From: St. Albert Gazette

Be all you can be

St. Albert Gazette:

It is estimated that, each week, three billion hours are spent worldwide playing video games. It’s a $30-billion industry with appeal that crosses international boundaries. World of Warcraft alone has logged almost six million years worth of gamers’ time globally. But why? What is it about the electronic arts that satiate the gamers’ thirst?

Until now, most research has been dedicated towards investigating the effects of gaming, both beneficial and detrimental. We know, for instance, that video games can increase reaction time, visual acuity and the body’s dopamine levels. We also know that excessive gameplay can lead to increased aggression and decreased attention in youth.

But little scientific research has been done into the appeal behind video games. Fortunately, that trend is beginning to shift. Scientists are realizing that, with video games no longer being child’s play — the average Canadian gamer is 35 years of age, after all — it is becoming more important to understand the “why” behind video games.

Earlier this month, a study conducted at Britain’s University of Essex found that the greatest drive behind playing video games is the thrill of becoming your ideal character, of embracing a quietened side of yourself.

Read the whole story: St. Albert Gazette

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