Video games effect people in many different ways depending on different personalities. But, in today’s society, video games are very popular, therefore, making this topic a popular topic to discuss. According to The State of Play, “A few short decades ago, video games were considered a niche hobby for nerds or computer geeks. Today, they are an inseparable part of global popular culture. Video games are everywhere, played by people of all ages, faiths, and nationalities” (Goldberg and Larsson, 7). Video games can affect people in the following ways: learning, socialization, addiction, violence, attitudes towards body image, etc.
To begin, I am going to discuss video games and learning. Although it may not seem true, people can learn a lot from video games. You’re probably thinking, how can you learn from a violent video game or a sport video game? However, there are other video games that were created for the purpose of rehabilitation. “Some, for example, use video games to crowd source solutions to difficult problems whereas others use them as simulations to teach particular concepts or skills” (Folkins, Brackenbury, Krause, and Haviland, 112). Video games are used to teach people skills in therapy. The descriptions and case presented thus far suggest that at least these six principles of video game design can be applied to speech and language therapy (Folkins, Brackenbury, Krause, and Haviland, 119). In the above quotes, it states that video games can be used for learning by teaching concepts, skills, speech, and language in different forms of therapy.
Below is a YouTube video about video games potentially making a person smarter:
Continuing on, I will be talking socialization and video games. When people think of gamers, they typically think of a fat man sitting at a video game console who has not showered in days and is completely anti-social. However, it was proven that video games (depending on the type) can help a person become prosocial. “Here, we presented evidence that exposure to prosocial video games increased the accessibility of prosocial thoughts, which may instigate prosocial action” (Greitemeyer and Osswald, 126). If it is proven that video games can help a person be prosocial, then, all video games should obtain this characteristic. “For example, participants who were primed with helping-related words were more likely to help someone pick up spilled pens (Greitemeyer and Osswald, 122).
Furthermore, I am going to discuss about addiction to video games. Any sort of addiction is a bad thing. Therefore, being addicted to video games can be harmful. The worst age group for addiction to video games is, children and teenagers. “it is observed that both children’s and teenagers’ game addiction has negative meaningful relations with academic success and family function, and that one’s tendency to fall into game addiction is in negative meaningful relations with school performance” (Zorbaz, Ulas, and Kizildag, 490). The key word of the following quote is children. However, “game addiction stands as a risk for children, regardless of age” (Zorbaz, Ulas, and Kizildag, 490). A child is technically a person under the age of 18. Although video game addiction is often found in children, it can also be common in adults as well. According to, 2016 Video Game Statistics & Trends Who’s Playing What and Why, 49% of American adults play video games and 10% of American adults consider themselves a “gamer”. Addiction is very common throughout all age groups of people.
Additionally, I am going to talk about violence. Violence and video games are assumed to be often correlated with one another. Some people will even believe that serial killers are the way there are due to how much they play violent video games. According to the 14 Mass Murder Linked to Violent Video Games article, there are 14 serial killers that had been playing violent video games previous to the mass murders. Some of the familiar shootings that have the correlation are: Sandy Hook Elementary, the movie theater in Aurora, Colorado, etc. “Exposure to violent video games could be one factor, among many others, in a constellation of parameters leading an individual to commit an aggressive act” (Fournis and Abou, 2). This quote is saying that video games can most definitely have an impact on a person leading them to be a mass shooter, however, that is not the only contribution towards the depressing action. “Until now, no study has been able to show that exposure to violent digital games is associated with an increase in criminality, aggressiveness, or violent behavior. Nevertheless, these paradoxical results are not incompatible” (Fournis and Abou, 2). If this many mass shootings have a correlation to violent video games, do you think something will change? Do you think they will monitor the play time of these games or find out another way to make them more safe?
Body image is a huge issue in today’s society. People often view themselves in a negative way. We typically blame the media like the television, music, etc. However, it is becoming very clear that video games have the same negative effect on people. According to the study written by Barlett and Harris, “The present study found that male and female participants, after playing a body-emphasizing video game, increased their negative body-image” (599). Withholding a good body-image of oneself, is hard enough with the media we are involuntarily exposed to, let alone putting oneself in a position to voluntarily get exposed to more negative media by playing video games. “Video game players and parents of children who play video games should attempt to monitor what video games are being played so they do not get a negative body-image” (Barlett and Harris, 599). If the world is not going to change our exposure to these video games, then the parents should take it upon themselves to help make a change. If parents stop buying these video games for their children, there will not be as much of a demand for the games, therefore, can potentially be forced away from being the norm.
Are video games having a more harmful effect to society than a positive effect? There are many different effects that video games do have on our current society. To review, we have discussed learning, socialization, addiction, violence, attitudes towards body image from the play of video games. Some people may argue that video games are beneficial and some people may argue that video games are detrimental. Just like there are conflicting opinions about any form of media, there are also conflicting opinions about video games. I believe our society has to come to terms with the idea of video games having the potential to be both good and bad.
A. (2014, January 19). Can Video Games Make You Smarter? Retrieved October 31, 2016, from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OOsqkQytHOs
Barlett, C., & Harris, R. (2008). The Impact of Body Emphasizing Video Games on Body Image Concerns in Men and Women. Sex Roles, 59(7-8), 586-601. doi:10.1007/s11199-008-9457-8
Fletcher/Movieguide, L. (n.d.). 14 Mass Murders Linked to Violent Video Games. Retrieved October 31, 2016, from http://www.charismanews.com/culture/52651-14-mass-murders-linked-to-violent-video-games
Folkins, J. f., Brackenbury, T., Krause, M., & Haviland, A. (2016). Enhancing the Therapy Experience Using Principles of Video Game Design. American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, 25(1), 111-121. doi:10.1044/2015_AJSLP-14-0059
Fournis, G., & Abou, N. N. (2014). Violence, Crime, and Violent Video Games: Is There a Correlation?. Psychiatric Times, 31(9), 1-4.
Go Body Positive. (n.d.). Retrieved October 31, 2016, from http://blogs.stlawu.edu/alexandraweatherbie/counter-argument-negative-body-image/
Goldberg, D., & Larsson, L. (2015). The State of Play: Creators and Critics on Video Game Culture. New York, NY: Seven Stories Press.
Greitemeyer, T., & Osswald, S. (2011). Playing prosocial video games increases the accessibility of prosocial thoughts. The Journal of Social Psychology, 151(2), 121-128. doi:10.1080/00224540903365588
Zorbaz, S. D., Ulas, O., & Kizildag, S. (2015). Relation between Video Game Addiction and Interfamily Relationships on Primary School Students. Educational Sciences: Theory and Practice, 15(2), 489-497.
2016 Video Game Statistics & Trends | Big Fish Blog. (n.d.). Retrieved October 30, 2016, from https://www.bigfishgames.com/blog/2016-video-game-statistics-and-trends/