Later tonight, a group of scholars and games industry professionals with come together to debate whether video games can make people more intelligent and make the world a better place.

The debate will be hosted by the non-profit organisation Intelligence Squared U.S. Debates, and will focus on the questions of whether video games can improve the social awareness and problem-solving skills of players. Debating in favour of these ideas will be Daphne Bavelier and Asi Burak, a cognitive neuroscientist and executive producer respectively. On the other side of the table will be Elias Aboujaoude and Walter R. Boot, a psychiatrist and psychologist respectively.

Taking place in the Kaufman Center in New York, the debate will begin at 6:45p.m. local time and be broadcast live via Intelligence Squared’s website. OnlySP will endeavour to provide a mirror for the panel, but cannot guarantee that the stream is embeddable at the present time.

Both sides in this debate bring valid points to the table. Those arguing for the motion can draw on the use of motion gaming, VR, and educational games in a variety of situations, as well as the social-mindedness of a growing number of video games, such as Firewatch; That Dragon, Cancer; and This War of Mine. The opponents, meanwhile can draw on the desensitising effects of violent video games, the emergence of swatting, and a large number of news reports linking video games to anti-social behaviours.

The debate will also draw on the growing body of academic research that focuses on these topics, as well as the general benefits and detriments that have been attributed to games.

Whichever side wins, the debate is sure to be engaging and informative, so be sure to check it out, and, as always, check back with us here at OnlySP for all the latest from the world of single-player gaming.

Damien Lawardorn
Damien Lawardorn is an aspiring novelist, journalist, and essayist. His goal in writing is to inspire readers to engage and think, rather than simply consume and enjoy. With broad interests ranging from literature and video games to fringe science and social movements, his work tends to touch on the unexpected. Damien is the former Editor-in-Chief of OnlySP. More of his work can be found at https://open.abc.net.au/people/21767

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