Research has shown that video games affect human behavior in different ways. Individual must be in apposition to distinguish between the good and the bad video games before they decide to take part in the games. The parents and guardian are also required to determine the video games which are good and discourage their children from exposure of bad games. They must promote the utilization of the good video games as they shape an individual behavior towards the positive. The society will either develop into a productive and appealing society or develop into a society that is full of evil, bad omen and aggression. This can be determined by the type of video games that are reachable by the community members.
Characteristics of video games
Video games are consisted of positive and negative effects. This is due to the fact that there are both good and bad video games. There is a need to develop an informed group of guardians who will determine the better use of the good video games. The positive influences that result from video games include; promotion of a helping behavior by participation in the pro social games and they assist individual in making decisions in complex situations in an orderly and timely manner. The negative influences include; development of aggressive behavior in kids and a poor performance in school since students spends a lot of their time playing the games instead of studying and doing their homework. (Craig, Anderson & Karen, 23)
Video games contain structural characteristics and are determined by playing the video games for more hours. The structural characteristics are the integral features in the video game and consist of: initiation, developing and the maintenance of the games. Researchers compared between elements of video gaming and the elements present in the slot machine gambling and discovered that the structural characteristics determines the frequency in gambling and the expenditure that is faced. There are efforts aimed at classifying and organizing the psycho-structural elements in line with gambling trends. The taxonomic classification covers the following areas: the social characteristics, manipulation and controlling the features, rewarding and punishment features and lastly, characteristics of presentation.
The violent video games will treat the victim of violence in an abstract way. There are games where you will find the victims being aliens or the non-human monsters contrary to other where soldiers are opponents and are shielded by body armor and they do not appear like human beings in any way. In other games you will find the opponents being members of a gang or simply a group of outsiders.
Dehumanization is another characteristic of video games. It is seen to support violence that occurs in the external world. There is a behavior that arises where people are treated as if they are not humans and they feel dehumanized.(Minecraft90).This leads to the development of a negative attitude and the dehumanized group adopts an aggressive behavior because of the video games. The participation in playing the video games that are violent leads to the habit of dehumanizing others.
In a nutshell, video games are perceived as psychological and social phenomenon. The variables that are studied under the characteristics of video games will involve: sound produced, graphics available, game duration, play rate, the development of characters, multi-player features and the use of humor. Other significant features will include the rapid absorption rate and the skills to modify the game.
The effects of video games
The negative influence of video games is determined by the personality traits in a character. Research shows that the playing of the violent video games can cause an individual to be hostile especially if he is less agreeable and is angered easily. Despite this, there is a section of people who are impacted positively since they learn new abilities and they improve on social networking.
A number of studies have shown that the video games can increase individual skills and it is used health wise by people in the management of diabetes or the control of pain, therefore, video games can be regarded as a psychotherapy tool. The positive effects of playing video games also include: serving passionate, social and intellectual needs and this is achieved by creating awareness to parents on how they can prevent the harm to their children.
It can be noted that most of the effects of playing video games are negative ones. The effects focus on addiction, aggression and poor performance in education. The popularity of video games is rising and the kids are developing some behavior patterns that are associated with the video games. It is for a fewer population of the children who remain less violent after spending most of their times playing the video games. The violence that is present in a video game leads to an increase of aggression to individuals and this is greatly influenced by the character’s personalities.
Personality traits in a person can determine how individual are affected by the playing and watching of the violent video games. Psychoticism and aggressiveness are examples of personality traits that measure the negative outcomes of the violent games. The five factor model is used to study about the effects of playing video games under the following traits: neuroticism, friendliness, conscientiousness, extraversion and experience. (Morningstar &Farmer, 67).
The playing of video games leads to addiction. The children who spend most of their time playing the games starts believing that they are capable of doing things that are unimaginable and this can affect their heart rate and the pulse. The school children will also indicate a poor performance in their studies. This is because they spend a lot of their productive time playing the video games instead of reading and doing homework. This makes them to copy their friends work before submission as they used all their time to play the video games. (Jin45).The games also lower their concentration in class since most of them thinking on how they will rush to home after school to go and play the video games.
There is supportive evidence that violent games leads to aggressive cognitions and thoughts. The aggressive behavior is very harmful as it can cause negative impact to the member of the society at large. The exposure of video games to the children needs parental guidance and regulation that aims at controlling the types of games to be played and the duration that a kid will spend while playing the games. Failure to this, children will develop the negative influences that surround the playing of video games.
Society and video games
The video games have increased the level of violence in the society by providing the violent shows in form of games that are easily duplicated in life. The young people and teenagers in many societies have been exposed to crucial and violent events that are not supposed to see at that tender age. Due to the contributed realistic periods of violence portrayed by the video games, more cases of crime have been increasing in the society (Ian, 23). This is due to the fact that most young adults are influence to do or imitate what the celebrities of the hero/heroin does in the video game.
The rapid growing level of crime in the society could be blamed on the video games. For instance, Grand Theft Auto Series is a popular video game that involves increasing ones status by operating errands for crime bosses throughout the game. These errands typically involve car theft, murder and other major crimes. This one of the violent video games that arrows the player to practice most of aggressive murder activities in the world (Jon, 34). Despite the fact that the games are rated for adult people, some of the parents purchase them for their kids not knowing the effects they are developing to their kids. Kids learn how to commit murder and car jack at younger age through the experience of the video game. Consequently, the kids grow to become a threat to the society.
