“While still a fairly new phenomenon, video games have evolved into a popular activity among adolescents and children. Cherney (2008) asserts that during the last two decades, video games have emerged as a mass industry second to the film industry with teenagers and children as their major audiences. In the past, computers were only used for work. However, the increase in technological progress witnessed in the final two decades has led to the unprecedented use of computers as a source of entertainment. Cherney (2008) contents that in a world that is increasingly dependent on technology; persons will continue to utilize computers for both business and pleasure. However, this continued use of computers for business and pleasure has both negative and positive impact on the users. Therefore, as the popularity of computer game is ever increasing, there is need to study its negative effects on the users: a majority are children and adolescents. Violence, obesity, and a drop in school performance are some of the negative effects often given for computer game addiction (Gentile & Gentile, 2008). However, there is widespread debate among policy makers, video game producers, researchers, teachers, and parents as to whether video game addiction leads to aggression and a drop in school performance among children and teenagers who use them. However, the perspectives elicited in these debates have frequently been extreme: vilifying or idealizing video games (Freitas & Griffiths, 2007). While some people claim that computer game use can improve school improvement, others argue that computer games are addictive and the addictiveness can lead to aggression and a decline in academic performance among users. While video games are a popular pastime among teenagers and children, video game addiction leads to a drop in academic performance and aggression.
Proponents of video games contend that playing video games has several benefits to the users. It is argued that playing video games can be used as a method of promoting the user’s information and communication technological (ICT) and life skills. Anderson, Gentile, and Buckley (2007) contend that for several years, computer simulations have been utilized as training aids for real several life applications: combat, flight, and driving. Proponents of video games argue that its several beneficial effects can be applied in several practical applications. For instance, the pilots of Israel’s air force are trained using some elements derived from Space Fortress 2, a type of video game. This is after a study discovered that those cadets trained through the help of Space Fortress 2 demonstrated enhanced successive flight performance (Barlett, Anderson, & Swing, 2008). When youths are learning the aforementioned life applications, video games can be very invaluable. Likewise, contemporary commercial electronic video games found on dedicated consoles and latest personal computers (PCs) are software applications of mega complexity.
Barlett, Anderson, and Swing (2008) argue that modern multi-million video games—The Legend of Zelda, The Sims, and the Grand Theft Auto can provide realistic content to the users of video games. Consequently, children and teenagers can benefit from the realistic content provided by the aforementioned video games. Barlett, Anderson, and Swing (2008) contend that for users to play these video games and to successfully move to another level of the game, they must acquire or hold in-depth knowledge of intricate controls, quick reaction times, problem solving skills, and spatial skills. In everyday life, people are required to have the above-listed skills if they are to achieve success. By providing these skills to the users at a young age, proponents of video games argue that computer games are beneficial to the users since they lead to the mental development of the users.
However, the frequent use of video games can lead to addiction which can similarly be detrimental to the growth of children and adolescents. Grusser, Thalemann, and Griffiths (2007) assert that although there are currently few studies to prove that video games are addictive and dangerous to the mind of children and young adults, several signs indicate that video game addiction has detrimental effect on the young users. Although scientists are yet to make the real link between the playing video games and school work, the few studies show that video game addiction can have a negative effect on the young minds and academic performance.
Grusser, Thalemann, and Griffiths (2007) contend that several studies have demonstrated that there is a negative correlation between video game addiction and school performance among college students, adolescents, and children. However, the impact on school performance is dependent on the type of video game being played by the users. Grusser, Thalemann, and Griffiths (2007) contend that several studies demonstrate a comparatively constant negative relationship between grades and playing recreational video games. This is because other than using the time to perform school worker, the students spent several hours playing the addictive video games. Green and Bavelier (2007) assert that the addiction to video games among users is insidious and is characterized by people losing a sense of reality. As the game becomes addicted to playing the computer game, activities of the day-to-day life such as one’s education are neglected. After spending several hours playing the video games, the children cannot concentrate in class. This is as a result of the exhaustion that accompanies the playing of the video games.
However, the proponents of video games fail to acknowledge the danger posed by these games on the future of the young people. Globally, school performance is vital for several youths and their families. An excellent performance in school by the adolescents for example will increase their chances of getting employment and other opportunities in future. Although video games are credited with increasing one’s creativity and problem solving skills, this comes at a cost because of the resultant addiction. Instead of studying, several teenagers worldwide spent a significant portion of their time playing video games. Cherney (2008) asserts that although video games have some constructive components, studies have demonstrated that the presence of a negative correlation between video game addiction on one hand and school performance of college students, adolescents, and children on the other hand. Although video games should be played by users in moderation, to several avid gamers, playing video games becomes a priority (Cherney, 2008). This leads to the neglect of some essential aspects such as one’s education, academic performance and social life. Apart from affecting school performance, video game addiction has several other negative consequences to the users…”
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