Friday, May 9, 2014

Video Games: E for EVERYONE

Image: Wikimedia Commons
Video games have been around for about 40 years and in that time the growing question out of all parent's minds is “What is this doing to my child?” While many adults, parents, and public figures say video games are affecting the gamers for the worse, I disagree. Video games affect our everyday lives for the better improving mental and social skill. Video games have been proven to increase motor skills such as kicking or throwing a ball. Video games can also act as a pain reliever. Burn victims that played video games while in treatment said they were in 30 to 50 percent less pain than before. In 2010 researchers found that video game players “develop heightened sensitivity to what is going on around them” and makes them make faster decisions. While there is proof of video games affecting people for the better, some believe they are still bad.

Many parents and public figures in the past have blamed school shootings on violent video games such as “DOOM” or “Wolfenstein.” There have been increasing reports of bullying partially attributed to video games. After the Columbine shooting on April 20, 1999 FBI agents said that video games contributed to the shooting. Video games have been known to release appalling acts of violence. In 1998 a study found that 21% of games sampled violence against women, and endorsed violence. In Japan a study showed that exposure to games have shown lowered empathy levels in children which could lead to school shootings. In addition in 1996 the US Marines corps licensed “DOOM II” in order to train US Marines for duty. This shows that many video games including this one are made to help people kill others, and if put in the wrong hands it could lead to an innocent fatality. While this could push someone to believe that video games have a negative effect on people, other proof would push someone to believe that video games have positive effect.

Video games have arguably been the most controversial issue for the last 40 years, keeping them on the shelves is the question that has been asked many times. But video games have been proven to have a positive effect and peoples mind and health. Two researches Lawrence Kutner and Cheryl Olson who wrote the “Grand Theft Childhood,” interviewed over 1,200 children on the subject of influence of violent video games (see video below). They concluded through their research that childhood crime rates have been slowing down the past 20 years ever since violent video games became a normality in the market. They noticed that people that were most susceptible to violence because of video games were the ones that didn’t play them normally and were not used to the content. This shows that people that play video games are more stable and less susceptible to committing crimes and violent actions towards other people.

Video games affect everyday lives for the better making the people who play them less susceptible to crimes and improving mental health. The evidence is clear video games do not make people commit crimes. They do the exact opposite. Video games have become a normality and with that, the normality is to use them as a scapegoat for crimes that are committed by the players. The only effect that video games have on the players is improving the player’s lifestyle.


May 29, 2014 Updated conclusion

The reason I chose to write my blog on the good side of video games is because I feel there is too much, belief in the news media world that they are bad. Video games are a very close subject to me and are a part of my life. I felt if I got the knowledge out to the world about the good video games do then people would at sept them as a normality. It would hurt to tell someone that "I play video games" and have them make the assumption that I am a violent person. I would like to thank Ms. Gerla for showing me the amazing documents on the frustration and violence in adolescents because of video games, they broadened my research to the "bad" side of video games. I would like to thank all of you that commented on my post to give me support and tips to broaden my research.


  1. A well-written article advocating for video game's positive impact on society. However, you don't directly address or counter some of the arguments or points brought up by advocates against violence in video games, which hurts your overall argument.

  2. Croix, I agree with edchenable that you need to address the studies that show correlations between violence in video games and violence in real life. Looks like there is a new one underway in New Zealand. I've also read recently that the American Psychological Association is planning to release a comprehensive review of all the research on violence and video games this fall. While we wait for that, you could point to more recent research that suggests it is the frustration at failing that causes aggression. I appreciate that you are showing the positive side of gaming, because I do believe there are great benefits and learning opportunities. I'd like to see more examples like the burn victims you mentioned early in your post and the faster decision-making skills that gamers develop. What are the other benefits? How do we get people to pay more attention to the positives when we are confronted with all the news about aggression and decreased empathy? Does it matter what KINDS of games you play? Are some games better than others at developing particular skills?

