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Political Dynasties in the Philippines: In My Opinion

Next year’s Philippine midterm elections are fast approaching and it paints an all too-familiar image once again: candidates that are ei...



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Iligan City’s own rap battle league, “Hinampakay Og Letra” never failed to amuse the Iliganon crowd for three years now since 2010.

About five days before the event proper, I received an invitation from Iliganon rapper buddy Zeff Wayne to be one of the judges for “Hinampakay Og Letra” (which transliterated, means "hitting each other with letters"). was available and I felt it’s a good turn. It was also much like a bit of a reunion with Zeff Wayne, whom I’ve done a YouTube rap video with (together with Spyx), three years ago.

The event was widely participated from various localities. In fact, a delegation from Pagadian City, Zamboanga del Sur and Valencia City, Bukidnon were present; rappers from Marawi City also showed up. A total of 16 battlers engaged in the word wars hosted by the recognized Iliganon rapper Zeff Wayne while A-kill a.k.a. Michael Bangga was the master of ceremonies.

Me, my college pal Jovel Layasan, and my boardmates Peracier Arellano, Jun-Jun Tubio, Dante Villaruel, Jr., headed off to Emon’s KTV Bar in Barangay Poblacion. And to our surprise, the venue was jam-packed. Zeff then welcomed me in time for the commencement of the rap battle competition. It was sponsored by Genx Records, Rapnophobia, DJ Mark Magusara, South Piru Bloods, South Spring Crips, and BBB Familia.
H.O.L. promotional poster for the event.
The battles started at about a quarter to nine in the evening. The event was split to two categories: One-on-one and ‘dos-por-dos’ (“two-on-two” battle clearly inspired from the highly successful FlipTop Battles). The mtaches went on as follows: Amaga versus Marshall Bonifacio; MCPro versus Lil Jay, Rito Monero versus Kenno, and Calix versus Butch.

The combo of Trex Tha’ Don and Dax engaged with BeztMike and Mhanung while the Valencia-based rappers Snyp/Doodz fought with LilBuddha and Don Ramon. Intense battles waged each representing their various places and cliques to the delight of more than a hundred adoring spectators. While occasional slip-ups occur, the ability to think on their feet is highly laudable.
A snapshot of the Hinampakay Og Letra crowd.
After the rigorous eliminations, the veterans proved to reign in the rap battling scene on this part of the Philippines. Everyone was awed by the smooth flow of the Pagadian-based Iliganon Butch Ocsio’s freestyle rhymes both in Visayan and comically in Tagalog against Kenno. All the judges (me, Zeff, Charlie Checa a.k.a. “Emzee”, Alnorodden Pasandalan a.k.a. “Ill Mac” and Genx) gave Butch the unanimous approval.
The equally-awaited dos-por-dos final match between Team Iligan (Trex Tha’ Don & Dax) and Team Bukidnon (Snyp & Doodz) did not disappoint the audience, either. It was a classic see-saw match of witty lines and delivery. An ‘unlimited’ promotional overtime was even done by both teams to showcase their lyrical prowess. The venue was ecstatic and was well-received by both fans and guests. Came the verdict, Team Iligan edged Bukidnon, 3-2. Winners received prize money and clearly, bragging rights in the local hip-hop scene.

Aside from the rap battles, presentations of their own compositions actually made everyone’s head nod in approval. The rappers from Bukidnon performed two tracks all in emphatic Visayan. The Pagadianons and the Iliganons also did the same.
Bangsamoro Family performing their compositions.
Another performance that caught my eyes (and ears) was the performance of the Marawi City-based rap group, “Bangsamoro Family” composed of Cardawi Hadjiamer, Hassan Dita, Mohammad Yasser Gambao a.k.a. “Bugz'T”, and Christine Grace Niegas a.k.a. Yuri). Formed in 2011, the group performed the melodic track “Muntiya saMindanao” in full Maranao vernacular plus the vocals of their lady singer sure ‘rocked’ the house. Who says cultural differences would not make one appreciate hip-hop culture?

