Video games are electronic devices that require the interaction of a user face. This enables the generation of visual feedback. Video games vary from handheld devices to mainframe computers.
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Video games started as early as the mid 20th century and today the popularity has grown tremendously and the entertainment industry that produces them has grown in leaps and bounds.
Video games have both positive and negative effects on the consumers.This paper will focus on how the exposure to violent video games can have major negative effects on children’s behavior in terms of education, aggressiveness and creativity.
In recent times, the debates about the aggressiveness in children due to exposure to video games have been rife. There is so much violence in the video games and it is estimated that “over 85% of the games contain some violence and approximately half of video games include serious violent actions” (Carnagey, Anderson and Bushman 489).
Most of the video games are rated E meaning they can be sold to children of all ages from six years. However, a close look at those games shows that the parents consider them violent. This is detrimental to the youths because exposure to violence in video games has worse effects than those caused by abusive parents, coming from a broken home or associating with antisocial peers.
Children who play violent video games have increased aggressive cognitions, aggressive behavior, psychological arousal as well as antisocial behavior. Furthermore, exposure to violence in the games leads to desensitization- “a reduction in emotion-related physiological reactivity to real violence” (Carnagey et al 490).
This means that when children are exposed to violence they become used to it and may grow up thinking violence is the norm. For example, when children are shown a violent clip for the first time they react with a lot of anxiety but a second such or worse clip does not have the same effect because they have become immune to violence. This is dangerous because it lowers the children’s responsiveness to real violence.
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In the video games children are exposed to violence in a positive manner that is with music and sounds that are exciting, beautiful visual effects which are used as rewards for violent actions in the game. This leads to reduced physiological arousal for example the heart rate. Eventually desensitization occurs and such children are less likely to notice violent acts or events, sympathize with victims of violence.
They also have a less negative attitude towards violence and generally believe the world is unsafe and thus the need for violence to protect oneself. Such children are less likely to seek for help in case of violence because they have a decreased perception of injury. in addition, such children have increased aggression and are more likely to unleash violence towards other children at school.
Some children spend a considerable amount of time playing video games and this impacts their school performance negatively. This is because they devote a lot of time playing the video games at the expense of schoolwork. this is especially the case with children who have a problem with schoolwork initially.
They prefer to play video games instead of doing homework especially if they keep failing. To enjoy a bit of success they turn to video games where they achieve success for example killing the villain in the game and get rewarded with points, music or sounds. The negative effect on education is more evident among children who begin playing the video games at a very young age.
These children become addicted to video games and thus do not pay attention to schoolwork. Video games also impact children’s education in that most of the time they will be talking about their video games heroes instead of discussing useful things that might help them to improve their academics.
Some children can remember all the aspects of the video games but can find it difficult to remember simple mathematical or science concepts taught in class. Some children will play the video games for long periods and may fail to get enough sleep and this may lead to lack of concentration in class the following day. Thus, they fail to grasp the content taught by teachers ad jeopardize their educational growth.
The evidence is in lower grades in school examinations and tests. On the other hand, some scholars argue that video games are good for the children as they help to improve their cognitive and motor skills. this is because the “skills learned during game playing may be applied in instructional setting” ( Vorderer and Bryant 336).
Video games have killed creativity in children. This is because children spend most of their time sitting in front of computers playing games. They engage in activities of shooting, killing, kidnapping instead of doing creative things that might help to improve their cognitive skills.
They do not have an opportunity to engage with the environment or even play with their peers (Lakhanpal 1). This kind of environment gives the children an opportunity to develop people skills, become inquisitive by asking questions regarding their surroundings as well as learn about daily activities. On the contrary, “being glued to the video games all the time hinders this”(Lankhanpal 1).
Conversely, video games provide children with virtual worlds where they can practice skills such as leadership. These are the same skills necessary in real life. The children get a chance learn the skills through taking roles. For instance, a child may take the role of a police officer in the game and while at it learn a thing or two about the roles of a police officer. This is because the games “mimic social structure” (Kiefabar 1).
Finally, it is the responsibility of parents to control how their children play video games. Too much exposure to the games has many negative effects than positive ones. Parents should therefore protect their children from the negative effects of the games.
Just like they would not allow their children to watch X rated movies so should they stop the children from playing video games that have a lot of violence disguised in cartoon characters. Just as a healthy diet keeps a child fit and keeps off illness so is a regulated violence free video game.
Carnage, Nicholas, Craig Anderson and Brad Bushman. “The effect of video game violence on physiological desensitization to real-life violence.” Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 43 (2007): 489-496.
Kiefabar, Matt. Video Games. 2009.
Lakhanpal, Bhardwaj Priyanka. Is addiction to video games killing creativity. 2010.
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Vorderer, Peter and Bryant Jennings. Playing Video Games: Motives, Responses, and Consequences. New York: Routledge, 2006.