Harmful effects of video games for children and teenagers
It is multi multi-bllion industry, which emerged in 1970 and was popular among kids. With the evolution of technology, electronic gaming also evolved and started to grow into industry, where different firms, companies and organizations had invested massively to produce best gaming experience, for the clients. As the gaming industry grew, it became more segmented and different companies started to produce such games, which had a particular audience. THEREFORE, we can say that with time, not only the industry matured and expanded, but also became much segmented and games were started to be made, for a particular audience/clients/consumers.
The origin and evolution of Video Games
As per some claims, the history, of video games, stretches back to 1950s; however, most agree that it was 1970s, when video games truly emerged and became a phenomenon. This was also the time, when companies, of emerging gaming industry, which were very few in number, introduced arcade games, game consoles and computer games. However, as the technology was rare and limited, neither the experience was nor the quality of games was very high. But despite of that, video games became center of attention and people, especially children started to love this new game experience, which was highly involving, but less physical.
The early games, which were mostly introduced through first commercialized computers, were more mathematical and tested IQ. In reality, the real objective of early games was to test and enhance analytical skills, of the user.
The 1960s, in video games context, is considered space era, when many video game producers made I a subject and many games were produced, which had space missions. In 1950s, TX-0 computers were used, and these computers had their own limitations, which could not provide quality videogame experience. As the computer machine started to evolve, so did the games. For instance, when the aging TX-0 was substituted or replaced by PDP-1, which was more evolved computer machine, better games could be produced. During that time, Spacewar!, was designed, which allowed two players to fight one another, with spaceships, which could fire a tornado. The game also proved to be watershed, as after its production and commercial distribution, it provided new direction to video games evolution and at the same time provided foundation for video gaming industry.
It should also be recognized that early computers were highly expensive, as the technology and hardware used for these computers, were pricey and required a complete infrastructure to produce. Therefore, despite of the evolution of video games and increased quality experience, video games did not become viral and only a certain section of society was able to experience this new phenomenon.
The 1970s era is considered a watershed, as it was during this time gaming industry started to expand and became lucrative. The core reason for this expansion was the computers became very affordable, which increase video game users. In addition, coin-operate game industry also started to emerge, as Sega and Chicago Coin’s surfaced. A better video gaming experience, with enhanced sound mechanisms, attracted people and was able to base of customers, which in future could be exploited for better versions, of video games.
The origin of Game Consoles
The second watershed could be considered Game Consoles, which allowed isolated gaming experience. Now televisions could be used to play video games, which not only increased the utility of televisions, but also provided new opportunities for the customers.
The early gaming consoles were simple, with joysticks or remotes, which allowed the user to perform different actions, pertaining to game. It is must recognized that gaming console helped the industry to re-define and re-invent itself, as it made video gaming a unique and private experience and not just an entertainment, provided by computer company.
These gaming consoles evolved with technology and developed into highly integrated and sophisticated systems, such Play-station and X-box, which provided very realistic game experience, which could stimulate multiple senses, necessary to involve, profoundly, a user.
Modern Era and Video Game
Video games, which were introduced through commercialized versions of personal computers, are now being played not only PCs, but also on video consoles and smart-phones. However, the fact remains that true entertainment is provided by computers and gaming consoles, as they provide better quality and game experience. Therefore, more serious users, which draw pleasure from playing games and do not play them to kill time, prefer game consoles and or computers.
Online playing option has also changed, dramatically and apparently, how video games are viewed. Online experience is considered bet experience, as players or users can fight various opponents. One of the real reason, for the expansion of industry and more users, is online feature of video gaming , made possible by interment.
The impact of video games
As the use of video games has increased dramatically and the industry has swore and become a multi-billion industry, which is present in all global markets, the debate on its social and economic impact, has heated up. There is a group of section, which claims that gaming industry has more negative impact, on society and economics, than positive. Different arguments and studies are used to prove their points, which make this debate more interesting.
It is a fact that every action has a cost, and every business has some adverse effects. This why governments forge or devise strategies and policies to reduce this negative effect of certain business or industry. For instance, industrialized countries around the world have now forged a collective strategy to reduce carbon emission. The strategy is not to shut the industry, which is responsible for high carbon emission, but to ensure that carbon emission should be monitored and curbed. This is because the benefits of the industry are far more than carbon-emission, at least in a short-run. Therefore, it is highly imperative to study and scrutinize the impact of video gaming, with sincerity and without any bias.
