Mapúa Malayan Colleges Mindanao

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A-Game: The Positive Impacts of Gaming in the Society

Whether you are deep into the virtual world of Roblox or simply waiting for the next big release of the new Valorant map, you belong to the ever-growing video gaming world. Gaming has become a huge part of modern culture, and this is no surprise. Every kid alive, who has access to digital technology, grew up with gaming. Just like music, it transcends cultural barriers, creating a virtual community of gamers from all over the world.

All thanks to game development, gaming communities have become fuller, well-rounded, and more connected to the world around us with the various virtual landscapes designed. The play of video games develops a sense of relatedness among gamers, enabling them to empathize with other people’s experiences. This empathy even goes beyond the virtual space to the real world.

Given this, the purpose of game development has greatly expanded as a medium for education and for cause advocacies. The Youth E-nnovation Summit by Mapúa Malayan Colleges Mindanao — one of the Davao City schools offering Entertainment and Media Computing (EMC) — is an example of a game development platform that encourages the gamification of COVID-19 awareness and at the same time fosters social responsibility among young Filipinos.

On the other hand, the rise of gaming popularity is always coupled with misconceptions—its association with violence and aggression. The amount of gore and carnage depicted in games such as Infinity Ward’s Call of Duty and NetherRealm Studios’ Mortal Kombat may have been reasons for correlation with said negative behaviors. While arguments on this may provide helpful insights when it comes to building healthy media habits, recognizing gaming’s beneficial influence on young people and to the improvement of the society is just as important. 

Enhancement of Mental Skills

Gaming is not at all a mindless activity. Among the benefits of video game playing is its ability to develop the cognitive skills of end-users. Video gaming impacts the ability of every player to follow instructions, analyze, make decisions, and come up with creative solutions to the challenges presented in short bursts. It primes the brain to be mindful of situational changes in the game landscape and be strategic in dealing with immediate problems.

Effective Educational Tool

Video games are modern forms of communications as it reshapes the way we receive information. Valuable knowledge coming from entertaining media has proven to be retained longer as exciting experiences tend to create recall. Gaming also encourages students to keep on learning since they find these activities much more appealing and engaging.

Community Building

Online gaming can link people from different parts of the world all at once which is an effective way of socializing under quarantine. Massively multiplayer online games allow players to come together in the virtual space and interact with one another, encouraging teamwork among themselves, in order to win a game. The competitive aspect in gaming intensifies social bonds among groups of gamers, regardless if they know them personally or not.

Raising Awareness to Relevant Social Issues

As they become mainstream, video games may be considered a perfect channel to reach out and involve people, especially the youth, in advocacies and good causes. The potential of this sector in raising awareness of relevant social issues ranging from COVID-19 to climate change is endless. 

Developing games integrated with relevant information is a step forward in utilizing video games as allies in creating transformative solutions for the society and in advocating social responsibility among the youth. 

Photo by cottonbro from Pexels

While gaming is not without its downsides, learning about its features and using its positive potentials toward productive investments may be helpful at a larger scale—enhancing the state of the world one step at a time.

As an educational institution, Mapúa Malayan Colleges Mindanao (MapúaMCM) plays a significant role in shaping young Filipinos’ civic participation. MapúaMCM recently launched its first Youth E-nnovation Summit (YES), an annual technology and development initiative advocating the expansion of the technological landscape and a platform for the creation of transformative and sustainable solutions to issues around us such as the global pandemic.

For this year, MapúaMCM YES is conducting a game development competition centered on raising awareness and creating solutions on COVID-19 mitigation by engaging youth creativity in empowering the community against the pandemic. The competition is in connection with the DOST-funded research initiative, RESILIEMC, led by MapúaMCM and partnered with the University of the Philippines Mindanao (UP Mindanao), Davao Medical School Foundation (DMSF), Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC), and Davao Regional Medical Center (DRMC).

The MapúaMCM YES is calling for game development proposals from all Senior High School and College students in Davao City and from schools within Mindanao to share their knowledge and creativity in the COVID-19 mitigation.