As one of the products of technology development, video games are deeply enjoyed by people, especially teenagers. However, comparing with teenagers’ passion of video games, many of their parents are holding negative attitudes toward video games. As Kutner, Olson, Warner, and Hertzog (2008) said, the U.S. parents worry that their children may not be able to balance the time spent on playing video games and doing other valuable activities such as school work and social activities. Also, the parents think that some video games’ content may potentially affect their children negatively (as cited in Bourgonjon, Valcke, Soetaert, Wever, & Schellens, 2011, p.1435). Nevertheless, when the parents are having these concerns about video games, they may overlook the fact that video games can have positive effects on their children. Therefore, it is important to inform the potential benefits of video games to the parents, so that they may change their attitudes about video games. Different types of video games may give different benefits to teenagers. Violent, role-play and educational video games can improve teenagers’ school performance, and pro-social and multiplayer video games can help the teenagers keep or have better interpersonal relationships. Different types of video games have different features, and even though video games have various types, most of the video games belong to more than one type. The violent video games require the players to control their characters’ moves and actions to attack other characters in the games. For role-play video games, they have their own unique game story lines, so the players have to experience the whole game stories when they play role-play video games. The pro-social video games is also a common type of video games, which require the players to help the characters to finish some tasks such as cleaning houses, or taking care of farm or animals in the games. Educational video games are always used in classrooms since their purpose is to teach the players academic material. Many of these types of video games can be played by many people at the same time, which are called multiplayer video game, and video games can be played by different devices. It is not necessary for the teenagers to use video game consoles playing the games since teenagers can also play video games on their personal computers or even cell phones (Gaylord, 2008, para.6). Therefore, video games can also be defined as all kinds of electronic games.
Playing video games have become one of the most popular entertainment activities for the U.S. teenagers. According to Sinder (2009), in 2008, the U.S. total sales of the products related to video games were over 21.3 billion dollars (as cited in Shin & Huh, 2011, p.945-946). Teenagers made great contributions to the sales of video game products because they are the main players of video games. According to Pew Internet & American Life Project study (n.d.), in 2008, about 97% of U.S. teenagers played video games (as cited in Gaylord, 2008, para.4), and about 80% of U.S. teenagers’ home had video games (Shin & Huh, 2011, p.946). Among these teenage video game players, many of them played video games quite often. According to the findings of Pew Internet & American Life Project study (n.d.), in 2008, 50% of the teenagers who played video games reported that they played video games yesterday (as cited in Gaylord, 2008. Para.5). Also, there was a positive trend of the percentage of teenagers who play video games. Depending on the data that was provided by the NPD Group (n.d.), which is a global research company, the rate of the teenagers who started to play video games was even higher than the growth rate of teenagers (as cited in Snider, 2011, para.2). Because of the positive trend, almost every teenagers will be exposed to video games in the near future, so the knowledge of the potential benefits that video games can bring