Influence Of Video Games On Adolescents Or Adults

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In America, about 67% of Americans or 211 million people play video games. And of those 211 million people, 47 million are people under the age of 18 (minors). Considering that a large standing of the population plays video games, it is safe to say that video games are very popular among today’s youth. But the question is, what are these video games doing to people adolescents or adults?

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As shown above, a large percentage of Americans play video games, and it has different impacts on people. But it differentiates with the type of video game the person plays, and the person also (personality, their environment, etc.)

Many doctors and researchers have concluded that video games do not cause violence and are not bad, but just another form of entertainment. There are many reasons why videogames are not perilous for today’s youth, but instead, are channels for problem-solving and improves other skills as well. Video games are also surprisingly effective ways to curb crime as well.

In the article How online gamers are solving science’s biggest problem, the author states that “In 2011, people playing Foldit, an online puzzle game about protein folding, resolved the structure of an enzyme that causes an Aids-like disease in monkeys. Researchers had been working on the problem for 13 years. The gamers solved it in three weeks. (1 and 2)” In that small section of the text, the author wrote that the video game players had solved a medical/scientific problem using a video game just using basic computers compared to scientists with high-level equipment who were still working on it for 13 years.

“On paper, gamers and scientists make a bizarre union. But in reality, their two worlds aren’t leagues apart: both involve solving problems within a given set of rules. Genetic analysis, for instance, is about finding sequences and patterns among seemingly random clusters of data. Frame the analysis as a pattern-spotting game that looks like Candy Crush, and, while aligning patterns and scoring points, players can also be hunting for mutations that cause cancer, Alzheimer’s disease or diabetes.”

“The potential is huge. As a planet, we spend 3bn hours a week playing online games, and if even a fraction of that time can be harnessed for science, laboratories around the world would have access to some rather impressive cognitive machinery. The trick, though, is to make the games as playable and addictive as possible – the more plays a game gets, the larger the dataset generated and the more robust the findings.”

The evidence contends that video games are a problem-solving tool because they have helped solve problems in the past. The video game players had aided scientists in their research and unsolved problems. Video games help people solve problems by making them think about the issue. Video games also can help improve certain skills. In the article 15 Surprising Benefits of Playing Video Games, “A study of laparoscopic (small incision) specialists found that those who played for more than three hours per week made 32 percent fewer errors during practice procedures compared to their non-gaming counterparts.” This is more evidence that video games can help with skills. In a majority of video games, there is a certain level of skill involved. Also, being a laparoscopic surgeon requires a massive amount of skill. There is a correlation between playing video games and the improvement of skills.

There is a large standing of people who believe that video games cause violence. But some people have proved that wrong. But some circumstances affect people’s beliefs.

From the article Playing video games does not make you a mass shooter, expert says

“While some are quick to blame video games for real-life acts of violence, experts say there is no such link.”

‘When it comes to actual serious criminal violence, there’s virtually no evidence that video games matter,’ James Ivory, professor and research director at Virginia Tech, told CBS News.”

“The public doesn’t always blame crime on video games — but they are eight times more likely to do so when the perpetrator of a crime is white, according to Ivory. ‘White people don’t play video games more than people of color,’ he said. Therefore, pulling video games into conversations about white criminals may be using the games as a baseless excuse.”

The evidence correlates a relationship between people’s beliefs and how these beliefs are wrong. The only time when people didn’t blame video games on violence is when a perpetrator of a crime was a person of color or nonwhite. This has lead to a blame culture where video games are seen as a cause of violence in the white community, but it isn’t a factor in colored communities.

The studies conducted on whether video games cause violence are not determinate and do not accurately convey anything.

Evidence (min. 3 pieces):

“First is what these studies consider ‘violent behavior’ in the laboratory doesn’t exactly fit with everyday definitions of that concept. Most typically they ask subjects to blast other people with obnoxious but non-harmful noise, rob them of opportunities to win prizes in a competition, or even put too much hot sauce on people’s food. It’s a far cry from physical violence, much less mass shootings. These measures lack what psychologists call ‘external validity’ in that they don’t match up with the same concepts, inputs, and results outside of the lab.”

“Second, while priming someone with a violent game may give them easier access to thoughts related to violence adjacent-concepts, research has shown that this effect is fragile and short-lived. And, more importantly, it’s not enough to override all the other things that encourage us to NOT behave violently. Like laws. And society. And knowing that there will be consequences. Indeed, in longitudinal studies of violence and video games, taking other risk factors for violent behavior (e.g., prior aggressive behavior, substance abuse, etc.) pretty much wipes out any effects from media.”

“Finally, the ‘violent’ games that researchers use in these studies are often suspect. It’s hard to get approval to show children really violent games, so often the titles used are milquetoast at best. But perhaps an even more pervasive problem is that when choosing ‘violent’ and ‘non-violent’ games to compare to each other in the lab, researchers have a hard time finding two games that are the same except for their violent content. A first-person shooter and a NASCAR racing game are wildly different. Researchers often end up having things like frustration levels, learning curves, or other factors interfere with their ability to make definitive statements about the effects of violence.”

These studies conducted don’t take into account the personality of the person, their environment, or anything about the person. In light of the evidence “First is what these studies consider ‘violent behavior’ in the laboratory doesn’t exactly fit with everyday definitions of that concept. Most typically they ask subjects to blast other people with obnoxious but non-harmful noise, rob them of opportunities to win prizes in a competition, or even put too much hot sauce on people’s food. It’s a far cry from physical violence, much less mass shootings. These measures lack what psychologists call ‘external validity’ in that they don’t match up with the same concepts, inputs, and results outside of the lab.”, the scientists are not using actual definitions like murder or assault, but petty kinds of grievances. If a child is a bully, that doesn’t mean he or she will become a mass killer. They also don’t account for natural evolutionary instincts. Humans will naturally compete, and boys tend to compete and are also the majority of video game players. People will become aggressive in competitions, so scientists pay attention to that instinct and falsely conclude that video games are making these children aggressive.

You might say that ”Even if video games do not cause people to become mass killers, what about people like the Columbine shooters?

In response, I will say that those boys did not kill 13 people because they played video games that planted the seed of violence in their minds. Instead, they murdered because they were twisted, mentally unstable people. That is a perfect example because it describes perfectly how easily people will say that videogames are a cause of violence. They are ready to blame video games rather than the person itself. The kind of people who blame video games have only read false or inaccurate studies. But there is a catch. People are more likely to say that video games are a cause of violence when the perpetrator is white. Eight more times exactly. But, white Americans don’t play any more video games than black Americans or any other race of color. There are widespread myths and misconceptions. In the game series GTA (Grand Theft Auto), they stereotype the idea that blacks and non-white Hispanics are violent, dangerous people. The game shows violence and mature content, but any sensible, reasonable person would not go around waving knives and stabbing people in the street after playing one round. The idea of playing video games causing violence is just not reasonable. From a scientific and medical standpoint, the claim is not true. That idea is a perfect example of Ad Hominem or labeling the person as bad not the idea. In this case, the video game player is being labeled as bad, not the other influences (the ideas).

Conclusion:

Simply, and out there, video games are not a cause of violence, but can be used to solve problems and are a diversion from life. Video games can be used to help people. There is no link between video games and violence or crime at all. Lastly, the studies and the people who conduct them are super faulty. And the idea of video games causing violence has lead to a very deep blame culture where certain groups are not responsible.   

29 April 2022

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