You are in a battle zone with a gun in your hand. The familiar sound of gunfire and bullets encompass you. Once in a while, there is the occasional scream from the casualties of this battle. Your heart rate shoots up in a matter of seconds as this gives you a sense of thrill. Whether it is Call of Duty or Halo, first person shooter games (FPS) have been viewed as being enjoyable and addictive, but many people believe that these games are pointless and a waste of time. In actuality, many valuable life skills are learned or improved upon by FPSs.
Observations and Changes
In order to stay alive on the battlefield, you must be able to locate and defeat the enemy before they defeat you. That’s why players can quickly spot changes or objects and people in their battlefield surroundings.
When transferring this skill of observation to real life, players will be more observant of their surroundings and be able to note any telltale signs of danger. Also, if someone was searching for a lost item in the room, or trying to locate a person in a crowd, the FPS player should have a greater chance of succeeding. They will also be more sensitive to subtle changes, whether it’s a haircut or a slight change in a friend’s daily habit.
Quick, Smart Decisions
Imagine that in the FPS, the enemy is chasing you from behind, occasionally firing shots. It is only seconds before they catch up, and quick, you must make a decision! Oh, what to do, what to do? While the average person is very likely to get shot, the experienced player would have already decided to sprint inside the building, take cover behind a wall, and shoot back at the enemy. This ability to quickly make smart decisions while being under pressure is greatly beneficial. Whenever something that is negative and unexpected happens when doing a project, this skill will allow you to efficiently and effectively cope with the matter.
Reaction Time, Hand-Eye Coordination and Peripheral Vision
When someone shoots at you in a FPS, you have to shoot them back, otherwise you will perish. Sometimes, people will even appear from the side, and attempt to ambush you! Therefore, as you play more and more FPS, not only will your reaction time become faster, you will further develop your peripheral vision. In the meanwhile, with all this action happening, your hand-eye coordination is improving, since your hands will listen and follow what your eyes want to do more.
This article originally appeared in the September 2012 issue of UNIT-E. It was written by Grace Zhang, a student at the International School of Beijing.
UNIT-E was founded in the spring of 2010 with the aim of establishing a non-profit, student-run magazine for international students in Beijing. Staffed by current students from a range of international schools, the magazine provides an amalgam of cultural tidbits, fragments of Beijing student life, and a broad spectrum of unique perspectives from a diverse group of young adults.