by Erin Bedry – Staff Reporter
Video games: beneficial or harmful? This argument has stood the test of time. Believers of each side are strongly stuck in their ways. On the harmful side, we have moms, grandmas, and some teachers, while on the beneficial side we have the game addicts and maybe some more game addicts. However, no matter how blindly each side supports it, there is no way to disprove the facts about video games.
We have asked students what effects they believe the games have on them. “I play video games because they prove to be a nice stress reliever, being able to play a character and experiencing things through their perspective is very fantastical,” said Justice Etafo. Matthew Silva shares the same point of view, saying video games, “Allow me to wind down after a long day, and cool down after a bad time or otherwise.”
On the flip side, Conner Chick said “Video games do have some harmful effects. They can be a waste of time. Whenever I play video games, I think to myself, ‘What am I doing with my life?’”
The one thing that they all agree on is the fact that video games can be very social and build teamwork skills.
Video games help build very critical mental skills. Even for the younger kids, games will help them follow instructions better and develop early problem solving and logic skills. “In a series of experiments on small numbers of gamers (10 to 14 people in each study), the researchers reported that gamers with previous experience of playing such action video games were better at perceptual tasks such as pattern discrimination than gamers with less experience.” In addition to this, countless other studies prove this exact same thing.
Moving to the harmful effects side, the most common argument is that video games can lead to violent tendencies and lack of exercise. According to Health Central, “Some studies have disputed this while others, indicate that young people who show more rapid desensitization to violent pictures are going to be more accepting of violence, which is dangerous to the community at large.” In addition, from the same source, they described the link to obesity from video game use; “In children, ages one to 12, ‘results indicated that while television use was not related to children’s weight status, video game use was.’”
So next time you are feeling a little overwhelmed by all your homework, or even stressed by some friend drama, maybe try pulling up a video game. However, don’t do it for too long, because you may begin to experience the harmful side effects.