Before studying economic, social and impact on individual, it is imperative to know about the users, and their age in particular. In the early days of gaming, most of the game users were grownups. This is because most of the games were available only on computer, which was rare and sophisticated technology, not in the reach of children of people in teen. In addition, most of these video games were played by men/boys, not girls. Their video game participation was very low and in its early days it was called boy’s to.
However, it all changed when game consoles emerged. During that time, the video gaming experience changed and companies too, working in this industry, realized that kids should be targeted to increase or swell revenues.
According to recent stats, 60% of the users, who play video games, are boys/men and 40% of the video game users are women. According to another statistics, the girls/women, who play video games, are 49% of the total users.
The average age, of video game player, in 2014, was 35 years, which has now increased to 37 years, which clearly suggests that people of different age are now taking interests in games and they are playing it entertain themselves.
When we study US gaming industry, it becomes very apparent that is contributing to US economy, in number of ways. For instance, US gaming industry is not only providing revenues to a state, through taxes, on production-income-consumption, but also yielding employment.
According to one of the studies, on US gaming industry, the size of US industry has increased 9%, from 2009 to 2012. The 9% growth rate suggests that more people are using avenue to entertain themselves, which has not only increased profits, but also expanded industry. Therefore, an economic benefit, of video gaming industry, cannot be ignored or set-aside, as it is very evidently positively helping economies, when they are facing deflationary trend.
This analysis would not only be based on mere conjecturing, but studies will be used to endorse the argument, presented in favor of video gaming.
- Entertainment: Originally video gaming was devised to test and increase intellectual capacity and to increase brain activity. However, the process was very entertaining and early designers started to work on such video games, which not improved intelligence, but also entertained the user. In modern era, all video games have entertainment and intelligence building stimulus, as main features. In addition, users mostly play video games to entertain themselves and we claim that video games are primarily entertainment providing source.
- Improved Intelligence: Studies reveal that video games improve intelligence; because while playing games we use both parts of our brain, right and left. The right side of the brain symbolizes creativity and left side of the brain is used for analysis.
- Superior Surgeons: One of the studies revealed that surgeons, who played more than 3 hours video games, every week, made 32% less errors than those, who did not, during practice routines or procedures. This is evident that those, who play video games, are better with remotes and such other instruments.
- Reduction in Dyslexia: People, who have weak focus, are suffering from dyslexia, mostly, and research has revealed that video gaming can improve focus or attention. This is because video games require more focus. Therefore, playing video games can curb or reduce Dyslexia, which could help, in real life, in various ways.
- Improved Vision: Some studies also suggest that vision, of a user, improves, with the playing of video games. The increase in vision means that person can respond to slight changes in picture, more appositely.
- Entertaining way to learn history: most of the modern games , mostly strategy games, are based on history. When a user play such games, he becomes fascinated with history and try to learn more about characters and events, stimulated in game. Therefore, we can say games are also educational, in nature.
- Physical Games: There are few video games, which are physical and require full body involvement. These games are not only remote controlled, but also physically involved a person. Therefore, video games not just hand eye coordination, but now goes beyond that.
- Slow the gaining process: Brain-games, which test IQ and build it, some studies assert, slow down the aging process. However, the evidence for such claim is not conclusive but still acceptable. Therefore, it can be said that those, who play video games are aged slow.
- Socially Connected: As discussed earlier, the a revolutionary feature, of modern video games, is only playing option. This has revolutionized video gaming and incredibly increased its reach. Now it has also become a tool to socialize, with people, living in different parts of world.
- Decision making: One of the confirm benefit, of playing video games, is that user develops a faster decision-making mechanism. This increased decision-making mechanism, not helps the users to take better decisions in game, but also in real life.
It is very evident from the argument that not only video gaming has commercial or economic benefit, but also video gaming has social and other benefits. These arguments do not undermine some of the adverse affects of video gaming; however, this discourse suggests that the benefits, of playing video games, are far more than its adverse affects, which can be curbed though propagation, of these negative effects.
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ESA. (2015). The U.S. Video Game Industry’s Economic Impact. Retrieved December 2, 2015, from ESA: http://www.theesa.com/article/u-s-video-game-industrys-economic-impact/
Forbes. (2015). Video Game Analytics: Not Child’s Play. Retrieved December 2, 2015, from http://www.forbes.com/sites/teradata/2015/09/30/video-game-analytics-not-childs-play/
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