West TN STEM Hub
What Is Life Without Video Games?

Yo guys! In my opinion, I think the best invention in life is video games!!!!!!! 

(Some people may argue with me about that but I’ll stick to my own opinion.)

What is life without video games? I do not want to think about that because my head would literally explode from that lack of imagination!

Video Games have always been there for us ever since 1958. In fact, did you know that a physicist actually created the first video game? 

http://www.aps.org/publications/apsnews/200810/physicshistory.cfm

It was a very simple tennis game.

Now throughout the years, video games have been improving and the graphics have become more realistic!

A lot of people said that video games are bad for your mind and may make you do crazy stuff, but in my opinion, I do not think that is true. If a person does something crazy, just remember that you should not blame it on the game but blame it on the person! 

Here are some benefits of playing video games and how video games have impacted us in so many ways!

1. Games help children who are ill, have injuries, or have mental disabilities. Playing video games can distract the mind from pain and discomfort. The University of Utah released a study last year that examined the effects of regular gaming on children diagnosed with illnesses like autism, depression, and Parkinson’s disease. Kids who play video games, including one designed just for the study, showed signs of improvement in resilience, empowerment, and a fighting spirit.’ Researchers believe that video games help boost kids’ moods as they face the daily challenges of their illnesses. In February 2013, the Italian researchers presented evidence that playing fast-paced video games can improve the reading skills of children with dyslexia.

2. Video Games can be used as a form of therapy, both physical and psychological. A study that found that gamers who suffered from mental health issues such as stress and depression were able to vent their frustration and aggression by playing video games. A lot of people use first-person shooters as a way to release their frustration and anger. Psychologists at the University of Washington created a game that helps hospital patients suffering from physical pain by distracting them from their injuries. The virtual reality game “Snow World” put patients in a world where they throw an endless arsenal of snowballs at a series of targets. Military hospitals found that the game helped soldiers recover from their battlefield wounds. The soldiers who played “Snow World” required less pain medicine during their rehabilitation. Gaming releases endorphin in the brain, a chemical that is generally associated with happiness and capable of numbing discomfort. Gaming also allows the brain to stay busy using other senses instead of focusing on pain. 

3.Video Games Can Improve Your Vision. Who says video games are bad for your eyes? Researchers believe that the process of locating and aiming at enemies exercises gamers’ eyes. And with bad guys unpredictably popping up, the shooting games also helped players learn to analyze optical data on the fly. The researchers believe that their study shows the potential of video games to serve as an aid in the way we correct bad eyesight. They also believe that these games are so fast-paced that they require an extreme amount of attention, training the visually impaired to view things more sharply.

4. Video Games can be a great way to escape reality. I remember when I was in high school and I wanted to get away from the stress of homework, projects, and grades. To me, the best way to get away from that was through video games. When I play video games, it feels like I am the character and I  am in another world. It feels like I am the character himself and his story is my story. 

5. Video Games can help with a person’s strategical thinking, decision making skills, and problem-solving skills. Now this is true for people who play strategy games or role-playing games. There is a genre called tactical role-playing games or Simulation RPGs as they are known in Japan. Like Final Fantasy Tactics Advance for example.

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Usually in tactical role-playing games, they stage is set like a chess board and there are numerous goals you have got to accomplish like capturing your enemy, defeat every enemy on the grid, acquire an item without being defeated by your enemies, protect your ally, etc. 

Here is an example of the game layout:

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Pretty cool, right?

Now, I can tell you a bunch of examples of me defeating a boss or completing a level by coming up with new strategies but to keep it short, I am just going to tell you one example using the game Star Ocean: Till the End of Time.

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Basically, long story short, the final boss fight was really kicking my butt so I decided enough was enough! I want to beat this boss, beat this game, and move on with my life. So I created a strategy called One Man Army. Okay in the game, the characters that was in my team were Cliff Fittir

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Fayt Leingod

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and Nel Zelpher

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And this was the final boss I had to fight, Luther

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Looks powerful doesn’t he? That is because he was!

So using my One Man Army strategy, I basically played as Cliff first, because he was my strongest character. He was my brute. And I made him and Fayt ambush Luther head-on. And…………they died. Yes, they did but that left only Nel for me to use. Nel was really useful in this fight. She was quick, agile and her attack did some major damage on Luther, though not as much as Cliff. Her attack gave more damage than Fayt because Nel does double damage in her attack.

