Are Video Games Good or Bad?

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Are Video Games Good or Bad?

Ashtin Addison, Student Interest and Entertainment

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         You grow up learning that TV rots your brain, or that video games are bad for you. Many studies have proven this statement, but little do people know how much they benefit you as well. Honestly, it really just depends on the type of games you play and how often you do them. It all ends up coming down to decision. If you play video games, you have to decide for yourself if you are hurting yourself or not.

        To start off I think we need to understand how it affects people in these negative ways. According to the Georgia State Signal, 60% of Americans play video games daily. Playing often, like most Americans, you’re causing yourself some bad physiological problems. Dopamine can be good for concentration and learning, but it’s also the same chemical released when you’re doing cocaine. So if you have an understanding that’s cocaine is bad, playing video games nonstop every day, is practically like your doing cocaine with the amounts of dopamine taken in, so how could it be any different. Georgiastatesignal.com states that “A comprehensive study from the Journal of Health Psychology shows that gaming disorders are linked to greater levels of loneliness, anxiety, depression, sleeping problems, social problems, and many other psychological-social problems.” Because of problems like this, On June 20th, 2018, The World Health Organization(WHO)  officially recognized “gaming disorder” as an actual diagnosable condition. WHO’s definition of “gaming disorder” includes:

  • At least 12 months gaming is out of control
  • Increased priority given to gaming” where gaming “takes precedence over other interests and daily activities.”
  • Behavior affecting one’s relationships, education, or occupation. 

        So gaming can’t always be good for you, especially violent games. It is people’s job to make sure that it doesn’t get out of hand, and they play games that actually benefit you or you won’t get addicted to. But people need to remember that it’s not completely bad either, just take care of your health and play right in order to be benefited. 

        Video games continue to be very controversial no matter how many studies there are. So how can they be good? Max Planck Institute for Human Development and Charité University Medicine St. Hedwig-Krankenhaus in Berlin, Germany, found that playing video increases the size of your brain and helps refine learned and hardwired skills due to many studies and tests. So playing video games directly impacts regions of the brain responsible for memory, spatial orientation, information organizations, and fine motor skills. Id Tech states,” The first group would play Super Mario 64 for 30 minutes a day, for two months. The second group did not play any video games at all. Scientists used an MRI to measure the size of the brain of the groups before the start of the study, then again after the two-month period. The results confirmed previous findings—that there were differences in the brain structure of video gamers, and that by playing video games, there was a “direct link between video gaming and a volumetric brain increase.” So this video game has taught people how to navigate better, problem-solving skills, and much more. There are many other games like this. Especially learning games for children, really have helped kids mentally grow stronger and be prepared for school. So as long as you play games that give you these skills, and you don’t overdo it, I can guarantee that you’re only becoming smarter in many different ways. 

           So like I’ve said, it’s your decision. Figure out what kind of games you need to throw away, or just manage your time better with these games. Never let gaming become out of hand. But no matter what is said, video games have been proven to negatively and positively affect many people.