Playing videos games is a very popular form of entertainment for many children and even adults. In the article titled the, “Effect of Video Games on Child Development” it mentioned that the video gaming industry is one of the fastest growing markets marketing at $4 million in the year 1990. The world of gaming has grown tremendously, “…from console games to online RPG’s (role playing games) to the most recent and flourishing market of mobile games” (Hughes). Currently, the gaming industry is marketing around $93 billion.
On average, girls tend to spend less time than boys when it comes to playing video games. The article mentioned that girls play for more than one hour meanwhile boys play for more than two hours. Teenagers, on the other hand, spend playing video games much longer than children. In fact, 8.5% of children ages 8 to 12 are said to be addicted playing video games for about 13 hours a week and 14 hours a week for those ages 13 to 18. In today’s world, video games have become much more realistic and many games now have the ability to connect to the Internet, therefore, allowing communication with other people around the world.
Even though there are many educational games out there the most popular video games tend to be those that convey negative messages or actions. For instance, “the killing of people or animals, the use and abuse of drugs and alcohol, criminal behavior, disrespect for authority and the law, sexual exploitation and violence toward women, racial, sexual, and gender stereotypes, and foul language and obscene gestures” (American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry). These negative influences have resulted in some children becoming more aggressive, senseless to the aspect violence, and others echoing whatever they see on the screen.
As mentioned before there are many educational games out there to enhance learning, problem solving, motor skills, and coordination, however, there are still some concerns when it comes to playing video games excessively at a young age. For instance, not socializing with friends, family, or other people can lead to poor social skills that can ultimately affect your future. Another example, is not spending much time with family, school work, and other hobbies such as being involved in various sports. Many children as well as teenagers pay too much of their attention to video games that they put little to no effort at all into their school work and academics, therefore, getting lower grades. Some end up not joining any hobbies or extracurricular activities after school and deal with weight problems because they don’t exercise at all. Other effects include decreased sleep as many stay up very late while others acquire aggressive behavior and thoughts.
A study was conducted that compared those who played non-violent games to those that played violent games. The study found that those who played virtual reality video games tended to have a higher heart rate, dealt with nausea, and showed more aggressive behaviors to those that played non-violent games. The article stated that children who spend a lot of their time with video games are less likely to join extracurricular activities, socialize with friends, or meet new people. Thus, affecting their social life because they don’t develop social skills as good as those who are actively involved whether it’s in sports, hobbies, or talking with other people.
One of the main reasons video games negatively affect a child’s development is the idea of obesity. “According to the CDC, in 2009-2010, 12.1 percent of children ages 2 to 5 are obese, 18 percent of 6 to 11 year olds are obese, and 18.4 percent of 12 to 19 year olds are obese” (Hughes). From this statistic, one can concluded that children are spending a big portion of their time on their computer or game console rather than joining sports or other hobbies to stay fit and healthy.
Even though there are beneficial aspects to playing video games there must be a balance in the amount of time one spends gaming. Parents must take initiative and find a balance in the amount of time their child stays home playing video games versus the amount of time they spend playing sports and interacting with other people.