Connect with us

Lifestyle

The Healthy Side of Video Games

Published

on

Video Games controller
Like every stereotype, video games come with their own sets of preconceptions.  We’ve all heard parents rant about how games teach children violence.  Statements like,
you’ll rot your brain, go outside, and get a life are common parental reactions when their children spend too much time in front of the screen. Yet what happens when you look at this new genre of entertainment’s possible benefits?  Many changes and evolutions in tech have caused a great divide between the generation of boomers and their millennial counterparts.  Video games are one of the subjects that causes much controversy.  To balance out the popular opinion that videogames are unhealthy, here are a few unique points to consider:Cyber Social Structures are Still Social when CyberThe most commonly held caricature of a gamer is a young person, introverted, nerdy, and possibly socially inept.  Perhaps this is the picture painted to those who don’t play games themselves.  Ironically, many games do in fact have complex social networks.  Not only does a game allow someone to play with their friends, it provides opportunities to meet and play with new people, and keep in touch with people all over the world.  In fact, the majority of these game offers people access to social networks larger than most that exist in real life. GamificationGamification has made its way from games into numerous areas of life.  It’s not uncommon to see incentive systems at work changed from policy to point system in efforts to add a game-like spin in hope to raise employee enthusiasm. Game based learning makes light of the learning process by incorporating within it the essence of ‘play’.  Being able to play through complex scenarios offers the brain a healthy way to run through various simulations.  The real world is much less forgiving than a video game, which offers user a first, second, third, or infinite amount of chances to complete a goal. The Power of StrategyOne of the greatest benefits of gaming is the ability to strategize and strengthen problem solving skills. Games as simple as Tetris and as complex as Starcraft provide users with a creative ways to solve problems.  In order to solve a problem, it is often required to think both quickly and deeply about strategy. Being able to practice complex scenarios through games not only improves teamwork and group dynamic within teams, but also benefits each individual player mentally.  Studies have shown that games sharpen decisiveness, acuity, and many other mental attributes. A Game for EverythingOne of the most fascinating aspects of video games is that as a genre, it has a ridiculous amount of diversity.  When you look at popular games they could be as different as Angry Birds on your mobile phone, or Brain Age on Nintendo Gameboy, or the Club Penguin social community, or as immense as the immersive World of Warcraft. Unlike TV shows, sports or any other form of entertainment, video games contain subject matter that is virtually limitless in its diversity.  Name any possible type of skill you may want to learn, and there is a game out there for it. Maybe the most popular examples of video game hits contain violence.  Maybe some people tend to spend unreasonable amounts of time in their basement playing.  Although these two facts do still stand true, video games remain an untapped source of creativity and endless utility.  What incredible  places and scenarios can these virtual portals take us?  How can they help to smear the line between imagination and reality?  And from all this, what can we learn?  Maybe now is the time to pay the vast world of gaming some due respect and admiration.

What's up!? I'm Katrina. I'm wandering, collecting, witnessing and learning. I'm drawn to all things found at the intersection of art and technology. If I could go back in time, I think I'd be best friends with Mark Twain, Nikola Tesla and Cleopatra. When I'm not obsessing about the human endeavor or the nature of time, I'm probably cooking or dancing.

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Lifestyle

Meal Prep Ideas for Your Busy Work Week

Published

on

meal prep ideas
Here are some meal prep ideas for your busy work week. If you're busy, then you may not feel like coming home and investing energy in cooking complicated meal prep ideas. However, with proper planning and doing the meal prep on weekends, this task can become easy and fast. If you prepare a menu for the week, you can buy all the ingredients at once and preserve them. Here are few steps to ensure that you get nutritious homemade food even during a busy work week.

Planning in Advance

Plan in advance for the meal prep ideas that you are going to prepare for the coming week – just pen it down. You should create a menu either for the week (preferable) or the month, and make sure that you have a list of the ingredients that you need for every meal. Make sure that you have a list for every meal that you will be preparing at home, including breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Make sure to have snacks available.

Preparation

Another way to save time is putting meals together, especially those that you'll be baking or slow cooking. You can do this for as many meal prep ideas as you want, and store them in your freezer to pull out whenever you are going to cook them. Make sure you have all ingredients. Put all ingredients into the slow cooker and leave it to cook.  Set the timer correctly to avoid the food getting burnt.

