The Psychology of Video Games: The Pros of Playing Video Games
What is a game? Video games have been accused of being overly violent and harmful to the overall health of children. However, video games have been proven to be beneficial through researched studies. Although many adults oppose video games, they have cognitive, educational, social, and other benefits. To better understand the benefits, the background and history of video games should be understood.
Therefore what is a game? A game is an interaction that requires players to struggle towards a goal through conflict. Games are not about how violent they are, it is about the struggle they produce (Espejo 1). About 68% of households play computer or video games. The average age of a video game player is 35 and 25% of gamers are over 50 years old ("22 Charts" 1). 91% of kids between the ages of two and seventeen play video games. In 2012, the Sandyhook School shooting lead to President Obama's request for Congress to place 10 million dollars for research on video games and their effects on the mind (Granic 66). In the year 1994, the well know Entertainment Software Rating Board, or ESRB, was created to regulate video games with ratings such as Early Childhood (EC), Everyone (E), Teen (T), Mature (M+17), Adults Only (AO 18+), and Rating Pending (RP). The ESRB rates over 1,000 games per year. The ESRB considers many things when rating games such as violence, sex, controversial language, and substance abuse. Ratings such as Teen contain strong language. Mature games, however, contain more sexual themes intended for 17 years and older ("Parents &" 3). Now that the background and history of video games in understood, the next step in knowing what a game is to know the faulty effects of video games.
For example, playing video games for extended periods of time can cause aggression, a decline in academics, and fights with peers in a young adult or child. In a 2008 study, an increase of 60% showed that middle school boys who played at least one mature game hit or beat someone compared to the 39% that did not play the games ("Parents &" 1). Also studies in Japan and the U.S. show children playing violent video games at the beginning of the school year showed aggression to peers later on in the school year. "Playing violent video games increases aggressive behavior and arousal." Video game players also have a low level of empathy. The younger children are more than likely to confuse the fantasy of video games with reality (2). Video games may also prevent children from playing outdoors keeping them indoors (Carey 1).
However video games have many more pros than they do faults. At the McGill University's Department of Psychology, they researched with games, the self-confidence in players. Players felt more positive about themselves (ABC 4). In the year of 1995, the total number of juvenile crime was 115,592. In 2008, the number decreased to 73,970. In addition to the years between 1995 and 2008...