The Dark Side of Video Games

By: Darin Topolewski & Robert Ankiel

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What's the problem?

Video games – good or bad? Video game players would say that video games are not bad or do not cause any negative impacts on people. Through our research and observations, we have found out that video games can cause harm to children, teens, and even adults. Some of these negative impacts include sleep deprivation and can cost quite a bit of money. However, there are two sides to every argument. Not everyone believe that video games are bad for people and there is research to help them prove this.

Addiction!

Our leading evidence for why video games are bad is because they are extremely addictive. This website says serious players tend to binge play video games for long hours of the day to win prizes or multiple other things. Another reason why video games are addicting is because video games evolve and continue to update, causing people to want to play the new material. The sweet tooth that video games bring players leads us into our next topic. Sleep deprivation.

I need sleep!

Sleep deprivation is a serious problem and nothing to joke about. There are multiple ways that video games can contribute to sleep deprivation. According to Sleepio Blog the light that video games give off along with the emotional and physiological arousal can be a leading cause of sleep deprivation. A study at Flinders University showed that people who played 2.5 hours of video games before bed slept less and had less efficient sleep than people who only played 50 minutes of sleep before they went to bed.

Show me the money!

On top of addiction and sleep deprivation, video games tend to be really expensive. Most games cost around the $60 when they first hit store shelves. But, on top of that you have to buy the systems, the controllers, and pay for the online services. Even then, some of these games can cost a monthly fee to play, such as Skyrim: online. Other games, like Call of Duty and Halo, come out with new downloadable content after about 3 months after launch that usually cost around $20 dollars each. So, in total, you are spending somewhere around $500 for a new system with online service and games. Not to mention every time a new game comes out people buy them, and when people buy them companies continue to come out with more games making the running total for a person’s gaming habit continue to skyrocket.

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The Bright side!

We all know, including us, that video games can sometimes be rewarding. Video games can actually help increase decision making skills. This website says that games are teaching people to learn and adapt to new situations to solve problems to advance further into the game. "The games are teaching them to learn how to learn, to learn how to solve new tasks rapidly," said Green, a postdoctoral associate at the Kersten Computational Vision Lab at the University of Minnesota and lead author of the study.

Getting our hands dirty!

We did our own research about this topic. The first observation we made was studying my little brother play Xbox. We noticed that he seemed to get angry at the game, or the people playing the game, at least once or twice every 15 minutes. He would yell out things such as “I hate this game” and “That was bull crap.” The second observation we did was watch two people play a computer game and noticed that one of the players would yell and tell the other one that he was bad. During this observation, we found out that people who tend to yell at others while playing the game affect their mental health. The player in observation that was being yelled at and got so upset that he quit the game and decided to not play with him ever again.
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The Final Solution!

Now we have presented our side do you still believe that video games are good? Throughout observations and secondary research, we noticed that video games aren't just fun and games. There are some parts of gaming that have a negative effect on people, such as emotional harassment and physical deprivation. If you are addicted to gaming, you can end up sleeping less and spending more money than you should on these so called “games.” Many parents feel that video games are bad for their kids to be playing on it all day. So they jumped on the bandwagon against video games. So we say to all kids out there to not play video games as much and spend more time hanging out with friends or outside.