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Life Is Not A Video Game

1691 words - 7 pages

Video games are probably the most asked for present when a child sits on Santa Claus’ lap at Christmas time. They are, in all probability, what kids ask for when they make a wish while blowing out the candles on their birthday cake. The latest installment in the Call of Duty video game franchise, Modern Warfare 3, reached record sales of $775,000,000 in five days (Tito). At sixty dollars each, that means that this game is present in approximately 12,750,000 homes worldwide. Although the gaming industry is a lucrative one, it can also have adverse effects on children and adolescents. Scientific studies, done by researchers and psychologists around the world, show that violent video games can be detrimental in both children and adolescents, modifying brain function, causing overly aggressive behavior, feelings of hostility, paranoia, violence, and childhood obesity. Youth education also suffers because of video game addiction and lack of sleep. Some solutions need to be thought out and enacted for the physical and mental health of children and adolescents worldwide.
Patrice Wendling, author of “Violent Videos Alter Brain Functioning, Study Shows”, states, “Adolescents who play violent video games demonstrate distinct alterations in brain activation on functional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI); investigators have shown for the first time” (Wendling 1). In these studies, it was proven that video games which are violent in nature activate a different part of the brain than other types. This part of the brain, the amygdale, controls emotional arousal. The teenagers had less activity in the frontal lobe, which controls inhibition, self control, and concentration. Therefore, these types of video games can cause behaviors in children and adolescents to change.
Researchers and psychologists have conducted studies on adolescents and video games all over the world. While some may claim that playing violent video games is no different than watching violent movies, these studies show disparities. Unlike movies, video games are interactive and they engage the brain in a distinctive way. Elizabeth K. Carll, author of an article in The Chronicle of Higher Education, states, “Violent video games enable the player to identify with a violent character, which rehearses violent acts with much repetition” (Carll 1). This type of media teaches patterns of aggression through repetition, which many styles of learning are based upon. This article makes another great point. Additionally it states, “What would be the best way to teach a pilot how to fly an airplane: a book, a movie or a flight-simulator video game”? Video games can be excellent teaching tools as well. Some games are intellectual and stimulating in positive ways. Also, they have significant importance in the development of social and emotional behavior in youth. Furthermore, video games are used in the medical treatment of certain diseases and illnesses. They teach hand-eye coordination and...

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