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September 12, 2013 / KingsIsle Entertainment

The Benefits of Gaming?

I recently had the opportunity to speak at a conference with Dr. Aaron Delwiche and Dr. Jennifer Henderson discussing gaming. Remember a couple weeks back we did a blog about the research the two professors from Trinity University did with over 34,000 Wizard101 players?  There were other professors and professionals on the panel and in the audience.  The overall tenor of the panel was very positive and I thoroughly enjoyed the conversations that took place both during the panel as well as after.  That being said there was one topic that came up that really bothered me.  It seems that very little work/research is being done on potential benefits of gaming.  From the conversations I had it seemed that a great amount of academic research and funding was going to studies trying to tie video gaming to real world violence or to uncover the downsides to video gaming.

The reason I found this concerning is because over the last 5 years we have been flooded by communications from our players on the benefits they experienced in Wizard101 (and now Pirate101).  I explained in the panel that we have had thousands of submissions of fan art and fan fiction over the years in an era where creative writing and art programs are being cut from our schools.  I also talked about hundreds of messages from parents of autistic children gushing about how significantly their children have progressed interacting socially in Wizard101.  I brought up the stories of children struggling to read that went up multiple reading levels over a summer while playing because they were so intent on reading the story.  There are also stories of people that were housebound or separated from family members that once again have great involvement with community, friends and family through our games.  I told the professors these cases in hopes of a better understanding as to why more research on positive impacts weren’t being pursued.  The answer I got back about why no one is researching the benefits of gaming: government funding isn’t there for this and the press doesn’t seem to think positive findings drive traffic and sales.

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I’m not suggesting parents have a lack of caution or oversight on the levels of violence our children are exposed to or that we shouldn’t have research try to understand the impact.  I have always believed that all activities (physical, educational, entertainment) should be in moderation and balanced.  But I really wish that the academic world and even press coverage of POSITIVE things that come from gaming could get more traction.  As a side note, I was encouraged by President Obama’s positive comments on the potential career opportunities for children that could be exposed to game design at an early age.

I would love to hear if you agree with me and if you have had or seen positive experiences from your gaming.  Thank you!

Fred Howard
Vice President of Marketing

129 Comments

Leave a Comment
  1. David Lionblood/Romantic Duncan / Sep 15 2013 11:24 am

    I really enjoy what this company has to offer between two different POV’s of the spiral. These games have a sort of mild violence and cool creatures. Wizard101 has many sorts of themes relating to the world and such, which gives some thought as to what time and place and wizard is in. Pirate101, love the ships, hopefully a pvp on ships, sounds crazy, but that would be wicked. Kingsisle offers that of what other games don’t offer. The simplicity of this game doesn’t frustrate the children, and quest helper 😛 I think Kingsisle games has some attention to people across the internet and people who came across the comercials on television. The government wouldn’t support entertainment like this because, they don’t know that these games will help the education of many kids to become intelligent and maybe help the government. I’m not gonna get into to anything else about the government because i dunno if any of facts are true. I’m a teen but i would enjoy these games kind of like FOREVER. Hopefully, ( if i have children) and they get to be part of this community, their lives will benefit in socialization, or common knowledge. All in all, these games make my childhood, especially Wizard101, where my friends in real life introduced me to it. I really enjoyed my accomplishments on both games, and yet have finished any storyline, (even though i finished Celestia when that was the latest world.) Aquila, by the way, is awesome. I dunno how else to end this then bye so……… BYE! 🙂

  2. annoying orange / Sep 15 2013 12:08 pm

    My typing has risen allot from playing kingsisle games for the last 4 or 5 years is it I can type 3 words per second 😀

  3. Erick Hernandez / Sep 15 2013 3:40 pm

    Well Kings isle these games have helped me concentrate on my school work like Math and English for example I can calculate what type of attacks I can do next based on what I already know it also helps me with my spelling

  4. Van / Sep 15 2013 5:05 pm

    As a “senior” citizen over the half-century mark, I have started to have many physical limitations. More important is the mental frustration and anxiety that has come with age and the limitations, to the point that I am now officially bi-polar.

    My own doctors recommended me to find some game I would enjoy to relax and side track my anxiety. Now, 5 years later, I play Wizard101 and Pirate101 every day, killing and defeating the monsters and picturing them in my mind as the same “troubles” in my real life.

