Advancements in technology is the key player in entertainment future. As the video games tend to grow to be practical in nature, the involvement of teens in this kind of entertainment has also grown to a large extent. However, the main focus of these games nowadays is violence and killing enemies. More and more sophisticated techniques are introduces by gaming companies every now and then to make this sort of entertainment more interesting for the youth. This scenario brings up a very genuine question in the minds of us all: are these violent video games a cause for the teens to act aggressively? Like majority of teens, I also indulge in playing violent video games and I believe that spending too much time on such kind of activity may cause irreparable damage to the behavior patterns of the teens.
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Spending too much time on playing violent video games can provoke teens to act in a violent manner. Killing a large number of enemies in a video game can teach teens to act in an aggressive manner when faced with the real world. Ruthless killings in the video games tend to train the sub-consciousness of the teens to become violent. According to a study, two teen groups were asked to play video games. One group spent more time than the other and hence acted more violently. Another version of the study shows that teens that play more violent video games tend to think of violence as fun as teens are likely to link aggression with amusement. More so, by playing violent video games teen are rewarded when they are successful which they subconsciously take to the real world as well. In some way if the game is played to much the boundaries between violence and fun in the game and violent in real life can be crossed. The large amount of weapons, dead bodies and blood shown in the video games makes the teens insensitive to aggression. According to many researches, video games, especially violent video games, make teens aggressive in nature, lazy, violent and unsocial.
Video games have been found to be addictive in nature if played uncontrollably. The players are required to repeat the same actions again and again in order to complete a level, a mission or to complete a particular project. However, the completion of the level or a mission demands a lot of time and patience. Mostly, it takes days of non-stop practice for a teen to complete all the levels of a video game. This means no social life for the teen and all that matters for him is to kill as many enemies as possible to succeed. Many researchers believe that teens spend countless hours of gaming in order to boast their expertise in this field. The competition nowadays between teens is less about academic grades and more about the expertise which a teen can show in these video games. Socially active groups are also formed by teens to log on to these violent video games at a specific time of the day and fight with each other in order to win the championship of the game.
Another drawback of spending excessive time on playing video games is that youngsters become unsocial and obese. According to many researches, people have a tendency to eat more while playing video games than while studying or resting. The imbalance of calorie intake while just sitting, playing video games, doing no physical activity and eating causes many weight related problems. Youngsters are inhibited to go out to the gym or a nearby jogging track to exercise, thus creating weight gain problems and increased risk of heart attack at later stages.
The neuroscientists warns that too much time spent on playing violent video games is bringing lots of negative behavioral changes in children. They become more violent, self centered, shorten attention periods and exhibit instant gratification. Although such reading would be disturbing to many however, most parents would agree to the claim as they have noticed such behavioral changes in their kids who spend a lot of time on such activities. Another negative effect of these sites as pointed out by the author is that people are usually more comfortable in using computers rather than communicating with each other. The social media sites and violent computer games only develop the "fight" side of the brain and the "reasoning" side of the brains remains totally under developed.
However, the supporters of violent videogames argue that most of the violent video games are rated adult material for the reason that mature adults are not likely to take influence from these games and would not go on the streets to display aggressive behavior. They also argue that these games satisfy the thrill and adventure seeking senses of bigger teens and mature adults than those games which are offered for the children. However, these arguments although valid to some extent may not practically apply to the society as it is very difficult to monitor the online activity of the teens by the parents all day long. Moreover, this may cause ethical problems and infringement into privacy of the teens in many societies.
In conclusion, it is appropriate to say that violent video games have a very negative effect on the behavior of the teens. They tend to act violently in the real world scenario, become more and more socially inactive, gain weight and suffer all sorts of associated problems, boast about something superficial (instead of academics and performance in co-curricular activities) and above all, waste a lot of time in an activity which has more negative effects than benefits. Strong measures should be incorporated by the government to ban production of violent video games or at least make them out of bounds for the under aged teens. Parents have a very important role to play in this scenario who should accompany teens to the shop in order to ensure that their kids are not buying anything harmful. Shopkeepers should also administer judgment while selling rated video games to under aged teens.
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Limiting the gameplay of violent video games for young people can have many positive effects. The player can decompress from daily stress. If the players had a rough day instead of being aggressive and maybe hurting something or someone, he can take out his anger on a virtual enemy in the video games instead of causing damage. Violent videogames provide exactly that kind of escape, giving kids “an arena where they can play with fantasies of danger, aggression and conflict, developing a feeling of mastery that can serve as an antidote, or at least a necessary break, from daily anxieties,” (Jones in wired.com) Since the players doesn’t play too much he just sees the video game as a way to relax and decompress. He is not addicted to the video game and just sees it as a way to entertain himself at some times. Players instead of being aggressive to people if they are angry can decompress in the game. It is like a punching ball but virtually. According to a graph in pro con.org the youth crime rate went down as the video games sales went up. This show that most people are not addicted and take decompress using video games. Also video game can be good for a quick pastime if the player is waiting 30 minutes for something, it is good to occupy for a short period of time. Some video games can make young players learn facts and consequences. For example capitals of countries can be learned as well as the locations on a map. Consequences of acting recklessly can be learned when the players gets killed or arrested.
Ratings in video games and age restrictions should be more strictly applied. Rating inform the buyer to know what kind of game is being bought and what is in it, violence, drugs, sexual actions and many more. The parents should accompany their kids and look at the rating to see if it is appropriate for the teen to play it. This would help buyers to see if the game is suitable for a certain range of age. Video games store should refuse to tell violent video game with over 18 rating to minors. Most video game clerks in stores do not check if the buyer is age appropriate for them or if the game is suitable for them. A minor client might not be mature enough for the game. In an article from Cnn.com by Rebecca Leung; a boy named Devin Moore shot two police officers and a 911 dispatcher. The game that influenced him was grand theft auto four; he played countless hours of it. In this game it is a society where the player is free to do whatever he wants the game encourages you to kill anyone in your way, a pedestrian, gang members or even the police. Accident like that can happen if age limits are not respected or if there is not parental control over these issues. As well an I.D. should be required to buy the game to double check. Many incidents like the shooting could be avoided.
To conclude over playing video games has many negative effects such as addiction, obesity, poor social skills, aggressive behavior and sleep deprivation. But if the right actions are taken by limiting the game play by for example setting limits of time played on the console and checking the ratings that show the content of the game many negative consequence can be avoided and positive things can happen.
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