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Impact of Video Games on Children and Adolescents Coursework

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Updated: Sep 20th, 2022

Introduction

  • Video games popular activity and multibillion-dollar industry
  • Promotes learning and skills when played in moderation
  • Widespread concerns over violence and age-inappropriate material
  • Excessive playing time leads to socialization issues
  • Physical and psychological consequences present

Background and Statistics

  • Video game industry has reached $90 billion total revenue
  • 164 million people in the U.S. play video games and 75% of households have an avid gamer
  • At least 91% of kids aged 2-17 play video games regularly
  • 56-66% of teens aged 8-17 play for an average of 2-2.5 hours per day
  • 90% of parents pay attention to children’s gaming (ESA, 2019).

Positive Impacts

  • Gaming can be beneficial to children investing less than 1/3 of daily free time
  • Can stimulate pro-social behavior gaming with peers – improved teamwork
  • Individually, improves life satisfaction and less problems with peers
  • Emotionally healthy if age-appropriate, helps manage conduct problems
  • For some individuals can help with attention deficit disorder or hyperactivity (Shapiro, 2014)
  • Gaming contributes to meta-cognitive skills
  • Improving motor skills and coordination
  • Improving attention and building memory
  • Comparable to imaginative play vital to children
  • Can help with logical and strategic thinking in cognitive development (Schenk, Lech, & Suchan, 2017)

Violence in video games

  • Most top-selling video games currently rated Mature or 17+
  • Those rated Teen continue to have blood, suggestive themes and fantasy violence
  • Competition in most games such as Fortnite stems from and rewards “killing” other players
  • Mature games depict highly violent actions and crime
  • Modern technology allows for ultra-realistic graphics in-game
  • Actions are performed or observed by the human player from first-person perspective (Stuart, 2019)
  • APA notes violent video games not linked to mass shootings
  • Reliable association to behaviors such as yelling or pushing in children
  • Evidence shows aggressive or anti-social behavior (American Psychological Association, 2020)
  • Experts clarify aggression does not indicate violent action
  • Family environment plays a role on beliefs and exemplification of aggression (Shao & Wang, 2019)

Psychosocial Development

  • By observing video game violence, children may demonstrate desensitization to real-world violence
  • Emotional health, personality disorders, and situational decision-making impacted
  • Motivational behavior suffers with excessive gaming
  • Addiction to gaming is an APA DSM-5 qualification as a mental disorder
  • Psychosocial effects are both immediate and build up over time (Shapiro, 2014)
  • Video gaming, particularly excessive causes severe psychosocial issues
  • Clinical symptoms of depression and anxiety
  • Social isolation and decreased academic achievement
  • Stress and maladaptive disorder, poor functioning
  • Sedentary lifestyle and effects on physical health such as obesity (Heiden, Braun, Muller, & Egloff, 2019)

Policy and Regulation

  • Video games are evaluated by Electronic Software Ratings Board (ESRB)
  • Research is forcing governments to consider stronger regulation
  • Moral panic and politicizing arise
  • Proper policy limits minors’ access to violence
  • Predatory practices and addictive elements to promote spending regulated
  • Difficult with First Amendment issues (Reporters Committee, n.d.)

Conclusion

  • Video games a prevalent activity for kids currently
  • Can be healthy and beneficial, in moderation
  • Violence is concerning, but does not lead to violent behavior
  • Excessive gaming leads to addiction and psychosocial development problems
  • Regulation and parental guidance necessary to manage effects of the activity

References

American Psychological Association. (2020). . Web.

Esa. (2019). 2019 Essential Facts About The Computer And Video Game Industry. Web.

Heiden, J. M. V. D., Braun, B., Müller, K. W., & Egloff, B. (2019). The Association Between Video Gaming And Psychological Functioning. Frontiers In Psychology, 10. Web.

Reporters Committee. (N.D.). . Web.

Schenk, S., Lech, R. K., & Suchan, B. (2017). Games People Play: How Video Games Improve probabilistic learning. Behavioural brain Research, 335, 208–214. Web.

Shao, R., & Wang, Y. (2019). The Relation Of Violent Video Games To Adolescent Aggression: An Examination Of Moderated Mediation Effect. Frontiers In Psychology, 10. Web.

Shapiro, J. (2014). . Forbes. Web.

Stuart, K. (2019). . The Guardian. Web.

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IvyPanda. 2022. "Impact of Video Games on Children and Adolescents." September 20, 2022. https://ivypanda.com/essays/impact-of-video-games-on-children-and-adolescents/.

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