Although, many video games have been built up using adult content where parental guidance is recommended, children get access to these video games without their parent notice. As a result this increases the level of immorality in the society because children in many cases could not differentiate what is good and what id wrong. In this case, children grows in accordance to the lifestyle of the video game that is full of immorality and some kid engages to some of worse immoral values such as masturbation and even prostitution after they have grown up (Ferguson & Kilburn, 24).
Video games are also used as a way to demonstrate male supremacy over females and racial ascendancy. For instance, after the release of Custer’s Revenge, there has been contravasial debate of how this video game has distorted the gender equality and social balance in the society. The aim of the game was to direct General Custer to avoid shooting arrows while at the same time he is attempting to commit rape to a young Native America lady (Jon, 16). Despite being immoral video game, it portrays how men have power to dominate women while overcoming challenges; in this case challenges are shooting arrows. The fact that the video game seems to celebrate the act of rape is a vital challenge to the society.
The video games could also be blamed for development of anti-social practices. The main example of a video game that has resulted to facilitate the behavior of anti-social is the World of Warcraft. The game involves one selecting a specific class and race in order to perform various activities with an aim to level up ones character. In real sense the game influences racism and class difference in the society resulting to anti-social behavior among the young adults and teenagers. The game is also addicting locking out the youth and teenager’s responsibility such as studying. In some instances this has resulted to poor performances by many scholars who are addictive to the video games.
In my own opinion, many problems in the society are as a result of video games. This is because the video games have denied people in the society chances to take their responsibilities. Parents have abandoned their responsibility of parental guidance while children have resulted to neglect their daily responsibilities due to these video games.
Economy and Politics
The government uses the video games, especially violent video games, as a communication medium despite being used in military base as a recruitment tool in armed forces. The government has increasingly continued to raise concern of the effects that the video games caused to teenagers and young adults. Thus, the government calls upon the cultural authorities, policy makers, educators and parents, to restrict their children from extreme violent video games. In California, the government has moved forward to restrict the sale of the violent video games to youth and teenagers. How ever the law was demolished by the Supreme Court with the basis that the law breaches the first amendment right.
The video game industry has also got into the political level by providing political games. During the political years in the United States most politician are in the favor of the video game due to the fact that they promotes their identity. This illustrates that video games have changed from the perspective that they are no longer meant for kids; they have now became a political liability.
In terms of economy, the video games have positively affected the economy. The video game industry has resulted to a pleasing contribution of above $4.95 billion to the Gross Domestic Product of United States Economy. It has been realized that the video game industry has been growing faster than the rest segments in the US economy.
Video games have increased the level of employment in the US economy. While other sectors have been laying down their workers to cut operational costs, the video game industry is currently experiencing hiring boom. The total number of the workers has increased by nine percent per annum since 2005 to date. The developers and publishers have employed over thirty two thousand peoples in thirty four states of US. This is as a result of the global high demand of the video games hence need for increased production. Although, the games have developed negative effects to teenagers and youths, their demand rises day after a day.
The most beneficial state due to growing video game sector is California. This is probably because large and leading video game developers, such as Activision and Electronic Arts, are based in this state. The companies added an approximate value of $2.1 billion to the country’s economy. From 2005 to 2009 the annual growth rate of this sector was 11.4 percent. It is during the same time that the overall economy of the state was experiencing a negative growth. However, it is surprising that the video game revenue in California ranks at position one despite established charges to regulate the sale of games.
In conclusion, video games have resulted to both positive and negative effect on the behavior. Despite the fact that games have stunned the growth of the children and have enhanced violence, positive contribution of these gaming such as economy boost has been experienced. To balance the effects of the video games, cultural authorities should provide restriction concerning violence games to juveniles.
Radoff, Jon (2009-12-08). "Six Wonderful Things about Games". Retrieved 2009-12-19
Ferguson. C. J., & Kilburn, J. "The Public health risks of media violence: A meta-analytic review." Journal of Pediatrics, 2009
Williams, Ian. "US teen violence study exonerates video games". I.T Week. Archived from the original on 2007-12-17. Retrieved 2007-12-10.
Flew, Terry and Humphreys, Sal. "Games: Technology, Industry, Culture" in New Media: an introduction (second edition), South Melbourne: Oxford University Press, 2005
Burgess, M., Stermer, P., Burgess, S., Brown, B. P., Dill, K. E, & Collins, M.A. Race and Sex in video games: descriptive and experimental research, manuscript in preparation, 2007
Craig A. Anderson & Karen E. Dill, Video Games and Aggressive Thoughts, Feelings, and Behavior in the Laboratory and in Life, 78 J. PERSONALITY & SOC. PSYCHOLOGY, 2000
DiSalvo, B., Yardi, S., Guzdial, M., McKlin, T., Meadows, C. Perry, K. and Brukman, A. African American Males Constructing Computing Identity. Proceedings. , 2011
Jin, D. Korea’s Online Gaming Empire. Chapter 5.Professional Online Game Players as New Media Workers. Cambridge: MIT Press, 2010.
Greg LastowskaMinecraft as Web 2.0: Amateur Creativity & Digital Games, 2011.
Morningstar, C. and Farmer, R. The Lessons of Lucasfilm’s Habitat. Journal of Virtual Worlds Research 1, 2008