As you get older and assume more responsibility in your life, your gaming time might need to adjust. It doesn’t have to be game over, but if gaming is getting in the way of real life, it’s time to push pause. Here’s what worked well for me.
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Start Tracking Your Gaming Time
Part of the reason video games eat up so much time is because they’re so engaging. It’s easy to get lost in their finely-crafted worlds, or get hooked by their clever progression systems that leave you saying “Just one more thing. ” I can’t count how many times I’ve sat down to play Breath of the Wild for “a couple minutes” then looked up to see hours have gone by, or popped into Overwatch to play “a few matches” then realize it’s suddenly past my bedtime.
Tracking your gaming time can help, says psychologist John M. Grohol . Create a gaming log, be it a spreadsheet or just a piece of paper, and write down when you start playing a game and when you stop. Then add up your total gaming time at the end of each week. When I saw how much time I was actually spending in virtual worlds, it was enough to snap me out of my escapism bubble.
Set Limits for Yourself
When you sit down to play a game, I’ve found setting a timer helps a lot. Set a daily limit for yourself and try to keep to it. Even if you don’t stop as soon as the timer goes off, you still become aware of how much time you’ve spent playing that day, and awareness is key. It can help to create a ruleset for your gaming too, like “I’ll only play games with friends” or “I can only play games on certain days of the week.” That said, don’t restrict yourself too much or you won’t keep to your goals. It’s okay to splurge every once in awhile and plan an occasional “free gaming day.”
Video games are perhaps the most popular and widespread form of entertainment at present. Companies that develop video games earn billions of dollars and constantly invest in research aimed to make virtual reality look like reality. Their products become more and more sophisticated, and they attract a wide audience. However, despite all the joy that video games can bring to children and teenagers, who are the main target audiences of game developing companies, actively engaging in video games at such a young age can produce adverse effects.
The harm video games cause can be evaluated by several criteria, and the most obvious among them is the negative effects they can have on physical health. Though the proponents of video gaming claim first-person shooters and real-time strategies sharpen reflexes, increase concentration, and muscle coordination, in reality, teenagers who spend an ample amount of time playing games experience effects that are not so beneficial.
There is a possibility of the loss of sight. Spending hours on a computer or in front of a TV is one of the main causes of blurred vision among youth. In addition, sacrificing healthy physical activities in favor of video gaming may become a risk factor for obesity. Gamers often do not want to interrupt their playing for meals. They eat right in front of the monitor, and their rations often consist of products that can be easily cooked or eaten immediately, such as crisps, chocolate bars, crackers, or other fast foods. All this definitely does not contribute to the proper and healthy development of a young, growing body.
Mental health can also be affected by engaging in video games at a young age. This suggests addiction and inappropriate behavior. It is a well-known fact that many gamers (especially fans of online games) suffer from addiction, which is no less serious than narcomania or alcoholism. For instance, in August 2005, a report surfaced about the death of a 28-year-old South Korean gamer who had spent 50 hours playing a real-time strategy game (BBC). For another significant example, one needs to look no further than July 2012, when a Taiwanese teenager fatally collapsed after a 40-hour game session (Crawley). Cases like these are quite numerous and happen all around the world. They make additional arguments to the negative evaluation of video games as an activity which brings harm to young people.
In its turn, inappropriate behavior can be caused by violence in video games. According to research, children and teenagers who play violent video games tend to be more aggressive. They confront their teachers and peers more often and display a decline in academic achievements. Such psychological deviations also do not implicate video games as a constructive and useful occupation for young people (Crane).
Individuals who spend excessive hours playing video games may lack the capability to distinguish between reality from fantasies. Video games often offer simplified and conditional models of environments, relationships, friendships, and rivalries. Gamers use these models to learn to interact with the world around them, and they often lack skills that would be developed by real-life experience instead of the simulation (Crane). Therefore, it can be implied that another negative effect caused by video games is the inability of social adaptation on the part of the gamer.
It can be concluded that video games are a form of entertainment which is not suitable for children and teenagers. This assessment is based on a number of negative consequences that excessive video gaming causes. Young people who spend an inexplicable sum of hours playing video games are observed to be prone to sight loss and obesity. In addition, they tend to be more aggressive than their peers who do not play video games, and they experience difficulties with social adaptation. Also, video games can lead to addictions that are no less serious than alcoholism or narcomania, as evidenced in recent media stories reporting on deaths among inveterate video gamers. This collection of facts contributes to the negative evaluation of video games as an unwholesome activity for children and teenagers.
Crawley, Dan. “Taiwanese Gamer Dies after 40-hour Diablo III Session.” VentureBeat. 18 July, 2012. Web log post. 26 December, 2012.
“S Korean Dies after Games Session.” BBC News. BBC, 10 August 2005. Web. 15 October, 2012.
