This is a widely debated topic, with good points made on both sides towards this issue. It all really depends on how you choose to see the issue. I will be summing up this article.
One popular stereotype is that videogames will influence your behavior for the worse, since the majority of games played nowadays are under the category of MRRG, which stands for mature-rated, risk-glorifying games.
This proves to be the case for certain groups, but not so much in others. In these games, the protagonist typically promotes smoking, increased aggression towards others, alcohol use, etc. A study has been conducted to test behavioral impacts in an extended period of time, about four years, under these games. The results? “Increased behavioral deviance.” However, one common factor in most of the games tested was that the protagonist was evil, or reckless in nature. The same type of study was conducted with a hero for a protagonist, which proved that teenagers who played on the “good side” tended to avoid these problematic behaviors. This counters the previous point.
The second popular stereotype is that the longer you play, the less social you get, which interferes with your life. In another study in Pediatrics, shows that kids who play for about an hour or two daily, tend to exhibit “higher life satisfaction and prosocial behavior”. Beyond that, kids exhibited the opposite behavior. Assuming you keep a time limit, it would seem that videogames can be beneficial to kids. However, it seems rare that kids will play for JUST an hour, which would mean that it’s mainly having a negative impact. A resulting study on about 5,000 children led to Andrew Przybylski stating that:
“The impact of videogames on a child’s social well-being is modest at best, accounting for only 2% of a child’s psychological and social function. Other factors, such as family life, play much bigger roles.”
There are many stronger factors that would have a greater influence on a child’s social skills. Videogames cannot be fully blamed for this issue. In fact, James Ivory states that:
“Teens who don’t play video games at all may be socially isolated as well, but parents who allow teens to play violent adult games might be less focused on preventing risky behaviors.”
This goes beyond videogames, he believes, which IS true. Social issues are not solely dependent on videogames, as there are many other factors that would influence kids. However, from these studies, it appears that videogames DO have an influence, whether it be good or bad.
What do you think?
*Sneakily leaves it up to readers so there will be no arguments* 😉
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