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Beneficial and Harmful Effects of Playing Video Games

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Words: 1216 |

Pages: 3|

7 min read

Published: Jun 5, 2019

Words: 1216|Pages: 3|7 min read

Published: Jun 5, 2019

Are video games harmful? Many argue that they are, and many argue that they are not. Which side is right? The most appropriate answer is: it depends. On one hand, video game addiction is one of the major problems in the world currently. It even affects China so much that they recently passed a law that requires people under the age of 18 to have less than 90 minutes of gaming on weekdays and only 3 hours on weekends. While on the other hand, besides just being the way people enjoy spending their downtime, video games can often be a stress reliever or even work with one’s reflexes and brain stimulation. Most people who are not addicted to video games can easily manage their time so that gaming doesn’t affect their daily lives.

'Why Violent Video Games Shouldn't Be Banned'?

While there are many arguments for the detrimental effects of playing video games on its participants, there are also many positives in what video games are able to offer. Video games provide the unique opportunity to bond with friends and family in a way that not many other things do. They also can provide a temporary escape from the stresses of daily life. When used in a positive and healthy manners, as well as in moderation, there are nearly endless benefits that video games can, and do, provide. Using the interactive and engaging platform that most video games provide, there have been discoveries in how video games could be positively used in education, whether with spelling, math, reading, science, etc. If there’s an idea, then there is potential. It has also been shown that people who play video games have increased hand-eye coordination, as well as better peripheral vision. Video games often require fast thinking, critical thinking, as well as problem solving skills in order to win. Many genres include puzzle and even strategy games which work the mind in a way that could only be beneficial.

Many studies claiming that violence in video-games is linked to increased aggression are often flawed, and the opposite of this argument is actually more often true. The act of playing a videogame can actually relieve stress and lower the risk for violence (cathartic therapy). In 2011, during Brown vs. Entertainment Merchants Association, the Supreme court ruled that video game violence is not linked to increased aggression. Justice Antonin Scalia even said that studies showing a link between violence in video games and increased aggression, “have been rejected by every court to consider them, and with good reason: They do not prove that violent video games cause minors to act aggressively.” There are even statistics that show as the sales of violent video games rise, juvenile crime rates begin to plummet.

Nearly all young men play violent video games. This is a fact, and one that is often used in anti-video game arguments. The fact that some “gamers”, as they are often referred to, go on to commit violent crimes should not be so casually linked. It’s as if you were to say something as “nearly everyone who has robbed a bank has eaten ice cream, therefore eating ice cream puts you at greater risk of robbing a bank.” It would be a fact that is relatively unsurprising, but when it is twisted and misused it becomes convoluted and false.

There are days when I return home after a long day and I simply need the opportunity to tune everything out, or turn off. I have a handful of hobbies I turn towards when I need such a solution, and video games happens to be one of those. I know from experience that when I use this method of relaxation it leaves me feeling refreshed and ready on to take a new challenge. It allows me to set aside all my stresses, even for but a moment, and then return to it when I am ready. Video games also provide the chance for bonding between my brothers and I. Whether we are talking about it, or playing together, it’s created many happy moments that we have all shared together. Playing video games, when used in moderation, can be very beneficial to anyone and everyone. Whether they simply need a few moments to relax or want to spend some time bonding with the cousins, it can be a wonderful creative outlet.

If you were to look at a list of the fifty top-selling video games, you would notice that more than half of them contain violence in some form; while, the APA, The American Psychology Association has described violent video games as a risk factor for an increases in aggressive behavior; and nearly ninety-seven percent of children in the US have played a video game at one point or another. With all this in mind, studies have shown that stimulating violence in video games, such as shooting, hand to hand combat, or swordplay can increase the chance of violence in real-life. Many argue that the studies which link between video game violence and increase aggression is flawed, but how is that so when the majority of parents, psychologist, and pediatricians all agree? Then, if this theory is considered to be true, how could video games possibly be beneficial? The answer is simple, they are not. Violent video games lead to an increased chance for desensitization to violence. With the normalization of violence as an everyday occurrence, it begins to lose more and more significance, it may leave little impact on the player. Desensitization may lead to a decrease in empathy which has been directly linked to aggressive behavior.