Crane, Wendy. “Aggression Caused by Video Game Play.” Wack News. AARC, 10 September, 2013. Web. 16 October, 2012.
February 2014, Vol 45, No. 2
Print version: page 10
Playing video games, including violent shooter games, may boost children’s learning, health and social skills, according to a review of research in American Psychologist.
The study comes out as debate continues among psychologists and other health professionals regarding the effects of violent media on youth. An APA task force is conducting a comprehensive review of research on violence in video games and interactive media and will release its findings later this year.
“Important research has already been conducted for decades on the negative effects of gaming, including addiction, depression and aggression, and we are certainly not suggesting that this should be ignored,” says Isabela Granic, PhD, of Radboud University Nijmegen in The Netherlands, lead author of the article. “However, to understand the impact of video games on children’s and adolescents’ development, a more balanced perspective is needed.”
While one widely held view maintains that playing video games is intellectually lazy, such play actually may strengthen a range of cognitive skills such as spatial navigation, reasoning, memory and perception, according to several studies reviewed in the article. This is particularly true for shooter video games, which are often violent, the authors found. A 2013 meta-analysis found that playing shooter video games improved a player’s capacity to think about objects in three dimensions just as well as academic courses designed to enhance these same skills, according to the study.
“This has critical implications for education and career development, as previous research has established the power of spatial skills for achievement in science, technology, engineering and mathematics,” Granic says.
This enhanced thinking was not found when playing other types of video games, such as puzzles or role-playing games.
Playing video games may also help children develop problem-solving skills, the authors said. The more adolescents reported playing strategic video games, such as role-playing games, the more they improved in problem solving and school grades the following year, according to a long-term study published in 2013. Children’s creativity was also enhanced by playing any kind of video game, including violent games, but not when the children used other forms of technology, such as a computer or cell phone, other research revealed.
Simple games that are easy to access and can be played quickly, such as “Angry Birds,” can improve players’ moods, promote relaxation and ward off anxiety, the study said. “If playing video games simply makes people happier, this seems to be a fundamental emotional benefit to consider,” said Granic. The authors also highlighted the possibility that video games are effective tools for learning resilience in the face of failure. By learning to cope with ongoing failures in games, the authors suggest that children build emotional resilience they can rely upon in their everyday lives.
Another stereotype the research challenges is the socially isolated gamer. More than 70 percent of gamers play with a friend, and millions of people worldwide participate in massive virtual worlds through video games such as “Farmville” and “World of Warcraft,” the article noted. Multiplayer games become virtual social communities, where decisions need to be made quickly about whom to trust or reject and how to lead a group, the authors said. People who play video games, even if they are violent, that encourage cooperation are more likely to be helpful to others while gaming than those who play the same games competitively, a 2011 study found.
The number of multiplayer games is growing every day, but finding a really great game with addictive gameplay and interesting idea is a problem. For those who love playing strategy games, the best choice is to try Paper io game which is available on all platforms, including PC browser, Google Smartphones and IOS users. The original edition of the game which is constantly updating is also available at our website. The game is about capturing territory and building a big base. You control a small snake-like creature who runs all the time. You just can control the direction of the movement. The players in this game have their own color and skins which you can change through the options menu. If you manage to complete the loop with your body without touching yourself, the loop will be added to your existing territory. The main mission of the player is to make his space grow as much as it is possible, until it reachs the 100% but believe me this is very difficult task.
While playing Paper.io you should remember that there are a lot of other players who want to dominate too. The key to success is to add small parts of the new territory all the time without making big loops. Once you make a big loop, you can be punished by neighbour player and destroyed. The game has several game modes and a lot of skins that you can enjoy. For example, you can customize the head of your snake or even the picture that will be placed on your territory. This way, Paper.io is an awesome and addictive multiplayer game where everyone can find a lot of fun.
More Information About Paper.io
There are several things that you can do in this game to have even more fun. The first thing is Skins menu. In this menu you can choose different skins and assign it to your character. You have to gain some exp points to unlock the new skins for the game as most of them are locked when you start playing.
A useful option which I really enjoy in this game is ability to choose the game room according to contries. That’s great in several ways. For example, when you want to challenge new people – most of the people choose one server and play there all the time so it may be boring to play against same people all the time. The second factor is that you can choose the server which is closest to you and in this way, make the game more smooth as your ping will be smaller and you won’t experience any lags or errors during the game. A really great feature of this game is that you can create a party and send invitation to your friends. This way you will be playing with friends on the same server and this will make the game even more addictive and interesting. Playing with friends is also more amusing then playing against AI or other random players.
How To Play
[W][A][S][D] or the arrow keys to control your snake.
Make a full loop to capture new space. Released: August 2018 (iOS)
September 2018 (Android)
March 2019 (HTML5)
Editor’s note: This is a guest post from Jason Mills. If your boys are already bored with their Christmas toys and are getting restless on their holiday break, take some time to play a game of paper football with them. They’ll have so much fun you’ll wonder why you spent so much dough getting them an ipod last week.
