing seconds of Dear Father bring us full circle to where Black Sabbath’s eponymous debut begins with rolling thunder, pouring rain and the tolling of a bell; a fitting end to what will likely be the final studio release from some semblance of the original outfit. The album itself parallels that sentiment as 13 properly closes an era abandoned so abruptly some 35 years ago and reminds the listener of what made this band so great in the first place.

m/ Dan Mac m/
A Lighter Shade of Black 004

1Guns N Roses article

Be sure to listen in to Pat’s Shred Shack on Tuesday nights from 7:00pm to 9:00pm EST for your weekly fix of metal. I occasionally co-host the show.

Editor’s Note: RealGamerNewZ has moved web servers, some older posts can no longer be commented on and have been preserved without their images. Thank you for your understanding in this matter. This article was written by Daniel MacDonald on 20130919 and was last modified on 20130919 .

Resident Evil Revelations Freemasons & Pentagram Symbols Spotted

The first image seen here is the Upside-down Pentagram known from devil-worshipping rituals sometimes associated with the Illuminati occult. Seemingly innocently featured in the game Resident Evil Revelations, which sees players taking apart illuminati-related symbols and dismantling them until re-arranged into much more harmless and benign patterns in order to unlock doors as a minigame. At first glance this likely appears to be just another one of those random patterns, but take a closer look:

Coincidence?

Editor’s Note: RealGamerNewZ has moved web servers, some older posts can no longer be commented on and have been preserved without their images. Thank you for your understanding in this matter. This article was written by Mitch Walters on 20130528 and was last modified on 20130528 .

EA Pops Mass Effect 3’s Bad Ending Cherry & How To Fix It

The RGN Team gets together led by Tristan’s Twisted World as we discuss EA Popping Mass Effect 3’s Bad Ending Cherry, and more. Other topics discussed include:

– Indoctrination Theory, Synthesis/Destroy/Control Explained

– The Catalyst, Final Mission To Beam Run To Harbinger

– The Future of BioWare

– EA Rushed Mass Effect 3 Causing Botched Ending

– Microsoft’s Fault For Pressuring EA?

– BioWare’s Inconsistent Statements To Fans

– Quests That Didn’t Work, Fans Felt Like Beta Testers

– Is EA The Devil? (To BioWare’s Development Conditions)

– The Publisher to Developer Relationship

UPDATE – Part 2 of the EA Pops Mass Effect 3’s Bad Ending Cherry Out Now!!! To be directed to it simply click here!

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Editor’s Note: RealGamerNewZ has moved web servers, some older posts can no longer be commented on and have been preserved without their images. Thank you for your understanding in this matter. This article was written by Jon Ireson on 20130228 and was last modified on 20130307 .