Gaming: Harmless Fun or Ruinous?

Masud Kabir ‘18
EE Staff Writer

video-games-1557358_1920The video game industry, one of the fastest growing businesses of our era, is making a big impact in the world economy. But how do video games affect people’s minds? Are they good or bad? These are big questions. In order to get the answers, it is important to know what video games really are.

Actually, video games are digital entertainment played electronically which manipulate images and texts to guide players through the process. There are various genres of video games such as stealth, strategy, mystery, simulation, and shooting. All of these can be two dimensional or three dimensional. Three dimensional games are widely popular these days as they feel more real.

But are violent video games responsible for negative effects on the human brain, specifically for kids and teens?

“Children who play more violent video games are more likely to have increased aggressive thoughts, feelings, and behaviors, and a decreased prosocial helping mind”, according to Brad Bushman, a psychologist and  professor at Ohio State University.

Some members of the Trumbull High School community agree. “Games which contain violence can be ruinous for kids”, said math teacher Mrs. Elizabeth Capobianco.

Others argue that violent video games can lead to bravery or an interest in the military. A common refrain from members of the military is that a major inspiration for joining came from playing video games like Call Of Duty.

The amount of time consuming these games may make a big difference on the health effects of players. Research shows that people who regularly play video games more than 18 hours a day, risk clinical depression or other serious health risks. But researchers also suggest that, playing for a more reasonable number of hours causes little or no harm to people.

Most teens  suspect that playing too many video games is bad for them, and may negatively affect their health.

“Video games are good if played for a limited time” says Junior Donghai Huang, “But if played beyond boundaries, they can be harmful.”

“Video games are good, but I only like sports games like the FIFA Series,” adds Junior David Choi. “But I won’t play them for a long period of time–maybe 3 or 4 hours at most.”

Another big factor in video games is “age rating”. Like films, video games have ratings. There are few different video game rating boards. The most commonly used systems are: ESRB (Entertainment Software Rating Board), PEGI (Pan European Game Information), and CERO (Computer Entertainment Rating Organization). Reviews shows that people who follow these ratings generally have no negative effects.

But what do people think about video games? It generally depends on their age and background. Adults are probably less likely to be attracted to video games than kids and teens. Chemistry teacher  Ms. Davies says that she personally “hates video games and thinks they’re [a] waste of time.”

However, some students have opposing opinions. “Video games are awesome,” said Junior Ted Nguyen.”I would play video games for 14 hours a day if I could.”

For now, everything is just based on predictions and unfinished research. The true effects of video games have yet to be determined. Until we know more, maybe playing nonviolent games in moderation may be the best advice.

Everyone wants a great future, but in order to get that good future, we need an entertaining present. For many this happens through video game play.

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