Cons of video games


Carly Rohrer, Liaison Manager

Video games control the minds of kids. Before very addictive electronics were invented, kids used to play outside in the sun and interact with others. Now, with the constant need to bury their noses in their screens, the majority of children are found in their dark rooms playing for hours. Although many people believe video games provide benefits for children, they are actually very detrimental. Since children’s brains and bodies are still developing, playing too many video games, especially those of a violent nature, could lead to many problems later in life.

A study tracked more than 800 children in Switzerland and found that every hour a child sits playing video games, their risk of obesity doubles. Not only do children gain unhealthy weight, they also can develop many mental health issues associated with their gaming.  Violent video games have been proven by the American Psychological Association to link to more aggressive thoughts, feelings and actions. It was also found that video games can cause children to be more violent themselves and feel less guilt about harming others than non-violent gamers.

All of these problems do not just go away, which is what many parents are wary of. Children do not grow out of their relationships with gaming, and they actually gradually get worse over many years. In fact, about 84% of males and 59% of females play video games in college. These habits were started in elementary, or middle school, and continued into high school and college. Video games can distract college students and keep them from studying. In some cases, this can lead to failed grades and even having to dropout of college all together because of an addiction formed in their youth.

In most families, there is at least one person who struggles with any sort of addiction. When people think of addiction, they may immediately think of alcohol or drugs; however, many people don’t actually realize that video games are extremely addictive. Playing video games can brainwash the mind in many ways, even causing the brain to shift into survival mode. While registering what’s on the screen, the brain can struggle to separate real life and fantasy. So, when a character is peering around a corner in the game, the brain can cause the body to feel as though the action is actually happening. The child then feels stressed out and overstimulated. Then, when it comes time to go to bed, it is very difficult to sleep because the brain is wide awake. Basically, video game addiction turns people into stressed out zombies.

Sadly, there are more than 162 million people who play video games daily. Not everyone experiences the negative side effects of video games, but a good amount of people do. Parents should limit the amount of time their children play video games in order to minimize the risk of addiction, and teens and young adults should ask themselves whether or not their gaming habits interfere with living a productive life.