The Psychological Effects Acquired from Video Games and How They Weaken the Minds of Adolescents

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Jesse Jan S. Javier

II – BS Comtech

30 September 2013

EN12 – S01

The Psychological Effects Acquired from Video Games and How They Weaken the Minds of Adolescents


Among the different types of entertainment that are known in this generation, video games seems to be the most popular way of entertaining oneself. Due to the emergence of technology, almost every individuals are owning gadgets that they can use to entertain themselves not just because of having able to contact their loved ones but mostly because they got to play different games that they want. Despite the advantages that they provide, such as entertainment, reduction of stress and depression, and   improvement   of   literacy   skills   and   hand­eye   coordination,   video   games, such as Assassin’s Creed, Counter Strike, and Grand Theft Auto, can be considered as one of the main sources of negative psychological effects that adolescents acquire thus it should be seen as a threat to children due to its violent and sexual contents.

This paper aims to present different video games such as Assassin’s Creed, Grand Theft Auto, and Counter Strike as an avenue where an individual, mostly those in the adolescent stage, can acquire various psychological effects and contemplate the possible threat it will build in the mind of an individual. The discussions in this paper is divided into three sections. Section 1 presents how video games are seen in this generation and the positive contents as well as the advantages that one may acquire from it. Section 2, on the other hand, introduces us to the negative contents inside the different video games that are famous nowadays. Section 3 focuses on the different psychological effects that one may acquire from the various contents that different video games have and why it should be seen as a threat to them.


Due to the emergence of technology, playing video games became a popular entertainment for individuals worldwide. In general, video game is defined as a type of game played by manipulating the images created by the computer or console that an individual sees in the television or screen. However, video games in this generation are seen in different ways based on the individual’s perspective. There are   some aspects of a game that defines how a game structure experience. However, people only base their definition of the game base on how they see it when they are playing it. In other words, given those varieties of games, one defines it as it is, based on what he only see, and don’t see anything unique any further.  But if we look at different games in a general perspective, without considering the genre difference and technological complexities, there are some key factors that really define a game. According to McGonigal, interactivity, narrative, graphics, rewards, competition, virtual environment and the idea of winning reinforce and enhance the goals, rules, feedback system, and participation present in the game to act as the defining features (21). These elements enhances our experience in the virtual world. As a result, video games are seen as the reality itself, the ideal world an individual want to have, and this is what defines the video game and individual is playing.

People define video games, as stated earlier, based on its contents. From these various contents that a video game have, there are elements that change the behavior of individuals as well as the way they think towards the things they see in their everyday lives. Through a thorough research of different researchers, it is identifies that playing video games provide some advantages, physically, emotionally, and mentally, to an individual. Physically, individuals playing video games enable better hand-eye coordination and vision. Playing video games requires the movement of the hands to control the character in the game and requires the eyes to focus on the game. The hand and eye works together at the same time while playing in order to control everything that is in the screen. This enables an individual to familiarize himself in using both at the same time to function well in his surroundings. On the other hand, it improves vision but mostly only for those who have eye problem like cataracts. According to Dr. Daphen Maurer of the Visual Development Lab of Ontario's McMaster University, the required massive attention and focus to keep up with the fast-paced first person shooter games, such as Call of Duty and Medal of Honor, train the eyes of individuals with cataracts to view things more sharply.

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Emotionally, video games are used to entertain oneself and also to reduce stress and depression at times. Again, as stated earlier, video games has already become a very popular type of entertainment because different gadgets are already everywhere. During free times, one can get his gadget and play the games he want to relieve himself from stress and depression even for a short amount of time. By playing video games, people are able to vent their problems, stress and depression, by playing video games. This enables people to relax and avoid reaching a certain stage of stressfulness and depression.


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