Mainstream Video Games and Real World Problems

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Mainstream Video Games and Real World Problems

Video gaming, once perceived to be a childish and addictive endeavor, is now understood to have particular positive implications on gamers’ cognitive and emotional health. Decades of research behind the premise and structure of the games have helped ensure that the new generation of video games provides users with entertainment and problem-solving skills for navigating contemporary society. An example of such a game is Activision’s “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare.” With the wave of mass shootings in the United States, most debates around the game center on its effect on child aggression and responses to defeat. However, closer attention to its impacts also reveals improved online peer relations and resilience to defeat. Even though society’s understanding of game-based learning remains limited, playing Call of Duty is bound to enhance the player’s critical thinking and problem-solving skills and peer relations, helping tackle mental health problems associated with self-esteem and social isolation.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare (2019) is Activision’s sixteenth gaming package in the Call of Duty series. According to Hume, the story behind the game is described as darker and more reflective of the features of contemporary warfare (paragraph 4). The game centers on an elite Black Ops team executing a mission amidst a coup in the Middle East staged by dictator Khaled Al-Asad (Swan paragraph 4). The squad is on a special mission to retrieve and secure missing nuclear materials that are believed to be stored in a tanker in the middle of the Arabian Sea. The team heads toward the tanker only to realize that it is a trap set by the dictator. While the team avoids the trap, it also captures and interrogates Al-Asad, where they find the real perpetrators of the attack and the missing nuclear materials, a Russian Ultranationalist leader, Imran Zakhaev (Swan paragraph 5). The mission now changes to capturing or killing the radical Russian loyalist.

The environment and interactions in Call of Duty are vital in the user’s understanding of how people might perceive and react to adverse human situations. Scientific evidence has revealed that increased exposure to aggression does not always result in real-world behaviour (Siota paragraph 4). There needs to be a mediating factor to facilitate this transfer of behaviour. As a result, the aggressive engagements in the games provide educators with the unique ability to capitalize on the games and promote behavioural reflection. The role play and implications included in the game positively shape how children approach real-life problems. Online gaming has also been shown to improve peer relationships. The American Psychological Associated states that Call of Duty helps friends enhance their thinking capacity by perceiving objects in three dimensions (Ivan Hoe paragraph 3). The more the gamers identify and discuss the objects, the better the peer relations and problem-solving skills developed.

Mainstream video games continue to take on a new and different light in the public domain, with more and more research affirming their importance in problem-solving. From inspiring children to taking on STEM-based careers to enhancing resilience to failure, there are no limits to the positive emotional and cognitive implications of gaming. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare’s creative storytelling, fictional narratives, sense of misdirection, and occasional plot twists provide gamers with all the environmental requirements for understanding human behaviours in extreme situations. As interactive games become more complex in their designs and narratives, educators, school administrators, and parents must identify new strategic ways of ensuring gameplay results in positive thinking and action. The subsequent step is improving collaboration between game creators and educators to ensure the incorporation of academic content into the games. A combined effort has a greater potential of guaranteeing holistic and beneficial implications for gameplay.

Works Cited

Hume, Mike. “Modern Warfare’ Does Ripped from the Headlines in the Worst Way.” The Washington Post, 25 September 2022,, Accessed 21 May 2023.

Ivan Hoe, N. “Study Shows Gaming Improves Peer Relationship, Problem-Solving.” KSAT, 15 October 2022,, Accessed 21 May 2023.

Siota, Stephen. “Well-Designed Video Games Can Enhance Problem-Solving Skills and Make Learning More Effective.” UCONN Education, 29 May 2013, //, Accessed 21 May 2023.

Swan, Cameron. “Recapping Modern Warfare’s Story Before Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2” Game Rant, 21 October 2022, //, Accessed 21 May 2023.

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