Another study touting the negative effects of video games. I really didn’t want to post this up since my girlfriend has almost a psychological aversion towards video games. She doesn’t understand why someone like me plays video games. She believes it’s a waste of time. I responded as a typical guy from the video game generation, “What’s the difference between video games and watching TV or a DVD? It’s just another form of entertainment that people ‘waste’ their time on… I grew up in the video game generation as a grade schooler I had the first Atari 2600 and continued on from there ’til college with the first Sega Genesis… And did you know the the video game industry passed the movie industry in terms of revenues last year? So many well-rounded, young professionals that are my friends and in their late twenties and mid-thirties play… I’m not some guy that stays in all day and plays…”
Of course, most of this falls on deaf ears. My video game playing goes in spurts. I played a lot with my college friends about half my time during college. Meaning Tecmo Bowl tournaments each year that lasted a month, or John Madden Football during my latter years. I also was Mortal Kombat champ on my campus… something to brag about, huh (crap, i’m such a geek)? I stopped playing video games after college and played once every few months during graduate school. I started up again while trying to connect with our engineers during my time at HeyAnita, so I would occasionally play Starcraft (amazing how Blizzard games dominate in Korea).
Anyway, regardless of what this study says, I do believe excessive violence in video games for children that play very frequently can cause more aggressive behavior. But the question is to what degree? To the point that he will go around shooting other kids at school? I do tend to agree with young Gustav Niel-Berggren below that majority of youth can distinguish between the video game world and reality. It’s more of the outliers that are effected, but the difficulty is identifying if your child is an outlier. How do you know, especially since most parents would never identify their child as potentially unstable and ready to snap while playing a violent video game? As a future parent, I wouldn’t ban all video games, but screen graphic and violent games during the early stages of child development… maybe because I just played Pong, Pitfall, Missle Command, and other light games as a child that I turned out to be a calm, stable person?
The study below is similar to the studies publicized when I was in grade school and junior high about the negative effects of Dungeons & Dragons. In the end, only those with already unstable histories got sucked in and couldn’t distinguish between reality and the game… a rare few.
As for the weight issue, I bet the cold weather and diet in Sweden are stronger factors for making kids fat. I question the statistical significance of video game playing related to making kids fat. I’m fat now compared to my college days and I stopped playing video games after college. My weight gain is primarily due to a slower metabolism and sitting in front of a computer all day… aging not video games made me fat.
STOCKHOLM (Reuters) – Video games can make children fat and, in the case of violent games popular among teenage and younger boys, aggressive and even criminal, Swedish experts said on Monday…..
“It’s concerning because they (video game players) are rehearsing scripts of behavior that will possibly play themselves out in real life,” Michael Rich, a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics who has studied the effects of entertainment media on the physical and mental health of children, was quoted as saying in the 45-minute “Deadly Game” documentary…..
Gustav Niel-Berggren, a 16-year-old student who said he tended to spend many hours a day several days a week playing an interactive online action game called Counter-Strike, which focuses on killing opponent soldiers, disagreed.
“Shooting somebody in a game is just like scoring a goal in a football match,” he said, dismissing the documentary’s suggestion and Lindblad’s fear that youths could not distinguish between the game world and real life… (full article)