On a personal note, ‘Hinampakay Og Letra’ nonetheless surpassed my expectations. As one of the five judges, it was truly a great experience which made me appreciate more this element of hip-hop, being a fan of rap battles for quite sometime. The audience turn-out was also surprising. “Hindi namin inexpect na hahanap-hanapin rin pala ang event” said Zeff Wayne. “I was expecting about 50 people but based on the list last night’s count reached about 150”, he added.
Pioneers Zeff and Spyx. Back in "Hinampakay Og Letra 2010".
In a correspondence, Yuseff Bin Kareem B. Pasandalan (a.k.a. Zeff Wayne) professed that it was his and famed rapper Richard Tutanes’ (a.k.a. Spyx) idea three years back. These members of the Rapnophobia Clan decided to form a rap battle league in Iligan as another way of showcasing the lyricism and rap battling skills of the local rappers (It can be remembered that Iligan City is the hometown of the revered 90’s rapper Michael “Syke” Dolero).
16 Rhymes with their performance.
Hinampakay Og Letra simply affirmed the fact that Mindanao is replete with talented poets and rappers. In the end, the event was a success. Spectators sure got their money’s worth in a night of fun, music, and poetry. While hip-hop as a whole is marred with self-aggrandizement and discord, what I witnessed that night in Iligan City is the exact opposite (Pagadian’s Butch Ocsio and one of the Iligan league’s founder Spyx was in fact, enemies-turned-friends). What I witnessed was a clique of rappers who just love the art of rap battling and hip-hop music.

Despite the raw and explicit lines, amazing enough, rappers remained friends after the matches. It was indeed, a great night for Mindanao hip-hop. Break it down, yo.

Photo Credits:
Yuseff Bin Kareem B. Pasandalan

It is but a common knowledge that Facebook is a modern-day "social gamechanger" in the cyberspace.

Aside from Facebook's chatting feature that is non-existent in the then-famous Friendster, one can post his or her thoughts on the "Facebook Wall". Being a Facebook member since 2007, I've posted hundreds of Wall Posts that is seen by my Facebook friends.

I've made it a point not to post personal stuffs (like what I ate, what are my whereabout, and what-nots) and decided to post mind-tickling jokes, notions, doubts, opinions, satirical statements, beliefs, assertions, assumptions, mockeries, sarcasm, silliness, and other forms of bluster.

Majority of my posts were written in Filipino (the national language of the Philippines) on the hopes of better intelligibility among the majority of my Filipino-speaking Facebook friends.

For the benefit of my blog readers who don't have the luxury of checking out my Facebook posts, I've compiled my monthly posts, these were my posts for the month of November last year. I hope that you'll enjoy the hodge-podge of these ideas and I urge you to share your comment about the posts since one can't click "Like" here.

'Wag kalimutan na ang PINAKAUNANG NALOKO ng taong manloloko ay ang KANYANG SARILI. - JLG

Kaakibat ng pagiging EDUKADO ang pagkakaroon ng BUKÁS na KAISIPAN. - JLG

Kapag binusisi ang isang maliit na parte ng buo, pwedeng malaman ang kabuuan.
Ayos lang naman ito; pero hindi nga lang applicable sa lahat ng pagkakataon. - JLG

Ang sabi nila, isa sa mga palatandaan ng isang baliw ay kapag TINANONG mo kung baliw nga siya, ang isasagot n'ya ay 'Hindi'. Halimbawa'y ikaw naman ang tinanong kung ikaw ay baliw. 'Hindi' rin ba ang isasagot mo? :) - JLG

Ang sari-saring diskriminasyon ay base sa kung ano ang nakikita sa panlabas na anyo. - JLG
Kapag nagPLANO ka na magPLANO. May PLANO ka na nga bang naiPLANO? - JLG

Believe me when I say,
That a little kindness goes a long way. - JLG

Ang karunungan ang sandata at kayamanan ng taong mahirap lamang. - JLG.

Mas nakakaganang mag-aral kapag may kalám ang sikmurà. - JLG.

