Does Video Games Affect Our Lives?

Written and Media by James Hudson


Image by Brandongaille
Image by Brandongaille

The video game industry is a global phenomenon. To date, there are more than one billion people who plays video games across the planet. Video games are a huge part of our culture but how much does it affect our lives? Believe it or not, video games can affect us in a positive way and even in a negative way.

Image by New York Times
Image by New York Times

Researches have always found ways to accuse video games causing violence and addiction yet so much time has passed and no one has yet to come to a solid conclusion. ¬†Some researches have found that 4% in gamer’s level aggression is increase after playing violent games. That was soon debunked as other researchers concluded that factors such as family background, mental health or interesting enough, just being a male are more significant in determining levels of aggression. Whenever someone talks about the cons of video games, it’s mostly centered around violence but can also be centered around other things. People tend to isolate themselves or not having the ability to distinguish reality and fantasy. This is shown more heavily on children seeing how they are easily more influenced than an adult would be. This can affect their studies in school, interacting with their family and friends, sports etc. People would argue with the saying “too much video games can be bad for you.” In some scenarios that may hold some truth because when you start to play video games for an extended period of time, you lose focus of what the time is currently. Do this enough times then you really start to forget some responsibilities that you had to do that day like an interview for a job or ended up missing class.

With all of those negatives, one would think that playing video games in generally is extremely unhealthy for you and just bad in general right? Well when there’s negatives, there’s always positives. Video games has a vast amount of categories when it comes to the genre of that title. Genres like action, adventure, strategy, sports etc. all has their own effect on how it affects us. One of the major benefits of playing video games is giving people the discipline to follow instructions and being able to problem solve. While this may not be genre specific, you physically can’t progress through any video game unless you follow specific what the game tells you to do. There also comes a point in time where you would need to solve puzzles and you’re going to have to come up with creative ways to solve that particular puzzle. In regards to games like Call of Duty, Battlefield or any other shooters which seems to be the bulk of the reason why people say video games makes people violent actually helps people more than they think. Shooting games improves people’s hand-eye coordination and enhances their motor and spatial skills. Being able to track movement, where the enemy is heading as well as the speed in which that person is moving while being able to aim is a lot of interaction that the brain has to process and interpret. Resource management, multitasking, developing reading and math skills, accuracy, inductive reasoning and hypothesis testing. The list goes on and on about how positive video games affects us positively. Heck even people in the army uses a game called Arma to simulate and train their soldiers in the military to asses their situational awareness.

Image by The Conversation
Image by The Conversation

No matter if you play video games to have fun or to educate people, there will always be a negative or positive drawback that will affect us. It’s up to us to determine the level of impact it has on the person.

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