Video games are… Bad??

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As someone who plays video games quite frequently, whether I am playing Battlefield 4 or hitting the links with my friends I play video games. This got me to thinking about one thing does video games actually harm growth in children, so I did a little bit of research from a Vanderbilt study, a study by the ACSD or the Association of Christians in Childhood Development, and a similar study by the Dana Foundation. Three different studies which have differing views on the effects of video games on children’s growth and how it’s changing in school. However each different source also gave unique insights into video games and their use today. First off I will speak of Vanderbilt’s study, in Vandy’s study they first discussed the history of video games, such as their large and sudden rise in the market from 100 million dollars in 1985 to a whopping 4 billion dollars by 1990. That is a substantial growth in a period of 5 years and even from there the video game market has exploded onto the scene of Americans and as of today the video game market is currently valued at 93.6 Billion dollars. From something that came from Pong to the current bestsellers such as The Witcher 3, we can see how much the world as accepted this video game culture, our video games have evolved so much in regards to length of the campaign, the graphics alone could have a blog post unto itself, and the multiplayer ability across the internet. From there Vandy delves into the how many people actually play video games during the information era, 8-12 year olds are playing about 13 hours a week and 13-18 year olds are playing about 14 hours a week so we can see that video games have easily become a facet of our society as much as cellphones have. Next Vandy delved into the pros and cons that are consistent with video games, for the negatives we have the usual reports that most kids tend to spend way too much time with video games rather than playing outside and making personal connections with more people and the fact that violent video games actually do tend to increase the violence in kids that are younger so the 8-12 year old range is more affected by video game violence than the older generations also there is the increase in weight . For the positives there are actually quite a few affects people do not take into account, first being the fact that while kids are not playing outside they are also making friends online which is a nice counteractive point, secondly there is the fact that they learn to follow rules and guidelines on which to follow while playing video games, and most importantly there is the fact that there is so much to learn from video games for people. Games now today have puzzles that need to be solved, there are multitasking aspects to video games, there are strategy games that require deep thinking and actual use of strategy to beat your opponents, kids today have such a wide variety of games to pick from and essentially learn from. Both the DANA foundation and ACSD found similar results however the ACSD was skewed more towards the fact that too much video games can be very detrimental to our children and their growth which is very valid point and many people concede that fact.

So at the end of the day we all realize that the video game topic is very controversial I have friends who do not and have never played video games and I have friends who live off of video games and copious amounts of mountain dew, but from reading the facts and the evidence there is clearly no winner here for both sides but still the debate lives on. At the end of the day the decision is up to you.

Works Cited

http://www.acsd.org/article/the-effect-of-videogames-on-student-achievement/

https://my.vanderbilt.edu/developmentalpsychologyblog/2014/04/effect-of-video-games-on-child-development/

http://www.dana.org/Cerebrum/2009/Video_Games_Affect_the_Brain%E2%80%94for_Better_and_Worse/

1 thought on “Video games are… Bad??

  1. Charles Tyler Hart

    I do not play video games much, although I do enjoy an occasional game of 2K every once in a while. I definitely see a benefit to games however. This article (http://www.pnas.org/content/111/47/16961.abstract) argues that video games make you smarter. Could it just be reverse causation, and thus be that smarter people play video games? It would be hard to experiment with this hypothesis. One option would be to have a double blinded test and have kids, who are randomly matched up against each other play a game. Then the researcher would check the winner’s scores on tests compared to the losers. It’s a flawed experiment, open to plenty of confounding variables such as types of games and of course elements of chance, but it could be an experiment worth doing.

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