Affects of Video Games


From Atari to Nintendo to now Playstation 3, video game systems have develop into some of the greatest past time games to play alone or with friends. The generation of the 21st century have made video game

companies one of the riches people due to sales and increase of popularity. Parents don’t mind buying video games for their kids and have no problem with it but there are a side of video games that is not being revealed. Although video games are fun and entertaining, companies and parents need to re-evaluate the way they affect gamers behaviorally, mentally, and learning abilities.

Some say that video games have minimal impact on young teenagers behavior,pointing out that most video-game players live completely normal lives. But this has not yet been proven by anybody in black and white, therefore, just because a player does not immediately imitate specific violent acts found in video games does not mean the games will have no long-term negative impact on that player’s views and behavior. Because of this possibility, parents should assume responsibility for evaluating video games and should prohibit young teenagers from purchasing those that are especially violent. Some parents tend to buy these video for their children even though they are not old enough to buy or play them. Children play these games all the time and the video games get locked into their heads and think that it is ok to repeat these actions.

In addition, playing violent video games adversely affects psychological health by actually addicting players to its entertainment. One of the most troubling influences videogames have on players is the medium’s remarkable ability to fixate a player’s attention or, to borrow psychologist Sherry Turkle’s term, its “holding power” (30), a state well illustrated in Fig. 1. Addictive reactions in the body can be linked to some of the visual and aural signals found in video games--signals that cause the eyes, for example, to stop blinking for extended periods. This phenomenon triggers the release of dopamine, a neurotransmitter thought by some to be the “master molecule of
addiction” (Quittner). Is this chemical association the reason forty out of the fortyseven top-rated Nintendo games have violence as their theme (Cesarone)?

The video-game industry, however, claims that it can censor itself with its own labels. Its goal, of course, is to prevent restrictive legislation that would cost it “hordes of young gamers” (Boal, “One Step”). The makers of Kingpin, a particularly violent game, have tried to protect the sale of their game by declaring that it was
never intended for young audiences.

Besides the pressure from peers and teachers in school, some adolescents have trouble maintaining a good standard in school. In some cases it may be that their learning abilities need extra attention, trouble at home or even the affect of video games effecting their brain by struggling with concentration on school instead of video games. Video games do not help adolescents learn the proper way or the right things they need to know. For instance, Games that mimic military combat training not only encourage brutality but also totally ignore teaching players about restraint--one more reason violent games should be offlimits. These games are making the military look very bad and give the sense that this is what the military is about. Military combat games should show examples of how the military is not only about war and fighting. This is like all other games that show killing like Zoom, Grand theft Auto, or any others. These game is basically all about fighting, killing, stealing, and everything else in between that should not be display in games to kids and young teenagers. Parents should view these games or do some research on them before giving them to their children. They should even remember that video games have the ratings on them like Rated R, Pg 13, or PG. All ratings should be taken into consideration and parents should know that their kids cant play every game out there and that they are restricted to what they can play.

Parents should not accept violence as entertainment in games--and they should not think that such violence can’t affect the way their children look at the world and at other human beings. Video games are not the only contributing factor to society’s tendencies toward violence, but they are having an influence. For this reason, we all must take responsibility for the way we use video games.

Works Cited

Cesarone, Bernard. “Video Games and Children.” Parenthood.com Jan. 1994. 12 Sept. 2004 .

Quittner, Joshua. “Are Video Games Really So Bad?” Time 10 May 1999.
10 Sept. 2004 0,3266,23885,00.html>.

Turkle, Sherry. Life on the Screen: Identity in the Age of the Internet. New York:
Simon, 1995.

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