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Video Game Is Harmful To Children - Essay Example

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Name: Instructor: Course: Date: Introduction The introduction of numerous games and progress in game sophistication and complexity, video and computer games has gained widespread popularity in various western countries. Video games include interactive toys, arcade games, stand-alone games or games for systems such as Sega and Nintendo…
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Video Game Is Harmful To Children
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Video Game Is Harmful To Children

In a Gallup poll conducted in 1984, over 93% of American teenagers had participated in video games for at least some of the time. By the year 2001, sales of video game were projected to reach eight billion dollars, with more than 280 million units sold in the year 2000 alone. Approximately 60 percent of all American population regularly plays video games and the annual worldwide video games sales reached 20 billion dollars (Evra, 197). This popularity and strong appeal of video games brought great controversy, with some people arguing in their favor and others arguing against them. As Gunter points out, one of the most dangerous aspects of video games is that they can become addictive. They make players to feel constantly compelled to be involved with them and they may portray a lack of interest in other tasks. They cause withdrawal symptoms if a player attempts to stop playing them for some time. Video games critics also hold the view that video games have a corrupting control on youths and children in that they encourage anti-social behavior and glorify violence. They argue that most video games have tendencies of feeding into masculine fantasies of control, destruction and power, rather than feeding into co-operation and bargaining (Gunter, 15). Themes of violence characterize them. As opposed to watching TV, playing video games is interactive and therefore, it is much more psychologically involving. The effects of their violent themes on children are therefore more pronounced. A video game use survey revealed that 70% of 118 M-rated games (games for mature audiences above 17 years of age) were aimed at children below 17 years. More disturbing is the fact that younger children could readily access these allegedly restricted video games. Unaccompanied 13 to 16-year-old children were in a position to purchase M-rated video games 85% of the time. Apparently, as they produce and market these games, sell them, and agree to the children to buy and play them, the video-game industry, retailers and parents respectively do not have the best interests of children at heart. Shifting the blame to parents, the video game industry in defense asserts that they are just providing to children what they want and that children know that the games are not real. They also disagree with the argument that video games triggers and increases violence among children and youths (Taylor, 10-11). McGraw cites a latest content analysis by a research organization called Children Now indicates that most of the video games include violence and that almost half of the violent incidents would culminate into death or serious injuries in the ‘real’ world. He adds that children tend to resolve anxiety wrongly by externalizing it. Consequently, when they become anxious, they have the tendency of externalizing it rather than conveying it emotionally through crying, talking about it, soothing themselves, expressing it to someone, or through calming themselves. They can be mean to a pet; they can assault something; or even kick a wall. Children who play these video games exhibit an increased rate of violent responses. McGraw further notes that violent video games do not teach moral consequences to children. They, for example, do not teach that if one shoots somebody he/she should go to jail/get penalized. Instead, such acts earn the player extra points! The most damaging facet of violent video gam ... Read More
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