'Pag ako nagkaaroon ng anak, gusto kong mag-aral siya nang mabuti upang maging ASTRONAUT. Gusto ko kasing MALAYO ang KANYANG MARATING. - JLG

Ang pagkakaroon ng mga ideya ng tao tungkol sa SUPERHEROES ay patunay lamang ng likas na KARUPUKAN at KAHINAHAN ng sangkatauhan. - JLG.

"Ang Damit"
ni JR Lopez Gonzales

Ang damit, may maganda merong pangit,
Merong mamahalin kaya't iba'y naiinggit.
May nakalulusot sa guard kapag napaidlip ng saglit
Sa IIT kasi bawal ang suot na sobrang iksi at liit.

Mga estudyante masaya kapag naipilit,
Na makapasok sa paaralang hindi nakaririnig ng sitsit.
Mga lalaki naman kung makatitig halos ayaw nang pumikit,
Sa saya ni kolehiyala na hapit na hapit.

Anong leksyon ang meron sa tulang binabanggit?
Hindi ko alam, ang aking ideya'y ayoko na ring ipilit.
Mga opinyon sa IIT marami na ang mga nasasambit,
Nang dahil lamang sa patakaran sa pagsuot ng damit.

Hindi na ako nagtaka, kasi nga 'di ba? Berde ang kanilang dugo.

Hindi naman talaga ligaw na bala ang 'ligaw na bala'. Kasi tumama; hindi nga s'ya na ligaw kasi meron talaga siyang tinamaan. - JLG.
Long before running for the Senate in 2010, Attorney Alex Lacson was able to publish a book entitled, “12 Little Things Every Filipino Can Do to Help Our Country” in 2005. The book became a bestseller largely due to Max Soliven’s column entitled, “A Filipino of Faith” in the Philippine Daily Inquirer. The book tells us that it’s not about the people placed on the pedestal. It is us, the Filipino people who holds the country’s fate.

There’s this book I encourage everyone should read (many of you might have actually read it). This book is a best-seller on its first release about five years ago. I deem it necessary for the book's main points to be disseminated as a post-election eye-opener. I see this book’s points fitting to what I would like to share on this blog.

I’ve already made reference on how defective our society is on my previous entries. We need to act now and change our olden and rotten ways. The nice thing about the book is that it opens new insights and remedies on how to make Philippines a better place to live. The book proves the power of little good things that incrementally would help restore our country.

Here are the 12 Little Things Every Filipino Can Do to Help Our Country:

1. Follow traffic rules. Traffic rules are the most basic in this country where pedestrian crossing the pedestrian lane actually stop for passing vehicles. Following them meant we are also following our nation’s laws. Following traffic rules is the lowest form of national discipline we can develop as a people. A culture of discipline is crucial to our destiny as a nation, I deeply believe that this is important in a country of trisikad, tricycles, and jeepneys.

2. Whenever you buy or pay for anything, always ask for an official receipt. Asking for ORs leads to higher tax collections, which means more resources for our government. This could strengthen our economy and (hopefully), lead us to progress.

3. Don’t buy smuggled goods. Buy local. Buy Filipino. In a society where a lot of smuggled Chinese products enter our shores, our money should support our own economy. Bayo, Penshoppe, Bench and more are Filipino-made. Buying Filipino means supporting the Filipino. Or, if you read the book, the suggestion there is: 50-50 (that is, if you really have a hard time looking for a quality Pinoy product).

4. When you talk to others, especially foreigners speak positively about us and our country. Many of us fail to do this (which includes, ahem, me). Although we may speak of the true problems of our country to other people, letting foreigners have a positive view on the Philippines could surely make a difference. “Every Filipino is an ambassador of our country”, Lacson reasons. Wherever we maybe, we are salesmen of our country.
Carrabuena: 'Di dapat tularan.

5. Respect your traffic officer, policeman and soldier. Respect honors and dignifies a man. The Bible, in Romans 13:1-2 says, “Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities...”. It compels him to do his job right.
6. Do not litter. I’ve spoken of Singapore as one of the best model for us to emanate. Let us dispose our garbage properly. We need to segregate, recycle, and conserve. As one of my profs in MSU-IIT said, “The debt of a country’s poverty can be seen on their sanitation”. We should make Philippines a beautiful country. (The Municipality of Linamon, Lanao del Norte’s Model on Solid Waste Management is a good example to all local government units).
7. Support your church. When we help our church, we help The Almighty in His works on earth.

