The world has changed and evolved rapidly in the past few years. The invention of computer and modern internet has changed the fundamental needs of most teenagers. Video games on consoles, computers and smartphones have revolutionized the world and the concept of virtual reality. Many teenagers find it palying video games interesting especially violent video games. This is due to how entertaining and thrilling they are to them as teenagers. However, playing video in most cases has some negative effects to the player. Violent video games often make an individual’s brain more responsive to violence. Unknowingly, such type of video games leads to aggressive increase in behavior and as time goes on, the brain doesn’t perceive that aggression to be anything abnormal. Despite the numerous positive effects such as, quick-decision making, multitasking, teamwork…etc., “there are two sides to every coin,”. While all the listed above are good effects of video games, on the other side, video games have their own negative short comings which affect physical health, psychological health, and overall performance of teenagers. This paper will discuss negative ways video games affect the lives of teenagers.
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Addiction to video games hinders the physical health of a teenager. Excessive sitting while playing games with minimal movement may possess physical health problems such as obesity, back pains, insomnia, and drowsiness. As already mentioned, video gaming is an addictive practice which a person tends to develop a liking for this attitude and can go on-and-on with it playing for hours. It is obvious that illness and disease caused by ceaseless gaming are hard to cure. Therefore, trying not to get into such activities is the first step to prevent these types of problems to the physical health; and possible the most advisable thing to do. Most teenagers who play violent video like tend not to have interest in stuff he/she has been preoccupied with. This is because, the often teenagers play the video games, there is a higher interaction with the video gaming interface, and therefore tends to take control of the teenagers thought process. According to a research conducted by Dr. C. Shawn Green of the University of Wisconsin, he mentioned that, “video games can change your brain more negatively. (needs Citation)” this is because, most video games are designed to make you the protagonist and, in most cases, commit crime and other violent activities to achieve your goals. This in the long run might have negative effects by making your brain to think more negatively.
One common health issues that is faced by most individuals, specifically teenagers addicted to playing violent video games is obesity. Addicted gamers usually encounter this problem because, they are prone to sit in one place for a longer period, and as a result their body practically misses out on any kind of physical activity like exercise. For example, back in home in Ghana, my cousin used to be teased with different names due to the amount of weight he had gained from sitting still almost all day due to his attachment to video games. This was mainly because he was always at his room playing addictive games such as call of duty, grand theft auto and many more whiles eating at the same time. This became his habit, and by the time his parents realized, he was obese and violent as well. This situation led to him been stigmatized by his friends. Even in school, no one wanted to play with him because he had gained a lot weight and would often complain of back pains immediately they involve themselves in any activity. Being overweight may increase the risk of developing other ailment in a long run, such as high levels of cholesterol, diabetes, hypertension and so on. Playing video games for long hours could also prevent teenager to have the maximum sleep they need which results in the development of insomnia; Which further results in drowsiness and hypoactive immune system. Again, back pains are also commonly experienced by gaming addicts, since they sit in position for long hours. Even though they don’t pay attention to this, it might have an in-depth implication as the thirst for gaming progresses.
There are psychological health issues with regards to playing video games for incredibly long hours which prone to negatively affect the social behavior of the teenager as well. Excessive gaming can develop certain traits which may have adversely effects on an individual’s life development. According o a research conducted by Douglas Gentile released by the Iowa State University utters that, “teenagers are most inclined to video games by being indoors, which leads to a bad habit of socialization.” (needs Citation) Now social isolation can be an immediate consequence of frequent and ceaseless gaming. Teenagers tend to spend lesser time with their friends and family since they obviously want to get back home or game centers as fast as possible and continue playing. Prior to this, most gaming teenagers become detached from others, and so in the long- run lack abilities of social communication and develop fear of human company (anthropophobia). For example, I met a friend last semester in one of my math classes. This guy would be sitting at the back-playing game all by himself, whiles other people were making discussions on previous topics. Days after, I approached him, and he seems very shy talking to me and spoke very slowly due to no connection he could make from the conversation. I observed that he was a bit nervous. So, I told him not to be nervous, then he replied saying, he’s not used to talking to people apart from his parents. Even he barely talks to people younger sister, because he is always busy playing video games alone. Now this clearly confirms how video games can influence a person’s life.
