Video games have faced criticism and appreciation both at the same time, but still the disadvantages are more commonly highlighted. The most important issue is that an answer to the question “ Are video Games dangerous?” is very subjective and it’s very difficult to say that what all games, or playing for how much time, can really prove dangerous.
It is true that like any other media, video game has its own positive and negative sides however we may not deny the fact that a supervised use of video games may not be harmful, in this paper we will deduce if video games can actually prove to be dangerous and we will analyze a few ways to implement control.
The advancement in technology has changed the entertainment sector widely and gaming has evolved a hot cake in the last two decades, as per recent studies, girls play about 5 hours per week and boys play about 13 hours of video game in a week on an average and almost 63% children play video games each day for at least one hour. The above data gives us a fair idea about the importance that video games hold today and their effect on the user cannot be denied, considering the large amount of time spent in playing it.[ CITATION Ale08 l 1033 ]
Video games are also content based and have different kinds of related stories and functions e. g. war, fights, movie characters and stories, mythological and historical characters, it is debated that the psychological impact of the above content may get us to imitate the same actions in our real life as well and therefore, we see that there are many views that suggest video games to be a reason behind the violence however it is difficult to show that this inference is simply judgemental or experimental, lets see a couple of similar case studies and analyze them; on April 13th, 2007, a college student attending Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, killed 32 people and wounded 25 others in a shooting rampage now known as the ” Virginia Tech Massacre.” Playing videogames was not the core reason of his violence, he was in fact diagnosed with a severe anxiety disorder as well as major depressive disorder. Apart from playing games, he wrote aggressive college essays which concerned his professors. The example of Jo Seung Hee is only one of many school shootings. Students who were also involved in the school shootings had symptoms of mental disorders however at times their video game playing was adversely highlighted despite the fact that this is common among youngsters today.
Michael Carneal, is just a teenager, 14-year-old mass murderer in the Paducah, Kentucky School, he had fired eight accurate rounds, hitting eight children from a good range which suggests the accuracy which he developed during the time when he played real shooting games on his arcade quality point games. [ CITATION Gro98 l 1033 ]The above incident explains the amount of physical impact and practice that prolonged subjection to video games may result into, however every game cannot be accounted to bring this kind of effect.. Moreover it is clinically proven that regularly playing video games results in poor large muscle development and due to very less physical activity, obesity cannot be denied as well. [ CITATION Gro98 l 1033 ]
Video Games are only one of the social conditions that cause this kind of behaviour, children with different mental disabilities can be the reason to go out causing crimes like Jo Seung Hee, however it is not correct to say that only video games are the reason of such incidences.[ CITATION Obd02 l 1033 ] Most of the arguments suggest that incidences like the above are caused due to the violence shown in video games, although it is a separate debate altogether that which games are safe and what is the level of violence that a game may include however this can definitely be said that the adverse effects of violent video games can be controlled by controlling the violence in such games, moreover issues like lack of concentration or depression are normally due to excessive playing and this may be checked easily as well.[ CITATION Gro98 l 1033 ]
The Impact of Video Games on academics . . .
Though we had discussed initially that there are few video games that may help in educating people, the educational games only constitute 2% of the entire gaming world. The major and the most popular games are ideally the ones related to fights and wars. It is evident and obvious that the major video game players are either children or teenagers and this is the age where academics are the most important part of ones routine. As discussed, video games require a lot of time and arguments are given to suggest that it can even cause addiction hence it is obvious that it tends to impact the academics and may result in a gradual decline of interest in studies, at least to the 63% regular users who play it on a daily basis, but on the other hand if along with regular studies it is only played for relaxation it will definitely be an advantage. [ CITATION Ale08 l 1033 ]
Prolonged exposure to games may even lead to lack of concentration, decline of creative and logical intelligence in a children which can have very adverse effects on the overall academics of a child and that is why it is not only important for parents and teachers to regulate and control the time given to video games but also to monitor the types of games being played. [ CITATION Obd02 l 1033 ]
It is a common observation that if given an option between physical games and video games, video games is likely to be the first choice for most of the people; however this really puts an adverse impact on the physical development and may show very serious results in a long term. Video Games may be the fist choice at time when it comes to entertainment, but it is important to put a check on the timelines and ensure that at no point of time it takes the place of physical activities and games.[ CITATION Ale08 l 1033 ]
We have seen in the above arguments that prolonged effect of video games may definitely cause, mention, academics related and physical problems. It is not that we can make video games responsible for all the violence and evil practices however we cannot deny that there is an adverse impact due to violent games and too much of usage.
Hence, it is true that we cannot say that video games are not dangerous at all but definitely they should be played under control in appropriate space and time and the parents and teachers must monitor the content which is being served though these games. Encouragement should be given to games which give an opportunity to learn and develop thoughts and feelings in a person.
Alekian, Rita and Jazmine Orprecio. Video games: fun, cool, and….. dangerous? Munich: TCDSB Psychology, 2008.
Grossman, David. “ Trained To Kill.” International peace conference in Bethel College . Kansas: Christianity Today, 1998. 1-14.
Obdradovic, Zvezdan. Computer Games: How Dangerous Are They ? 11 May 2002. 16 May 2011