8. During elections, vote. Last General Elections, we witnessed the historic automated polls in the Philippines. By doing our solemn duty, we fight for our right to make our own destiny both as a people, and as a nation.

9. Pay your employees well. While it is true that a business’ main purpose of existence is for profit, a company must bring prosperity not only to its owners but also to its employees. Paying them well helps their families, too.
10. Pay your taxes. Tax is the bread and butter of the government (Re: 'Lifeblood Theory'). It is what builds our public schools, hospitals and roads. It is what pays our teachers, soldiers and other public servants.
11. Adopt a scholar or a poor child. To illustrate this point, let me share this:

Once in one of my Comparative Politics class under Dr. Marilou Nanaman back in college, an American teaching at MSU-IIT gave a talk about his hometown in Eastern Europe. After the pep talk, personal questions were asked. He was asked if how many children he has. All chuckled with his answer that he’s got SIX children. But all of us were enlightened with his answer why he had a lot of kids. He explained that after his second child, he has intentionally undergone a vasectomy and adopted four different orphans of different racial backgrounds to be his legitimated children.

His story deeply left a mark in my heart. There are many rich people in this country, wouldn't it be nice if they would use their resources to help poor but deserving students? Investing on our youth is investing on our country’s future. A kind of value that is really close to our family's heart.
12. Be a good parent. I remember the passage in the bible that says, “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” (Proverbs 22:6 King James Version). We should teach our children to follow the law and love our country. If we start planting seeds of patriotism in the hearts and minds of our youth today, they would become patriots of our country in the future. Families are the core, the basic units of the society. We need to make the foundation strong and become responsible parents.
If we aim to be like Singapore, Korea, or Japan, we need to be good citizens. We can by doing simple things which would compliment to a successful government. Attorney Alex Lacson's pamplet is a nice way of letting us realize that we can change our country. As Lacson put it in his book: “The answer is in us as a people; that hope is in us as a people".

Author's Note: This article appeared on my old blog about two years back.

Photo Credit:

♪ Oppa Gangnam style! ♫
After the F4 Invasion in the mid-2000s, the Korean pop music took over the Philippines in an astonishing fashion. From the Koreanovelas to the Korean Pop, the Philippines, is apparently infected with the K-Pop virus.

The Korean popular music or K-Pop is a musical genre consisting of dance, electronic, electro-pop, hip hop, and R&B music [1] originating in South Korea (obviously heavily influenced by Uncle Sam) which has currently been taking the global music charts by st
orm. It has undoubtedly caught the interest of the growing new generation of this country of Videoke-singers. That kind of trend where everyone would warble the English chorus and mumble on those in difficult-to-pronounce Korean lyrics.

The "Oh baby, baby, baby" days are over.
According to 2009 figures, about 8.8 million South Korean albums were sold worldwide and its retail value was $93 million dollars in 2009 [2]. This leads to the burning question: What’s the secret to the K-Pop’s success?

Firstly, I believe it’s on its Western packaging. Obviously, Korean traditions and culture are not reflected in most of the K-Pop music as their Just take a look on a screenshot of this music video of SNSD’s hitsong, “Oh!” and you’ll know what I mean.

SNSD: American football cheerleaders.
Unlike the ‘cutey’ and obviously ‘childish’ image and singing style of their neighbor Japan, K-Pop has a more mature image which played a big role in making their albums sell like pancakes. Another staple for K-Pop is when scantily-clad girls with ‘weird’ hairdos to gyrate and sing to heavy danceable tunes. (Did I mention that some K-Pop males are androgynous?).

The dance moves, are apparently easy-to-follow, too. Another K-Pop trademark is when singers switch their positions while singing and dancing by making synchronized moves in order for every member of a band to be at the middle of the dance formation. These attributes, not to mention the song lyrics which only contain an English phrase or two, make K-Pop one of the most lucrative business in the global music industry.

