Video Games

By Roberto Jimenez

When home video games were introduced in the 1970s, they had simple graphics, were generally black and white, and only had minimal sounds such as beeps or blips. For example, the first popular game was Atari's Pong. Players controlled small lines on the side of the screen that served as paddles to send a dot across the screen in a game of simulated Ping-Pong. Since that time, particularly in the 1980s, video games added not only sound and color but also complex and realistic scenarios and graphics, allowing players to simulate everything from flying an aircraft to stealing an automobile. The increasing time youth spend playing video games along with the rise of violent content have made them a topic of controversy. Video games, however, may also hold educational and health benefits, so legislators, parents, educators, and pediatricians are trying to determine if their benefits outweigh their possible harm.

Beginning in the 1980s, computers began showing up in classrooms, and students were excited to play games such as Apple's Lemonade Stand, a basic game of entrepreneurship and economics, and teachers and parents were excited about the possible academic benefits. Since then, some researchers have taken a hard look at the academic potential for school students, and game manufactures have targeted a new video-game audience by marketing them for preschool education.

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In an article for parents titled "The Effects of Video Games on Children" published in the June 2004 edition of Pediatrics for Parents, Douglas A. Gentile, Ph. D., who studies media's effects on children and adults at Iowa State University, argues that these games likely have a positive effect if kept in their proper context. He comments that although the initial response to video games in the schools was positive, concern increased as game playing permeated the home, children played them for increasing amounts of time, and games became more violent. Gentile states, "Similar to earlier studies about television, the data about children's video game habits are correlated with risk factors for health and with poorer academic performance. When video game play is analyzed for violent content, additional risk factors are observed for aggressive behavior and desensitization to violence." He continues, however, "Video games are natural teachers. Children find them highly motivating by virtue of their interactive nature. Children are actively engaged with them, they provide repeated practice and they include rewards for skillful play. These facts make it likely that video games could have large effects."

video game consoles are famous shown in the graph above. the time you spent on vide games should plained out to be able to do important things. some video games are used to relief anger.