8 September 2014
The Effects of Video Gaming on Youth
Video games became popular in the 1970’s and 1980’s. Today, there are now eight generations of video game consoles that children are playing. Very few people are aware that video games not only have negative effects on children but positive as well. To surmount the negative effects on children there are many recommendations.
As most believe, video games do have negative effects on children. Violence is definitely one of the most consequential issues. As stated in the article by Mclean and Griffiths, “Video games have been described as powerful and persuasive tools” (Gentile & Gentile, 2008). In many video games the children get commended for violent behavior. For instance, children earn money after killing a person or robbing an ATM on Grand Theft Auto. Children often get befuddled between reality and the virtual world. This will proliferate violent behavior not only in gaming but also in the real world. The thoughts in children’s minds become quarrelsome. School performance often dwindles when children are involved in too much gaming. Children often skip homework to have more time to play games; of course the child will do wretchedly in school. An excessive amount of gaming can also make children have social phobias. The children do not get much interaction with real life people. When it comes time to socialize, children will often panic from social anxiety. This not only takes away from bonding with other children but also with family members. Gaming vitiates long-term memory since it usually only requires gamers to use their short-term memory. In addition, gaming also can effectuate health issues. Some examples are obesity, seizures, postural and muscular skeleton disorders, tendonitis, nerve compression, and carpel tunnel syndrome.
On a better note, it may be surprising to some readers, but video games can also affect children positively. As stated, “Oblinger (2004) argues that videogames are potentially powerful learning tools because they support multi-sensory, active, and experiential and problem-based learning” (McLean and Griffiths 121). Video games have shown to enhance children’s mental skills due to the fact that it creates abstract and high level thinking. It trains children’s brains to make creative ways to unravel problems in brief amounts of time. It challenges the brain and can help them unriddle problems in real life. Children learn to concentrate better and it helps them not get distracted even while multitasking. This helps the children to make brisk real life decisions and still be accurate. It teaches children not to give up even when times get hard. Video gaming helps the brain so greatly that even the Army sometimes uses video games to ameliorate the soldiers’ awareness in combat.
Moreover, to make the positive effects of video gaming overcome the negative there are some recommendations. Hopf, Huber and Weib (2008) argued, “…lack of parental monitoring together with frequent exposure to violent media can lead to a significant risk of child demonstrating antisocial behavior during adolescence…” (McLean and Griffiths 126). Parents should monitor the video gaming very closely. Pay attention to the children’s behavior and make sure there are not any negative effects being produced. Parents need to be adoring…