Video Games in Teenagers: Are They Beneficial?

Introduction

Parents are able to control children and bar them from what they perceive as wrong during their tender years. However, this is not possible during the teenage as it is the age of exploration where every teen wants to try almost everything. Video games present the subject of interest in this case, and teenagers want to know every new video game. Video games are amazing because they offer visual and mental stimuli to an extent that the player forgets the world around them. While playing video games, three hours appear like 30 minutes. Video games can act as a great time killer and many stressed teenagers opt to relieve themselves by spending hours on their computer screens. Parents may find it absurd that their teenagers shirk house chores and other responsibilities to play video games. Many people have turned out to oppose video games, yet there are those who strongly support them. In this view, this paper gives a stringent analysis of the supporting and opposing arguments and thereafter provides a conclusive view.

Supporting arguments

Video games and intellectual thinking

Video games involve the use of the brain. The players undergo great challenges that foster great thinking. Continuous playing of video games has a tendency to sharpen the mind. The player’s mind is forced to master things, a factor that would help in mastering mathematics formulas in school. Research shows that gamers score highly in attention, speed, and accuracy tests. The gamers have great multitasking capabilities and they master education and video games concurrently. Video games directly relate to creativity, as gamers must coordinate actions in a creative manner in addition to acquitting computer skills. Video games play a major role in exposing players to real-world events. A video game player is more likely to think critically in solving a life situation as compared to a non-player. Video game teaches a moral lesson of readily accepting defeat and making it a stepping-stone for excelling the next time. For this reason, video game players are good gamblers in any situation, unlike the non-players who may have difficulties accepting defeat.

Video games as a way to escape trouble

Video games are mainly indoor games. They play a significant role in keeping teenagers indoors, thus saving them the agony of having trouble with their peers. Video games will protect the most vulnerable teens from peer pressure that would lead them to delinquency behavior, which is common among teenagers because of peer pressure. Records show that juvenile crimes fell from 71.9% to 49.3% between 1995 and 2008. During the same period, the sale of video games was more than thrice the normal sales (Williams & Smith, 2007). The increased sale of video games clearly indicates that video games play a significant role in reducing the rates of juvenile crime.

Video games and the strengthened social connections

Everyone would like to be happy at times and video games are a great source of happiness. Playing video games is one of the best ways to spend leisure time. Players get a chance to strengthen their social integration and connection with friends, family, and peers. Video game players reportedly have a high sense of well-being. In fact, research shows that the various tactical roles of gamers improve their cognitive functioning and help in preventing age-related dementia (Boot, Blakely, & Simons, 2011). The negative depiction of violent video games enhances the ability of players to manage fear and anger. Players enhance their psyche whenever they beat their competitors, thus they gain happiness by winning. On the other handwork, the losers struggle towards improving their skills in the next game. Child-parent relationships improve in the case where parents spare time to play with their teenagers. In such a case, teenagers freely share their problems with their parents. They develop better moods and sometimes score highly in school. From this view, the video games provide a source of happiness to teenagers and the whole family (Wills, 2002). Generally, video games will foster happiness, improve relationships, and strengthen the social connections with family, friends, and peers.

Opposing arguments

Video games in relation to laziness, lack of moral and social value

An analysis of the various video games indicate that a greater percentage of the games depict violence. Video games have no moral lesson behind their aggressive acts. Teenagers tend to be rude to their parents and believe their actions are right in whatever they perform. They respond rudely to their parents while caring less whenever they are playing the video games. Video games have a tendency of inculcating lazy behaviour into the gamers. Teenagers will spend the whole day glued to the screens and feel overwhelmed by their parent’s chores and complaints. The teenagers feel like the workers should do all chores while they have a right to sit back, relax, and play their video games. The teenagers lack morals and have little time to associate with peers to upgrade their social value.

Video games and the violent teenagers

Many of the video games sold depict violence. Half of the best-selling video games contain violence. Video games have installed so much violence in the gamers. Teenagers practice the actions seen in the video game in real life situation. Cases of rioting and excessive use of force mainly occur in high schools, which majorly comprises of teenagers. The school shootings, molestation, and bullying places blame on video games. The ruthless games cultivate violence in teenagers and reward players who successfully win in the violence. The teenager will rest assured that raising violence is a self defense mechanism. Such teenagers will always tend to raise their voices instead of approaching matters in a calm way. Video game players are experts in violence; they are somewhat rough and aggressive and they facially express their angry feelings upon defeat. Gamers always feel like revenging in form of a fight in case of defeat.

Video games and lifestyle illnesses

Video games are indoor games that do not involve any form of physical exercise. The gamers will simply eat junk and greasy foods, sit back, and play video games all day. It is noteworthy that video games are addictive and teenagers will play video games repeatedly without tiring (Wolf, 2012). They will glue their eyes to the mobile phones or computers at least 5-7 hours a day. The teenagers become inactive, as they do not get time to do the essential physical exercises for a healthy lifestyle. This leads to increased chances of developing lifestyle diseases such as obesity. Studies show a strong association between video games and childhood obesity. In the US, 33% of teenagers are overweight. Over the past 10 years, the number has shown an increasing trend and it may reach 50% in the near future. Pediatricians strongly suggest on limiting video gaming to somewhat prevent childhood obesity, but ignorance prevails. Lack of physical activity means few calories in the body burn while most of the calories are deposited as fat linings. At that state, teenagers are exposed to lifestyle diseases like diabetes, heart diseases, and high blood pressure.

Conclusion

From the discussion, it is evident that video games in teenagers are associated with advantages and disadvantages. The opposing individuals argue that video games have no social value but according to research, there is a great deal of unappreciated social value in video games. The video game called ‘dishonored’ installs a moral of calmness because the players have to play calmly without violence. The ‘Bio-shock’ game grapples and exposes the player to concepts of the real world. The violent games that are associated with negativity play a great role in avoiding trouble. Research shows that the violent games help teenagers release stress, which would otherwise lead to aggression (Rabin, 2005). It is a high time people start viewing the positive side of video games. Video games have a whole junk of social values in addition to the intellectual thinking associated. Video games have played a major role in creating a source of income for the series of people involved in the development and selling of the video games. In 2008, the sale of video games raised total revenue of $11.7 billion dollars in the US alone. Rebelling video games is so unpractical. It will make the world a boring place for teenagers, and cause millions of people to lose their source of income. The only adjustment necessary for video games is creation of diversified video games to cover a variety of subjects. Otherwise, video games are beneficial. The teens would naturally outgrow from playing video games after teenage.

References

Boot, W.R., Blakely, D. P., & Simons, D.J. (2011). Do action video games improve perception and cognition? Front Psychos, 2 (5), 226-232.

Rabin, S. (2005). Introduction to Game Development. Massachusetts: Charles River Media.

Williams, J. P., & Smith, J. H. (2007). The players’ realm: Studies on the culture of video games and gaming. Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Co.

Wills, J. (2002). Digital Dinosaurs and Artificial Life: Exploring the Culture of Nature in Computer and Video Games. Cultural Values: Journal for Cultural Research6(4): 395-417.

Wolf, J. P. (2012). International Center for the History of Electronic Games (ICHEG). The Culture, Technology, and Art of Gaming. 5(6), 329-336.