In 2009, Wonder Girls, one of Asia’s most successful music artists who sold millions of singles including the international #1 songs “Tell Me”, “So Hot” and “Nobody”, debuted on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart. The Wonder Girls are also notable for touring with the Jonas Brothers as well as making guest appearances on various American TV Shows. Add to that their collaboration with Akon in the track, “Like Money”. Other girlbands such as Bing Bang and Girls’ Generation are enjoying huge global, language barrier-breaking success. Prior to them, Rain, known to many Filipinos because of the Clear shampoo commercial, is also a world-famous Korean popstar.

Up to this moment, K-Pop is steadily gaining influence in foreign markets outside of Asia, including North America that last year, Billboard officially launched the Korea K-Pop Hot 100.  Thanks to the free marketing the Internet has done for them via Facebook and YouTube.

In the light of the Korean success in the Philippine music market and due to our predilection to imitate launched our own P-Pop, some music execs had ‘Korean-looking’ Filipinos who formed boybands and girlbands. A cheap shot, I have to say. That which testifies to our lack of creativity and originality.

I take pride in saying that "The Filipinos are one, if not the best, of all the singers in the world".
Why not fish for better talents through apprenticeship? “Apprenticeship” (not the jargon we have from our Labor Code), is the universal strategy for nurturing girl groups, boy bands, and solo artists in the K-Pop industry. To guarantee the high probability of success of new talent, talent agencies fully subsidize and oversee the professional lives and careers of trainees, often spending in excess of $400,000 to train and launch a new artist.
Yes. We need to fish for better Filipino talents.
Through the practice of apprenticeship, which often lasts two years or more, trainees hone their voices, learn professional choreography, sculpt and shape their bodies through exercise, and study multiple languages all the while attending school. This is the kind of training Sandara Park (now called as “Dara” of 2NE1) underwent. In retrospect, Sandara Park, a popular actress in the Philippines after winning in ABS-CBN’s Star Circle Quest artist search competition does not know how to dance or even sing like she does now in the Korean ‘apprenticeship’.

With proper packaging and apprenticeship, Korean performers break the language barrier and continues to leave marks on the global music scene. Now, this made me wonder whether the Philippines could also manage to duplicate K-Pop world success. Or can we do it without looking and sounding ‘too Westernized’? I don’t know when would that happen, meanwhile, I just have to “keep calm and Gangnam Style.

[2] RIAJ: Yearbook 2011, IFPI 2009 Report: 33. Global Sales of Recorded Music by Country in 2009 (Page 23)". Recording Industry Association of Japan. Retrieved 2011-04-25.

[1] Holden, Todd Joseph Miles; Scrase, Timothy J. (2006). Medi@sia: global media/tion in and out of context. Taylor & Francis. p. 144. ISBN 978-0-415-37155-1. Retrieved 5 December 2011. "Since the 1990s, the term “K-Pop” has become popularized to refer to Korean popular music, being widely used throughout East and Southeast Asia”. Accessed on 2 September 2012.

Photo Credits:

"Singing Videoke Guy" and "Keep Calm and Gangnam Style"taken from Facebook.
"F4 Look-a-likes" taken from

After about forty-three days of grueling hours at the Senate, the impeachment court finally came up with a decision which led Renato Corona to vacate the chief magistrate post.

Last May 29, he was found guilty of Article II of the Articles of Impeachment filed against him pertaining to his failure to disclose to the public his statement of assets, liabilities, and net worth which accordingly, is ‘a violation betrayal of public trust and/or culpable violation of the constitution’. It was Corona’s failure to declare his $2.4 million and P80 million in his annual statement of assets, liabilities, and net worth (SALN) which caused his downfall.

