Video games have become an integral part of our life, taking an important place of the leader among the many ways of the organization of youth recreation. It is especially important thus to understand their influence on people, especially kids. Virtual reality beckons with its limitless possibilities, and computer entertainment industry each year presents gamers more and more new games, from which it is simply impossible to refuse. However, about the dangers of computer games trumpeting all around - and particularly concerned about the issue of violence in video games and computer addiction of parents whose children spend all their free time at the monitor. So, what is the danger of computer games and can they be useful?
Harm of Computer Games
The biggest danger posed by computer games is the emergence of gaming addiction. It is a real deviant behavior requiring assistance of a qualified physician and support of loved ones. A person succumbed to computer addiction, literally lives in a virtual reality, only occasionally excommunicating offline. The extreme degree of gambling addiction is when gamers lose appetite (do not want to be away from the game even for a meal) and sleep (they spare time to rest, and even in the dream continue to conquer worlds and kill the enemies). The worst thing in this relationship is that it usually starts quite innocently, without arousing suspicion on the part of relatives. Therefore, it is difficult to deal with video game addiction - when it becomes obvious, to pull gamers from its tentacles is extremely hard.
Especially noticeable damage computer games have for children, including a special risk group of teenagers. Their fragile psyche within just a few days can fall under the negative effects of games, and their parents face a problem of how to tear a child off the computer (Egenfeldt-Nielsen, Smith and Tosca 88). Besides, children, unlike adults, do not know the limits and have worse sense of time - it seems for them that at the computer they spent only a few minutes, while a few hours have passed.
However, damage from computer games affects the adults as well. If next to a teenager there can and should be an adult who is required to pry him/her out of gaming addiction, then for an adult gamers there is no one to control. By the way, computer games, along with drunkenness and betrayal, is one of the most popular reasons for divorce in young families. Well, what wife would like a husband, who spends all the free time not in the family circle, but surrounded by virtual robots, zombies and killers? In addition, over time a gamer becomes inattentive, distracted, does not go to work, ignores his duties. Compulsive gambling causes the collapse of the family, problems at work, leads to depression and loneliness.
Many gamers are going on and are willing to spend money to make use of paid services in online games. To become in a few minutes the most powerful and cool, not working on the hero for a few months - well, who does not dream about that? The creators of online games "helpfully" slip players the opportunity (Sacks and Brad 28). Of course, not for free. Since addiction is not limited to just one game, from the family there slowly begin to float away money and gamer eventually climbs into debt, real life begins to resemble a living hell, but in the virtual life gamer is the king, god and superhero. Such is the price of gambling addiction.
Speaking about the dangers of computer games for children and adults, it is worth noting that a particular danger in this plan represent different shooters, action games, flying and auto simulators. The more dangerous are shooter computer games, because apart from the game dependence, caused by them, there is also aggressiveness and anger involved. It is no wonder, as after firing people in a virtual world, a person is unlikely to become a kind-hearted one in real life.
Action is also harmful, as well as various simulators, which, although not characterized by aggression, still require attention, and it is difficult to break away from them. Of course, it seems impossible for the gamer to pause during another race or passage of the maze (Hartmann and Vorderer 98). Of course, in terms of material waste mentioned above online games are especially dangerous. In addition, permanent seating at the computer can cause the following negative effects: vision problems, problems with obesity and musculoskeletal system, numb hands.
Benefits of Video Games
Upon reading about the harm of the video games, it can seem that they cannot bring any befit, but it is not true in fact. First of all, it is necessary to pay attention to the kinds of computer games, which promote the development of intelligence, logic, attention, memory, and other qualities. These are different logic games, puzzles. A special place among such games holds strategy. These games do not require special attention, speed, eye strain. They are designed for long pastime. They can be interrupted at any time, without the risk of being killed or eaten.
There are a number of developing computer games for the youngest children of 3 to 5 years. They will teach the kids letters and numbers, experience the world of animals and plants, will have a positive impact on the development of the emotional sphere, will contribute to the development of motor skills of hands (manipulation of the joystick, mouse and keyboard), visual memory, musical hearing.
The obvious benefits of computer games are for younger students - for them there are developed many educational games that will help to deepen their knowledge in a particular area, get their act in different situations, will contribute to the formation of perseverance, concentration, attentiveness.
With the help of computer games, parents can gently teach the child foreign languages, tighten his/her knowledge on a particular subject, develop certain ability. Certainly, the computer should not be the sole source of the offspring learning – there still remain relevant books, educational board games, construction sets, puzzles, and, of course, parental attention and affection as an indispensable companion of all classes.
This is why the direct responsibility of parents is not to ban child to interact with the computer, thereby causing resentment and aggression, provoking him to the shoots in Internet clubs (where there is certainly nobody to offer educational games) and choose the most appropriate option for computer games, plan lessons with them, allow to play in "harmful" shooters for a limited time, encouraging the child to rest not only in the virtual world, but in the real world as well.
For adults there are also good computer games, "consumed" in moderation. This is a good way to unwind after a hard day's work, escape from the everyday hustle and bustle (Biddiss and Irwin 667). As in the case with children, there is important variation of the game (well, what rest and relaxation is there in the next shooter), and the time that is given to it. From 1-2 hours per day spent in the computer worlds, nothing bad will happen.
What do we have in the end? As it turned out, everything depends on the sense of proportion and variety of the game. Virtual reality should not take all the free time of a person; it also should not provoke him to violence, or develop aggression and anger in him. It should be just one of the options of rest, along with sports, walking outdoors, reading books, watching movies, meeting friends.
Biddiss, Elaine, and Jennifer Irwin. "Active video games to promote physical activity in children and youth: a systematic review." Archives of pediatrics & adolescent medicine 164.7 (2010): 664-672.
Egenfeldt-Nielsen, Simon, Jonas Heide Smith, and Susana Pajares Tosca. Understanding video games: The essential introduction. Routledge, 2013.
Hartmann, Tilo, and Peter Vorderer. "It's okay to shoot a character: Moral disengagement in violent video games." Journal of Communication 60.1 (2010): 94-119.
Sacks, Deana Pollard, and Brad J. Bushman. "Do Violent Video Games Harm Children? Comparing the Scientific Amicus Curiae" Experts" in Brown v. Entertainment Merchants Association." Nw. UL Rev. Colloquy 106 (2011): 1-283.