Children and teenagers may face confusion about reality and fiction. Since addiction to video games hamper their social life, the scope for them to mingle with other people and to even their experience of the realties of the world becomes very limited. In a way this turns to be a consequence such that they end up believing that the real world is like the virtual world of the game they have been playing. Hence, they behave and interact in the same way as they do during gaming. Again, a research carried out by the National Institute for Media and the Family, Minneapolis, infers that video gaming addiction in kids may result in, increase in t he levels of anxiety and depression in them. Therefore, excess video- gaming can leads to psychological impact on an individual, precisely teenagers.
Uncontrolled addiction to video games deduces a teenager’s performance academically. Normally this happens when teenagers always think and dreams about games he has playing thus tends to lack of interest in studies and other related activities. According to an article written by the Naskar in the industrial psychiatry Journal, the article mentions how an 18- year old boy had excessive use of video game for the last 2 years which led him to losing interest in studies as well as getting low academic grades.”(needs Citation) Academic performance can be affected by inverse balance to video game addiction. This literally signifies that the more time one spends in playing, the lesser the person occupies his/her self with studies. Obviously, this shows negatively in the end of semester school report card, and as a result makes the child academically incompetent.
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Moreover, even though this is about teenagers, on the other hand it implies to the case of adults as well. Excessive gaming being the overall performance and productively at their workplace, predominately because they (adults) may have missed out on adequate sleep, due to the constant late-night gaming. Even though, games which have good analytical content may help develop math and other skills in the life of students. However, there are numerous bestselling games on the markets today which only district teenagers with their flashily animation and fierce characters. To illustrate, themes not only skeptically affect their concentration but with the passage of time, they also lack the abilities and tendencies of time- management. For example, in the Gale One life psychological article stated that, “As the availability and quality of video games has risen, so has the amount that children and adolescents spend playing them. Time spent playing video games has been inversely correlated with the ways past generations children and adolescents spent time: reading, doing homework.” Also, studies have shown that teenagers who are addicted to playing video games frequently fight with their classmates, argue a lot with their teachers, and often miss their homework. Due to the regular habits of ids and teenagers playing games, they get addicted and are unable to devote proper amount of time required for studies. As a result, they score poor grades.
Teenagers find it interesting playing video games, most especially violent games. Although video games are fun, and has positive effects, however video game impact negatively on teenagers as well. Resulting to the effect on physical health, psychological health, and overall performance in terms of academics. Therefore, in order to reduce such negative chances on teenagers, parents and guardians are to check on their children assign rule and regulations to control this kid form getting addicted to video games. This rule can include time and hours for homework, video games and family get-together. Ensuring these measures will help improve the lives of teenagers for a better future.
- Bavelier, Daphne & Green, C.. (2019). Enhancing Attentional Control: Lessons from Action Video Games. Neuron. 104. 147-163. 10.1016/j.neuron.2019.09.031.
- Bickford, Rebekah. “Youth Access to Violent Video Games on Trial: The U.S. Supreme Court Takes the Case.” National Association of School Psychologists. Communique, vol. 39, no. 2, 2010, pp. 11–13.
- Naskar, Subrata, et al. “‘One Level More:" A Narrative Review on Internet Gaming Disorder.” Industrial Psychiatry Journal, vol. 25, no. 2, 2016, pp. 145–154.
- “GENTILE CITES POSITIVE, NEGATIVE EFFECTS OF VIDEO GAMES IN NATURE REVIEWS ARTICLE.” States News Service, 2011, pp. States News Service, Dec 27, 2011.
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