The prosecution was able to prove a prima facie case at least on the said article of impeachment which, in turn, forced the defense to present witnesses Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales and the former Chief Justice himself. While the defense panel claimed that it may be true but it was not an impeachable offense. The result of the voting from the 20 of the 23 senator-judges proved to be the contrary. The defense made themselves lose when they let those two sat in the witness stand.
But after the ramblings, argumentations, the Whaas, and the soaring blood pressure of Sen. Santiago, some things are certain: we have to move on and learn from the historic trial’s feats and blunders. Here are some of the lessons we may infer:

First is preparation’s utmost essential before going to any court war. Information presented to the court should always be squeaky-clean and ‘authorized’. And with that I mean that the alibis should be ironed out and not just say that there was a ‘small lady’, or ‘someone left it at the gate’, or it was from an ‘anonymous source’. The impeachment trial may be sui generis yet the case must be made carefully and thoroughly… especially when you’re facing against the battle-grizzled former Justice Serafin Cuevas.

Secondly, one should keep his or her calmness; we’ve got to learn it from Manong Johnny himself. Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile certainly gave a command performance, especially in the proceedings’ most critical moments (such as when Corona’s sudden departed from the stand or the closing arguments and his inquiries to Justice Cuevas). His professionalism, mutual respect, and experienced reference to jurisprudence are very praiseworthy. Interestingly, when one’s a witness, one shouldn’t do things that may insult the judges. Probably like walking out of the halls.

Thirdly, a public servant has to be transparent for the sake of public accountability. While the defense panel had argued that Corona’s exclusion of his dollar accounts from his SALN was done in “good faith”; it is certainly an honest public servant’s best interest to actively disclose his SALN.

Despite ruling out that Corona’s challenge for a mutual waiver on bank confidentiality is a ‘publicity stunt’, public officials should’ve declared their SALNs, too. I believe that the rest of the government has to do the same. Talking about transparency, it became clear that the country needs the Freedom of Information Act to be passed.

The result of the impeachment will best be preserved if the Filipino people can help create a ‘culture of accountability and trust’ between the leaders and the governed. FOI is a powerful deterrent to corruption which, in turn, enhances public participation in governance. 
To sum up, we might say that the successful conclusion of the impeachment trial has demonstrated the strength of our constitutional institutions and the faith of the Filipino people in the same. These are the much important values that would sure have lasting effects on Philippine governance.

But it is not enough to penalize our officials; we must now help them in good governance and for accountability work… and not to just watch things on TV while munching on our favorite ‘picha’ pie.

Here's my old entry that I failed to post on time.
This appeared on The Nexus, Vol. 14,Issue No.1.
Researchers are seriously investigating what exactly gaming can do for you. Scientists, therapists, and sociologists alike discover that gaming can change you for the better.

Millions of gamers punch their thumbs on their gamepads everyday. With 1.6 gamers to every US household, the case for video games deserves some serious consideration apparently.

I’m not the most avid of all the gaming enthusiasts; here's my Top 10 Reasons Why You Should Play Video Games, anyway.

10. Games can be therapeutic.

It has been found out that virtual reality helped treat the pain of a severely burned marine. In the game SnowWorld, doctors put him in a 3D snowball fight while surgeons operated on his burns. With the game, he thought about the pain less than 25% of the time.

The game “Chaz Fortune” simulates a bar with casino games to help gambling addicts resist their temptations and quit their vice.

Games are now seriously integrated into the treatment of mental and physical health, early development, and rehabilitation.

9. Games help conquer fears and obsessions.

SpiderWorld lets people with arachnophobia face a tiny spider at their own pace. Dirty Bathroom takes people with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) through messier and messier bathrooms, helping them overcome their anxiety.

According, playing Tetris after a traumatic event reduces the occurrence of negative flashbacks.

8. Games strengthen marriage.

According to a US study, 76% of married couples said playing MMORPGs like World of Warcraft together had a positive effect on their marriage.

7. Games are used for real-life “environment simulation”.

The Military use games to train soldiers for a simulation of a “military environment”. These war games include the Tom Clancy series, Call of Duty, Brothers at War, America's Army, Battlefield, and others. Virtual simulators from games are used by pilots use for training.

The U.S. Army has deployed machines such as the PackBot and UAV vehicles, which make use of a game-style hand controller to make it more familiar for young people [4].

More than 100 Fortune 500 companies, like IBM, Cisco, and Cold Stone Creamery, use some form of gaming for training purposes.

