Example Of Essay On This Report Aims To Examine And Provide Sufficient Evidence To Prove Or Disprove These Claims.
Type of paper: Essay
Topic: Video Games, Video, Virtual Reality, Gaming, Violence, Game, Family, People
Video Games: Eliminating the Social Anathema Image
Video Games: Eliminating the Social Anathema Image
Video gaming is so popular these days it is almost a household name. It has become an integral part of our society and culture in one way or another. "Kids love it, moms hate it," would be a funny aphorism to describe video gaming. In the early years of video games, only kids found it entertaining. Today, video games are enjoyed by people from different age groups. It has become more versatile, catering to the needs of different groups of people. This only shows how extensive the scope of computer gaming is, especially these days where mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets provide a portable means of gaming. As more and more people become involved with computer gaming, the influence that this particular form of activity leaves in the culture and lifestyle of people cannot be ignored.
For a long time, video games were considered taboo as it encouraged addiction among teenagers. Parents blamed the overexposure of their kids to computer games for their plummeting performance in school. But the predominant reason why people, especially parents, were disinclined with video gaming is because, according to them, it promoted violence and barbarity.
A BRIEF HISTORY
Spacewar! was the first ever video game to be made. It was launched in 1969 by Steve Russell and his team. In a span of 50 years, video gaming has grown into a massive enterprise. In fact, the population of gamers in the world has been estimated to be 1.2 Billion at the end of 2013 (Soper 2014). This accounts to 15% of the world's population. A huge portion of this group is gamers coming from Asia, West Europe, and North America. This only proves that video gaming is a well-established industry with a very vast coverage. And it is still rapidly growing by the minute.
Ironic though it may seem, video games before do not have videos at all. It can be closely described as a text-based computer game. Instead of displaying videos, developers used text to guide gamers through their quest. Gamers basically counted on their vivid imagination to get the most out of their gaming experience. Some games contained dragons, swords, monsters, and weapons that are displayed in crudely pixilated graphics. Atari Games was the pioneer in this type of technology. The creation of joysticks and the development of visual presentation of video games allowed the gamers to explore more. Game developers focused next on the development of computers and consoles that are capable of rendering videos. As the gaming hardware is becoming more advanced, the quality of video games also improved.
During the golden age of video games, the classic games like Super Mario Brothers, Pac Man, Final Fantasy, and the Legend of Zelda were born. Donkey Kong and other popular arcade games invaded the market. Nintendo became a household name during this period. It dominated the market and took sovereignty over the video gaming world. Sony entered the picture in 1994 when it launched its first ever Sony PlayStation. Not long after Nintendo’s Wii earned some competition, Microsoft introduced its flagship home video game console Xbox.
HISTORICAL CONTEXT ON VIOLENCE AND VIDEO GAME LINKAGES
The concern regarding the deleterious effects of various forms of media to people can be traced back to 340 B.C. Plato expressed his thoughts regarding the effect of plays on the youth. At the time, the forms of entertainment were limited and not everyone had access to them. Today, on the other hand, majority of the world have convenient access to various forms of entertainment and are exposed to different information media. One can only imagine the influence that television, movies, commercials, and the internet has on the society, especially to children.
On the case of video games, parents, psychologists, and the public in general are apprehensive about the long-term effects of children's overexposure to violent video games. According to an empirical study conducted by Christopher J. Ferguson, there are three theoretical views on the relationship between violent video games and serious aggression. The first one is the learning-based casual influence of serious aggression from video game violence exposure. Second is the attraction of people with high levels of priori aggression to violent video games. And the third one is that the correlation between video games and violence is due to underlying third variables (Ferguson 2010).
GETTING DOWN TO THE BOTTOM OF THE DEBATE
The plethora of studies conducted to examine the linkages between serious aggression and violent video games contain findings that can be summarized into three major observations which holds true for teens with extensive exposure on video gaming. One, they tend to be more aggressive. Two, they are more prone to confrontation with adults and they easily engage in fight with kids their age. And three, they perform poorly at school (Norcia 2011). These are only behavioral changes that teenagers experience as an aftermath of excessive gaming. The physical downside includes damages in vision, carpal tunnel syndrome, and loss of posture. One of the strongest research to be conducted was Craig Anderson's and Brad Bushman's Effects of Violent Video Games toward Aggressive Cognition, Aggressive Behavior, Aggressive Affect, as well as Pro-social Behavior. According to their study, the formation of aggressive beliefs and attitudes, as well as the desensitization of gamers to violent behaviors is an off-shoot of excessive exposure to violent video games (Anderson and Bushman 2010).
