Video games are one of various tools of the entertainment. People, especially kids play video games in their spare time but it has been observed that many kids are addicted of playing video games and eve overlook other things including their study. Various incidents suggest that video games negatively affect the behavior of children. However there is a difference of opinion among people on the issue of video games. Many People complain that video games incite violent behavior in teenagers who spend substantial time in playing video games. It has also been observed that teenagers waste their time and money unnecessarily in video games that affects their study and daily life. On the other side there are people who do not observe any problem in video games. This paper intends to discuss the video games along with analyzing their effects on video games players.
A number of issues have been observed with video games and one of them is that video games are a wastage of time. Mcgonigal corroborates that video games waste a lot of time. Video games were created as a tool of entertaining teenagers but they have emerged as a tool of wasting of time. Teenagers do not concentrate on their studies because of video games. It has been observed by the performance of students that they neither concentrate in classrooms nor they do their homework. Some of students do not even hesitate from bunking classes for playing their favorite video games (McGonigal).
Chan and Rabinowitz (2006) suggests that video games cause lower grades. They support that students those excessively play video games get lower grades. The authors say that GPA can be lower “in those who played video games for more than one hour” (Chan and Rabinowitz). The authors say that there will be significant difference between the performance of students who play video games and students who do not play or spend very less time in playing video games. Their findings indicate that video games negatively and substantially affect the academic performance of teenagers who spend excessive time in playing video games.
Gahr (1999) mentioned that violence catered in video games is a major challenge. The author elaborates the violence shown in video games by describing one scene of a video game “Fresh corpses litter the ground. Blood is everywhere. Victims moan and beg for mercy. Others scream for help” (Gahr). Such horrifying scenes are considered as fun in the video games, and players enjoy these scenes. The violence in video games is increasing day-by-day and crossing all limits. However, people who are addicted of playing video games do not realize this and consider violence as normal thing. Little by little, it may be true that video games may desensitize viewers to pain and suffering because they see a lot in the games and may be experience it. Violence shown in video games also promotes violent behavior in the players (Gahr).
Violence in video games do not have any ethical limits and can go up to showing anything such as killing of thousands of people without any reason. Various video games also glorify violent activities. Video games may portray bank robbery and justify killing of people who protest or try to prevent robbers. Players enjoy violent actions in the game and get so much influenced by violent behavior that they want to try violent actions in real life. Therefore, violence shown in video games does not only impact imaginary characters of the games but also the real life players and all people who might get hurt by the players.
Jenkins presents his argument in favor of video games by saying that “the rate of juvenile violent crime in the United States is at a 30 year low”. The author says that people who commit cries utilized less media than other average person. The author mentions that just by citing few examples of school killings one cannot say that video game encourage violence because 90 % boys and 40 % girls play video games. Majority of the children who play video games do not indulge in criminal activities. The violent behavior of children is associated with various other factors such as family background, socio-economic condition, psychological condition of the children, and support from the parents. Various studies conducted on the subject are based on small sample size, and are inconclusive (Jenkins).
Video games make teenagers insensitive to violence. Since they witness enormous amount of violence in video games, they become insensitive to violence in real life. When they indulge in fight with anybody in their real life, they act extremely violent and beat others without caring about the amount of damage, other can suffer. Such insensitivity affects their behavior and personality considerably. Apart from behavioral issues, teenagers who play games that cater violence, also tend to be undisciplined. They become defiant and enjoy breaking rules and laws in their real life even without appropriate reasons for their defiant behavior.
Anderson (2000) talks about various negative aspects associated with video game. The author says that spending excessive time in playing video games affect social life of teenagers. They prefer playing video games and do not take interest in interacting with their friends and relatives. They are isolated and cut from the social life. They do not believe in making friends or in meeting their relatives. Their obsession to their favorite video games is so high that they keep playing games even they have guests and visitors in their house. Video games players tend to ignore others and do not pay much attention on socializing (Anderson).
Teenagers who spend excessive amount of time in playing video games also reduce their physical activities either knowingly or unknowingly. Video games players do not take much interest in playing outdoor games and remain busy in playing video games. Playing video games does not need much physical activity and players of these games are confines into their chairs which makes them lethargic. They do not get time for playing outdoor games which affects their health. Increasing obesity and other health related problems are very common among those who spend substantial time in playing video games.
Though there are various negative aspects of video games, these games also help teenagers in learning new skills. Video games have certain benefits that are available to video game players only. It has been observed that teenagers who play video games learn various specific things about space and traffic rules. They are also better drivers than teenagers who do not play car racing video games. Video games players learn quickly various other skills and terms that other students do not learn so easily. Video games help teenagers in learning various personal and social skills that help them in their life.
Johnson (2005) mentioned the benefits and psychology behind video games. Thea author informs reader about how video games develop cognitive skills of the player. According to the author, video games increase curiosity which player also implement in real life. Video games also teach skills of socializing as well as skills of team formation. People who play video games are very good in making friends. They learn various traits of team making while playing video games and when video game players apply these skills in their life, they emerge as very good team makers. Various video games need a strong team to achieve targets and players succeed in their missions only when they form a strong team. Such skills also develop leadership skills in video game players (Johnson).
Video games have been proved to be an effective medium of entertainment and releasing tension. People can enjoy their spare time by playing games of their choice. Video game players can release their tension by playing various games. People feel pressure of study and work at times and video games can be a great help for them at any time. Other games, mainly outdoor games are hard to play during night and also need other players but the beauty of these video games is that people can play them alone at any time and improve their mood. Playing video game attracts various health problems as player do not get indulge in physical activities. Various health problems can be short term or long terms but they are certainly not good for the children. Overall video games are making young generation lazy and inactive. People wants fun and entertainment but not by playing physical games.
Video games players develop patience and they also develop skills that do not let them down. They learn to face even inconvenient pleasant circumstances that are part of life and they come whether people like them or not. Other people may or may not face these unpleasant circumstances but video games players learn the skills that make them tolerant and empower them to face awkward circumstances of life. Video games are very helpful on this front and video games players get these embedded advantages.
Having observed an overview and succinct analysis of the abovementioned subject, this paper concludes that video games have both positive and negative effects. Video games influence different aspects of personality and behavior of teenagers. Video games may incite violence and make them aggressive. Teenagers also become insensitive because of excessive amount of violence, catered to them in video games. Teenagers also reduce their social contacts in real life and isolate themselves because of their love to video games. They also reduce their physical activities by confining themselves into chairs and playing their favorite games. But at the same time video games help people in enjoying and releasing their tension. People come to learn a lot of new things by playing video games. They learn various skills that help them into their real life. They learn social and behavioral skills that is necessary for every human being. Video games also teach team building and leadership skills which are equally important for people.
Anderson, Craig A. "Violent Video Games Increase Aggression and Violence." 14 April 2000. Public Psychology Iowa State University of Science & Technology. 23 October 2014.
Chan, P.A., and Rabinowitz, T. "A cross-sectional analysis of video games and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder symptoms in adolescents." Ann Gen Psychiatry, 5(16) (2006).
Gahr, Evan. "Society and Culture." 30 April 1999. American Enterprise Institute. 23 October 2014.
Jenkins, Henry. "Reality Bytes: Eight Myths About Video Games Debunked ." n.d. Pbs digital Studio. 23 October 2014.
Johnson, Steven. "Your Brain on Video Games." 24 July 2005. Discover Magazine. 23 October 2014.
McGonigal, J. "Be a Gamer, Save the World." 22 January 2011. The Wall Street Journal. 23 October 2014.