By: Ariz Alirahman
Picture this: a child staying up and playing video games, such as Call of Duty, then the same kid robbing a store saying that he learned this from said game.
With huge titles like Overwatch and Call of Duty taking the world by storm, and pro gaming being considered an official sport, one can’t help but think of the effects these violent games have on young children. Notably, since the recent New Zealand shooting, concerns have arisen over the similarities that the footage had to the games kids are playing now. However, there is very little to be overly concerned about and parents should also consider the positive side of gaming rather than focusing on the negative effects, kids playing violent video games only periodically is fine.
A general misconception parents have that video games make kids more violent is actually far from the truth. An article by Romeo Vitelli, PhD in psychology, mentions that researchers are “coming away with opposite findings based on the same research[ on the minds of gamers]” further elaborating that researchers conduct studies that find no correlation at all, “creating a split between groups of researchers.” who think that there is a correlation. Therefore, the claim that video games leads to violence and criminal intentions is still unconfirmed.
Seeing children playing violent games such as Call of Duty gives off red flags to parents. However, behind all of the pixelated blood and death there is activity in your child’s brain that may benefit them. Even so, gaming has a lot of benefits to the developing human mind, such as better cognitive and multitasking skills. Professor Daphne Bavelier hosted a Ted talk about the mind on games and how it improves while playing; her colleagues set up many experiments on gamers who play first person shooter games and the results were impressive. They told gamers to look at a puzzle piece, rotate it, and pick the matching puzzle piece out of the four present. After they were done with one session, the subjects were told to play 10 hours in accumulated playing time throughout three weeks. It showed an increased performance and improvement after training.. Another surprising finding stated was that gamers also have really great eyesight. This is important as gamers actually have better eyesight than non-gamers, while also having better focusing skills than the average person based on studies that were conducted.
Lastly, the gaming industry has become much larger and more competitive since the introduction of E-sports. It is now looked upon as a profession that that is lucrative for players, not to mention the profits from video game sales. A 2018 recap from the website GamesindustryBiz. had estimated the gaming industry’s total profit to be a whopping $135 Billion, a 10% increase from the last year. Gaming is the future of sports and entertainment and your children should be ready.
There are benefits to video games that many parents seem to ignore. There are of course downsides, such as non-stop playing and decreased socialising that parents might show concerned about. However, having said that, gaming helps cerebral development, including cognitive skills and surprisingly, eyesight. Finally, it helps the global market. The argument of violent video games has been around since the 70s and will probably will be continuing on for many years.
- Vitelli, Romeo. “Are There Benefits towards Gaming?” PhsycologyToday, PshycologyToday, 10 Feb. 2014, www.psychologytoday.com/intl/blog/media-spotlight/201402/are-there-benefits-in-playing-video-games.
- TED, Daphne. “Your Brain on Video Games | Daphne Bavelier.” YouTube, YouTube, 19 Nov. 2012, www.youtube.com/watch?v=FktsFcooIG8.
- Tombokon, Ronaldo. “25+ Positive and Negative Effects of Video Games.” Raise Smart Kid, 24 Feb. 2019, www.raisesmartkid.com/3-to-6-years-old/4-articles/34-the-good-and-bad-effects-of-video-games.
- “Gaming Industry Profit: 2018 Recap.” Gamesindustry, 2019, http://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/2018-01-31-games-industry-generated-usd108-4bn-in-revenues-in-2017.