Impact Of Video Games On Adolescence

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IMPACT OF VIDEO GAMES ON ADOLESCENCE 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Impact of Video Games on Adolescence

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Running head: IMPACT OF VIDEO GAMES ON ADOLESCENCE 1

 

 

Abstract

For the past couple of years, computers and video games are among the most preferred and desired activities for relief and leisure. Psychological researchers have been in a long time been striving to ascertain the impact, originating from personal and inherent influencers on behavior among youth, in comparison to surrounding influencers. With continued research, interest and desire grew towards the capacity of the media, including video games, have in the blossoming behavioral changes among the youth. With higher weight on the effect of violent media in the shaping of hostile behavior and nature among adolescents.

Not long ago, research conducted has been able to determine and establish the adverse effects, violent games have influenced adolescents. Recently, violent video games have been reported to impact prosocial behaviors such as empathy, self-control, etc. negatively and positively affect hostile behavior among adolescents. In an effort by researchers to determine the effect of playing video games on the aggressive nature and prosocial behavior, video games had a substantial direct and indirect impact on individual behaviors. The findings yielded in various prevention and intervention approaches to curtail hostile behavior and encourage prosocial behavior.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Introduction

Video games provide the opportunity for participants to feel part of the gaming script. New games with the advancement in technology, have become complicated, requiring more and constant attention on particular video games. In comparison to series, TV shows, players tend to relate more emotionally and physically towards the video games. Video games affect positively and negatively the teens. In the modern era of technology video games are considered complementary to adolescents. Research depicts the majority of youth play video games approximately on daily basis.

Video games availed in the more recent past, have raised concern on whether they are suitable for consumption for the teens and adolescents. Some nations, have even participated in monitoring and regulating of violent and offensive video games. Violent video games have recently gained popularity among the youth, with research experts blaming violent content in video games regarding the adopted aggressive nature among the youth observed lately. The current situation among the increasing cases of violence between the adolescents cannot solely blamed on the violent video games, mental health and various social influences have been found potential contributors (Gentile & Thomas, 2016, pp. 39).

Notwithstanding the extensive research carried out, no consensus established on whether youth hostility is direct as a result of engaging in violent video games. Various cynics have spotted correlation between aggressive behavior among the youth could be possible from influencers such as mental health and other social influencers. Also, despite the accusations regarding the negative influence of video games on academic excellence, such findings have been found inadequate. On research conducted recently in respect of the above statement, the disparities among academic performance were almost insignificant in relation to the frequency of video gaming (Boxer & Docherty, 2015, pp 672).

More recently, there has been an emergence of interest in games supporting learning, positive attitude development, skill development, etc. Roughly about half youth were acclaimed to prefer games with violent content, while a smaller portion preferred educational video games with less violent content. In this paper, we will examine both positive and negative impacts that accrue among adolescents and young adults.

Majority of adolescents and teens have argued that video games create and avail the opportunity to break away from the various occurrences within their life cycle. A large portion of adolescents tends to get rid of their issues lingering on their minds through the assassination of fictional characters. Also, violent games have made the youth more tolerable to violence. Teacher reports have also shown cases of difficulties in concentration and poor sleeping patterns. Video games that promote prosocial characteristics, the young adults tend to be more helpful and express empathy. However, video games with violent content have shown to be significant influencers of violence among adolescents. The reoccurrence of extreme patterns has proven a useful tool to enhance violent behavior among youths.

Beginning with the positive effects;

Positive effects of video games on adolescence

To the surprise of many, video games do possess positive impact on teens and youths. Among the most recognized favorable results towards teen include; the ability to enhance manual dexterity and enhance computer literacy. Here are some of the positive impacts;

Enhance learning capabilities; Contradicting the previous perception, video games are more likely to strengthen and improve on memory, visual comprehension, better concentration, better decision making through limiting distractions etc. In recent research, video games avail favorable effects also derived from academic courses, as it enhances the capability of the teen to be able to think through various phenomenon critically.

Eye and hand symbiosis; In respect to the shooter type of video gaming console, they aid in the development and coordination of the players’ eyes and hands. There are games, to be proficient in them require absolute mastery of such coordination of the eyes and hands. According to the shooter of games, accurate tracking and precision of speed, and focus are of utmost importance and require mastery. The brain performs a vital role in organizing, collecting the data, and making the right moves using the hands.