Easy meal prep ideas

Prepare easy meal prep ideas such as salads, soups, sandwiches, and pasta. There are also other items that you can find in stores that are “ready to make” packs. Have them on the menu and leave the most complicated recipes for the weekend. Simpler meals will often suffice as long as you put some love into it. Just ensure that whatever you eat is healthy and nutritious.Shop intelligently. You can have your menu ready and do the shopping all at once on a weekly or monthly basis. This saves time and money as well. Also, you can make it easier for yourself if you just plan in advance and ensure that nothing is left for the last minute. Here's also some healthy ideas you could try with super foods.
Continue Reading

Lifestyle

The Divorce of Fantasy and Science Fiction

Published

on

fantasy and science fiction

The divorce of fantasy and science fiction

When you walk into any Barnes and Nobles, you'll notice that the layout of the store is separated by shelves.  Each row of shelves is marked by genre.  There's an isle for Romance, one for History, one for Children's Books, and New Releases.  If you continue walking, you'll notice an isle titled fantasy and science fiction.For most of the history of literature, you'll see these two paired together. Fantasy and science fiction are both genres of fiction and they present worlds where impossible things happen.  What's the difference?  In fantasy, the story is driven by mystical and magical forces often in a time and place that isn't real.  In Science Fiction, the story is driven by technologies not yet known or mastered, often with settings in the far off future.

The divide between fantasy and science fiction

Until recently, it made sense to group Science Fiction together with Fantasy.  Stories of these genres often shared similar tropes and literary aesthetics and both being worlds of impossibility.  However this is quickly becoming less and less true.  There is a chasm growing between these genres.  This gap grows parallel to the current explosive growth of internet and technology.  Famous science fiction novels like The Time Machine and 1000  Leagues Under the Sea would seem far outside the realm of possibility, especially to people during the Victorian era (the era that produced the steam punk aesthetic).  But when you compare the fictional plot lines of these same works to what we're achieving technologically today, you won't see too much of a difference.  Famous classic pieces like Issac Asimov's, iRobot don't look very different that the automated world we live in today.  In an age of drones, artificial intelligence, and self-driving cars, how far from the future are we?

What does the future hold for these genre?

We're reaching a point in time where these two genres need their own separate bookshelves and it seems that as humanity changes, so does our literature.  As imaginative and timeless as the genre of fantasy can be, the magic that shapes it will sadly never truly exist.  As we continue to innovate more and more, science fiction will have to find itself a new name.  In what category will we call the stories of the future?  What new genres will we create?
Continue Reading

Lifestyle

Beating The Post Holiday Blues

Published

on

holiday blues
The Holidays are always a rush of gift giving and food. We usually ride the season with a lot of adrenalin to help us get through the parties, vacations, and coming home to mom and dad's. But, after you've opened all your presents and uploaded your holiday pics to social media sites, the adrenalin wears off and you start to feel down in the dumps. It is no surprise that holiday blues usually take place after the trimmings are taken down and the festivities have ended. During the crash, fatigue sets in, we don’t want to go to the gym and postpone opening and reading emails. All we feel is laziness usually due to over indulgence of food. But it does not have to be this way. Here are ways to kick the post holiday blues.

Stay Connected

Just because you've said goodbye to friends and family does not mean that you can't communicate with them until the next holiday season. Drive away the doldrums by keeping in constant contact. Continue to update them on social media or send them emails from time to time. Call mom and dad on the phone even just to say hi. When you stay connected with the important people in your life, you feel less lonely and won’t miss them as much.

Exercise

Did you know that exercise is a good way to get rid of depression? Working out can actually make you feel better. Exercise releases dopamine into the bloodstream so you feel happier and content. As a bonus, you get to melt off pounds that you probably put on indulging in turkey and dessert during the holidays.

Plan Your Next Holiday

Nothing can get you more fired up than thinking about your next trip. Why wait for Christmas when you can plan another getaway during Valentine's Day or any holiday? It can be something simple as a budgeted long weekend or even an overseas trip. Whatever your plan is, it will make returning to work easier and help you avoid thinking about the holidays. Cultivating something positive and forward thinking is also a good way to reset your brain.

Schedule Fun Activities

Drinking alcohol will only make you more depressed, so switch to scheduling fun activities instead. Research tells us that having things to look forward to makes us happy. You can host a President's Day party with friends or a small tea party to catch up with friends you weren't able to visit during Christmas. If you want to keep it simple, you can engage in movie night with your siblings, dinner with the family, or a relaxing massage.

Spend Time Outdoors

This might not be possible for some people but spend time outdoors every day. According to a meta-analysis of 10 studies, spending as little as 5 minutes outside everyday can help improve mood and self-esteem. Spending time outside is also recommended for people who suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) or winter depression.Keeping these strategies in mind can help you beat post-holiday depression. The holidays have to end, but it does not mean to say that the fun has to stop. Think of these suggestions every time you’re battling post-holiday misery.
Continue Reading

Trending