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Video Games And Their Effects On Communities And Communications

1537 words - 6 pages

The definition of the word “community” in a dictionary dictates the following “a group of people living in the same place or having a particular characteristic in common” (Oxford Dictionary). From such a definition, video games where the users are able to interact with other people can be considered a community. All the users of such games have a common characteristic: they all like the game. However, there are a lot of questions regarding this issue. For instance, what are the effects of such communities? Are those effects good or bad for us? Are video games changing the way we communicate? Are they affecting our personal relationships? In this paper, I will not only discuss these questions, but I also will talk about how important the face-to-face communications are in our lives. Some important numbers that need to be recalled are that 68% of the US households play video games and the average age of a gamer is 34 years old. This statistical data shows that contrary to the common believe that video games are for kids and young adults the gamers are mostly adults, therefore, the problems discussed here are relevant for the entire society.
According to a study made at Brigham Young University by Laura Walker, faculty member, and Alex Jensen, undergraduate student, video games are highly related to poor human relationships. Their study consisted of collecting information of 813 college students from all over the country regarding the time spent playing video games and the quality of their relationships with friends and family. The results showed that as the video games usage rate was higher the quality of their relationships was poorer. The study was not focused to find a reason to those results but, if we think a little about the issue, it is not difficult to find some answers. Users of video games that require interaction with others through the internet, such as World of Warcraft or Aion, two massive multi player online games, simply find new ways to communicate and make relationships. Just think about it, whenever you are online talking with others, whether known or unknown, it is much easier for you to express yourself, and therefore, to create conversations and make new relationships just because you are talking with someone else through a machine. On the Frontline’s video, Digital Nation, it can be seen how members of this kind of community express how easy is to meet people in virtual worlds; they make new friends and interact with them on a regular basis, and some of them even find a partner whom they decide to marry. However, human relationships are not based on online communications, at least not for now, and the easiness factor of online video games makes the users forget about the importance of having real face-to-face relationships with others, diminishing the quality of their actual relationships. Real, classic, face to face communications are not only the exchange of ideas through words. If we take a minute to think about...

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