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Videogames: A Discursive Essay

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Videogames: A Discursive Essay Whenever the issue of the benefits and harms of videogames has been brought up, the responses are always controversial. The importance of this subject is derived from its popularity amongst the masses, most significantly in children of the ages of 11-16. If these children are going to make up the next generation, it is imperative that we investigate the effects they have. The incentive people have to play videogames stem from the idea that they are real-life simulations from the graphics and sound to the interactivity. In addition to this, the game developers are employing a new strategy in order to attract customers: they claim, while backed up by doctors and researchers, that they have medical benefits. This is in the midst of research and claims linking videogames with violence, crime, photosensitive epilepsy, headaches, hallucinations, nerve and muscle damages and even obesity in the long run. While it is confirmed that long hours spent playing videogames could cause Repetitive Strain Injury, this would apply to almost any other activity which involved computers and the television. Videogames and Violence The notion that videogames are linked with violence is a very common objection people have with videogames. In the year 2000, the observer reported that a "definitive" piece of research had been published showing that "physiological damage could be inflicted on even occasional players of videogames". ...read more.


There is a vast amount of debate and discussion as to what this constitutes, what its consequences are, how serious it is and whether it should be classed as a physiological disorder. There have been many groups who believe it should be classified as a psychiatric disorder. They include the American nation's largest Doctor Group. They claim that videogame addiction is as serious as the likes of alcohol addiction due to the compulsive element that it entails. On the other hand, the videogame makers in addition to their mental health experts believe that their products do not cause any form of dependence. One of the studies which support the existence of this addiction was implemented by Hauge and Gentile. The study's results stated the following points: * Addicted adolescents spend more time playing video games * Males were significantly more likely to be addicted than females * Addicted adolescents were significantly more likely to report having been in a physical fight in the last year * Addicted adolescents had higher hostile attribution scores * Addicted adolescents had more arguments with friends and more arguments with teachers * Addicted adolescents reported lower academic grades It is clear from the studies which have taken place as well as first hand reporting that Videogame addiction exists, is a serious problem, and impacts the victim in their lives due to their neglect for ordinary day-to-day duties. ...read more.


Firstly, it is important we acknowledge that there are always exceptions presenting examples of extreme reactions. Such are the examples I have mentioned earlier on violence in games: certain people would only have to play for half an hour on a violent game to have the themes stuck in their head and to have that particular type of behaviour manifest through their interactions with others, but this is clearly not the case for the vast majority of people. Another example is of videogame addiction: although it does exist and has affected many people, the vast majority of people are not affected. This is also true with other conditions possessed only by a minority of people such as photosensitive epilepsy. On the other hand, others are not at all affected even after playing violent games for hours on end. What is clear is that the majority of people are affected negatively by videogames due to its overuse. That is to say they restrict most of their free time to playing these videogames, often times without support from parents/carers. The solution to this, in my opinion, is the job of parents: it is their duty to balance their children's time with videogames with other activities such as homework. In addition, it is their duty to monitor the content of the games and talk to their children about the behaviour they witness when playing. If these simple guidelines were followed most people would not be affected negatively by videogames whether it is violent behaviour or addiction. ...read more.

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