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Influence of Video Games on Youth

Essay by review  •  February 13, 2011  •  Research Paper  •  1,200 Words (5 Pages)  •  1,363 Views

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Video games have become one of the favorite past times with children of all ages, and even

some adults. What is not normally thought about when buying a new game console or game is: Do video

games influence a child’s psychological development and make them more aggressive and violent? Do

video games affect a child’s grades? These will be some of the topics we will be discussing.

Some parents have the concern that video games, among other outlets, affect their children and

cause them to be more aggressive and violent with other children their age and elders, also. Parents

have the right to limit the time spent playing video games and partaking in the other outlets available such

as media.

According to Anderson and Gentile, [Parents have an important role to play. Psychologists have

found that when parents limit the amount of time as well as the types of games their children play,

children are less likely to show aggressive behaviors (Anderson et al., under review; Gentile et al., 2004).

Other research suggests that active parental involvement in children's media usage-including discussing

the inappropriateness of violent solutions to real life conflicts, reducing time spent on violent media, and

generating alternative nonviolent solutions to problems-all can reduce the impact of media violence on

children and youth (Anderson et al., 2003).]

On the contrary, as according to Anderson and Gentile, [Dr. Anderson and colleagues have

shown that playing a lot of violent video games is related to having more aggressive thoughts, feelings,

and behaviors (Anderson & Bushman, 2001). Furthermore, playing violent games is also related to

children being less willing to be caring and helpful towards their peers. Importantly, research has

shown that these effects happen just as much for non-aggressive children as they do for children

who already have aggressive tendencies.]

Some studies have been done about the habits of children. Some of the studies showed that

although children love to play video games alone, they prefer to play them more within groups. Parents,

as well as teachers, have found that with some games, where reading, doing mathematical problems, and

following instructions are needed, that their children’s grades have improved.

The BBC (2002) stated, “Computer games could become part of the school curriculum after

researchers found they had significant educational value. The UK study concluded that simulation and

adventure games - such as Sim City and RollerCoaster Tycoon, where players create societies or build

theme parks, developed children's strategic thinking and planning skills. Parents and teachers also

thought their children's mathematics, reading and spelling improved. The investigation into the habits of

700 children aged seven to 16 also found that, far from being a solitary activity, children preferred to play

games in pairs or small groups. ” (para. 1-4)

Video games can help develop the brain’s response time when the games used are dealing with

with variables, teaching a specific skill or problem solving. Games have been used by several websites

by politicians teaching politics and by the Nobel Prize Foundation to teach history.

The Wikipedia () stated, “Video games can aid the development of proficiency by allowing users to

interact with objects and manipulate variables. They are said to be particularly effective when designed to

address a specific problem or teach a certain skill in curriculum subjects, where specific objectives can be

stated and when deployed selectively within a context relevant to the learning activity and goal.

Simple types of games can be designed to address specific learning outcomes such as recall of

factual content. For instance, the Nobel Prize Foundation website uses on-line games to aid children in

understanding the discoveries made by its laureates by embedding the scientific knowledge as part of the

game environment.

Video games have historically received more criticism than other forms of recreational learning

because they are often perceived as or associated with issues such as mindless entertainment,

enhanced social recluse, sexism and consumerism. However, a shift from pure entertainment to

educational tool has emerged in recent times. Children growing up today can benefit from educational

video games because they are already exposed to a society that is increasingly dependent on digital


The medium of educational games provides an opportunity for teachers to introduce educational

and playful elements into the learning environment. With computer-aided learning programs, teachers




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