The Digital Journalism Blog

The Effects Of Video Game On Society

Posted in Uncategorized by com360bu on May 13, 2013

by: William Mosher

Video games are were we find our paradise we can get away from troubling parts of the world. This is an in depth look into how video games are addicting and the cause of many deaths, break ups, and abuse that is becoming more frequent accost the world.

Prelude Video Game Addiction Video

Can video games actually destroy lives? Can a person get so caught up in the games that they are unaware of what is going on around them? Are video game users becoming so addicted that they ignore their responsibilities and are in need of medical help? Is this once pastime now turning into how kids view social media. Instances have been reported where users play compulsively, isolating themselves from social contact and focusing almost entirely on in-­game achievements rather than life events. (GA)

I think the games are based on fantasy, harmless entertainment, something that could never happen in real life. When asked, most people will tell you the games are for fun, their exciting, they take up some slack time, and games are a form of competition. I play them on line with my friends and they are my entertainment without leaving my house. I believe it has now come to the point in our society that the games are being overused and becoming a real problem in our homes and communities today. My fear is that many kids and adults are more concerned with achievement scores on their games than on their daily responsibilities, socializing and jobs.

The games have become an escape from reality, an interaction that is taking over many households to the point that doctors are now looking to label this type of entertainment. Suggestions for this type of behavior have ranged from apossible psychiatric disorder, an addiction comparative to drug or alcohol addiction, depression, anxiety, impulsive control disorder and the list goes on. (GA) People’s lives are being destroyed by video games daily, so what can possibly be done to stop addiction that turns into violence?

There are countless, depressing stories concerning lives of people who are constantly gaming on the Internet. One of my parent’s friends told me a story of a video game World of Warcraft destroying his friend’s marriage. The man played the game for four hours each day continuing until he played six hours a day. He missed meal times, ignored his kids and their baseball games, forgot about taking showers, and eventually got fired for playing the game at work and his wife divorced him.

The kids in these situations will commonly feel over looked and neglected which will turn into violence because of the dads inability to get off of the game. Parents are a primary influence in a child’s life. A recent story tells of a couple in Nevada who ignored their children’s needs to the point of neglect. They were arrested, charged, and convicted. Kids in these situations will commonly feel over looked, neglected, and this adds extra pressure on their already stressful lives.

Another couple who authorities say were so obsessed with the Internet and video games that they left their babies starving and suffering other health problems have pleaded guilty to child neglect. The children of Michael and Iana Straw, a boy age 22 months and a girl age 11 months, were severely malnourished and near death last month when doctors examined them after social workers took them to a hospital, authorities said. Both children are doing well and gaining weight in foster care, prosecutor Kelli Ann Viloria told the Reno Gazette-Journal. Viloria said the Reno couple were too distracted by online video games, mainly the fantasy role-playing “Dungeons & Dragons” series, to give their children proper care. (neglect)Thirty seconds! That’s how much time Brian Alegre allowed himself for a bathroom break before rushing feverishly back to his computer video game.

The fear of getting killed, losing the battle for his team, or worse, being outranked in points by another player compelled the Westminster teenager to guzzle energy drinks and stay glued to his computer for 15 hours straight. “In the summer, I basically didn’t shower or brush my teeth,” said Alegre, 19. “I didn’t realize it at the time, but yeah, I guess I was addicted. “Other players of “World of Warcraft”   commonly called “WoW” and dubbed “World of Warcraft” by legions of fans   can probably relate to Alegre’s obsessive need to “grind. ” While psychologists are still debating whether a video game can be addictive, some players describe classic symptoms of broken families, trouble in school and isolation from friends. And help and support for quitting is popping up online. (VGA) Another example is a television station that did a report on a kid who died from a stroke due to seventy  two straight hours of game playing including drinking five Monster Energy Drinks in order to stay awake as he played that all important game in his life. The drinking of multiple energy drinks can cause heart attacks and other bad health conditions for the user. (Can Label) My friend Nick Jacobs personally loves his video games but does not think he is addicted saying “I love to escape into video games but I understand that its a fantasy world and that I have to come back to the real world to do work, school, and take care of my parents.” Nick goes on to say “How ever I do not feel that video games are bad because people need an escape every now and then. I also sat down with Justin Bedwell and asked why he played he said “I enjoy the rush of having to go though a journey an adventure and accomplishing a goal bigger then reality.” I then asked him if he ever felt addicted to the video games he said “Man one day I had a huge project do and I was up playing Skyrim the entire night instead of doing my homework. This brings me to a big concern with video game addiction is the lack of performance in academics among adolescents. Close to onein ten U.S. children and teenagers who play video games are addicted and suffer problems in their school and family lives as a result, a research firm said Monday. A January survey of more then 1,100 youths from ages eight to eighteen found that addicted gamers receive lower grades in school than their peers and are more likely to have been diagnosed with an attention deficit problem, Harris Interactive said. (RDVGA) Since video games are readily available at any time to any age group this increase of usage is causing part of this phenomenon of an addiction. Video game addicts are more likely to have game consoles in their bedroom and spend an average of 24.5 hours per week shooting imaginary bad guys in the virtual worlds. Besides being more likely to perform poorly in school, addicts get into more physical fights and are physically heavier than no addicts. (RDVGA)