6. Games are excellent for socializing.

Sixty-five (65%) of gamers play with their friends.
Two out of five US and UK Internet users play social games for more than 15 minutes a week. On Facebook, 40% of users' activity is spent on social games like Words with Friends, FarmVille, and others.

Online gamers like World of Warcraft (WoW) and Runescape are brimming with people and adventures. WoW alone has a whopping 12 million members - about the same as the megacity Tokyo's population!

I have a friend who has fetched a foreign friend he met in an MMORPG from the airport and drove him around the city.

5. Games for science’s sake.

In Eterna and Foldit games, players solve biochemical puzzles, helping scientists better understand genetics.

Educational games contribute to major research efforts: In Galaxy Zoo, people classify objects seen by the Hubble telescope. 50 million real galaxies and celestial bodies were classified in the game's first year.

4. Games are brain workouts.

Games improve creativity and imagination. Students are found to be "learning by doing" while playing video games while fostering creative thinking [3].

According to research discussed at the 2008 Convention of the American Psychological Association (CAPA), certain types of video games can improve the gamers' dexterity as well as their ability to problem-solve. A study of 33 laparoscopic surgeons found that those who played video games were 27% faster at advanced surgical procedures and made 37% fewer errors compared to those who did not play video games [5].

3. Games can also help you stay fit.

Physical and aerobic workouts in games like Wii Fit and Kinect Fitness can boost stamina and heart rate levels. Researchers also use games to monitor the health of senior citizens. Their efforts can predict an illness or even a patient's risk of falling.

2. Games improve hand-eye coordination.

According to the 2008 CAPA in their study of 303 laparoscopic surgeons (82%men and 18% women), showed that surgeons who played video games requiring spatial skills and hand dexterity and then performed a drill testing these skills were significantly faster at their first attempt and across all 10 trials than the surgeons who did not play the video games first.[5]

It has been shown that action video game players have better hand-eye coordination and visuo-motor skills, such as their resistance to distraction, their sensitivity to information in the peripheral vision and their ability to count briefly presented objects, than nonplayers.[1]

Action games also help sharpen vision and help cure ambiyopia (commonly called as "lazy eye"). In one hour, some games can do what an eye patch does in 400 hours.

1. Games improve problem-solving and analytical skills.

Games improve quick decision making even with multiple things at once. Reflexes are shown to have been improved in gamers. Gamers develop the capacity to solve several problems in different situations, too.

According to researchers Shawn Green and Daphne Bavelier of the University of Rochester, video games are based upon the player navigating (and eventually mastering) a highly complex system with many variables. This requires a strong analytical ability, as well as flexibility and adaptability.

He argues that the process of learning the boundaries, goals, and controls of a given game is often a highly demanding one that calls on many different areas of cognitive function. Most games require a great deal of patience and focus from the player, and, contrary to the popular perception that games provide instant gratification, games actually delay gratification far longer than other forms of entertainment such as film or even many books.[2]

Researches suggest that video games increase players' attention capacities, too.

Early literacy is also improved by games for 4 and 5 year olds, especially letter recognition and story comprehension.

Non-English native speakers who play games are also shown to have improved capabilities in oral and written English compared to those who don’t.
People that play video games make decisions 25% faster.
To sum it up, games can indeed have positive effects. But that doesn’t mean that it has no bad effects, either. As with anything, moderation is the key.

Experts suggest playing for less than 21 hours a week. Past 21 hours, benefits for gaming decrease and the effects turn harmful. Some games are marred with extreme violence and other bad things not recommended for children of young age. Discernment and choosing the right game is very important.

Anyhow, I was stacking pallets with odd-sized boxes earlier. I did it with ease, thanks Tetris.


[1] Green, C. Shawn; Bavelier, Daphne (2003). "Action video game modifies visual selective attention". Nature 423 (6939): 534–537.

[2] Daphne Bavelier et al. (2003). "Action video game modifies visual selective attention" (PDF). Nature/University of Rochester. Archived from the original on March 29, 2006. Retrieved April 29, 2006.

[3] Glazer, S. (2006). "Video games". CQ Researcher 16: 960–937. cqresrre2006111000.