Emily Sharp

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Video Games: A Plague On America

  
By:  Emily Sharp  •  minds  •  2 months ago  •  25 comments

Video Games: A Plague On America

Many teenagers who spend most of their time playing video games end up doing worse in school and that affects them for the rest of their lives.

Ever since the creation of video games, they have been robbing young kids of their time and ambition and they are harmful to the lives of teenagers and young adults around the globe. Although, these complex digital wonders are a great thing in moderation, when played in excess, they damage the social, educational, and professional lives of many teenagers all around the world. Video games are stealing away the minds of the youth of America and causing them to waste their focus on beating these games instead of their important school work. The teenage years are an important time for brain development and these harmful video games are interfering in this delicate organ’s time to grow.

Finally, video games, such as “Grand Theft Auto”, are sending negative messages to everyone who plays them and young children are extremely susceptible to these values. Many children spend hours a day sitting in front of the television playing video games, and they fail to realize the dire consequences they will experience later in life.

At this young age, the most important thing that kids should be worried about is their schoolwork and preparing for their future. However, many children are wasting away their childhood by sitting on the couch in their house playing video games. Many teenagers who spend most of their time playing video games end up doing worse in school and that affects them for the rest of their lives. In my own experiences, I have many friends who love playing video games and stay up late at night playing them instead of doing homework. They are so focused on beating the next level or beating the game that they fail to realize that what is really important is their schoolwork.

I personally do not play many video games and that has allowed me to get straight A’s throughout my whole high school career. As Patrick Welsh describes what happened the day after “Halo 2″ was released, he states bluntly, “some guys skipped school that day to stay home and try to beat the game.” This is a serious issue because the last thing that teens should be doing is skipping school, especially if they are doing it merely to sit at home and play video games. The teenage years are a time when kids develop habits that they carry with them throughout their lives and playing video games too much only leads to bad habits and bad grades.

The human brain is the most complex organ in the entire body. It is also the most fragile and delicate. Without a well-developed brain, it is difficult for teens to do well in school and college. It also makes it challenging for them to concentrate and remember facts and information. These issues will greatly affect their adult lives as it is necessary to have a good brain if you want to be successful in today’s society. Many of my friends spend most of their waking lives playing “Call of Duty” and I can see how it is affecting their grades and attitude about school. There are some friends of mine who, in middle school, used to get stellar grades. However, once they moved on to high school and discovered X-box 360, their grades took a major hit.

A Japanese study was done and they found that video games encourage young brains to “grow on a ‘use it of lose it’ principle” which is certainly not the foundation for a successful career. This study also found that many children develop sleeping disorders due to playing video games three to four hours every night. These findings make it clear to the whole world that video games are harmfully stunting brain development and yet our society still plays them excessively. Our society needs a wake up call and soon before video games destroy a world that we have so carefully built up.

Have you ever seen one of those games where the whole point of the game is to kill people and steal luxurious cars? There are millions of games on the market in which all the player does is shoot other players or break the law. These games are sending extremely negative values and it is ludicrous that teenagers are allowed to play them. Games such as Call of Duty and Halo have no other purpose than to destroy your enemies. I have played these games while hanging out at my friends’ houses. While playing, you have something called “hit points”. Your character in the game has a certain number of these hit points and you lose a few every time you get shot. Well, children who grow up playing these games, learn that they will always have hit points. However, that’s just a game.

In real life, there are no hit points. If you get shot in real life, you will die. There are no second chances, and many kids don’t realize that. Patrick Welsh finds many of the messages communicated to teenagers through video games repulsive. He finds the “rampant violence, misogyny, and sexual and racial stereotyping of some games beyond offensive.” The values that a young adult develops during their teenage years are the ones that carry them through life. Would you really like the values of America’s future to be ones of violence and theft?

The future leaders of our nation, and our world, are currently playing hours of video games per day and it is getting worse and worse as we let the years slip by. So I say we need a revolution into an era without as many electronic distractions. Our youth need to start unplugging their gaming systems and get out into the world. Instead of relying on digitally created adventures, they need to be out in the world creating their own adventures. For a brighter future, our society needs to change its ways and stop our young adults from not caring about school, having underdeveloped brains, and absorbing negative values all due to these video games. Our future should be built upon school books, not gaming consoles. Our future should be based on straight A’s, not learning disorders. Finally our future should be based on good morals, not negative values. We need to change the direction of our culture and become an unplugged society before its too late.