    You ask how gaming has benefited me? I now see a therapist 1/4 of the time as before, my medication needs are greatly reduced, my mind is sharper and faster thanks to the exercise it gets, and I have met and become friends with some of the most wonderful people I have ever known.

    I guess I can safely say, KI has saved me in many, many ways. Thank you!

    • RAA / Sep 19 2013 10:52 am

      AWWWWW 🙂 That’s so AWESOME I am happy for you!

  5. Paige Alexander / Sep 15 2013 5:33 pm

    I was not very focused in school before I started playing games and now they help me focus in school

  6. Anonymous / Sep 15 2013 7:49 pm

    hi I am david thunder and I have made many friends from all parts of the world and I learned a few things to help me with school and that’s my comment about gameing benefits 😀

  7. johnathan / Sep 15 2013 8:47 pm

    i personally use games as a way to re-leave stress or anger by taking it out on the enemies on the games it also help with hand eye cord-nation don’t know why the press or other organizations harp on the bad stuff cause there is no reason to blame video games or whats on TV or in movies cause when it comes down to it it is up to the person or parents(those who have them)to control what is watched and if the person/people do something wrong they need to own up to it and not blame others.

  8. Betsy Myob / Sep 16 2013 1:36 am

    I love the games on king’s isle they are wonderful therapy for for stroke victims I am one and I have regained a lot of what I lost in the last one. Since I lost most of my short term memory in the last stroke that is saying a lot! My kids and I do family night on pirate 101 because we live so far apart.
    Thank you king;s isle 🙂

  9. albert / Sep 16 2013 5:38 am

    well one of the better realised benefits of gaming is the strategy like pirate101 it has made me smarter in making decisions a lot. A lot of games require a good brain in STRATEGY, games are good for releasing stress and for something to do if you’re bored and most games make you smarter just like me.

  10. Leopard / Sep 16 2013 6:17 am

    You get to meet so many new people… And you make so many friends. 🙂
    A big fan

  11. Seth / Sep 16 2013 8:27 am

    Wizard 101 was my very first experience in online multiplayer gaming. I have to say that i really enjoyed it while the gameplay lasted. Because now i’m older, playing other games, and have other friends on other communitys. But i will always think back to this game and the people that made it possible. It really is a magical experience and i will always love the game no matter how much my friends criticize me for playing it lol. Maybe someday much later, if your games are still around (i hope) i’d like to renew my membership and play it again. some day… maybe… when i’m rich. Because thats what its going to take 😄 no really its alright, i dont mind the prices. i still love the game. i only wish you’d expand it to other consoles if that were possible. And ill always remember everybodys favorite song (commons) for as long as i live… maybe

    • Anonymous / Sep 20 2013 6:44 pm

      I totally agree with you o.o

  12. Anonymous / Sep 18 2013 8:07 pm

    I like it

  13. JustinIceBlade / Sep 18 2013 10:18 pm

    this is a great game it was my first mmo ever i started the first day it came out over the years i have actually been helped the game with my history love what your doin kingsisle

  14. Anonymous / Sep 20 2013 6:43 pm

    I love wizard101 it my favorite game!!! I just love kingsile

  15. flint gold hunter / Sep 21 2013 8:51 pm

    best game ever

  16. flint gold hunter / Sep 21 2013 8:57 pm

    this game is the game of the year.

  17. Anonymous / Jan 22 2014 12:05 pm

    i think for the games for the pets you should have your wizard racing your pet or battle.

  18. Anonymous / Jan 22 2014 1:18 pm

    Hello this is James Leaf here I just wanted to say that this is one of the most and excited games to play, I have been playing this game for about 4 years now and over the years I have experienced all of the thoughts and ideas that Kingisle has put into I love your game and I hope you keep continuing all of your work into the game.

  19. robin arpin / Jan 22 2014 8:11 pm

    i have been playing wizard 101 for 4 years now i have found many true friends and friends that i can call my family they are there for me when i need to talk and i look forward to see them each and everyday that i play thx wizard 101 for the great times i have on here

  20. Anonymous / Jan 27 2014 5:12 pm

    Now that I play Wizard 101 I type 4 times the speed that I did before I started this game!

  21. hots boost / Jul 14 2015 4:32 am

    I agree with the post. Just like everything else in life, gaming has its benefits and can have its harms as well if we overdo it. Still except for games promoting violence I think most games have many advantages as they promote creating strategies, agility, logical reasoning and others. I don’t think parents should simply keep their children away from computer games, but they can try to moderate the process.

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