Research concerning violent video games has hit its 4th decade, but still there remain major unanswered questions. After a close examination of this research, it is possible to argue that violent video games are a double-edged sword. Hereby, this means they have both the positive and negative effects that are the subject of competitive debate. It will be wise first to understand the meaning of the word violence before laying the discussion on any side (Ferguson, 2013). Violence has been defined as the intentional use of force against another person that leads to injuries or even death. Violent video games would, therefore, be perceived as any game that disfigures human characters.
Video games are commonly linked with young children. Violent video games sway their user’s behavior by making their attitudes aggressive. Technological advancement has been charged with the increased access to violent video games all over the world (Dill, 2013). Recent studies have proved that the players of violent games are frequently involved in aggressive behavior which has led to the loss of life of many teenagers. One of the effects of violent video games is the teenagers’ urge to access arms which they use to practice what they do while playing (Massey, 2009). There were reported numerous cases of college students carrying dangerous weapons such as handguns and daggers to school. Apparently, some use these arms to rob, while others have them for self-defense.
These games are said to have caused an increase in crime among the youths. They are also accused of reducing emotional responsiveness so that teenagers are not emotionally traumatized when they kill or do other crimes. Research conducted in the states has learned that the increased use of video games lead to more and more violence in schools and in public places (Miller, 2008). As a result, this has led to continuous truancy, expulsion from school and imprisonment of teenagers who are being charged with various crimes. Parents are having hard times rehabilitating their sons and daughter who have manifested themselves as defiant. The family also invests a lot to modify their children’s aggressive behavior by offering alternatives to them. Head teachers and discipline masters have recently been having hard times as they tried to influence these modes of behavior of their students. Also, they are encountering difficulties when crime and other bad things happen within the school compound. Parents and security agencies are up to their neck in endeavors to explain them how certain crimes happen.
Other effects associated with video games are poor progress in matters of education and in self-responsibility among teenagers. Research has proved that many young people are having better of their time playing video games, thereby forgetting their key roles and responsibilities. Moreover, some teenagers have been caught playing these games during their lectures, hence the loss of concentration on their studies. As a result, loss of concentration contributes to poor skills of college and university graduates; thus, they provide poor services in their respective areas.
Discussed above are the various negative effects that have been associated with video games. One may argue that video games have led to more harm than good. For many years, it has been hard to explain why video games are thought to have led to aggressive behavior among young children and teenagers. After a deep and extensive discussion, it is concluded that aggressive behavior of video game players is not a result of the games but the users’ attitude. Researchers have recently opposed the statement that video games cause aggressive behavior. In fact, they have based their argument on the positive effects of video games. They have also provided an argument with regard to the irresponsible use of video games. Discussed below are supporting facts to oppose the traditional view that video games cause violence.
One of the arguments is based on health grounds, namely health specialists recommend that those undergoing stressful moments play games so as to relieve their mind from extensive thinking. Playing these games has shown a positive effect as the victims have time to free their minds, thereby protecting them from illnesses and mental disorders. On the other hand, patients, mostly children undergoing painful treatments, are advised to play games to distract their attention from the pain (Paludi, 2011). Moreover, games keep bed-laden patients busy while keeping them relaxed. As a result, this gives room for quick recovery. In the therapy department, many hospitals are opting to use video games for physiotherapy. What is more, video games help people with physical injuries learn motor skills.
Video games have also been associated with good thinking capacity. In fact, they enhance quick thinking, fast decision-making and critical thinking skills. Children who frequently play video games are very sharp minds in solving problems in their academics (Gimpel, 2013). Video games players have better skills in languages which give them an added advantage with regard to their counterparts. Children make several attempts when playing video games, thereby boosting their patience and confidence. As a result, this improves their studying habits so that they work on academic problems till they resolve them. These games also improve children’s ability to face challenges that occur in their lives. Furthermore, video games increase children’s attention so that they are active on their doings.
For quite some time, the majority of people have charged that video games cause poor socialization. However, researchers argue that video games unite many children with common interests, thereby laying a better platform for teamwork. Children will play these games together with the aim of completing certain tasks. According to John Sherry of Michigan University, tutors are widely using video games for educational purpose to educate learners and as motivation tools. He argues that educational video games help learners to master complex academic fundamentals without going the traditional way of wall charts and flash cards.
Recently, video games became an alternative approach to improving hand-mind coordination. Earlier, many parents chose ball games for their kids to improve their hand-mind coordination. Research carried out by students of Deakin University in Australia proved that video games are surpassing other games and sport as far as skills development is concerned. These students argue that most skills achieved on the various sports fields are easily acquired from computer games. With regard to physical aspect of members of society, video games fit them because they enable the disabled who cannot play ball games and the albinos who avoid exposure to sunlight to play such games on computer or the PlayStation. Finally, video games are a perfect way to release frustration, anger and aggression.
Having discussed the two edges of the sword, one can argue that there are the facts which tend to object that video games cause violence among youngsters. Apparently, many of the shortcomings of video games do not have a direct influence, thereby having the merits outweigh them. Hereby, this means many cases of aggressive behavior of the youths cannot be claimed to be a result of video games only but also other shortcomings which closely relate with video games. Scholars from Michigan University have disapproved of parents’ prohibition to make the video game a solution to children’s problems, triggering the start of their downfall.
Most of the negative modes of behavior associated with video games are a result of irresponsibility rather than the games themselves. In fact, many peers tend to use video games for the wrong purposes and reason. Consequently, they have the wrong impression and get negative lessons from these games, which should not be the case. As it was discussed above, computer games have many positive effects. Thus, it is crucial to take into account the children’s mindset and purpose of playing games. In fact, it is possible to transform negative effects of video games into advantages.
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To be precise, young people need to be educated on the purpose of video games and how to spend their time on these games. In fact, many have failed to recognize the key aim of these games and tended to misuse them to gain knowledge about crime and other aggressive modes of behavior (Iadicola & Shupe, 2013). If the parents and other concerned parties take responsibility to make their sons and daughters well-informed, then it is possible that video games will have less than five demerits or none. To fight what is said to be video game violence, it would not be wise to ban the video games. The best solution is to unite, change the status quo and let the youth build their responsibility skills. It is crucial to end the fight and work to enhance positive effects of video games as well as see more good things and work to change the tradition.
Research has linked the defiant and aggressive behavior of video game players to lack of control. It is true that computer games may make one aggressive, but the causes are rather different from those many may think. From a series of experiments by Oxford University students, it is evident that video games players chose to be deviant. The students examined the feelings of different people after playing the games. It was concluded that some people kept cool, while others lost their tempers. The scenario made it evident that violent video games players involve in criminal activities due to their attitudes rather than influence of the games.