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Buzz of the Orient
1  Buzz of the Orient    2 months ago

You are absolutely right, but how do you think the trend could be reversed?  Legislation?  You would be taking away candy from a kid, and you're too late.  This movie, "The Last Starfighter", was released in 1984:

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0087597/

the_last_starfighte.jpg

It glorified video game competence, being able to "beat the game", making the player a hero - providing an impetus, perhaps not to become a starfighter, but to play until you can win, and then try the next new game, and the next.  Prohibition didn't work and sure as hell it won't work to stop an ingrained habit. Peer pressure will keep it going notwithstanding parental intentions. Don't allow it in the house?  Then your child will spend his time at a friend's house, or throw his money away in a gallery.

This is not a perfect world, and it isn't getting any better

 
 
 
Krishna
1.1  Krishna  replied to  Buzz of the Orient @1    2 months ago

You are absolutely right, but how do you think the trend could be reversed?

I wonder if it can be-- at least in society as a whole.

However there's a psychological principle that many are unaware of. It often expressed as:

That which you resist persists.

Resisting the addition to "addictive" electronic media won't work. The way to overcome negative things is to replace them with positive things. In this case, finding and bringing into your life (or your kids', or friends' lives) something more positive.

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
1.1.1  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  Krishna @1.1    2 months ago

Right, like playing sports with your friends, reading classic literature, doing volunteer communal service, etc.  Go ahead and try those as alternatives to spending all your time on video games.

 
 
 
Ender
1.1.2  Ender  replied to  Buzz of the Orient @1.1.1    2 months ago

I always liked video games. Even when I was young we always played things like PacMan at our local family pub.

I remember someone figured out a pattern and one could go on and on.

There use to be a game on the old Commodore 64. One had to tell the game what to do and figure it out. Like tell it to walk left or look around a room. We use to all get stoned and sit around and try to figure it out. It made everyone think.

I still play games to this day. I was still outside and did other things.

Can some people be obsessive? Yes.

Then again, I never thought one would be able to make a career out of it.

 
 
 
luther28
2  luther28    2 months ago

As Mr. Minow declared television to be a vast wasteland, I would have to say the same applies to video games. They seem to suck any form of intelligence from the mind, if not intelligence then certainly reality.

 
 
 
MUVA
3  MUVA    2 months ago

My wife and I fought with our sons over video games two them out grew them and with sports they almost stopped playing by college.Our youngest son is now 23 and he plays for hours a day he is able to stop to eat and sleep and go to college thankfully.

 
 
 
katrix
4  katrix    2 months ago

My nephews actually used to think that having me watch them play video games somehow counts as quality time.  They couldn't understand why I had zero interest in doing that.  They self-limit themselves now to about 6 hours a week, because they realize how much of a time suck the games are.  That's one good thing at least!

And apparently there are a few people getting rich because people will PAY to watch them play video games.  It boggles my mind.

 
 
 
Trout Giggles
4.1  Trout Giggles  replied to  katrix @4    2 months ago
And apparently there are a few people getting rich because people will PAY to watch them play video games.  It boggles my mind.

Imagine my surprise and disappointment when I found out people could make a living playing video games. My son thought this was going to be his career. Fortunately, it didn't pan out and he now has a real career.

 
 
 
WallyW
5  WallyW    2 months ago

I think the real plague is all those hand held devices that people carry around all day, staring into those tiny screens and tapping on them with tiny fingers for whatever reasons. Video games are not that much of an issue unless played to an extreme and the person's  physical and mental health is affected.

 
 
 
katrix
5.1  katrix  replied to  WallyW @5    2 months ago

Ugh. One girl in my group of friends comes out to happy hour and spends the entire time with her head buried in her phone, tapping away on Facebook.  One time I actually said, "Put the phone down, you're with people!"  She briefly glanced up and then went back to her phone.  Now I mostly ignore her - I prefer to hang out with people who are actually present.  She's isolated on her phone, while the rest of us are having conversations; it's kind of sad.  She has wondered why she can't find a boyfriend - who is going to approach someone who's buried in their phone?

 
 
 
cjcold
5.1.1  cjcold  replied to  katrix @5.1    2 months ago

When on call, have to answer and talk on the phone whenever it rings.  24/7.

 
 
 
katrix
5.1.2  katrix  replied to  cjcold @5.1.1    2 months ago

Oh, I get that; I've been on call myself.  And now I have to check my texts in case my mom's aides have a question or something happens to her.  But spending all your time on FB when you're out with friends is just plain rude.

 
 
 
Split Personality
5.2  Split Personality  replied to  WallyW @5    2 months ago

A handful of those tiny fingers are regular participants here.  I dare say two of them are friendly to/with you.

