Proceedings of the 28th International BCS Human Computer Interaction Conference (HCI 2014) (HCI)
BCS Human Computer Interaction Conference (HCI 2014)
9 - 12 September 2014
Videogamers are often portrayed as adolescent overweight males eating fast food in their bedroom, and videogames often blamed in the media for violent crime, obesity, social isolation and depression. However videogaming is a mainstream activity. In Australia 65% of the population play videogames (Digital Australia 2014), and humanity as a species play about 3 billion hours of videogames a week. This paper dispels the myths and sensationalised negative tabloid headlines that videogames are bad by presenting the latest research showing that videogames can help fight depression, improve brain function and stimulate creativity; that gamers have higher levels of family closeness and better attachment to school; and that videogames help boys and young men to relax, cope and socialise. Children and adolescents deliberately choose to play videogames in the knowledge that they will feel better as a result, and videogame play allow players to express themselves in ways they may not feel comfortable doing in real life because of their appearance, gender, sexuality, and/or age. The potential benefits of videogames to the individual and to society are yet to be fully realised. However already videogames are helping many gamers to flourish in life.