Playing video games is often depicted by the mass media as an addiction. However, due to the excessive amount of coverage on the topic, many people are beginning to see this criticism as cliche, and ask, “Are video games really all that bad?” Rest assured, video games are really as bad as the media says, and action must be taken in order to protect people from this destructive activity. Playing video games have effects, and the negative effects are dominant.
The first negative effect is related to the large amounts of violence in video games. The American Psychological Association listed many damaging outcomes of violent video game exposure; it writes, “WHEREAS scientific research has demonstrated an association between violent video game use and both increases in aggressive behavior, aggressive affect, aggressive cognitions and decreases in prosocial behavior, empathy, and moral engagement” (“Resolution on Violent Video Games,” 2015). These increases in aggression are often dangerous to those who live around gamers exposed to violent video games.
Attention problems can also stem from gaming. According to CNN, “Elementary school children who play video games more than two hours a day are 67 percent more likely than their peers who play less to have greater-than-average attention problems” (Klein, 2010). Another study from CNN found that in a group of 210 college students, “The students who logged more than two hours of TV and video games a day were about twice as likely to have attention problems” (Klein, 2010). Attention issues are linked to lower grades, so it is critical for the education of children, that we limit the amount of gaming time children have. (“Attention Problems In Early Childhood Can Have Lasting Impact”, 2016).
A third negative effect of gaming is an increased chance of obesity. According to WebMD, “Researchers found that each hour the children played video games or watched television doubled the likelihood that the child was obese” (Warner, 2004). With the rate of obesity on the rise, it is crucial for healthy future generations, that we limit video games.
However, playing video games can also result in positive effects such as improved eyesight. According to Game Designing, a 2009 study showed this, “The 2009 study involved having a group of experienced first-person shooter gamers play Call of Duty and Unreal Tournament 2004 while more casual gamers played slow games like The Sims 2. After testing, those who played the first-person shooters showed signs of having better vision that the others” (“10 Reasons Why Video Games Are Good for You, Sometimes”). There is indeed evidence that video games help eyesight, but if you read closely, the people with improved eyesight played Call of Duty and Unreal Tournament. These games are rated M for animated blood, gore, and violence (“Search ESRB Ratings”). If this is what it takes for children to improve their eyesight, it obviously isn’t worth it.
Playing video games is not good for people because it causes aggression, attention problems, and obesity problems. Playing video games can be beneficial, but this requires exposure to violence. Overall, playing video games is not good for you, so playing time should be limited and video games should be more highly regulated.
-Emilio and Sebastian
American Psychological Association. (2015). Resolution on Violent Video Games. http://www.apa.org/about/policy/violent-video-games.aspx
Duke Today Staff. “Attention Problems in Early Childhood Can Have Lasting Impact.” Duke Today, 6 July 2016, today.duke.edu/2016/07/attentionproblemsearlychildhood.
Klein, Sarah. “Study: Too Many Video Games May Sap Attention Span.” CNN, Cable News Network, 5 July 2010, www.cnn.com/2010/HEALTH/07/05/games.attention/index.html
“Search ESRB Ratings.” Consumer Research about ESRB Ratings Awareness and Use, IARC, www.esrb.org/ratings/search.aspx?searchType=title&titleOrPublisher=Unreal%2BTournament
“10 Reasons Why Video Games Are Good for You, Sometimes.” The Ultimate Resource for Video Game Design, Game Designing, www.gamedesigning.org/why-video-games-are-good/
Warner, Jennifer. “Video Games, TV Double Childhood Obesity Risk.” WebMD, WebMD, 2 July 2004, www.webmd.com/parenting/news/20040702/video-games-tv-double-childhood-obesity-risk.