free debate

June 30, 2009

The Real Effects of Video Games

As early as I can remember I have been playing video games. I have played everything from FFVII on the Playstation I to the amazing graphics of the new releases. I have also heard all of the arguments against playing video games. I think one of the problems is that this is such a recent phenomena that the studies are just now coming out. So, what are some of the effects?

I remember being told growing up that playing video games was bad for my eyes. Just today (June 30th), a new article came out from Scientific American saying that this household wisdom may be incorrect. According to a new study from the University of Rochester, playing action video games may actually improve "core functions of vision". They reported that playing games like "Unreal Tournament 2004" and "Call of Duty 2" increased levels of "visual contrast sensitivity." This is the ability to distinguish between low contrast targets.

I think it is also good to remember, though, that there are negative effects to playing video games. Articles published though Science Daily show that 1 in 10 gamers ages 8-18 are addicted. In a separate article, they found that gamers who played over 7 hours a week and claimed a gaming addiction, got less sleep and were more tired then non-gamers. We are also in a society where obesity is a growing problem, and many kids don't get enough exercise.

Like all things in life, video games have their good and their bad. Personally, I really enjoy playing video games; however, I also spend time swimming and mountain biking. As I mentioned earlier, this is still fairly new research. We will have to see what happens as scientists get more time to study this media.

Science Daily- Nearly 1 In 10 Youth Gamers Addicted To Video Games