Good The Reasons For The Growing Concern In The Excessive Use Of Computer Games And Screen Technology Essay Example
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Technological development has taken the human world to a new height where almost everything is mechanized. The traditional games for children have long been disappeared with computer games aided by screen technology taking the space at homes and socializing centers equally. The influence of computer gaming has affected the lifestyles of both children and young people alike and various factors associated with their psychological and physiological responses reflect the impact of the excessive use of computer aided devices for games. Particularly in the western countries, the trend of a fantasy-hit attachment to virtual games is rapidly increasing by causing concerns about the new generation’s capacity to excel at educational and psychodynamic enterprises associated with their prospective personality development. This paper will evaluate the impacts of the excessive practice of computer gaming from different perspectives and inspect the weight of the growing anxieties about the virtually addicted young generation.
Virtual Academics; Evolution of the Gaming Culture
The intersecting relationship between technology and culture has been an interesting topic for observation as the divided opinions claim the upper hand of each of them over the other. Some areas of human endeavor such as military operations, urban planning, marine navigation and engineering and their related academics require the invention of new devices aided by technology. The introduction of computers and graphic designing has paved way for more scientifically synchronized interactive demonstration methods through pictures and displays. The educators of the school level academies advocated the introduction of computer games for teaching purposes by considering the multiple benefits they were assumed for the development of children. Some observations regarding this proposal suggests that computer games help children in developing qualities like determination, risk-bearing, concentration and problem-solving and this development will reflect in the improved response levels of children at the school with regards to academic requirements and classroom activities associated with interactive learning sessions (Klopfer et al. 2009, p1).
Computer games and improvised screen technology have become integral parts of the modern academic systems for the very reason that they not only help the teachers explain the topics with higher clarity than textbooks, but also encourage the students to explore additional learning experiences. The effective use of computer technology encompassed with the creative thinking of the educators can bring positive changes in the learning environment. The advantages of computer games in the learning process are appreciable only for those approve it, and for others, these games are expensive and degenerating tendencies which, in their words, may be counterproductive.
Time progressed and computer games evolved through many developments to take the present form and position in the world. One of the biggest moves in the history of the computer gaming was its commercialization by the 1970s. According to reliable information (Liard), the birth of commercial computer games was between the years 1971 and 1974 and their rapidly increasing utility and popularity have encouraged the gradual development of the gaming industry towards screen-technology aided gadgets like play stations for today’s young world (Laird, 2005).
While the screen technology is focusing improvising the visual effects, the software used for a large number of games helps the modern world much beyond entertainment and classroom training sessions. The animated graphics used in virtual games also help in the designing of strategic plans for various operations for military purposes. Most these operations depend on partial industrialization of the military which enables the designing and operation of aircrafts, radars, assault weapons, radars, power stations etc. Besides this, virtual games assist the military organizations in various other ways. According to a study by Yildirim (n.d.), the new development of gaming technology associated with military training purposes encourage the soldiers to learn the technical literature and various strategic practice models employed in the real-time operations and thus enhance the military simulations with the help of video games. The effective use of the gaming devices can thus create a real-time training environment with more personalized interactions and better quality supervision for advanced strategic preparations in military organizations.
Multifaceted Challenges of the Virtual World
Despite the various advantages mentioned by experts and the actual importance of computer games and screen technology in the educational and different training purposes, their excessive use can lead to a number of problems in the users. As against the traditional practice of socialized learning and interpersonal interactions in and outside the classrooms, the students have become more self-centered and attracted only to the virtual environment. The pattern of role-modeling has also changed as most children try to emulate the virtual characters by virtually creating self identities for online interactions with peers. According to Subrahmanyam (2009, p.1070), virtual games can affect the development of children as the time they spend on media games is actually taken away from the essential practices like reading, physical activities and interactions with family members and peers.
The choice of children for isolation and exclusive virtual interaction can negatively affect their developmental psychology. The typical nature of some children influenced by the continuous access to virtual games signals the potential risk of psychological issues associated with their prospective social life as adults. As suggested by Subrahmanyam et al, 2000), “simulated worlds created by electronic games, computers, and the Internet are expanding children’s experiences from real to virtual” (p.137). This scenario has a psychological implication which develops a gap between children and their actual environments, which can eventually cause a degenerating response capacity in them while facing the normal real-time challenges in their adulthood. However, according to a report by Laura Donnelly and agencies (2013), the psychological influence of computer games has become so alarming that the children seemingly become violent and suicidal on being deprived of opportunities to use the game media or by the perceived fear of losing the access to them, and the increasing cost of treatment to free them from the addiction is a cause of concern for the parents in countries like the UK. The commercialization of computer games has crossed almost all ethical barriers as a few of them promote the sexual orientation of the users. As an instance of the UK context, the game site ‘www.girlsandgamez.com’ provides games for girls such as a sexy ‘Beech Catfight’ game and ‘Classroom’, which involves the sexually obscene virtual portrayal of their teachers for a competitive amusement within the peers (Bye buy Childhood, 2010).
