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10 Things You Didn’t Know about Playing Video Games

10 Things You Didn’t Know about Playing Video Games

What do you think of when you hear the phrase “video games?” Unhealthy, overweight man-boys addicted to living in an imaginary world, in which they shoot off the faces of their opponents?  Okay, this is the case some of the time, but really, video games are so much more. I have found out that there are many surprising benefits to playing video games, so I am slightly less embarrassed to admit that I play them myself.

1. Video games can teach and/or enforce teamwork.

A variety of video games have been created that involve a team of people (whether in your living room or in a different state) working together toward a common goal.

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2. Video games may be able to improve vision.

Did your mother ever tell you to not to stare at your computer screen for too long? Okay, she was correct in that your eyes need a break every now and again, but a study was conducted by a psychologist that may have proof that detailed video games involving aiming and shooting at objects improve declining vision.

3. Your surgeon may perform better if he/she plays video games regularly.

Have you ever watched the sitcom Scrubs? The main character and his friend, a surgeon, often partake in seemingly adolescent activities, one of them being video games. It turns out that this fictitious surgeon was likely more skilled at laparoscopic surgery due to the increased hand-eye coordination from these electronic games.

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4. Video games teach you multi-tasking.

In The Sims game, you might be controlling many different characters at once. You need to figure out how to coordinate their actions to achieve the best results in the game. This ability can transfer to tasks like driving a car and dealing with distractions inside of the car as well as keeping track of the cars around you.

5. Video games can benefit those dealing with stress or depression.

Video games give you the ability to get lost in a world you can control without true problems or consequences. An article in the New York Times highlighted a woman dealing with depression with the game Bejeweled. This does not go for all video games, but certain games can even give you a Zen-like feel where you can play without real effort or boredom.

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6. Video games can help those dealing with severe pain.

Studies have showed that patients who were allowed to play video games requested less pain killer. The thought is that the patients were so engrossed in the game that their pain seemed miles away. As a result, there is a lower chance of addiction to powerful pain medications.

7. Video games are not all violent (and/or drive you to violent tendencies).

Are you completely shocked? Before writing this post, I was a tad ashamed to admit I have spent hours upon hours playing The Sims games and more recently Sims 2 (no, I have not splurged for Sims 3 for fear of never leaving my laptop again). This game is anything but violent. The entire premise is living life. You can get a job, build a house, have numerous babies and raise a whole family of dogs if you wish. You can go to college, meet your true love and graduate with honors. Okay, yes, that sounds a little sad to be doing all of this in a video game, but stay with me and check out some of the benefits of playing video games.

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8. Not all video games require you to sit still and stare at a screen for hours on end.

Many video games have physical aspects (and rightfully so). You can pretend you are playing anything from bowling to boxing to participating in a dance competition. There are even games specifically engineered to improve physical fitness.

9. Many video games have been created for children.

I was completely taken aback when I witnessed a three year old playing a game on her mom’s ipad. Younger children are learning to play with electronic devices, so a variety of educational video games have been created to enrich the young mind. It is even thought that video games are an interactive venue that will soon replace textbooks…however crazy that sounds.

10. The last one: I heard on the radio there are video games designed for cats.

I, however, choose to be in denial that cats can use electronics.

Video games not only provide endless entertainment, but there are surprising benefits. If you have not already, consider picking up a game to boost your mental (and possibly physical) capabilities.

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Amanda DeWitt

Writer. Photographer. Instagrammer. Future Educator.

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Last Updated on May 14, 2019

8 Replacements for Google Notebook

8 Replacements for Google Notebook

Exploring alternatives to Google Notebook? There are more than a few ‘notebooks’ available online these days, although choosing the right one will likely depend on just what you use Google Notebook for.

  1. Zoho Notebook
    If you want to stick with something as close to Google Notebook as possible, Zoho Notebook may just be your best bet. The user interface has some significant changes, but in general, Zoho Notebook has pretty similar features. There is even a Firefox plugin that allows you to highlight content and drop it into your Notebook. You can go a bit further, though, dropping in any spreadsheets or documents you have in Zoho, as well as some applications and all websites — to the point that you can control a desktop remotely if you pare it with something like Zoho Meeting.
  2. Evernote
    The features that Evernote brings to the table are pretty great. In addition to allowing you to capture parts of a website, Evernote has a desktop search tool mobil versions (iPhone and Windows Mobile). It even has an API, if you’ve got any features in mind not currently available. Evernote offers 40 MB for free accounts — if you’ll need more, the premium version is priced at $5 per month or $45 per year. Encryption, size and whether you’ll see ads seem to be the main differences between the free and premium versions.
  3. Net Notes
    If the major allure for Google Notebooks lays in the Firefox extension, Net Notes might be a good alternative. It’s a Firefox extension that allows you to save notes on websites in your bookmarks. You can toggle the Net Notes sidebar and access your notes as you browse. You can also tag websites. Net Notes works with Mozilla Weave if you need to access your notes from multiple computers.
  4. i-Lighter
    You can highlight and save information from any website while you’re browsing with i-Lighter. You can also add notes to your i-Lighted information, as well as email it or send the information to be posted to your blog or Twitter account. Your notes are saved in a notebook on your computer — but they’re also synchronized to the iLighter website. You can log in to the site from any computer.
  5. Clipmarks
    For those browsers interested in sharing what they find with others, Clipmarks provides a tool to select clips of text, images and video and share them with friends. You can easily syndicate your finds to a whole list of sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Digg. You can also easily review your past clips and use them as references through Clipmarks’ website.
  6. UberNote
    If you can think of a way to send notes to UberNote, it can handle it. You can clip material while browsing, email, IM, text message or even visit the UberNote sites to add notes to the information you have saved. You can organize your notes, tag them and even add checkboxes if you want to turn a note into some sort of task list. You can drag and drop information between notes in order to manage them.
  7. iLeonardo
    iLeonardo treats research as a social concern. You can create a notebook on iLeonardo on a particular topic, collecting information online. You can also access other people’s notebooks. It may not necessarily take the place of Google Notebook — I’m pretty sure my notes on some subjects are cryptic — but it’s a pretty cool tool. You can keep notebooks private if you like the interface but don’t want to share a particular project. iLeonardo does allow you to follow fellow notetakers and receive the information they find on a particular topic.
  8. Zotero
    Another Firefox extension, Zotero started life as a citation management tool targeted towards academic researchers. However, it offers notetaking tools, as well as a way to save files to your notebook. If you do a lot of writing in Microsoft Word or Open Office, Zotero might be the tool for you — it’s integrated with both word processing software to allow you to easily move your notes over, as well as several blogging options. Zotero’s interface is also available in more than 30 languages.

I’ve been relying on Google Notebook as a catch-all for blog post ideas — being able to just highlight information and save it is a great tool for a blogger.

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In replacing it, though, I’m starting to lean towards Evernote. I’ve found it handles pretty much everything I want, especially with the voice recording feature. I’m planning to keep trying things out for a while yet — I’m sticking with Google Notebook until the Firefox extension quits working — and if you have any recommendations that I missed when I put together this list, I’d love to hear them — just leave a comment!

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