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As an undergraduate it has dawned on me that the game console is, apart from the laptop, one of the quintessential luxuries that should be taken to halls. To visiting grandparents it is a lifeless creature in hibernation whose only purpose is to collect dust. However to students, when turned on, the game console enters you into a parallel universe that escapes you from the clutches of exams and   essay  deadlines.

If this were the case then the term “educational game” would be an oxymoron. However sadly this genre is a very real reality and games like Brain Training do exist. Nevertheless other genres rely on a different kind of skill; not one tested in the lecture theater or the science labs. Racing games test reaction speeds, first person shooters assess eye coordination and music games like Guitar Hero probe finger speed. The limitless genres available mean the game console can cater for anyone from the psychopathic mass murderers (G.T.A.) to the karate kid wannabees (Super Street fighter).

In fact many self-affirmed “pro-gamers” would instantly alienate a laptop as the “lite version” of a game console. Simplistic 2d games like Jetman rule the Internet and offer short term relief to studying. Even on social networking sites like Facebook, applications that involve filling in questionnaires for the fun of it, are fueling new waves of procrastination techniques. Maybe this is why the idea of finding out how you are going to die or what Pokemon best describes you is one of the main reasons Facebook has over 175 million active users.

So when exams loom and the mind is saturated to the fullest of jargon and impractical formula remember to take a trip to your nearest video game console. At home it can relieve stress from work and serve as a lot of fun. After all that is what its main purpose is so you can just leave the brain training for university.

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