Gaming: helpful or harmful? By Aimee and Thomas

15 March 2018

 

Video games! We all love them. The vast majority of all people below 30 (and above don’t get me wrong) play video games for hours on end, but do you know what they do to you? We’re here to discuss exactly that!

Good things about games:

Games aren’t as innocent as you think, but there are some things that can come out of them. Games that include violence can improve reflexes! Research has shown that, army cadets that have played shooter games before joining, have had a better understanding of weapons; how to shoot; better aim and how to reload multiple firearms. Video games help hand eye coordination and cognitive functions too.

Popular games & genres:

Violence is the most popular theme for games, as it is very successful and has a satisfying feeling to gamers. This is also why a lot of research has been put into games and their mental effects. Violence in video games is getting even more gruesome and realistic, with the ever increasing level of technology. A popular game at the time of writing this is: Fortnite and this is one of those violent game. The aim of the game is to jump out a flying bus and collect guns, ammo and resources. Then defeat anyone you see by pummelling them with bullets, and ultimately survive to the end.

Another popular game is Call of Duty: WW2, which is also violent, as the aim of the online (most popular concept) is to defeat the opposition and work as a team.

These games both provide an option to work as a team or as an individual.

This helps communication skills and teamwork and makes it better, so can help with social skills but also can stop people from being social all together! By the games stated being very addictive!

Again, a game very similar to the ‘Fortnite’ game above is PUBG A.K.A Players Unknown’s Battlegrounds. This game is just the same as it is a battle royal game. The ultimate goal is to be the last person alive and this game also provides an ability to work as a team. Semi-popular gaming gems, such as: the Deus Ex series has an option to play missions in a non-lethal way. However, they do let the more kill-hungry players let out their dark side….

 

Non-violent games:

An absolutely amazing game that involves no violence is Journey. It’s simply just embarking on a journey that is never the same. There are similar games like journey, including: Flower which is a game where you play as the wind itself blowing petals around and when you go near another flower its petals then join in. These games are really calming and are really good stress relievers as the graphics are amazing and really satisfying. So these games can’t do harm? Wrong! These games can do severe damage to people’s social life as like most other games they are severely addictive…

 

Thomas’ experiences:

I, personally am a gamer, and luckily I have only been effected slightly (compared to others) over the years I have been gaming. I am an angry person at home and the cause is usually a game’s fault, like me dying or losing a battle, leading to me shouting at the most pathetic things. The games sort of give me an impulse or feeling that everything is my fault or is caused by the closest person to me. I do get very angry and it can seem massive but it is a small problem compared to other cases…

 

How addicting are video games?

Through this article we have mentioned that addiction is a big problem with video games, but how addicting are they?

Gaming addiction is a clinical impulse control disorder, an addiction in the same sense as compulsive gambling. Although gaming addiction isn’t as serious as drug addiction, it is growing just as fast- maybe even faster. Gaming isn’t the same as drug addiction, but there are some similarities, however, the main difference is gaming isn’t consuming a specific thing but instead it is repeating an action to serve a person’s needs. This is what makes gaming addiction similar to a gambling addiction. A similarity between the two addictions (gaming and drug) lies in the neurological effects, gaming and usage of drugs causes the release of dopamine- an important neurochemical in the science of addiction- and after the brain is exposed to the chemical plenty of times the brain starts to restructure itself.

 

An interview with a student:

We asked a fellow student about their views on gaming:

What genre of games do you play or is your favourite?

‘Most of the games I play are RPG (role playing games) and as a plus they are my favourite too!’

How do these games effect you?

‘They don’t really affect me that much except this one game on my laptop called: geometry dash, I do get angry as the game is hard sometimes but I try to keep it inside and bottle it all up.’

What is the common age rating of the games you play?

‘The games I usually play are age 3-12 but some are higher, to a max of 16.’

How many hours do you play your game per day?

‘On week days I normally play for 4 hours, but I do tend to play for longer on weekends- sometimes up to 12 hours!

How do you react when you lose or don’t do something perfectly?

‘I just accept what I did wrong and learn from my mistakes, even on online games I won’t be mean or be a sore looser to other people.’

Are you competitive within the games, like online to beat an opposition?

‘I’m kind of in the middle really, sometimes I can just jump into a game and try my best but not be serious, but other times, when I really want to see a ‘you win’ sign or a victory screen.’

What is your favourite game at the moment? Explain it in brief.

‘My favourite game at the moment undertale, as you can play the entire game and no one has to die the whole way through, it is a pixelated RPG that is more involved with how it makes you feel and the story. The game story is sort of psychotic especially with the character flowey and the game remembers you even when you delete your save file… I do recommend this everyone that wants a different adventure and something amazing you will remember.’

 

 

Co-reporter’s experiences:

For me, I play phone games and if I die I get very angry, I tend to swear a lot and blame the people around me. I swear a lot and I am the reason my little brother is learning some inappropriate words. I even take it further and say the game is rigged or broken!

 

So, during the course of the research for this article, we have learnt a lot about video games. We have seen the benefits of gaming but have also seen, first hand, the downsides to excessive gaming. Gaming can be fun, can help you learn new skills and can build teamwork and resilience when played in moderation.

 

So now we’ll let you decide: are video games helpful or harmful?