Meanwhile, major new research that has been conducted to study the violent video games and movies established no long-term relations with violence in real life (Stuart 2014). Researchers could not find definitive links partially because laboratory tests can only measure short-term aggressive reactions. They also identify other sociocultural and psychological stimuli that contribute to the development of a person's violent behavior. After several studies and evaluation, no solid proofs regarding the linkages of aggressive behavior to playing video games were provided.
VIDEO GAMING: FROM A NEW PERSPECTIVE
Contrary to the more popular impression on video games, it doesn't only bring harmful effects to players. Some games are designed to stimulate brain activity, such as puzzles and strategy adventure. Two of the apparent advantages of video gaming are the improvement of the player’s manual dexterity as well as their computer literacy (Norcia 2011). Video games help improve the visual contrast sensitivity of players. It can also be a form of therapy to a disease called Amblyopia. Other benefits offered by video gaming include improvement in spatial attention, tracking of moving objects in a field of distractions, multi-tasking, and mental flexibility. And contrary to what others believe about video games resulting to deterioration of a person’s mental state, it actually reverses mental decline that accompanies aging (Gray 2015).
HOW VIDEO GAMES CAN ALLEVIATE PHYSICAL AND MENTAL HEALTH
As gaming technology continue to improve, developers were able to find a way to make an activity such as exergaming possible. It is a portmanteau given to combine exercise and gaming. According to American College of Sports Medicine, Exergaming are physical activities that are technology-driven, such as video game play. Exergames are video games that are designed in such a way that requires the participants to be physically active. Wii and Xbox are two of the active video game consoles that are capable of tracking the movement of the players in order for them to control the game. Equipment such as censored pads and motion sensor cameras were specifically designed for these activities. Some of the popular exergames are Dance Dance Revolution, Lightspace, and Makoto (Witherspoon 2013). These games provide an alternative form of exercise, eliminating the development of sedentary behaviors among gamers.
VIDEO GAMES AS EFFECTIVE TRAINING AND EDUCATIONAL TOOL
According to a research conducted by the Office of Naval Research, video games can help speed up the information processing of adults. It allows them to improve their problem-solving abilities as well as their fundamental reasoning (Scott 2014). In fact, many studies have been conducted to prove the positive effect of video games on the improvement of job performance for people with jobs that require attention, quick decision-making, excellent working memory, and good eye-hand coordination (Gray 2015). Open-ended and interactive video games allow children to improve their problem-solving skills as well as their creativity.
Different organizations from various fields face a challenge in motivating employees to enroll in training and improve their skills in their respective specializations. Capturing their attention is one thing, keeping them engaged with the program is another training in the form of video game offer a fresh and more effective approach. According to Ron Goldman, CEO of Training Software maker Kognito, the fact that video games created today are designed to simulate the activities that people encounter in real-life make it an effective platform to serve as an engaging practice environment (Vitelli 2014).
The significant number of research that has been conducted in the last five years has documented the benefits of moderate gaming to children and adolescents alike. The notion that video games only promote violence and barbarism to players is a product of premature evaluation. There might have been an era where video games were made only for entertainment purposes. However, game developers are more conscious about the nature of games they create for this generation. It is not only a vision but a reality made possible by the level of technology available today. Exergaming is only the beginning of a turning point in video game history. Research will continue to support Exergames, promoting an innovative way to be fit.
Although we may have eliminated the linkage of violence to video gaming and replaced it with a list of benefits that can be gained from it, it does not necessarily imply that people should engage into video gaming to their heart's extent. Moderation is still advised. People, especially parents, should exercise discipline.
Andrea Norcia (2011). Education.com [online]. Available from: <http://www.education.com/reference/article/Ref_Impact_Video_Games/>. [Accessed march 18, 2015].
Dr. Lisa Witherspoon. 2013. Exergaming. [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.acsm.org/docs/brochures/exergaming.pdf?sfvrsn=6. [Accessed 18 March 15].
Christopher J. Ferguson. 2010. Video games and youth violence: A prospective analysis in adolescents. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.academia.edu/398374/Video_games_and_youth_violence_A_prospective_ analysis_in_adolescents. [Accessed 19 March 15].
Keith Stuart. 2014. Video games are not making us more violent, study shows. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2014/nov/10/video-games- violent-study- finds. [Accessed 18 March 15].
Peter Gray. 2015. Psychology Today. [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/freedom-learn/201502/cognitive-benefits- playing-video-games. [Accessed 18 March 15].
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