Accurate intelligence; While playing video games, it entails mainly making decisions and best ones to that fact to aid in desirable results. Some of the choices are required within split seconds, as every second count and to be yield desirable outcome thus require split second accuracy. Constant attention goes hand in hand with accurate thinking, undivided attention aid in mastery of any slight changes that would influence your decision making (Coyne & Stockdale, 2018).

Capability to derive solutions for difficulties; As earlier discussed majority of videogames require decision-making procedures. Games that entail speed, aim, and precision, require accurate and critically thought out decisions while maintaining undivided attention. Right decisions provide a solution to difficulties presented during various levels. Adolescents when they engage and participate in strategic games, it massively aids in the skill that assists in solving of challenges presented in each level.

To ward off restlessness and improve on mood; In comparison to violent games, there are games which will enhance the mood and help in containing anxiety; such games include angry birds. Recent research termed it an essential emotional benefit, teens derive happiness when engaging in video games. The games involve various levels, which in turn require different levels of skill and attention, upon failure, one can retry, in turn, enable youths to cope with failures even in real life.

Enhance the theory of progressive thinking; In conjunction with developing learning abilities as discussed earlier, teens who participate in games that entail great thinking, for example, puzzles, promote the ideology of incremental intelligence. Through engaging in different engaging problems, adolescents can gain mastery and more knowledge with endeavor and time.

Video games enable the development of creativity. Research has been able to correlate greater creativity with video gaming, in spite of age, race, and gender. Every human being have needs, including psychological needs, teens who play video games tend to derive happiness as they engage in gaming activities. Additionally, he/he can gain mastery and share accomplishment over the online platform, if the teen participates in multiplayer gaming media. Due to competitiveness, he derives satisfaction and the feeling of being an accomplisher (Verheijen & Cillessen, 2019, pp.301).

Some games also provide good work out sessions. Such video games include Nintendo Wii Boxing. They give a regular workout similar to walking several miles. Video games also aid in development of eyesight to some extent. According to research conducted, it established through playing games the brain can train the eyes to take keen note of small changes, details, and slight light temperatures. With further studies, video games enhanced the structure of the brain. Videogamer minds, when examined, and portion involved in attention were found more efficient and parts correlated to visuospatial skills were also improved and worked efficiently. In contrary to misperception of the majority, video games are not significantly contributing to rise in mental illnesses, rather they act as a preventive element, mostly towards peer relationship issues among teens.

Resource management and planning, video gamers utilize resources which are limited and make appropriate decisions on how to exploit such resources. Example of such games includes Railroad Tycoon. In research conducted by, The American Planning Association, established majority of SimCity players were inspired to pursue a career in urban planning and architecture. Positive effects regarding video games are rooted in the type of genre of video games chosen. Violent games tend to possess more adverse effects than pleasant ones.

Adverse effects of video games on adolescence

As discussed earlier, video games possess both positive and negative impact on the development of young adults. Adverse effects, on the other hand, is mainly correlated with the amount of effort and time put on the video game. Here are some of the hostile effects;

Hostility among adolescents; In conjunction with video games containing violent content, they are the root cause of aggression among young adults. According to a comprehensive meta-analysis, research has established violent video games are natural element for hostility in behavior among adolescents. Various research has argued, prolonged exposure to video games can even numb kids and the youth towards hostility and also lower prosocial behavior such as empathy.

Obsession with gaming; Prolonged exposure to video gaming time can lead to addiction. Addicted gamers are most likely to be introverts, can sprout anxiety and depression. In turn, as the teen tries to cope with restlessness and social phobia, they tend to rely more on video games. In such cases, the factors tend to influence each other (Boxer & Docherty, 2015, pp.673).

Faulty academic excellence; Video games if not appropriately regulated, can to some extent, influence the performance of teens in their studies in school. Research and further studies have established that prolonged hours taken into gaming can negatively impact academic performance in school. Research concluded that almost half of adolescent player’s obsessive with playing, generally perform poorly in school, while slightly below a quarter of teens who are light users are likely to perform better in respective academic fields.

Unfavorable effect on fitness; Since most video games require sitting and less of physical activity, excessive gaming can favorably affect one’s health, as more time spent on virtual video games. Recent reports have indicated an increase in obesity levels among adolescents with little to no time engage in physical activities with majority being pathological gamers. Adolescents have also been found to forfeit adequate sleep and food a result of an obsession to video games. The rays also emitted from the use of huge plasma screens, and prolonged exposure of such rays can seriously affect the eyesight abilities in the long term (Coyne & Thomas, 2016, pp.41).

