Video games have always been hotly debated. There are many people who consider video games to be a menace. Parents especially are terrified at the idea of having a nine year old hooked to the computer or a console for several hours. There are numerous opinions out there. Parents feel that video games would make their kids a loner and also more aggressive, considering the fact that many games are quite violent in nature. Teachers feel that video games would hamper the academics of students. There are some people in the scientific community as well who don’t endorse video games and advise people to keep their kids off the world of virtual gaming.
On the flip side, there are many who endorse video gaming as well. Now, whether or not videos games are good can only be determined or understood after considering the advantages and disadvantages in an objective manner. It is difficult and almost impossible to look at realities if one is stuck with a perception. There is a need to look at the facts and what studies have shown instead of endorsing what one personally prefers.
Here are the most objective video games pros and cons.
1. It is widely believed by many that video games make kids lonely. They become socially disconnected and they may even become aloof of family matters. For many years, this myth has survived and also flourished in the minds of parents. Quite to the contrary, video games actually instill better social connection. One has to remember that today we live in a world that is connected through the internet. Human contact is anyway limited. Video games of the present era have multiple players connecting in real time. Other than role playing or multi-players games, there are forums where gamers get together, they chat with one another and even friends get into the same room to play simultaneously. The perception that video games make a person or a child socially disconnected doesn’t really get substantiated. It has been seen in many cases that video games are a topic of discussion among young boys and girls and those who haven’t played the game feel isolated because of being left out of the discussion.
2. Video games have been heavily criticized for being too strenuous for the eyes. It is widely believed that kids need to opt for glasses because they are overexposed to computer screens or television while video gaming. That fact may be partly true but it is no different for a kid who doesn’t play video games but watches television for many hours or works on coding for several days at a stretch. Any kind of stress on the eyes will lead to problems. One doesn’t have to blame video games for that. On the positive side, video games improve vision. Glasses may be needed to correct the shortsightedness or farsightedness but they will not do anything to the range of vision a person has. An eye for detail is not something everyone possesses. Playing video games would train a person or a kid to have an eye for detail. Looking for various items across the screen, always remaining focused in the game and practicing to look for specific stuffs would make a person have a better eye for detail.
3. Video games were and are considered a waste of time. Many people felt and feel that there is nothing to learn from video games. That happens to be a myth and it has been busted. Video games boost brain growth. Video games of the present day are quite challenging, they don’t just involve random shootings but strategizing. Video games fuel the imagination of kids, players need to memorize certain facts while playing and they have to process different kinds of information while playing and afterward. All such activities boost the brain.
4. Video games have also been hailed for being a pain reliever. For anyone to feel pain, one has to be conscious and one should focus on the pain or the part of the body that is paining. While playing video games, one doesn’t get the opportunity to focus on the paining part of the body. Also, video games work wonders to distract a person from reality should a person be depressed or unhappy. There are many such psychological advantages of video games that are not always talked about. Video games are used in certain professional interventions that attend to the physical and psychological health of people.
1. One of the biggest disadvantages of video games is that it facilitates obesity. This is a fact that cannot be disputed. Those who play video games for several hours every day would end up being overweight or obese. The only way to counter this is hours of exercise which gamers don’t really show interest in. With obesity on the rise across the country and the world, video games are not seen as the best form of fun or entertainment. Obesity also opens the doors for various kinds of health ailments.
2. Video games can damage the nerves and tendons in the hand, especially the thumbs and other fingers that are subjected to too much use. Slouching and stagnant postures are not healthy either. Anyone who plays video games for several hours and does so regularly every day or on several days in a week would eventually have physical problems.
3. Video games are extremely addictive. Kids getting addicted to video games can jeopardize their academic career. They may not engage in any physical activity or other conventional sports. There is an argument that most things require a great deal of dedication as people practicing a musical instrument also spend hours without engaging with any social connection or any physical activity and thus the addictive nature of video games should not be singled out. For any professional or aspirant to become an expert in anything, one has to practice it for several hours every day. Someone may end up being a professional gamer or a video game developer eventually. Hence, video games being addictive is not exactly a vice but the other challenges that have to be overcome should be addressed at the same time.
4. Video games tend to become the dominant topic of discussion for those who are far too engrossed in the virtual world. This may limit the exposure of a person to other fields or disciplines. Gaming would allow a person to gain knowledge within the ambit of gaming or specific games and that may limit the social connection to likeminded people or those who are avid gamers. Normal discussions or other subjects may not interest avid gamers and that is not a healthy sign.
5. Video games don’t facilitate or cause aggressive behavior as is believed by many. Violent games don’t make people violent but there is a degree to which exposure to violence or various forms of aggression in the virtual world influences a person’s reaction in the real world. For instance, being exposed to a lot of violence in the virtual world may make a gamer a little immune to violence in the real world. Certain elements of gaming may influence a person to try them out in real life but that is a rarity.