The pros and cons of video games

The pros and cons of video games


Dust off the old cartridge,
because we’re talking about video games. They might feel
like a staple in modern day life, but just a few decades
ago…video games were as new and fascinating as virtual
reality is now. Video games have influenced our culture, history,
and way of life since 1972. Pong – the classic game that’s
essentially electronic tennis. Developed by Atari…Pong caught
on instantly and was Sears’ hottest selling item on the
department store shelves. In the 1980’s we met Donkey Kong…and
along with him…of course, Mario, who would become the face
of Nintendo for years to come. In the 90’s, Sega’s Sonic the
Hedgehog broke onto the scene…and a few years later
Pokemon became the most popular children character…selling out
toys, trading cards, and even a movie. Gaming has gone from
arcade games to consoles to online-gaming and
smartphones…setting up a whole new culture to go along with
each. While video games are often based in fantasy…they
also reflect both history and current events. Whether that’s a
good or a bad thing…is up for debate. War is often something
depicted in popular games like Call of Duty and Warfare.
Players can pretend they are fighting in the war on terror in
Iran, Iraq, and Afghanistan…or jump back in time to World War
Two. But do violent games lead to violence in real life?
According to the American Psychological Association, violent video games can be a risk factor for aggression. In 2017, APA concluded that violent video game exposure was linked
to increased aggressive behaviors, thoughts, and
emotions, as well as decreased empathy. But it’s not all bad.
Tech media company inverse published a report about the
changing landscape of gaming. Writing that the industry is
prioritizing empathy by diversifying characters and
creating different goals. Many times, games can enhance
learning and curiosity in players…and can even be
educational. Video games known as “stimulation games” like the
popular Tycoon series and The Sims are a good examples of
this. In Rollercoaster Tycoon…players must
successfully build and manage an amusement park…bringing in
enough guests to keep it afloat and managing every aspect of the
business. And of course…we can’t talk about strategic life
simulation games without talking about The Sims…where players
have to build and decorate a home, manage relationships, and
stay happy while on a budget. (Yeah…unless you knew that
Rosebud cheat code but let’s pretend we played fair.) The
nonprofit Games for Change has been contributing to this
so-called renaissance in gaming…rewarding innovators
and raising interest in games with positive real world
application.

5 thoughts on “The pros and cons of video games”

  1. Politicians should stop taking money from gun manufacturer first before blaming video games.

  2. Please also notice the crime statistics over the past couple of decades and know that they would be way worse if video games actually caused kids or adults to lash out.

    If video games actually cause violent behavior, we would see a much more distinct increase of violent crime over the past couple of decades, over the time frame before the 90s. Which, surprise, there isn't.

    Video games are just a convenient scapegoat for people who are ignorant about games or don't care about the industry.

  3. Newsy I expect better from you. Overall I liked the video, but but why did you have to parrot the line that violent video games cause aggression when the study states that "Our task force concluded that violent video game use is a risk factor for adverse outcomes, but found insufficient studies to examine any potential link between violent video game use and delinquency or criminal behavior." Please do better.

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