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First-person shooters have always been among some of the most contentious video games. In the 1990s, Doom, Duke Nukem, and Wolfenstein 3D all stirred controversy for their graphic violence. Now that pretty robust age rating systems are in place, few shooting games have caused much of a stir upon their release. They’re at the forefront of the esports scene, while games like Apex Legends, PUBG, and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive continue to top the Steams charts. Elsewhere, there’s been a rethink about the influence of shooting games in general, with many experts agreeing that the genre can yield many big benefits for players.
They Encourage Cooperation
Although you’ll encounter the occasional single-player shooting game, most have embraced a multiplayer model. Now that broadband connections and online gaming servers are within the reach of most people, multiplayer gaming has never been in a healthier place. Titles like Counter-Strike: Global Offensive regularly have more than 1.6 million gamers playing concurrently. However, any online teams looking to succeed need to be able to cooperate.
As with MOBA games, first-person shooters are built on teamwork. There’s a case to be made that multiplayer gaming can improve team-building in general. In fact, one Bingham Young University study suggests that people who play video games together, even for a short period, tend to perform better as a team in the real world.
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Shooting Games Can Sharpen Cognitive Abilities
Despite what your parents might have told you, playing video games won’t turn your brain to mush. Instead, responsible play might even help you fine-tune your cognitive abilities. Some studies have shown that video games can help people improve concentration levels and enhance visuospatial abilities. In theory, skills learned while playing video games can be translated into everyday life. An improved visuospatial ability has broad applications, including making sense of the environment around you and remembering where specific items are.
Improved hand-eye coordination can be achieved by playing just about any type of video game, including platformers and RPGs. However, shooting games are particularly effective at sharpening those sensorimotor skills. It’s easy to see why. A typical shooting game involves players having to recall and input complex
commands while keeping an eye on the action around them. Once again, this ability can be replicated in the real world, helping streamline everyday tasks.
They Foster a Sense of Community
Nobody’s denying that toxicity doesn’t exist within the gaming community. In fact, as many as half of female gamers have reported being the victim of in-game. While gamers need to be vigilant of the risk of this damaging behavior, multiplayer shooting games do have the potential to improve social skills.
Now that most people play online, gaming has taken on an entirely new social aspect. Casual groups of friends who game together can now seriously consider aiming for amateur esports leagues and beyond. What’s more, social platforms like Twitch provide another platform for connecting with fellow players.
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