Are video games bad?
January 7, 2016
Are video games bad?
Are video games bad? How do they impact us? What are the Pros and Cons? This question has been the source of a debate for many years but remains largely unclear.
Video Games have gained a bad reputation as a waste of time. But there is a much darker reputation associated with it. Such as being outright blamed for inciting violent behaviour. Especially in younger, more impressionable people.
After a high profile shooting, main-stream media outlets are quick to hold games liable. Particularly so, if the perpetrator was known to have played violent games. As was the case in the Connecticut shootings of Sandyhook, involving Adam Lanza. There’s a bias against it, no doubt. But what do the studies actually say? Do these accusations hold validity or is it just senseless fearmongering?
People play video games for many reasons. Some like casual fun whilst others enjoy a challenge. And some, just use it as a way to pass time. It would be fair to state that it’s an enjoyable experience for most. Otherwise, why wouldn’t do it.
It’s believed that playing games can improve coordination. When playing a video game, a person will respond to what is happening on the screen – dodging attacks, quick-time events and timing jumps. This is believed to help with coordination, dexterity and may even improve reflexes.
There are many games that include puzzle solving. This promotes problem solving and logical thinking. This, of course, can be applied in everyday scenarios.
Contrary to popular believe, it is said that gaming can actively encourage socialising. In multiplayer games, both on and offline, people need to work together. This can greatly improve teamwork, communication and socialising. Which again, can be applied to everyday scenarios. It is believed that this can also contribute when employed and working with others.
In some cases, games can impact our lives badly. Here are a few examples of how they can do so.
Games can become extremely addictive! Certain individuals become heavily reliant on them. If they can not cope with their reality, they’ll use games as a means of escapism. It is rare and uncommon, but some people have lost their jobs and relationships because of their addiction. In the rarest of occasions, this has actually resulted in death. Usually due to complete neglect of themselves or someone reliant on them. As was the case in south Korea when a couple neglected their child to raise a virtual baby online in a game called Prius.
Another downside is that games may potentially promote violence in younger, more impressionable people. It may desensitize them to violent acts or reduce their capacity to empathise.
Video games can also promote poor health. When choosing to stay inside for days at a time, people lose out on vitamins the natural daylight provides. If an individual stays inside and remains inactive throughout the day, this promotes laziness.
I do not claim to be a psychologist nor have I had any training in the field. However, I think it is fair to say that most people can distinguish between reality and virtual reality. As for those who can not and have a greater inclination to commit violent crimes, would the complete absence of violent video games truly make a difference?
In my personal opinion, it probably wouldn’t. After all, Stalin and Genghis Khan, both notorious historical figures known for their violent tyrannical reigns, were not known to play COD! My point being, that if a person has a natural inclination to be violent, then they will likely commit a violent crime with or without the influence of a violent game. It is natural to want to make sense of an otherwise senseless crime! But blaming video games just seems lazy and irresponsible!
There are certain individuals who are naturally inclined to addiction. However, this argument probably has more validity given the deep level of interactivity people have with video games. But, it is still the sole responsibility of the individual to recognise and deal with their addictions! Or at the very least to seek professional help!
There are age restrictions and if parents are choosing to buy their children adult rated games, then who is really to blame?
If these individuals can not cope with their reality, then the sad truth is, they would likely find another means of escapism which would eventually culminate into addiction.
However, this is only my opinion and doesn’t make it fact. I would urge anyone to do their own research and come to their own conclusions.
A Gamer who loves pretty much all genres of Games! (More so RPG, FPS, Survival Horror, Action Adventure etc.) Known to collect “Retro Games and Consoles” and also for being guilty of having an ever expanding back log of games. To get to know him better and see what he’s been up to, catch him online via his Gaming Accounts… You know what to do!