Video games have been around the world since the 1970’s, and has impacted many people in various ways. Over time, videogames have been more complex, adding more detail and creative stories to entertain the audience while also making them more addictive to some. This has led to various behaviors among youth and how they learn about the world around them and has sparked some controversy. There are some that would argue that videogames are dangerous for the young mind and that there is little to no social interaction with the outside world. On the other hand, there are some that see the benefits to playing videogames and the certain health factors that could be improved by gaming. While I myself play video games, both sides of the argument have valid points that further support either position on the subject. The vast history of videogames have shaped the controversy further as some of these games are becoming more realistic and more violent which scares those who oppose gaming. While supporters see the different benefits of gaming which can include physical exercise, promoting healthy lifestyles, and can challenge the brain which improves thought. Playing video games has significantly impacted the world and violent events promoted by violent games has made this topic very controversial and insightful.
In the early stages of video game development, there were many that saw the positives because the early games were simple and educational youth. According to an opposing viewpoint titled “Video Games”, a doctor named Douglas A. Gentile, who studies media effects on people at Iowa State University, has claimed that video games have a positive impact as long as they are kept in proper context. He also states that these games are engaging and extremely interactive which makes them popular among youths and has large effects on society. While there is much research shown that video games do impact society, there are sides that encourage video games and there is side that only sees the negative effects. Another article titled “Online Game Playing Is Not Addictive”, explains that gaming can make people more social by bringing them together through a common interest and using it to create social interactions that benefit individuals. It also states that more challenging, online multiplayer games, can actually improve cognitive development among youth, by making them think about the choices they make and interacting with others. Being able to connect with others through the same interests and also being more social because of gaming can create a significant positive impact among youth and adults. These are just some of the some of the ways video games have already made an early impact on generations and how they can be seen in a positive way early on.
Another positive impact of video games is that it is tailored to both genders as there are games that promote both the male and female aspect. There have been many different video games that allow people to choose their own gender and make decision based on how they want to play, not just following a stereotype. According to an article called “Males and Females Both Embrace Gaming Technology”, a female game designer named Patricia Flanegan, created a company in 1995 to specifically create games that appealed to girls which generated a positive response. The company became a huge success as it sold many copies of games that they published while still sending a positive message to society that gaming is for girls as well as boys. There are games that are made for everyone and there are tournaments that show that girls can play video games just as well as a boy, which makes gaming for everyone and not just one stereotype. Allowing for video games to be enjoyed by both boys and girls can show that gaming is a very diverse culture that doesn’t just tailor to one specific gender and reaches out to communities all over the world. The article finishes by saying that future research should be done and that gaming is already in the right direction by showing diversity and encouraging women to participate in gaming and developing their own gaming projects to better entertainment and increase competition. This shows that video games are extremely diverse and encouraged by both genders, not just boys as it once was early on, these future improvements make gaming more positive.
While there are many that support video games and encourage people to play them, there are some that see the negative effects and share their ideas on fixing the gaming community. According to the article “Violent Video Games Promote Antisocial Behaviors”, it claims that more violent games cause individuals to become more aggressive and causes them to become short tempered. The research conducted within this article used an MRI machine to study the brain of individuals that played violent video games and wanted to see if the processes of emotion changed among gamers that played violent games. It showed that players of violent games had lacked empathy and responded less to images of real violence which could cause concern to others. The article goes on to argue that gamers that play violent video games are more immersive into the game and focus on winning rather than the consequences of their actions. Which leads some to believe that there is a lack of empathy and the difference between right and wrong is tossed out in favor of winning the game. There is certainly a pause for concern when dealing with video games and can often lead many to wonder whether violent video games create violent people which opposers want further action done to prevent these games from being made and regulated.
Video games are a huge part of our society and should be looked at by lawmakers with caution as there is evidence for both the positive and negative sides of gaming. Video games can promote social interactions between individuals because they can share the same interests. They also create a diverse community that promotes both genders and creativity from all people interested in gaming. There are also opposers who have conducted their own research and have made their own discoveries which leads them to believe that violent video games have no place in our society. Video games should be enjoyed by all and should still be seen as entertainment, but should be watched closely if violent video games go to far with promoting violence.
Flanagan, Jack. “Violent Video Games Promote Antisocial Behaviors.” Violent Video Games, edited by Roman Espejo, Greenhaven Press, 2015. At Issue. Opposing Viewpoints in Context,
Gray, Peter. “Online Game Playing Is Not Addictive.” Addiction, edited by Christine Watkins, Greenhaven Press, 2014. Opposing Viewpoints. Opposing Viewpoints in Context,
Korotoski, Aleks. “Males and Females Both Embrace Gaming Technology.” Male and Female Roles, edited by Karen Miller, Greenhaven Press, 2010. Opposing Viewpoints. Opposing Viewpoints in Context,
“Video Games.” Opposing Viewpoints Online Collection, Gale, 2016. Opposing Viewpoints in Context, http://link.galegroup.com/apps/doc/PC3010999329/OVIC?u=ranc95197&xid=585235bd. Accessed 1 Mar. 2018