The Effects of Video Games on the Body In households with children, sixty seven percent of them own a video game system. The game industry's worldwide video game annual sales reached over 25 billion at the end of 2004. So the concern for the health of video game players is increasing. Video games have many different effects on the health of people. Some experiments have found video games to have a dramatic effect, while other experiments have found them to have little or no effect at all.
While some video games have even been found to help people take their minds off their problems and deal with their stress, other people have had the opposite reactions to the games. In a study done by Craig A. Anderson and Karen E. Dill, it was found that violent video games increased aggressive behavior and delinquency. They also found that violent video games were more against women than men. The women in games were degraded and exploited, while the men were the superiors and had the control over the women (Anderson 771).
Another effect video games had on people was the shooting at Columbine. The gunmen, Eric Harris and Dylan Kle bold, played video games called Doom, in which they killed people who had no defense (Anderson 772). Eighth graders who played video games and watched television the most did the worst at school (Beckham 1). "Playing a video game significantly increased heart rate, blood pressure and oxygen consumption in a group of people ages 16 to 25" (Segal, 4). Subjects who played aggressive video games were more excited than those who didn't. After playing the video games, the subject would act out with more aggression towards others (Anderson 5).
College students that played video games, compared to those who did not, showed signs of changes on class attendance and on their grades. Some of these changes included a drop in grade average and attendance (Kardaras 1). In a group of eight graders, frequent television viewers and video game players preformed the poorest at school. The flashing lights, quick scene changing, and special figure patterns in video games lead to epilepsy seizures. When three video games were played under three levels of stress, a progressively higher value of blood pressure and heart rate was found. People aged 16 to 25 played a video game and significantly increased heart rate, blood pressure, and oxygen consumption was found.
Video game players that had committed a crime were found to have played games more frequently than those not did not. It was found that frequent video game players spent all their money on games and reported more relationship problems. Heavy video game use played a role in managing developmental conflicts with regard to aggression and competition, and does not result in increased neuroticism, social withdrawal or escape into fantasy. Heavy video game users also have lower frustration tolerance. Frequent video game players seemed to be more extroverted and less achievement-oriented than infrequent players (Effects of Video Games np).
Violent video games do negatively affect the behavior of those who play them. One study demonstrated that graphically violent video games produce an immediate increase in aggressive thoughts and behavior. The other study found that violent game play not only increased aggressive behavior, but also produced a long-term, real-life impact on the behavior and relationships of the players (Walters 8). With video games, children can use their minds in a way unlike other generations. They use their minds for more of a violent and aggressive view towards everyday actions.
Playing video games decreases fine motor skills and slowed reaction time (No rcia np). Testing different age groups and sexes have shown that elderly adults became more aggressive with themselves and others after playing video games, but senior citizens' motor skills and driving abilities were hampered after video play (Shin np). Video games help children deal with daily problems by giving them a feeling of personal achievement and relating to the characters as friends. On the down side, children who play too much prefer the game to their real friends (Beckham np).
After playing video games, a player is left in an excited state and will continue to act in this manner in other actions in his life, such as acting with violent and aggressive actions to other people (Beckham np). However, video games provide another world for the players to act in but many people get their mindset lost in that world (Walters np). Violent video games teach a total disregard for societal norms, property rights, and even the general value of other lives. The world is seen as a violent, unsafe place, and the player learns that aggressive actions against others, such as fighting and shooting, may be appropriate, even necessary. In a study of eighth- and ninth-graders, detrimental effects from both exposure to violent video game content and amount of video game play, found an increased hostility, an increased likelihood of being involved in fights, increased frequency of arguments with teachers, and poorer academic performance (Walters np).
Adolescents who were more hostile tended to consume more electronic media, played more violent video games, prefer more violent content, and have fewer parental limits on the content of their video games (Kardaras np). Studies measuring emotional responses to playing violent video games, compared with emotional responses to non-violent games, have shown that violent games increase aggressive emotions. Adolescents themselves often seem to recognize this. When asked to name the 'bad things' about computer games, many students reported that they make people more moody and aggressive (Shin np).
Studies on children age four to six, found evidence that the violence from cartoons was not any different than that of video games. Video games have been used for entertainment and have in the majority depreciated the health of children. Games peek the interest of the children and provoke them to act out the violence they experience in the game (Dorman 4). A large negative impact found in many video games is that players are rewarded for their violent acts. The interactive quality of video games differs from passively viewing television or movies because it allows players to become active participants in the game's script. Player's benefit from engaging in acts of violence and are then able to move to the game's next level (Dorman 4).
Thirty-two males, ages 16 through 25, were tested. After playing 30 minutes of Miss Pacman the rate of their heart increased as well as their blood pressure level and the amount of oxygen they used. Although the game was an "E" rated game made for everyone, their energy level was intensified by 80 percent (Dorman 5). Black and white males and females from ages 6 through 18 played three levels of video games and showed intense increases in blood pressure (Dorman 7).
College men that were tested playing video games had increased heart rate and blood pressure during, after, and before play. Video games have been found to cause seizures, although only 50 cases were ever reported. Two thirds of the cases were from kids who did not have seizures before playing video games (Dorman 4). In the Kestenbaum and Mackie study of 447 junior high children that were divided into high video game users and low video game users, it was shown that high users of video games showed an increasing effect on their intensity level. Through this study, it was found that video games very rarely could ever be used to help children's competitive and aggressive feelings (Dorman 6). Video games can be used to help people deal with pain, but is used more against people than it is used for the health of people (Dorman 7).
Psychological Science and Contemporary Pediatrics show that video games take advantage of many learning principles. According to J.B. Funk and D.D. Buh man "If, as many believe, violence is primarily a learned behavior, then the powerful combinations of demonstration, rewards, and practice inherent in electronic game playing creates an ideal instructional environment... the lessons being taught are that violence is fun, obligatory, easily justified, and essentially without negative consequences" (Video Game Effects np). Role playing games are used in a manner that shows people how to use violence to better themselves (Video Game Effects np). In a study by Paul Lynch on the long-term effects of video game playing, it was found that violent games raised blood pressure, which can cause lesions on the artery wall.
This put the user at a greater risk of getting heart disease. The study found that girls were not as affected by the violent games as the boys, but were still negatively affected (Effect of Video Game np). Through all the studies done by many different researchers, there have been many different results. Some results have shown an increase in heart rate, while others have shown video games help people deal with stress. While most of the studies had negative effects, there were very few studies that had shown no effect at all, and depended on the type of person tested. The majority of the video games made are violent and have nothing in them to benefit the player.
Almost every video game is made strictly for entertainment and does just that by appealing to the majority. The games are made so that that you will buy them, therefore violence, sex, and drugs are put into many of the video games children play today.