Steven Johnson Why Games Are Good For You Summary

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In the article "Why Games Are Good for You" by Steven Johnson, Johnson analyses pop culture pastimes in order to further the position that games can help the human brain. Johnson is a firm believer in high levels of reading and finds that if reading is not present in our daily lives we do not attain high levels of knowledge. Knowledge is essential for growth and development and therefore is necessary. Johnson explores the idea of games having a positive impact on the human brain and can advance certain skill sets we have all acquired. Throughout the text it is evident that Johnson refers to experts to further his analysis and deploy his ideas for his article. In doing so Johnson is able to make his argument and get across the divide over video…show more content…
Johnson furthers this statement by including in the article an excerpt of the latest edition of Dr. Spock stating that video games promote eye-hand coordination but are a massive waste of time and children need to foster a love of reading and become avid readers. Johnson states that there is a social divide between readers and nonreaders which is becoming frighteningly high. Following this statement, Johnson gives insight that reading books is deeply ingrained within us which makes it difficult to see a different viewpoint. It is noted that games suffer from the above fact due to a contrast with older conventions of reading. Johnson provides the audience with a thought experiment, to imagine a world where video games were present for centuries and then books arrive and become the new rage. Johnson then provides his views on books and reading as an author, stating that the virtues of reading fall into two categories. The first being the information conveyed by the book and the second being the mental work needed to process and store the books information. Skills acquired by reading are effort, concentration, attention, the ability to make sense of words, following narrative threads, and sculpting imagined worlds out of sentences on a page, Johnson states that society places a substantial emphasis on these…show more content…
Johnson expresses his worry for the experimental gap between those who play regularly and those who have only heard of experiences second hand which makes it difficult to discuss that meaning of games in a coherent way. Furthermore, Johnson reaches a rather interesting question, Who wants' to escape to a world that irritates you 90 percent of the time? Following his question, Johnson incorporates into his article the story of Troy Stolle, a construction worker who lives inside the virtual world of Ultima Online. Johnson takes his audience through Stolle's everyday life of smithing in game to acquire enough money in order to buy a house. Stolle's avatar, Nil's Hansen, needed to be brought up to Grandmaster in blacksmithing to create weaponry for clients, performing droning everyday tasks to obtain the materials he needs. Johnson incorporates how much time it took Stolle to level up his avatar. Johnson discusses the measure of cognitive challenges in modern games and that due to these challenges, game guides and walkthroughs were created to help players in game. Johnson then brings to light that there has been very little direct research as to how games get children to learn without the realization that they are in fact learning. Johnson ties his wonderment to the fact that the power of games to captivate is involved with their

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