Video Games Have a Bad Reputation, But is it Justified?
Last Updated on September 24, 2020 by GaijinGamers
In multiple reports over the last years, the negative influences of video games are under discussion. The violent nature of some video games has been the primary focus of these reports, and seem to suggest that aggressive behaviour in children and adults are somehow related to video games. But is this true? Do video games incite violent behaviour? Or are the positive effects of video games much more prevalent than the suggested negative effects?
A study from Harvard University shows that although violence is prevalent in many video games, there is very little evidence that shows that violence in video games is directly related to violence in real life. In the Review of General Psychology, published in June 2010 by the American Psychological Association. And in particular, a paper published by Dr Christopher Ferguson, a psychology professor at Texas A&M University, he argues that many studies are relying on measures that don’t relate to media violence. More critical, the studies use observational approaches that do not in any way prove cause and effect, a significant part of valid medical research.
Researchers have also looked at any common thread between violent video game use and school shootings, however, concluded that most young offenders had personal issues, such as anger, psychosis, and aggression, that were present before the shootings.
Further, in the United States, serious violent crimes committed by young people has been in decline since 1996, a period since which video games and game console sales have soared.
Of course, exposure to extreme violence is never a good thing when it is not in the right context, and this is where parents come in. Parents should always be vigilant on the behaviour of their children and take action where necessary. However, a poll amongst parents whose children play video games has shown that 62% of parents say that video games do not affect whatsoever on the behaviour of their children. In the same group of people questioned only 66% of children play video games that have a violent aspect. That means that only 4% of parents perceive there to be some effect on their kids due to video games.
Now we’ve covered the alleged negative aspects of video games, what are the positive effects that video games can have on children and adults alike?
Playing Video Games Can Boost Learning, Health and Social Skills.
Several factors contribute to how playing video games can be a good thing. There is the improvement of social skills through playing with others, the introduction of children into the technological world and nurturing a new skill set, a bonding exercise for parents and children, and many more. Below we have compiled a list of 10 attributes that show how playing video games can make children and adults more social, productive and creative in their daily lives.
Video games create creativity
A study by Michigan State University revealed that playing video games and increased creativity are directly related. The study showed that it didn’t matter if the games played were violent or non-violent. The study also showed that using mobile telephones, internet, and computers other than game consoles did not affect someone’s creativity.
Playing video games slows down ageing
People get older; it’s a fact of life. However, one of the side effects of getting older is that our brains slow down as well. Researchers from the University of Iowa found that playing 10 hours of games for 5-8 weeks slowed down or recovered brain activity in people aged 50 and older.
Playing Video games speeds up your decision making
A study done in the States showed that people that played up to 50 hours of high-speed video games made better, faster decisions than those that had played 50 hours of a slow-paced strategy game. The decision making speed difference was up to 25% faster at times.
Video games increase self-confidence
When someone starts playing a video game, this is usually at a lower level. Once they start going up in levels and skill sets, people will get more and more self-confidence. This is especially useful for people with low self-esteem as in video games, the cost of failing is not as high or non-existent. You simply start over and try again. Similarly, games can give you a sense of well-being, a basic psychological need, as someone progresses through levels and shares their experience with others.
Video games are a great workout
Activities like Wii games, Dance games or Kinect games give you a great workout; it’s a fun way to get in a few hours of intense physical workouts enjoyably. Ten minutes of playing a Dance game gives the same workout as a 3 miles treadmill walk. Not only that, but kids that play these kinds of games also do that with their friends in an exceptionally socially interactive manner.
Kids learn valuable skills for later
By playing video games, kids can learn valuable social skills that help them in the future. New games like Roblox are great to learn new skills like 3D and multiplayer experience building. While bartering and trading skills become second nature to kids if they want to know how to get Roblox promo codes, or even how to get free Roblox codes. Kids can also learn how to deal with money by using Robux and by learning how to get free Robux. The trade and sale of video game items is a multi-million dollar industry, and kids can get active in this at a very early point in time, gaining them valuable skillsets.
Playing video games improves eyesight
Ever heard ‘Your eyes will go square if you watch that all day’ from your mom? Not so, a study done by McMasters University showed that while playing games and spotting small details, following fast objects and seeing differences in light can improve one’s eyesight. Other studies found that kids that have poor vision can improve their sight by playing specially designed games for 8 hours.
Does your child have a poor focus in class?
According to one study, playing first-person shooter games can significantly improve someone’s focus both for long periods and for multitasking.
Video games are great for family bonding
Playing video games can be a great way to enhance and introduce family bonding time. It’s one of the best manners in which parents can learn to understand the wishes and needs of children while engaging in a fun and entertaining activity.
Video games make people more sociable
Video games are often seen as a way which pushes people into social isolation. We all know the image of the overweight, pimply kid that sits in his attic covered with food debris. However, the opposite is true. Video games enable people to connect. Video games, and specifically multiplayer online games, take away social and physical boundaries by creating a situation where everyone is the same and have the same interest. This can lead to a situation where someone, who might not have been able to create social contacts easily, can grow more accustomed to building connections.
There are many, many more reasons why video games can have a very serious, positive effect on peoples lives. Be it medical or social reasons.
So, yes, there are situations where people have become depressed or aggressive from the effects that video games have on them. The fact is that many studies have been proven, and studies that are in progress that show the many positive and endearing points that video games can bring to peoples lives. So when something negative comes up about video games, just think that video games have been improving our lives for some time now.