Informative Speech - Outline
Tyler Hughes 9/29/15 Informational Speech Outline Purpose – At the end of my speech, the audience will be able to understand the mental and physical benefits of playing video games and be able to discern between the effects different game genres have on the brain. Introduction – Video games: the recipient of a plethora of social stigmas, misconceptions about its uselessness, and one of the more frowned-upon medias to emerge from the 20th century. Contrary to many popular beliefs, video games are actually quite beneficial. To be more specific, games are beneficial to the development of the human brain, especially if employed early on in a person’s life. So if anybody ever tells you video games are a waste of time, know that they most likely speak from a lack of experience, and that they are wrong. Central Idea – Different types of video games have different beneficial effects on the brain. These effects are determined by the style of gameplay that each game is based around. Body Outline – I. Mental Benefits A. The fall 2014 edition of “American Journal of Play” includes an article (link is external) by researchers Adam Eichenbaum, Daphne Bavelier, and C. Shawn Green summarizing recent research demonstrating long-lasting positive effects of video games on basic mental processes--such as perception, attention, memory, and decision-making. Their findings: 1. Improvements in basic visual processes, such as improved visual contrast sensitivity, and – in some cases – successful treatment of Amblyopia (also known as ‘lazy eye’), providing some adults with normal or near-normal function in their afflicted eye. 2. Improvements in attention and vigilance, including improved special attention (quickly finding a target stimulus amongst a field of distractors, a good predictor of driving ability), improved ability to track moving objects amongst distractors, and reduced impulsiveness. 3. Improvements in executive functioning (i.e. a person’s ability to allot his/her mental resources in ways that allow efficient and quick problem solving or decision-making), like multitasking, increased mental flexibility, and decreased mental decline due to age. B. An article published in 2013 by Brian D. Glass, W. Todd Maddox, and Bradley C. Love tested the impact of two different games – StarCraft II and the Sims – on cognitive flexibility (the human ability to adapt the cognitive processing strategies to face new and unexpected conditions in the environment). They learned that: 1. “RTS gaming selectively promotes cognitive flexibility, particularly under conditions in which players must rapidly
switch between contexts while maintaining memory for both contexts.” 2. RTS gameplay trains multi-tasking and cognitive flexibility better than that of an action game, although action games still provide benefits in the fields of risk sensitivity and general memory. II.
Social Benefits A. An article by Isabela Granic, Adam Lobel, and Rutger C. M. E. Engels of Radboud University, Nijmegen delves into the social aspect and benefits of playing games online with friends, and found that: 1. Over 70% of gamers play with a friend, either cooperatively or competitively. 2. In online games such as World of Warcraft and Farmville, players need to make on-the-fly decisions about whom to trust or reject, and how to effectively lead a group. These immersive social contexts lead to gamers rapidly learning social skills and prosocial behavior that might generalize to their relations outside the gaming environment. 3. Players more effectively acquire the aforementioned prosocial skills when playing games specifically tailored to reward effective cooperation. These players were shown to have “casual, short-term effects on ‘helping’ behaviors”. 4. Playing games cooperatively (even violent ones) that encourage cooperation have been shown to have reduced feelings of hostility and aggressive cognitions, both in and out of the context of the gaming world. Emotional Benefits A. The same article written by the Radboud University members also discussed the emotional benefits playing video games brought to the table: 1. “Several studies have shown a causal relation between playing preferred video games and improved mood or increases in positive emotion.” 2. Many gamers look for and enjoy feeling fiero, the Italian word for ‘intense pride after succeeding against great adversity’ when playing difficult games. 3. In addition to fiero, many gamers described feeling what is referred to as flow, or an experience of being immersed in an intrinsically-rewarding activity that elicits a high sense of control while, at the same time, evoking a loss of self-consciousness. In psychology, these experiences have been linked to a host of positive outcomes for adolescents, including commitment and achievement in high school. 4. Simply put, video games are designed to be fun, enjoyable pastimes for people to partake in when they have free time and, for many people, are great stress-relievers, and are the go-to utilities to release their stress.
Conclusion – Video games are much more beneficial than some people may have you believe. Not only do they help train peoples’ brains and improve their social and emotional states, they demonstrate that the brain is far more moldable and trainable throughout a person’s life than previously thought. Video games appear to be the media most effective at building the components of intelligence that are becoming increasingly important in today’s world, in addition to being a fun pastime. Gray, P. (2015, February 20). Cognitive Benefits of Playing Video Games. Retrieved September 29, 2015. Glass, B., Maddox, T., & Love, B. (2013, August 7). Real-Time Strategy Game Training: Emergence of a Cognitive Flexibility Trait. Retrieved September 29, 2015. Granic, I., Lobel, A., & Engels, R. (2013, December 12). The Benefits of Playing Video Games. Retrieved September 29, 2015.