Addiction is a prevalent occurrence among gamers. It is all too easy to sit down with the intent to play only for an hour, when suddenly six have passed instead. There are many, many stories of a video games consuming a person’s life. I’ve seen it in my own experience as it took nearly a year of my brothers life. He spent all day, every day, playing. He would rarely stop, and when he did, it was only for a moment. It started out as casual playing in an attempt to cope with the stress of life, and slowly began spiraling down into a tunnel of never ending depression. Thankfully, he was able to escape in time before it completely destroyed his life, and he is now married and as happy as can be; however, stories like that don’t always turn out that way. Some people turn towards games as a comfort and find themselves in a dark, and empty place, one that is so easily healed by a simple choice, but a difficult choice to make. Video games have the potential to increase aggressive behavior and to ruin lives, and in no way are beneficial.

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When I started out this paper, I was heavily pro-video games, although I was already aware, and often agreed with many of the anti arguments. Surprisingly, as I read even just a small amount of information on this topic, my opinion shifted very little. There are many good arguments for both sides, and both are backed up by numerous studies and statistics. I do believe that video games can be very harmful when used incorrectly. It is all too easy to become addicted, but as it is with many things, when used in moderation, it can be wonderful.

Works Cited

  1. Anderson, C. A., & Bushman, B. J. (2001). Effects of violent video games on aggressive behavior, aggressive cognition, aggressive affect, physiological arousal, and prosocial behavior: A meta-analytic review of the scientific literature. Psychological Science, 12(5), 353-359.
  2. Breuer, J., Scharkow, M., & Quandt, T. (2015). Players' identification with video game characters as automatic aggressive response. Journal of Communication, 65(5), 871-892.
  3. Ferguson, C. J. (2015). Do angry birds make for angry children? A meta-analysis of video game influences on children's and adolescents' aggression, mental health, prosocial behavior, and academic performance. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 10(5), 646-666.
  4. Gentile, D. A., & Anderson, C. A. (2003). Violent video games: The newest media violence hazard. In D. A. Gentile (Ed.), Media violence and children (pp. 131-152). Praeger Publishers/Greenwood Publishing Group.
  5. Griffiths, M. D., & Hunt, N. (1995). Computer game playing in adolescence: Prevalence and demographic indicators. Journal of Community & Applied Social Psychology, 5(3), 189-193.
  6. Kowert, R., & Oldmeadow, J. A. (2015). Playing for social comfort: Online video game play as a social accommodator for the insecurely attached. Computers in Human Behavior, 53, 556-566.
  7. Lenhart, A., Kahne, J., Middaugh, E., Macgill, A. R., Evans, C., & Vitak, J. (2008). Teens, video games, and civics: Teens' gaming experiences are diverse and include significant social interaction and civic engagement. Pew Internet & American Life Project.
  8. Przybylski, A. K., Rigby, C. S., & Ryan, R. M. (2010). A motivational model of video game engagement. Review of General Psychology, 14(2), 154-166.
  9. Schmierbach, M., & Limperos, A. M. (2013). Reconsidering the catharsis hypothesis for video game effects. Communication Research, 40(6), 744-763.
  10. Sherry, J. L. (2001). The effects of violent video games on aggression: A meta-analysis. Human Communication Research, 27(3), 409-431.
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Video Games: Pro and Contra Technology. (2022, November 28). GradesFixer. Retrieved May 27, 2024, from https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/video-games-pro-and-contra-technology/
“Video Games: Pro and Contra Technology.” GradesFixer, 28 Nov. 2022, gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/video-games-pro-and-contra-technology/
Video Games: Pro and Contra Technology. [online]. Available at: <https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/video-games-pro-and-contra-technology/> [Accessed 27 May 2024].
Video Games: Pro and Contra Technology [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2022 Nov 28 [cited 2024 May 27]. Available from: https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/video-games-pro-and-contra-technology/
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