Are video games beneficial to the younger generation?
By Jason GokHo Ing, Contributor
There is no doubt that video games have a significant impact on the lives of millennials and Gen Z kids everywhere. In the past decade, video games have created role models in the form of online personalities, cafes designated solely for gaming, and have encouraged many companies to invest copious amounts of money in this rapidly-growing industry.
According to The Escapist, Activision spent a whopping $250 million on the development and marketing of Modern Warfare 2. Such a large expenditure highlights the influence that this form of entertainment has within North American culture.
However, despite the popularity of these electronics, I believe that video games cause more harm than good for the younger generation. A report titled Young Children’s Video/Computer Game Use: Relations with School Performance and Behaviour by the University of Florida’s School of Psychology examined children’s behavior and academic performance in comparison to their time spent playing video games. The study found that the more time a child allocated towards gaming, the lower their GPA would be. The researchers believe that children who were avid gamers would usually spend less time studying than their peers. Therefore, video games have the potential to develop poor time management skills in young children that may carry on into adulthood.
Furthermore, those who played video games were often shown to exhibit disruptive behaviours, such as higher forms of aggression and lower levels of empathy. Researchers believe that these side-effects manifested from the exposure of violent content within the video games. Due to the still-developing nature of children’s brains, it seemed as though the youngsters were more likely to interpret the material seen within the game as legitimate and act upon it in real life.
It is clear the presence of video games is harmful to today’s youth because of the resulting increase in hostile behavior coupled with the time these devices take away from a player’s day. Today’s youth should focus their efforts away from video games and instead spend their free time on productive activities such as joining sports teams, becoming members of clubs, or volunteering. This way children can obtain interpersonal skills that will increase their mental and physical health while simultaneously making the individual appear more favorable to potential employers.
Although this entertainment sector shows no signs of halting in the near future, one must be hesitant when choosing to pursue this hobby. For every minute a player decides to plug into the game, they are inevitably plugging out of their own lives.