We live in a society, a society that more than often scrutinizes others for using their phones more than they should be. But there is one screen which can actually help us improve some valuable traits. Video games. A video game is a computer-controlled game which is displayed on a screen and is mostly used for entertainment, although they can have much more uses than just playing them for fun. They can increase reaction time, help with problem solving and even boost social skills. Many could argue that violent video games can affect the way kids behave in the real world, but many of those claims can be easily disproved. Think of video games as something else in life that can benefit our bodies, like water. Just like water can have a positive effect on our bodies, video games can positively affect our mental well-being and our abilities to do certain tasks. According to researchers, video games are teaching people to become better at taking in sensory data, and turning it into the right decisions (C. Shawn Green, 2010). Unfortunately, there may be a small price to pay if we do decide to use video games to help improve ourselves.
Dr. Douglas A. Gentile, the director of the Media Research Lab at Iowa State University, conducted studies on people who played video games. He found that video games were linked to poor school performance, attention problems, obesity and video game addiction. But wait, there’s more! Dr. Douglas also made some very alarming examples that we should all be considering. In this hypothetical example, a 14 year old was given a copy of Grand Theft Auto, a video game where you can freely roam a world, shoot people, steal cars & destroy the environment. We can conclude that the content in the game can lead to this 14 year old possibly having aggression problems. If he/she enjoys it enough to spend all day on this video game we can make an assumption that his/hers school performance will go down due to the time spent on such game. Although this is just a hypothetical example, we can generally assume many people are playing violent video games like Grand Theft Auto 3. Statista.com shows that nearly 50% of all video games sold in 2017 were action/shooter games. As shown earlier, many shooter games can lead to some negative effects, but do they good effects outweigh them?
Many action games such as Call of Duty, a popular shooter, are very fast paced. Blink once and many things can happen in that one blink. Therefore, many players must adjust to the quick pace of these type of games. C. Shawn Green did a study on 2 groups of 18-25 year olds, giving one group an action game to play for 50 hours while the other group was given a slow paced strategy game. The results were quite shocking to say the least, with both groups doing well in tests given to them such as determining whether white dots were moving left or right & if a sound was on the left or right side of headphones.