According to the entertainment and software associations’ website (2015), more than 150 million Americans play video games and most of the people admit playing violent games. Among this aggregates, 42% play games on a daily basis (The Entertainment Software Association, 2015). These figures coincide with those of the entertainment software rating boards that also indicate that an approximate of 67% of the households in the United States play video games, they state that the average time spent in video games in the year 2010 was 8 hours on a weekly basis (“How Much do You Know”, 2015). Video games’ beneficial and hazardous impacts have been a growing concern for many people. Unlike the previous generations, present youths spend significant amount of time playing video games, and for many, the experience has always been very fun, especially with new games and development of the existing ones happening on a daily basis (Anderson & Bushman, 2001). However, from an individual perspective, increased exposure to video games can have numerous undesirable effects on a person. This essay, therefore, shows that with increased violence and aggression in extreme violence video games, it is likely that they will bring negative effect to people.
Those with differing opinions have cited several benefits of video games. Many people think that playing video games are a better way of spending time preferred to other practices that youths would have engaged in such as drug abuse. Other benefit of video games, for instance, is that they offer goal driven experiences that are important for learning; thus, they are a key to promoting creativity. At the family level, when parents and children play video games together, it serves to create a bond between them (Tear & Nielsen, 2013). Lastly, according to them, being a multi-billion company, the gaming industry offers employment opportunities for many people.
A video game can lead to addiction and, therefore, result in anti-socil behaviors exhibited by many teenagers and poor performance in school. Video games are very addictive, especially to teenagers as they just have impressions of a certain game in their mind all the time. Due to the addition, children can get depressed or become very anxious, especially if they are beaten. Such children may also be afraid of socializing or making new friends. Most of them prefer playing video games alone or with friends who are far away. They never get time to socialize with others or even participate in social activities. During the games, very bad language or antisocial behavior can be observed quite often. The resultant impact being that it affects their engagement in other activities and goal setting, for example in academics or physical games. Teenagers waste time that would be used to do homework or study on playing video games. Due to their continued attention to video games, most children are unable to concentrate in class because they think about their next move in their game and due to poor performance, they end up getting suspended (Griffiths & Wood, 2000).
Youths spend great amount of time on their computers instead of going out and getting exercise. Therefore, they can develop body disorders such as obesity and negative traits of character such as laziness and time wastage. Usually, video games require minimal movement and, as a result, playing video games for a long time may cause obesity (Anderson, Gentile, & Buckley, 2007). The reason for this is that some disorders are brought about by the lack of exercise and eating unhealthy foods. Children who are addicted to playing video games have sedentary life style and they eat very unhealthy junk food. The resultant consequences are even more serious because they can cause cardiac diseases and diabetes. Apart from the conditions resulting from lack of exercise, there are chances of seizures because of shock from the video games and tendonitis resulting from decreased flexibility of the skeletal muscles (Anderson et al., 2007). Conseequently, since gamers keep their eyes on the screen, they may have continued headaches and eyes strain.
As is demonstrated in the table above, aggression and violent behaviors in a video game can cause the players to become aggressive and violent, which might affect their relationship with others. From the games, teenagers learn wrong values like mercilessness, desire to kill, and aggressiveness. If they are vengeful and violent, they get rewarded. Therefore, they learn that the one of the ways of solving conflicts is through violence. Since the games are played by children who still grow and their brains are not fully developed, they start practicing what they did in the game, and this can have future impacts because of the memories retained from the games. Additionally, as teenagers play the games, they experience violence and even imagine themselves shooting, killing, or stabbing people (Anderson & Bushman, 2001). They are rewarded for the violent acts and they end up having very destructive behavior. The wrong behavior is instilled in the children’s minds, and as they grow up, they tend to think that violence is a part of life (Browne & Hamilton-Giachritsis, 2005). Additionally, most teenagers who play video game isolate themselves socially and spend less time on other activities. They do not realize that the game is all about fantasy and it cannot be practiced in life. Few children feel guilt after the game and they may be afraid that they still deserve punishment.
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Playing violent video games could make children lose or have poor communication skills because of minimal interaction with others. Most video game addicts prefer being alone or with specific friends when playing games. Even though diverging views suggest that the games improve a child’s ability to follow instruction and master things, video games affect how children respond to real-life situations that require appropriate judgment. Based on psychology, children should grow freely and ask questions about everything they see.
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