Engaging in violent gaming such as call of duty, by research, increases gray matter in the region of the caudate nucleus while inhibiting the same in the hippocampus region of the brain. Deficient gray matter in the latter area tends to give rise to illnesses such as schizophrenia. In comparison, Super Mario video games have shown to exhibit vice versa. Earlier research established and ascertained video games improve to some extents concentration among teens, contrary to the stated fact above, recent research found video games, to some extent hinder adolescent’s concentration, adolescents here tend to concentrate short term but affect long-term durations.

According to Big Disconnect: Protecting Childhood and Family Relationships in Digital Age: teens and youth engaging in video games should be minimized and at best completely reduced, in case of trips. Adolescents should be able to be given freedom to be able to deal with anxieties, talk to fellow siblings or relatives, receive reassurance from their guardians and availed sufficient space and time to daydream. Adolescents who tend to engage in more than one hour of video gaming time are more likely to suffer from ADHD, as compared to those who don’t engage in any kind of gaming console. The negative influence also affects adolescents in academic during school hours. During participating in video games, players tend to acquire foul language and unacceptable behavior from members who might share the same online gaming platform. Video games also tend to alternate fantasy with reality (LeBourgeois & Buxton, 2017).

Conclusion

Majority of teens and adolescents are now more than ever exposed to video games. Statistics show more than three-quarters of teens around U.S play and engage in video games. The well-liked form of media came with its sets of pros and cons toward the users, mainly adolescents and young adults. Video games range from prosocial to violent games. Unfortunately, the majority of youth and teens prefer violent games, including Shooters type of games. Prompting rise in aggression reported among teenagers and adolescents lately. Violent games have contributed to some extent hostility among tees but also in conjunction with other factors ranging mental illness, gender diversity, etc. Adolescents tend to show more empathy and assist in their daily activities if they engage in video games promoting prosocial tasks.

Despite weaknesses in approach in the meta-analysis, there was evidence to support poor development among adolescents, to possess positive correlation with hostile media consumption. Positive effects of video games mainly anchored on the type of rating on the video game. Hostile games possess more adversities than benefits. Some of the positive impacts of video gaming include, prosocial games e.g. puzzles enhance empathy among players while educational games improve interactive skills and cognitive abilities among adolescents. Video games also tend to relax teens from anxiety and improve moods of adolescents, for example, Angry Birds. Improve manual dexterity, through coordination of mouse and keyboard young adults master shortcuts to enhance fast responses.

Adverse effects also rooted in the amount of exposure to gaming consoles. The adverse effects include unfavorable health diversities, through prolonged exposure o harmful rays towards the young developing teens, etc. Parent education concerning video games should entail ways to monitor and select gaming ratings to avoid and curb negative effects from videogames (Padilla-Walker & Memmott-Elison, 2018 pp.301).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

References

Boxer, P., Groves, C. L., & Docherty, M. (2015). Video games do indeed influence children and adolescents’ aggression, prosocial behavior, and academic performance: A clearer reading of Ferguson (2015). Perspectives on Psychological Science, 10(5), 671-673.

Coyne, S. M., Warburton, W. A., Essig, L. W., & Stockdale, L. A. (2018). Violent video games, externalizing behavior, and prosocial behavior: A five-year longitudinal study during adolescence. Developmental psychology, 54(10), 1868.

Gentile, D. A., Swing, E. L., Anderson, C. A., Rinker, D., & Thomas, K. M. (2016). Differential neural recruitment during violent video game play in violent-and nonviolent-game players. Psychology of Popular Media Culture, 5(1), 39.

LeBourgeois, M. K., Hale, L., Chang, A. M., Akacem, L. D., Montgomery-Downs, H. E., & Buxton, O. M. (2017). Digital media and sleep in childhood and adolescence. Pediatrics, 140(Suppl 2), S92.

Padilla-Walker, L. M., Coyne, S. M., Kroff, S. L., & Memmott-Elison, M. K. (2018). The protective role of parental media monitoring style from early to late adolescence. Journal of youth and adolescence, 47(2), 445-459.

Verheijen, G. P., Stoltz, S. E., van den Berg, Y. H. & Cillessen, A. H. (2019). The influence of competitive and cooperative video games on behavior during play and friendship quality in adolescence. Computers in Human Behavior, 91, 297-304.