 
 
 
Dismayed Patriot
5.3  Dismayed Patriot  replied to  WallyW @5    2 months ago
I think the real plague is all those hand held devices that people carry around all day, staring into those tiny screens and tapping on them with tiny fingers for whatever reasons. Video games are not that much of an issue unless played to an extreme and the person's  physical and mental health is affected.

I love video games and play them with my wife and daughters all the time. My 9 year old is about to use our VR headset since she finished her homework and did the dishes. It can be instructive fun for both kids and parents and even grandparents if you choose the right games, things that make you exercise both mind and body. Oh, and I don't have a cell/smart phone of any kind so I'm never staring down at a tiny screen tapping away, ignoring the world around me, though with a virtual reality headset you can instantly change the world around you, or at least your perspective of it. I highly recommend it. One of our favorite games we play as a family is called "Beat Saber" which to me is a mix of Guitar Hero, Star Wars and Fruit Ninja. You will have tired arms and legs after playing this game.

 
 
 
luther28
5.4  luther28  replied to  WallyW @5    2 months ago

I must say I have to agree with you on this one Wally, though I consider both to be a problem.

 
 
 
Freefaller
6  Freefaller    2 months ago
causing them to waste their focus on beating these games instead of their important school work.

Don't know about this statement, I (amongst many) was born and raised long before video games and never focused on school work either.  School focus is more dependant on the child, family and even friends than whatever new gadget is in vogue.

 
 
 
Perrie Halpern R.A.
7  Perrie Halpern R.A.    2 months ago

I think with girls it's different. My daughters had video games, but they were more consumed with the texting of their friends. 

But I have to agree that video game playing is making us one anti-social society. 

 
 
 
Gordy327
7.1  Gordy327  replied to  Perrie Halpern R.A. @7    2 months ago
But I have to agree that video game playing is making us one anti-social society. 

I don't know about that Perrie. If anything, video games have done just the opposite: from friends and groups gathering at arcades in the 80's to online interactions with people from anywhere and everywhere thanks to online gaming like MMORPGs. It may not always be face-to-face as it were, but it is socializing. Albeit, in a different form. Just look at social media nowadays: Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, ect.. Society seems anything but anti-social.

 
 
 
Dismayed Patriot
7.2  Dismayed Patriot  replied to  Perrie Halpern R.A. @7    2 months ago
My daughters had video games, but they were more consumed with the texting of their friends. 

I let both my daughters play video games but they're not allowed to text on the one smart phone in the house, my wife's.

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
8  Buzz of the Orient    2 months ago

As I see it, there is only one positive aspect to video games, and that is the development of superior hand-eye coordination.

 
 
 
Cerenkov
9  Cerenkov    2 months ago

Old woman yells at clouds...

 
 
 
JohnRussell
10  JohnRussell    2 months ago

I don't think it's as simple as "video games = bad" but I have never been impressed or sympathetic to video games culture either. If you mix it with sports and other extra curricular activities for kids I think it is ok.  Young people who become "addicted" to it may have some anti-social issues as they go along. On the other hand, for the most part these "anti-social" issues may not be severe.

I have never really seen the attraction in video games, most of which have bored me. They are repetitive and require concentration more than thinking.

It's amazing to remember we were all fascinated with Pong.  I used to go into a bar that had one of the first arcade sized Pong games in the area and that thing was always in use.

Pong-video-game-myth-960x733.jpg

 
 
 
Ender
11  Ender    2 months ago

Please. People have been saying this crap for decades.

Video games are bad...making people anti-social. This is just the latest version.

Nothing but bullshit.

Sounds like some fuddy duddy saying that music should be censored.

Don't like it...don't play.

Stop trying to judge others.

I love video games and they have not harmed anyone I know.

 
 
 
Krishna
12  Krishna    2 months ago

I agree that they have created a dangerous situation.

However its not just the addiction to video games-- its the addiction to all of the "new" electronic media-- video games, but also social media.

(Of course the are some people who are not such weak personalities-- and as with any addiction, they don't let themselves get hooked.)

 
 
 
Ender
13  Ender    2 months ago
Disco roller frisbee punk rockers
We can be just like you
It's a changing world
Everything changes
Seasons and everything changes just like you
It's a strangeling world
All the little baby strangers
Everyone trying to be a little bit stranger than you
We're the Techni Generation

Disco roller frisbee punk rockers
We can be just like you

It's an A.M. world
I am you am we A.M.
No one cares about frequency modulation anymore
We're the Techni Generation
We're so technical
We can be just like any other generation
We can be just like you
We're the Techni Generation

Disco roller frisbee punk rockers
We can be just like you