So after I lost Cliff and Fayt, I ran around the stage avoiding Luther’s powerful attacks. When he does an attack that shoots balls of lasers out of his wings, I run up behind him (because his back is open to attack) and struck him with my attack. So that is basically what I did until I defeated him. I hit and ran basically. But it worked and it required a lot of patience but it is good to see all of that pay off when I finally completed this challenging game and challenging boss fight. 

But enough about that, lets continue.

6. Video Games can inspire creativity and help people gain self-confidence. This is true because video games taught me how to be creative when doing projects in school and they make feel good about myself when I am feeling down, just like the strategy that I listed above. I felt good when I tried that strategy and defeated the final boss.

7. Video Games Can Make You More Sociable And They Can Make You A Better Team Player. Contrary to popular belief, a gamer is not a lonely person with no friends. People who play MMORPGs (Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games) are very sociable and work together with other team members to complete a mission or defeat a boss. This can be helpful later on in their lives.

8. Video Games Can Give You Motivation. As strange as this may sound, some people, most likely children or teenagers look up to video game characters as inspirational icons. Based on they way the characters act, people can either relate to them or want to be just like them. Also, some people are not addicted to a certain video game or not addicted to video games in general. They are motivated not addicted. I am not going to lie, during those breaks from school like Winter Break and Summer Break, I am always determined and motivated to complete some games that I have. No matter how many times you try and fail, eventually you will always succeed. Just like in video games, you can learn that in real life. I know you high school students played a game where it was mind-blowingly frustrating and hard to complete. But eventually you guys got past it. Everybody has to go through with that. People just need motivation and self-confidence. 

9. Video Games Can Improve Hand-Eye Coordination. (No need to explain this one).

10. Lastly, Video Games Can Give You Knowledge And You Can Apply That To Real Life. Video Games can teach you so many things that you can apply to real life or it can teach you interesting facts.The Final Fantasy series are a perfect example because a majority of all the characters in Final Fantasy have names which have meanings based on their personality, actions, or characteristics. And those names are usually of different language origins like French, Spanish, or Japanese origin, just to name a few. When you look up those names of the characters, you will think “Hmm, that’s clever!” Also, the story of video games can teach you so many things like symbolism and other things. That is where creativity comes from. There are numerous games out there with cool, unique, and creative storylines! Furthermore, video games can teach children or teenagers life-like situations and the consequences or aftermath, whether good or bad, that comes with it. For example, the inFAMOUS series:

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Players control a guy named Cole MacGrath who woke up one day with superpowers and he is struggling internally whether he should be a good guy or a bad guy. Throughout the game, you will make decisions on doing something good or doing something bad. These are called Karmic Moments. The first Karmic Moment in the game inFAMOUS, is whether to let a bunch of people get food or scare them away thus preventing them from getting the food and leaving it all for yourself to eat. If you pick the first option, Cole’s girlfriend Trish will thank him and if you pick the second option, Trish will scold him for being so heartless even though Cole said he did it for him and his friend. Anyway, this teaches you to be careful about your decisions in life. If you do not study and you have a test coming up, then chances are that you are likely going to fail the test. If you study before the test then chances are you are likely going to pass the test and be happy. So study and make good grades!!!!!!!!!!!(It will pay off in the end!!!!!!!!)

Well, that is enough of my rambling on but my point was that video games are a good invention and they are not as bad as people make them out to be. HAH! TAKE THAT NAYSAYERS!!!!!!!!

LOL, Just kidding.

Also, this past summer, I modified my PS2 to play international games. And I played Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja 5 from Europe (Its a shame this game was never released in America, but I had fun playing it!) The whole game was translated to English but it kept the Japanese voice track.

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And I also played Naruto: Uzumaki Ninden (translated to English, it is Naruto: Uzumaki Chronicles)

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I just beat this game for the second time and I have to say IT IS AMAZING!!!!!!! This game was released in America under Naruto: Uzumaki Chroncles but it was edited to prevent spoilership. This game was released too early in America. The American version of Naruto was not caught up yet with Japan so I do not know why on earth they released this game too early. As a result, they some removed some characters, FMV cutscences, boss fights, and missions from the American version. When I played the American version back in 2008, I thought it was okay. Not bad but could have been better but it turns out that the American is WAY different than the Japanese version.  THE JAPANESE VERSION IS 10 TIMES BETTER THAN THE AMERICAN VERSION!!!!!!! And I recorded my gameplay of this game and I plan to post it on YouTube and translate the whole thing to English for my viewers. So basically, I am about to do a Let’s Play. I plan to keep doing this with some other Japanese Naruto games that were not released in America. NARUTO VIDEO GAMES ARE AWESOME AND ACTION-PACKED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Well, enough about that. Again, video games are one of the best inventions on earth and they are very helpful in so many ways.

