Negative Impacts of Video Games on the Youth
Video games are a popular form of entertainment among the young generation. However, repeated exposure to video games with violent content has been identified as a cause of increasingly aggressive and antisocial behaviors among the youth. The addictive nature of these games causes young people to waste a lot of time playing their favorite games. This may lead to low performance in academics. Though video games are an effective tool of learning in schools, majority of the youth use it for entertainment purposes only. Given that these games enhance visual attention skills that promote learning, it is expected that the youth may end up copying the behavior of their favorite characters. Furthermore, the games are interactive in nature than other forms of entertainment, which endears them to the youth. Majority of them have access to video games with violent content. This enhances the likelihood of majority of the youth to assimilate antisocial behaviors depicted in video games. Therefore, enhanced accessibility of video games, especially those with violent content, promotes antisocial behavior among youth and also negatively affects their academic performance
The recent incident that was broadcast on television showing a student shooting his colleagues on campus grounds was very shocking. It makes one wonder what the root cause of such aggressiveness could be. However, a critical reflection on factors causing such aggressive behavior leaves one wondering whether it could be the result of exposure to violent video games. Thus, there is need to discuss the causes and effects of major negative impacts of video games on youth behavior and academic performance. This will promote active participation of all members of the society in curbing exposure of youth to violent video games and limiting time spent playing video games.
Violent video games have a positive correlation to aggressive and antisocial tendencies. Most of the video games available in the market have violent scenes. Violent video game content refers to those scenes where players are allowed to hurt each other. Repeated indulgence in playing video games with violent scripts increases the likelihood of the player to become aggressive and adopt other antisocial behaviors. This is because repetition is an effective method of reinforcing learnt behavior. Various scientific studies on the impacts of violent video games among the youth have confirmed that they enhance aggressive tendencies. Video game players often have certain characters that they identify with, and are more likely to role-play their actions and behaviors. Repeated role-playing of a character involved in violent maneuvers may promote aggressive thoughts in the player. This results in acceptance of violence as a social norm necessary for survival. The games may also induce anxiety on the players’ brains due to the experience of violent encounters, which further enhance the likelihood of the player responding violently to real life confrontations. The players are also likely to assimilate the social values depicted in video games, which are often antisocial.
Video games consume a lot of youths’ time that could otherwise be utilized for academic work. This is because video games are very addictive due to their interactive nature. Furthermore, the games are progressive in nature, such that you must master one stage before you can progress to the next level. As a result, individuals, especially young people, spend a lot of time trying to win all the games up to the highest possible level. Thus, less time is dedicated to learning or doing school assignments. The correlation between time spent playing video games and academic performance is negative. Therefore, the result of spending excessive amounts of time playing these games is decrease in academic performance.
The exposure of the youth to violent video games may lead to increase in violence and criminal activities among youth. The antisocial behaviors learnt from violent video games include prostitution and drug abuse. To fulfill desires associated with these antisocial behaviors, youth require a lot of money. This money may not be easily available to unemployed young people who are still in school or college. As a result, they may be attracted to criminal activities such as burglary or violent robberies to get money to support the learnt antisocial behaviors. Such transition is devoid of the moral restrain expected from a normal individual and results from negative values learnt from violent video games, which glorify violence and other social evils.
Teachers and parents need to be aware that young people who spend substantial amount of their time playing video games are more likely to perform poorly in school. Individuals addicted to video games lose interest in school work and often fail to deliver class work on time. Therefore, increased popularity of video games, coupled with the advancement in mobile technology, is a major concern to educators. The advanced mobile technology enables youth to access video games anywhere at any moment. This has the effect of increasing the number of hours spent by young people playing video games instead of concentrating on academic work. This may have far reaching implications on national growth and development, which is driven by invention and innovation generated by an educated youthful generation. The failure by the youth to adequately and effectively participate in the learning process limits their ability to develop new ideas. It also constrains the chances of securing decent employment. This not only compromises their future welfare but also enhances their vulnerability to engage in violent crimes. Thus, failure in academic performance, attributable to learning disruption caused by addiction to video games, has far reaching social consequences. There is an urgent need for parents and guardians to be stricter in regulating the duration of time their children spend playing video games.
Therefore, enhanced accessibility of video games, especially those with violent content, promotes antisocial behavior among youth and also negatively affects their academic performance the popularity of video games among the youth, combined with increased violent content, poses the danger of promoting violence and antisocial behaviors. These negative impacts of youth addiction to video games and the increased accessibility to violent video games is a serious challenge to the future social and economical stability of the nation. The government should step in and impose regulatory measures to prohibit production and distribution of violent video games among the youth. Parents and those responsible for guiding the youth should be more actively engaged in regulating the time duration young people spend while playing video games. In addition, parents and the society at large should sensitize the youth on the negative effects of video game addiction and provide alternative modes of entertainment that are captivating.