I remember playing my first video game, Snake, more than thirty years ago. Over time games have become more entertaining and complex. When I was a kid my parents used to stop me from playing games, saying they were bad for me.
Over the years research has shown that playing video games can be beneficial. Surgeons play games to improve hand-eye coordination. Kids are learning the basic concepts of technology, savings and other skills through games.
Games are also used for helping reduce stress and improve well being of players. Games allow the player to immerse their mind and thoughts into the game, leaving their worries. Therefore burn victims are told to play snow and ice themed games to help them heal better and reduce their pain.
Because of the improved graphics quality of games, they are now used to teach skills and knowledge. For example, a chemistry game allows the students to mix different chemicals and see the reaction, in a game of test tube mixing.
Similarly, Oil and Gas companies are using games to train workers on equipment on oil rigs. While flight simulator game has been used by pilots for training. There are many more simulator games like farming, train and boat simulators.
Pakistan should tap into this gaming market and use it to generate jobs and spread knowledge. The government should promote game companies by offering zero tax for five years and then slowly increasing tax on the industry. Similarly, the government should fund the production of games that teach new skills to its players.
The government should also hold competitions for teaching interactive games for adults. Every participant would submit a game concept that would tackle that year’s competition with its theme problem. Every entry would get a minimum cash prize and the top three winners would receive a government contract for the development and use of their game.
SHAHRYAR KHAN BASEER P ENGR