And yes, video games are STEM-related. A physicist created the first video game and video games are a combination of computer science, technology, computer engineering, and math, and physics!

Have a Nice Weekend!

-Herve Aniglo

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The Best Invention

I think the best invention is a speaker. A speaker can allow you to be the life of the party or give you the privacy that you have been looking for all day. Speakers work by the use of an electromagnet. Basically an electromagnet is a coil that creates a magnetic field when a current is run through it. This electromagnet is mobile, while the permanent magnet placed in front of the speaker is well, permanent. The magnets are connected to a cone, the speaker, which amplifies the vibrations. This moves the sound waves into the air and toward wherever you want it to go.

Just think how lost we would be without the ability to communicate over long distances. Things in our generation would be tremendously different. No phones, no T.V., no music. What would the world be without music?

The Best Invention

This is Max Turner, a secondary education major with Biology as my desired major field, here on the STEM blog trying to make a difference in the minds of our youth.  Hope you all like what you see.

As I sit here in my room wondering what the greatest invention could be it hits me like a ton of bricks. My stomach rumbles in the search for the best invention. As I put a meal in the microwave, hit two minutes and walk back to my computer to think what I consider the greatest invention. All of the sudden I hear a loud beep and then it occurs to me, the invention that I am searching for is right in front of me.

The microwave is a wonderful piece of technology that has been of use to everyone from college students to five star chiefs. The use of this brilliant piece of technology has played a major role in the way food is prepared, packaged, and delivered. You can do so many things with this simple appliance that it would take a variety of other appliances just to match up. This is my idea of the best invention, or at least until I am not hungry anymore.

How can STEM help my community?

Why should we care about STEM careers? There are several reasons for this but I want to discuss one in particular.

People with STEM education are trained to solve complex problems.

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Now, of course, not all of these problems involve integro-differential equations, like the one above. In fact, there are numerous problems we encounter everyday that require some form of STEM education to solve efficiently. As our communities grow, they become more complex. I’ll give you simple example:

My relatively small hometown in Mississippi has seen exponential growth in the last several years. Because our population has grown, so have our schools. This has lead to some problems with traffic flow.

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The high school near my home only has one entrance/exit that is right off one of the busiest streets in town. School traffic is a major problem in the early morning and mid afternoon hours. Earlier this semester, some students weren’t even making it to class on time because of traffic!

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Yikes! I hope it’s not test day!

Fortunately, there are people who study these kinds of problems and utilize their knowledge of science and math to determine the best way solve them. They are called traffic engineers! My university, The University of Memphis, offers a special track in Civil Engineering that focusses exclusively on traffic engineering.

Who knows, maybe one of you will become a traffic engineer and redesign the roadways in my hometown! In fact, PLEASE DO, I’m tired of waiting in traffic! Haha! =^)

Until next time,
Mark, Electrical Engineering Major

In my opinion..

The best invention that I can think of to date is probably the airplane.

I hope you think so too, because airplanes are SO COOL! With the invention of the airplane, humans can travel anywhere in the world in hardly any time at all.

I mean, the record for shortest flight around the WORLD, the entire world, is 42 hours and 23 minutes. Think about it: that is less than two days! The circumference of the earth is 24,901 miles. And it was travelled in less than two days! 

I mean, how do airplanes fly? Humans have found a way to make a huge hunk of metal fly in the air while carrying people, goods, or other vehicles! 

The average weight of the Boeing 747 (one of the largest commercial airplanes) is 487.5 tons, or 975,000 pounds at take off. What! That’s crazy! To put that into perspective, an 18 wheeler full of cargo weighs about 112,000 pounds.. So flying an airplane is like flying almost 9 full 18 wheelers in the air! 

My favorite plane is the Antonov An-225 Mriya. Designed by the soviet union in the 1980s, this monster is the largest plane in the world!

This is an image of it taking off

Here is it being loaded with cargo

And here it is behind one of those airport trucks!!!!!!!

LOOK HOW BIG IT IS! The car looks like it might be a blazer or a expedition. Those are huge! But it looks so small next to the Mriya, it is hardly as big as one of the engines!!! 

If science doesn’t make you super excited, you ought to read more about stuff like this! Science doesn’t have to be boring! Find stuff you like, and look it up! There is always some kind of science behind it!