  3. Very interesting article Croix! While too much of anything can be bad, I think that a healthy amount of video games is good. I think that playing video games is a good way to let out aggression in a way that is not harmful to people. While video games are linked to violence and school shootings, I think there are often other factors that contribute a role to them other than video games. Of course everyone gets angry when they lose a game or can't beat a level, but it is good for people to learn to deal with their frustration. I feel that in general the integrity of gamers is underestimated when people say that video games make them more violent in real life. Most people would know that shooting someone in a video game is different from shooting someone in real life and that violence against real people is wrong. I am wondering more about how video games improve social skills. Also do you think that different kinds of games are better for people than others. Is there a difference in the effects that Mario Kart would have on a person rather than GTA or Call of Duty?

  4. Hey Croix! This is a great post about what video games player actually think about video games. It clearly shows how parents are concern about the negative influences that violent video games can bring to their kids and how these games are actually bringing a lot of positive influences to the player. However, I think that video games are ,sometime, very addicting. I remember one time, I started to play a video game in the morning, and it was just so hard to stop. I kept playing that game for the whole day. Even though video games, including the violent ones, don't make people commit crimes, they can bring some other serious problems to the players. Do you think that teens should still play video games even though they can be very addicting? What do you think that the player should do to manage their time of playing video games?

  5. Thanks for posting this article Croix. I enjoyed reading it, it really grabbed my attention since I play video games. I had no idea that video games could help some of our skills or people who are in pain. I am not surprised that people would think that video games influence violence, but I personally do not think that they do that. There is violence that happens on everyday television for example on the news, so it can't all be blamed on the video games. Do you think there is any way on decreasing the negative ideas on violence being originated from video games?

  6. Interesting article, Croix. I read your post after reading the article on television use in young children. One of the sources for that article has researched the effect of hyperactive, fast action programming on brain development, concluding that violence on TV significantly increases the probability of children developing attention problems later on. Although the research was on TV in general and not specifically on video games, the implications seem to apply to both, and shift the focus from children becoming violent to one of children losing cognitive skills. Did you see anything about this risk in your research? Do you think the benefits outweigh the risks for younger children whose brains are still susceptible to impacts on their cognitive abilities? Thanks for posting!--Ms. Riches

  7. Hey Croix! Your article is really interesting! I like how you not only talked about how many parents assume video games are bad, and how that is incorrect, but you also mentioned that video games can actually have positive affects. It's really interesting to think that video games have been proven to actually affect our mental and social skills. I think one reason many parents assume video games can be bad is simply because they don't want their kids in front of a tv or computer too much. Do you think if parents knew that video games could actually have positive effects on their children that they would feel more on board with their children playing them? Thanks for the wonderful information, Indika.

  8. Hey Croix, You have a very interesting article. I talk to my parents a lot about the usefulness of video games. I agree with you, video games improve hand eye coordination. It also helps people become more aware of their surroundings. Some video games also teach valuable lessons such as teamwork and dealing with loss.

    However, I think adults should monitor what their children play. Many underage kids are playing violent video games and it is noticeably affecting their social skills.

    Do you think the good balances out the bad? Do you think kids who just started playing violent games are much more affected by the violence?

  9. Hey Daniel thanks for commenting on my pos! To answer your question yes I do think that a child who just started playing can be at more risk then one that has been playing for awhile. for more information watch video above.

  10. Thanks Indika for commenting on my post! The question you asked is a hard question to answer because there is a lot of controversy on the issue. But the answer I can give you is that maybe if people opened their minds they might be able to at sept the fact video games are a new part of our lives and we should embrace them.

  11. Thanks for giving me your point of view on the issue Mona! I would have to agree with you video games can be very addictive. I feel the best way to control this would be to set a timer to make sure you wouldn't go over your "limit" on video game use. But since video games can be addicting wouldn't this be an amazing chance to make educational video games and get children addicted to those?

  12. Really great post, Thank you for sharing This knowledge.Excellently written article, if only all bloggers offered the same level of content as you, the internet would be a much better place. Please keep it up!
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