Video Game Addiction?

Video Game Addiction?

Taylor Lem, Cameron Fischer, Lauren Shin, and Colin Carroll

How much time do kids spend playing video games these days? The amount will surprise you. The average child spends about 5-8 hours a day in front of a screen. As of 2018 in the U.S. , 66% of kids from ages 13 and older play video games. This is a problem seeing as studies show that videogames are unhealthy and can cause problems such as addiction, health issues, and behavioral issues show the need for a change in how much kids play video games.

The more video games children play, the more addicted they become to it. People don’t realize how similar a video game is to a drug; it’s addictive and it impacts people from a young age.  Victor Tangermann from Futurism, an online magazine interviews José Antonio Hita Ruiz who has experienced firsthand video game addiction, and he tells Victor that there was a point in life where he felt like he was stuck and he couldn’t break free from this seemingly never ending addiction. For example, ‘“I wasn’t even playing with other people; it was just me and the same few games, again and again,” Hita tells me. “Some people may misinterpret if I say ‘like a drug.’ But in my experience, it was like a drug.”’ This shows how serious video games really are, and that once people start playing it’s hard to break out of it. Also, studies show that about 10% of the children who play videogames are hooked on playing it. That means 10% of the children will most likely have problems arising in the future (if the addiction isn’t already enough) like health or behavioral issues. The fact that people from a young age can get addicted on video games is a scary thought. In today’s society, where most teenager’s lives revolve around their electronics, it is not surprising that 97% of children play video games on a daily basis. When will this percentage get to 100%? When will the 10% amount of children who are addicted to video games rise to 50%? 75%? The world can’t just sit back and watch this world wide disaster take place right in front of their eyes. People need to step up and spread awareness about this, before their own siblings, children, cousins, friends or anyone else gets sucked into the void of video games.

Health issues are a major part of why kids should not be spending much time on video games. A main health issue caused by video games is that it brings an unnecessary physical and mental response. When children are playing an intense game, usually a violent one, there temperature and heart rate rise, blood diverts flow from many organs, and brings it to the limbs. The brain “shuts off” other parts of it, to focus on the task at hand. This is all completely unnecessary, the brain is ready to “fight or flight,” but in reality, the player is sitting on their couch with a controller in hand. Another health issue attributed to video games is a gaming disorder, where the player, usually a child, ignores many important things in his/her life to play a video game. Gaming Disorder was recently classified in the International Classification of Diseases. According to the New York Post, “The disorder is marked by behavior… that makes playing games more important than other activities despite negative repercussions.” If children start doing this, it will likely be hard to get them to stop, possibly resulting in an addiction, as mentioned previously.

Studies show that violent video games increase aggressive behavior and can lead to

crime. Furthermore, violent video games increase aggressive behavior, desensitize kids to violence, and can lead to crime. Young children are more likely to confuse fantasy violence with real violence. 60% of middle schools boys and 40% of middle school girls play mature rated games where they injure, kill, or beat up someone. This can lead to bullying, cyberbullying, physical or verbal fights, hostility, and aggression and arguing. it says, “Two teenagers in Tennessee who shot at passing cars and killed one driver told police they got the idea from playing Grand Theft Auto III.” This quote shows that mature rated and violent games can lead to treacherous crimes such as shooting and taking other people’s lives. Also, if playing these inappropriate games becomes natural, kids will get used to the bloody and violent aspects of them, which will show in the real world. This is unfortunate because people will not be able to control themselves to do acts the prevent to take people’s lives.

Consequently, video games lead to addiction, medical/health problems, and aggressive behavior, especially in children. These issues are subsequently the products that emerge from kids spending to much time looking at a screen. With the problem of spending too much time playing video games contributing to others, kids should lessen the amount of time they play.