So, you’d planned a great father/son day of doing manly things in the great outdoors. You’ve been talking about it for weeks, but the day dawns and Mother Nature’s had a mood swing. Yup, it’s raining, and your plans are ruined. While there are many things that you can do on your own at the house, don’t blow that chance to connect with your son even if you don’t have a back-up plan.
Here’s my suggestion: play some good old fashioned paper football. I can hear you now. Paper football, are you nuts? That’s not the point, but yes, I’m serious. Its easy to play whether you’re a first-timer or an old veteran who whiled away many a high school study hall (not that I’d know what that’s like). It’s simple, it’s fun, and it’s a great time of innocent competition (and it’s not a video game!). All you need is a flat surface like a tabletop and a piece of paper. Ready? Let’s play.
Make Your Football
First you need to fold a standard 8.5 X 11 inch sheet of paper like you’re folding Old Glory:
1. Fold it in half lengthwise.
2. Fold it in half lengthwise again.
3. With the closed side of the paper facing you, fold the closed corner to the upper edge of the open edge.
4. Repeat step 3 in alternating triangles.
5. Tuck the last bit of paper into the triangle.
Your football is now ready.
Object and Gameplay
The object of the game is to get more points than your opponent. Play is simple; you push the football (however you want) from your side of the table to your opponent’s side. If the football hangs over the edge of the table without falling off, you score a touchdown (1 point). If it doesn’t hang off, it’s your opponent’s turn to try.
If you get a touchdown, you get to “kick” a field goal. Your opponent points his index fingers together with his thumbs up to make the goal posts, and then you kick it through the posts. To attempt your field goal, stand the football on the table and hold it with one index finger. Then, flick it with the other hand. If you’re successful, you get another point.
Rules and Suggestions
There really are very few rules in most paper football games. Touchdowns are determined by the ball hanging off the edge of the table. Field goals are kicked after a successful touchdown. Both are worth a point each.
The really cool thing about this game is that there are endless variations to the basic format. There was the “first-to-X-points” variety I played in study hall. We usually did 15 points.
You can also develop penalties if you want. For example, it’s bad form to stop a football before it stops on its own. If you’re playing an opponent who continually does this, institute a penalty kick to get him to follow the rules. Every time he touches the football before it stops, you get a penalty field goal.
Web Sudoku – Play Free Sudoku online
If you have ever been sitting next to a child in a dull meeting or church service, you know how hard it is for them to sit still. Boredom is hard to deal with at any age. Knowing how to make this folded paper game is a way to pique a child’s curiosity and also to keep him occupied for several minutes. There is no need to talk while you show him how to make this game and then how to play.
Fold a square piece of paper in half. It must be square or it will not fold properly. Fold it in half again so that you now have a piece of paper folded into fourths. The paper cannot be too thin or it will not hold up to the folding, but neither can it be too thick or it will be too bulky to play with.
Open the paper and turn it upside down so the folds are facing away from you. Fold one corner and place the tip right in the center of the paper, now marked by the previous folds. Carefully fold in each corner exactly to the center and smooth out the seams tightly.
Turn the folded paper over so the folds are facing downward. Bring the corners in again exactly to the center. Smooth out each crease carefully, pressing them firmly. Each of the outside corners should be square and even, not lopsided.
Fold the paper again in half, then in quarters, pressing the creases firmly. Then unfold the last four corners. Hold the paper so that the single layer folds are up and write a number on each.
Unfold the flaps again so now the paper is back to Step 3. Now write a number on each of the eight outer-corner halves. Turn the paper over and write a little action on the back of each of the eight outer halves you just numbered. They can be anything, like “smile” to “you are cute” to “give me a kiss” — whatever the occasion calls for.
Now fold the whole thing back so that you are back at Step 4 before the writing. Slide four fingers under the loose flaps and bring the corners in to the center. You should be able to press two fingers together while pulling two away, and so on. The person gets to pick a number from the four flaps, press and pull the number and then open all four fingers to reveal the inner numbers. Press and pull that number and then they pick a number from the inside once again and you lift the flap to see what they won.
Things You’ll Need:
- Pen or pencil
This can be colored to make a bright little toy.
These seemingly simple pencil-and-paper games were all invented by mathematicians. They call for two players and some strategic thinking.
By Mary Jane Callister
Dots and Boxes
First published in the 19th century by the French mathematician Édouard Lucas, Dots and Boxes was called La Pipopipette.
How to play
Two players take turns joining two horizontally or vertically adjacent dots by a line. The player who completes the fourth side of a square (i.e., a box) puts his or her initials inside and gets another turn. When all of the dots have been made into boxes, the player with the most boxes wins. You can download the game here and print to play.