Corinna

Mechanical Engineering

The Best Invention Ever

In this day and age, we never really consider how technology or inventions have made life so simple. Now that I am asked to actually think about it, trying to pick just one invention that tops everything else is one of life’s hardest tasks. They are everywhere: computers, glasses, television, garage door openers, cars, etc. Even the simple invention of light is taken for granted. Personally for me, I have come to the conclusion that the best invention ever made has to be the one thing I cannot go a day without…the cellphone. 

Honestly…can you actually remember when you did not have a cellphone? I use it for everything. I have a portable internet in my pocket. I have access to all the words in the world just in a dictionary app. All my events are scheduled in my calendar (without my phone, I would not remember my sister’s birthday). It makes communicating with my loved ones far away so much easier. I can play games whenever I get bored. I can measure my weight or see how far I’ve walked. And if it was not for my cellphone, I probably would not be able to wake up in the morning since it also serves as my alarm clock. It amazes me how much this small product can do. However, the cellphone was not always the way it is now. The invention of the cellphone is always growing. There is always a new style or something added to it that makes it better. 

My life is basically in my pocket. All my pictures, my music, my social media, my emails, my notes, my schedule..you get the idea. Without my phone, I would be a mess, and I’m sure I’m not the only one. So now I have to give time to thank Mr. Martin Cooper who is the “father of the cellphone” or also known as the creator of the best invention ever. Thanks to him, my life is so much easier.  

Hooray for technology, 

Michaih Bayani

The Greatest Invention!

What is the best invention made to date? As I sat there trying to pinpoint the best invention, I realized it was at my very finger tips. The personal computer is, in my opinion, the greatest invention of all time.

In your personal computer, you can access the internet, which allows you to access a database of knowledge far more vast than any book or person. You can call and even see someone on Skype that lives across the world from you! There’s a calculator, calendar, clock, compass, and any other thing you may need at any given time. Along with these tools, there are ports that allow you to charge your phone and other devices through your personal laptop. Storage is another useful tool that the personal computer provides you with. The storing of thousands of documents, pictures, videos, projects, and data is possible to do.

It’s safe to say that whether or not you believe it to be the single greatest invention or not, it definitely proves to be extremely useful to every person who has a personal computer! It just makes everyone’s lives easier.

Cheers!

Holland Aguayo

B.S. Civil Engineering

The Best Invention

Hey guys, I’ve got an interesting question up for discussion today.

What on earth is the best invention? My fellow bloggers have pointed out some great ones but I submit the following as the best invention of all time.

The Wheel!

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The earliest recorded use of the wheel for transportation is sometime in the Bronze age, or 3500 BC. And man has it taken us places since then. While other more complex inventions have had major impact on our daily lives, I can’t think of one invention that is so universally utilized everyday across the globe. 

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All in all I would say it is a “well-rounded” invention, wouldn’t you?

-Mark

What is the best invention?

With so many brilliant and fascinating inventions out in the world today, I believe the discovery of the optical lens is revolutionary. I mean think about it, nearly all people develop and experience vision problems at one point in their life; therefore, without optical lenses the world would be somewhat blurry. Not a good thing! Everyone should have the opportunity to experience a clear view of the beauty our world possesses because being denied the ability to see the splendor of art, nature, and human life is terrible.

But not only has the invention of the optical lens improved human eyesight, it has also contributed to numerous astronomic and scientific discoveries. For example, optical lenses have provided a new perspective on astronomy; with telescopes, matter such as clouds, planets, and stars can be visualized in immense detail. Additionally, with the invention of microscopes, the study of bacteria, particles, and organisms not capable of being seen by the naked eye has become possible.

All in all, I’d say the discovery of the optical lens has made a positive impact on the way humans live life. The concept of light refracting through a piece of glass or plastic may seem like such a simple thing, but it is essential for continual improvement and knowledge in everyone’s lives.

Jennifer Lo

Best Invention Ever Made

I didn’t realize how hard it was to choose the best invention ever made until I was asked to write about. After some thought I gave up and began my calculus homework. As I was doing my homework I pulled out my calculator. Then it came to me. The calculator is the best invention ever made. 

I don’t know about you guys, but the calculator has made my life so much easier. Even though I love math I’ll admit it can get challenging at times so I am grateful for the calculator being there for me. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t depend on my calculator I just like to use it when I’m being timed or to check my work. It amazes me how some calculators can now calculate a whole problem. All you have to do is type in the problem and click enter.  Nowadays you can even play games on them. If that isn’t impressive I don’t know what is.

-Maria Munoz💙