The question that video game users have to ask themselves is, what is this game accomplishing in my life? Am I any smarter, will people care that I received a tremendously high score on a certain level of the game? The answer is no because the game usually has nothing that will help you toexcel inlife. The statistics that people work sovery hard to achieve are lost when games are reset or a newer version of the game comes out on the market. Financially, World of Warcraft has been one of the leading game addictions on the gaming market. On EBay, people actually sell their characters for one thousand six hundred dollars, which is silly, because you only repeat the same process on a new expansion or reset. One kid played World of Warcraft so much that he threatened bodily harm if his parents tried to take it away. The problem with this highly addictive game is that it takes about three to four hours a day, every day, for one whole month to level up to the highest level. When you figure and total the number of gaming hours, you are actually wasting a day of your life every week and total hours played for the month is 92.4 hours of game play. (JCVG) It is apparent that video games are addictive, friends and families are going to the wayside replaced by virtual friends, and responsibilities are being neglected.

Doctors have actually labeled video gaming addiction as a medical problem. A leading council of the nation’s largest doctors’ group wants to have this behavior officially classified as a psychiatric disorder; to raise awareness and enable sufferers to get insurance coverage for treatment. Many council members and parents feel the need to lobby for the disorder due to excessive video usage. Another recent news release reported that doctors backed away from a controversial proposal to designate video game addiction as a mental disorder akin to alcoholism on Sunday, saying psychiatrists should study the issue further. Addiction experts strongly opposed the idea at a debate held at the American Medical Associations (AMA) annual meeting. They said further study is needed before excessive use of video and online games   a problem estimated to affect about 10% of players   can be considered a mental illness. (VGAMI) In my opinion, medical reports and articles will raise awareness in to the possibility of video addiction and this awareness is long over due. The age of game usage is getting younger and younger and the time playing the games is getting to the point that daily activities and responsibilities are not getting accomplished. I do not agree with the statement that video gaming is a mental disorder. One night I sat in front of a new video game for eight straight hours without eating or taking a break other than to go to the bathroom. I only ended the game because my computer broke and my dreams of getting the highest score in the game were dashed forever. I slowly got up from the computer table and my whole body started to shutter as I made my way to my bed. That night I learned a hard lesson about muscles and cramps from sitting for eight straight hours in a chair. This muscle cramping and spasms shocked me in to reality that video games are a form of entertainment for short periods of time. I slowly pulled my way out of bed and never ever played a game for that long without hours in between. Was this a mental disorder, no I don’t think so. I believe it was one of choice, not a good one, nevertheless, my choice, to sit for hours. Could it have been avoided? Most certainly, I knew better than to sit for hours in front of a computer screen. If you cannot control yourself, then your parents need to take control of your time and the use of video games. Parents need to monitor their child’s usage, its social networking, and older kids need to be involved in other activities. Children, adolescence, and adults need to spend time with their families, engage in outside activities, exercise, and socialize. I think that more studies and research needs to be done before you can classify video gaming as a mental disorder.

I believe video games are a fun way to relax, take a step away from reality, or just have a great time with your buddies on line. Video games have some educational value; however, video game usage can become a nightmare in many homes if the time you spend on a game exceeds a reasonable limit. The limit being time that takes away from your responsibilities at home, work on the job, your health and well being, including those around you, social obligations, and daily duties. Moderation should be enforced for children, by their parents. Adults need to have more self-control and common sense on their priorities in life so that video games don’t become an obsession and destroy households. One needs to have good time management skills or enough realization that he has better things to accomplish in life. Video games are not how the real world functions. The only goal in life should not be the next level of a video game. One of my video games called Socom 3 tells you to live life to its fullest because anything else is a disappointment. Don’t let video games turn you into a disappointment in the eyes of others. Robert Lynd once said, “It is in games that many men discover their paradise.” Just don’t confuse it with reality!

Cited Work

1. Computer and Video game Addictios

2. Cortez F Michelle “Video-Game Addiction Risk Needs Study, Doctors Say”

3. FAQs on Violent Video Games and Other Media Violence {PSY}

4. Video Games, Television and Media Violence

5. The Concerns About Video Games – Violence

6. Do Violent Video Games Contribute to Youth Violence {VGC}

7. Glazer Sarah “Video Games”, Cq Researcher (2006)

8. Gonsalves Antone, “Report Documents Video Game Addiction”, Information Week

9. Neglect; bloggers blame couple {neglect}

10. WoW Video Game {VGA}

11. Video games ‘good for you’ {tec}

12. Video games ‘stimulate learning’ {edu}

13. Video game addiction ‘not mental illness’ {VGAMI}

14. Tanner Lindsey “Think your teen’s hooked on Xbox” Associated Press {JCVG}

15. Why Video Games are Good for Your Soul, {soul}

16. Brown, Gerald L. Impulse control disorders: a clinical and psycho biological perspective March 15, 2004 (GA)

17. The Australian News October 24, 2006 (GA)

Nick Jacobs Bradley Graduate 2013

Justin Bedwell Bradley Graduate 2013

Map of Major Video Game Locations and References

Time Line the Rise of Video Games


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