Gustavus J. Simmons, a cryptographer and mathematician, invented this game in 1969.
How to play
Two players take turns tracing the gray lines between dots. One player uses one color ink or pencil, while the other uses another color. The first player who is forced to complete a triangle (with all three sides in his or her color) loses the game. Triangles must be formed with dots at each point; interior segments don’t count. You can download the game here and print to play.
The mathematician Piet Hein invented this game, originally called Con-tac-tix, in 1942, and John Nash (the subject of the film “A Beautiful Mind”) independently created his version in 1948. In 1952, Parker Brothers marketed its version and called it Hex.
How to play
The aim is to create a chain across the board, from black side to black side or gray side to gray side (the corner hexagons count for either direction). One player draws a solid dot and the other an open dot anywhere on the board. Players take turns marking empty hexagons with their dots. The winner is the first player to form a connected path (or chain) of dots linking the opposite sides of the board. You can download the game here and print to play.
Setup, Play, and Scoring
Sam Diephuis / Getty Images
Mahjong is a popular Chinese game played with sets of tiles. Like many popular games, mahjong has many regional variations, from the Chinese prevailing wind system to American mahjong with special bingo-like scoring cards. These rules will focus on the most basic rules of mahjong, which are the same across most other variants.
How to Play Mahjong
The basic game is played with four players. There are variants with three players.
The basic game has 136 tiles, including 36 characters, 36 bamboos, and 36 circles, which are the suits. These are, in turn, divided into four sets of numbers 1 to 9 in each suit. There are also 16 wind tiles and 12 dragon tiles. Many sets also include eight bonus tiles with four flowers and four seasons, but these are not needed in the basic game.
One pair of dice is used to determine the deal. It is optional to have four racks.
The goal of the game is to get a mahjong, which consists of getting all 14 of your tiles into four sets and one pair. A pair is two identical tiles. A set can either be a “pung,” which is three identical tiles, or a “chow,” which is a run of three consecutive numbers in the same suit. A single tile cannot be used in two sets at once.
Determine a starting dealer. In Chinese tradition, the four wind tiles are shuffled face down and dealt to the players. Players then sit according to their tile and sit clockwise in the order north, west, south, east. East starts as the dealer. Modern players may simply roll the dice to determine the dealer.
All tiles are shuffled together, and the players build a wall of 34 face-down tiles in front of themselves, 17 tiles long and two tiles high. The result should be a large square wall of tiles in the center of the table.
The dealer rolls the dice and counts that many tiles from the right edge of their wall, and separates the wall at that point to begin dealing tiles from the left of that spot and going clockwise. Each player receives 13 tiles, with the dealer starting with an extra 14th tile.
Each player then arranges their own tiles so they can see them and other players cannot. Racks are often used for this purpose. The dealer then discards one tile, and play begins to the left of the dealer.
Before your turn, you must give other players a few seconds to claim the most recently discarded tile.
The first priority goes to any player who can claim the discarded tile to complete a mahjong. A player who can do this claims the tile, then reveals the winning hand of 14 tiles.
Failing that, any player can claim the discarded tile to complete a pung. The player says “pung”, and then reveals the two matching tiles that match the discard. For example, if the discarded tile was the 7 of bamboo, and the player had two more bamboo 7s on the rack, that player would call “pung”. When calling pung, a player turns the completed pung (with all three bamboo 7s, in this case) face-up, discards a different tile, and the turn passes to the right.
If nobody claims the discarded tile but it completes a chow for you, you may claim it at the beginning of your turn by saying “chow”. You then must turn your chow face-up, revealing the completed run (e.g. 5, 6, 7 of bamboo) as in the pung example above. You then discard a different tile and play continues as normal.
If the discard does not complete a set for you, then on your turn you draw the next tile from the wall (going left). Unless this gives you a mahjong, you then discard a tile face-up.
Note that only the most recently discarded tile can be claimed.
Some players also play with a “Kong”, which is four of the same tile (like an extended pung). The same rules for claiming a discarded tile apply, but any player completing a kong immediately draws an extra tile before discarding.
The hand ends when somebody declares mahjong and reveals a complete 14-tile hand of four sets and a pair.
If nobody has revealed a mahjong by the time the wall runs out of tiles, the game is considered a draw and the dealer redeals.
Simple scoring awards one point to whoever achieved the mahjong and won the hand.
Many more complex scoring arrangements exist, which vary widely by region. Bonus point-scoring awards an additional point for not winning by taking a discard, or winning with the last tile in the game, or having a pung of dragons. Exponential scoring scores each pung at 2 points, which is doubled if the pung was not revealed, doubled if the pung used ones or nines, and doubled twice more if the pung was a kong.
Due to the many scoring variations, players should be careful to agree on scoring rules before a game.
Players play to a pre-determined number of points, or 16 rounds, or until players agree that they are done.