Friday, 6 July 2018

DGE Day Two: Gaming is good for you - and everyone else

Master of Ceremonies, Derek de Froberville, goes the extra mile to support the gamers at the Durban Gaming Expo.

DEBBIE TURRELL

IT'S Day Two of the Durban Gaming Expo (DGE), and the hall at the Durban Exhibition Centre has been filling steadily. This morning has featured rounds of CS:GO (Counter-Strike: Global Offensive). All the action between the teams on stage has been going live to screen and live streamed to the Durban Gaming Expo's Facebook, YouTube and Twitch, and much “Ooo!” and “Aah!” from the pit has kept the mood edgy in the hall. We’re guessing the same edge-of-your-seat excitement is being felt by the (so far) hundreds of people following the live stream across the world.

At the same time, the Fifa 2018 competition is continuing elsewhere in the DGE hall. To watch that though, you’ll need to get yourself down here, as EA rules prevent us from live streaming that for you. Sorry.

On another note, for parents who might worry that all this screen time might not be a good thing, here’s an interesting take. The latest research suggests that perhaps you should actually let your kids spend more time gaming it could be better for your family and society at large.

This might seem counterintuitive and challenge many people’s assumptions about what we think we know. More gaming, especially violent games, can only create more problems, right?

But new studies reported on yesterday by the New Yorker's Alan Burdick ask an interesting question: how does what we view on screen affect what we don't do? It may seem obvious, but one thing we don't do while gaming and watching TV is commit crimes. And there seems to be a relationship between the sales of violent games, and a drop in crime rates.

In a University of Texas study, data from the United States’ National Incident-Based Reporting System between 2005 and 2008 compared the weekly incidence of violent crimes to the retail sales of the fifty top-selling video games. Researchers found that increased sales of violent games corresponded to slight drops in the crime rate, but the same was not true of nonviolent games.

Another study found that for every one-per-cent increase in the number of video-game stores in a given U.S. county, the crime rate fell by a tenth of a percentage point — a small decline, but not the increase that one would expect.

The idea goes by several names, such as the crime-substitute hypothesis, or routine-activity theory, but in a nutshell, Burdick concludes that “people have found better things to do than commit crime, and those activities involve screens”.

It’s an interesting perspective, and those interested in reading further can find the full article here


Fifa 2018 competitors on Day Two at the Durban Gaming Expo.

CS:GO competitors on Day Two at the Durban Gaming Expo.
Keith Farr from Crosspond, taking charge of the live streaming at the Durban Gaming Expo.

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