This kind of virtual games can definitely inflict a demeaning character development among the adolescents. According to a finding, the continuous and frequent exposure to aggressive computer games can induce an emotional numbness which can gradually wipe out the sensitivity of children towards actual violence and crimes (Harding, n.d.). Moreover, the aggressive nature of certain games for boys can be detrimental to the peer behavior because most boys who play the fight games try to imitate with their friend and physical injury will be the result.
Besides the psychological challenges, the addiction to computer games can cause a number of health problems to the users. As the virtual world is comparatively a new contributor to the health problems, the medical literature also has to find new ways to analyze and address the various physiological issues faced by the computer users. Some of the general health complications among the gaming addicts are carpal tunnel, migraines, backaches, sleep deprivation, eating disorders and low personal hygiene etc. Also, the continuous hours of engagement in games reduces physical activities which in turn results in obesity and depression in adolescents. However, a majority of the health issues are associated with gaming is about pains of fingers, elbows besides the heavy eyestrain. Some studies indicate the academic disadvantages of computer games such as loss of focus on real-time learning, addiction, mismanagement of time etc (Baker et al, n.d.). Moreover, the disproportionate consumption of time with computer games can negatively affect the classroom behavior of the students as many of them may develop a discouraging mentality towards their peer and a general discontent for the teachers’ interface in the learning process because of the excessive attachment they maintain with the virtual characters.
The perceived impacts of the extreme application of virtual games in daily life by the students and young people usually reflect in the difficulties associated with their psychological, physiological, cultural and educational responses. The reduction in performance levels and growing health complications of the children cause concerns among the parents and academicians. Building a psychologically and physically strong generation is the primary responsibility of the individuals as well as the authorities. The increasing cases of addition and related psychological challenges among the children and adolescents will constitute a weak and unproductive young generation in the future. The reason for reacting to this alarm essentially arises from the fact that the gaming addiction isolates the users from the active world around them. The sociological literature must realize that the lack of interpersonal relationships can cause a degenerating impact on the young generation regardless of their academic qualifications and the technical brilliance they possess. Researchers focus on the idea that the addictive use of computer games can demoralize the young generation and as a result, they may show delinquent behaviors such as stealing money for buying gadgets and games, absenteeism at school etc (BBC News, 26 November, 2000). The repeated incidents of such aberrant responses can affect their character formation process badly and the result will produce a generation without concerns for moral values and social commitments. From the socio-cultural perspective, the problem of virtual world addiction is harmful for the growth of the entire human community and its progress towards future generations.
Computer games and screen technology are developing at a mutually influenced pace and the young generation has an increasing inclination towards its unlimited use in their academics and recreation purposes. The scope of virtual games has positively rewarded in academic training poses and military operations and their commercialization has indeed redefined the software industry. However, the excessive use of computers for gaming purpose has hazardous impacts on the physical and psychological health of the users besides the degenerating effects on their academic performance and socio-cultural participation. The virtual influence caused by the games adversely affects the users’ personality and in many cases, they develop aggressive or disheartened behavior towards their peer. By considering the weight of demerits and challenges allied with computer games, it is easy to conclude that the rising concerns about the addictive tendency of the game users are meaningful.
BBC News (26 November, 2000) Video games: Cause for concern? Available at: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/1036088.stm
Bye Buy childhood Mothers’ Union (2010) A report into the commercialisation of childhood. Available at: ttp://www.byebuychildhood.org/sites/default/files/documents/bye_buy_childhood_report_pdf.pdf
Bakar K et al (n.d.) Use of Commercial Games for Educational Purposes: Will Today’s Teacher Candidates Use them in the Future? Department of Computer Education and Instructional Technology Middle East Technical University. Available at: http://www.mackenty.org/images/uploads/Prospective_teachers.pdf
Harding A (n.d.) Violent video games linked to child aggression. CNN. Available at: http://edition.cnn.com/2008/HEALTH/family/11/03/healthmag.violent.video.kids/index.html?eref=rss_tech
Klopfer E et al (2009) moving learning games forward. The Education Arcade Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Available at: http://education.mit.edu/papers/MovingLearningGamesForward_EdArcade.pdf
Laura Donnelly and agencies (November 4, 2013) Child internet addicts sent to £4,500 a week addiction clinics. The Telegraph. Available at: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/health/news/10425194/Child-internet-addicts-sent-to-4500-a-week-addiction-clinics.html
Laird JE (2005) History of Computer Games. EECS Department. Available at: http://www.emunix.emich.edu/~evett/GameProgramming/History.pdf
Subrahmanyam K (2009) Developmental Implications of Children’s Virtual Worlds. 66 WASH. & LEE L. REV. 1065-1083. Available at: http://law2.wlu.edu/deptimages/Law%20Review/66-3Subrahamanyam.pdf
Subrahmanyam K et al (2000) The Impact of Home Computer Use on Children’s Activities and Development. The Future of Children CHILDREN AND COMPUTER TECHNOLOGY, 10 (2): 123-144.
Yildirim S (n.d.) Serious Game Design for Military Training. Games: Design & Research Conference, Volda. Available at: http://www.ansatt.hig.no/suley/Publications/SULE%20YILDIRIM%20GAME%20DESIGN%20CONF%20VOLDA%2024.05.10.pdf
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