Social and Ethical Issues of Video Games

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Introduction The video-gaming industry is a multi-billion dollar industry, top selling games producing millions of dollars in their first few days of release. But the industry’s biggest sellers are violent video games (LeClaire, 2006). These days, people are desensitized towards violence that they practically walk past violent events in the street or helpless, injured people without thinking twice or casting a second glance (cyh. com, 2010). Are video games the cause for increased violent behaviour in younger adult generations, as well as the desensitization towards violence?

There have been extensive studies on how video games affect young adult’s behaviour, social life, health and attitude towards real-life violence. On the other hand, the positives of video games may outweigh the negative effects. Video games are can be powerful educational tools, among other positive things. It cannot be easily determined if video games overall have positive or negative effects on the behaviour and health of the players. Discussion Video games provide many positive sides to playing, triggering parts of the brain that control motor and spatial skills, problem solving, logic, instruction following and more (RaiseSmartKid. om, 2011). In 2008, there was a test done on surgeons to see whether video games had a positive effect on surgical practises or not. It was shown that surgeons who played video games made 37 percent fewer errors and were 27 percent faster at advanced surgical procedures compared to surgeons that didn’t play video games. The results show that video games improve cognitive and perceptual skills and help focus on planning and problem-solving (LeBlanc, 2008). On the other hand, there have been studies on the effects of violent video games on young adults.

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Some of these studies show that people who play violent video games are more likely to have increased aggressive thoughts, feelings and behaviours, but these results cannot be 100% accurate, as violent video games may or may not have any effect on some people (LeClaire, 2006). Social and Ethical Issues Video games can have a great impact on the player’s social life. Studies on students and student’s grades show that students who play excessive video games grade’s drop solely because of too much time playing video games, and not enough on school work (cyh. om, 2010). However, video games also include limited social interaction. Being able to play with people all around the world and learn about their way of life and how they do things differently could be taken out of this. Video games are also a great way to get friends together and have a fun, social night. Nowadays, most video games have a multiplayer component which mostly uses the internet to play with people all around the world. (cyh. com, 2010) Video games are also a great source of self-esteem, especially people who struggle in their daily lives.

In the game, they are someone important, powerful, and respected. This could give them more self-esteem in the video game world than the real world (cyh. com, 2010). Video gaming can also become an addiction, almost exactly the same as smoking and drugs – an inability to stop playing, and when cut off from it, withdrawal symptoms such as increased depression and anxiety levels if they go too long without their ‘dose’ of video games (Fleming, 2008). Video games can be so addictive that there is an inability to pull away from the screen, resulting in hours upon hours of playing video games.

This can become a serious social problem, which results in decreased grades and social interaction with fellow peers. Biblical Issues What does the bible have to say about violence video games? “The LORD examines the righteous, but the wicked, those who love violence, he hates with a passion. ” (Psalm 11:5) Whilst playing violent video games players think negative, violent thoughts, such as in Call of Duty, improving their “K/D”, kill to death Ratio. In interactive video games such as The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, there is a function where the player can enter a cinematic “final kill move” and gruesomely slaughter their enemies.

The player is rewarded with a with an impressive, but gory animation, which the player enjoys, showing that violent video games trigger violent thoughts and make players enjoy and love violence (cof. itgo. com). This does not mean that Christians are not allowed to play video games, it is when video games lead to aggressive, violent and negative thoughts that they should not be played. Conclusion It can be seen that video games provide both strong positive effects and strong negative effects, so therefore it is difficult to conclude whether or not video games are good or bad. Reference BibleGateway. 2011). Psalm 11:5. Retrieved February 15, 2012, from BibleGateway: http://www. biblegateway. com/quicksearch/? quicksearch=violence&qs_version=NIV cof. itgo. com. (Unknown) God and Video Games. Retrieved February 15, 2012, from cof. itgo. com: http://cof. itgo. com/ cyh. com. (2010, Friday 3). Video Games. Retrieved February 6, 2012, from Child and Youth Health: http://www. cyh. com/HealthTopics/HealthTopicDetails. aspx? p=243&np=295&id=2375 Fleming, N. (2008, April 3). Video game addiction ‘like being on drugs’. Retrieved February 15, 2012, from The Telegraph: http://www. telegraph. co. k/earth/earthnews/3338422/Video-game-addiction-like-being-on-drugs. html LeBlanc, S. (2008, August 18). A Positive Take on Video Games. Retrieved February 6, 2012, from Boston. com: http://articles. boston. com/2008-08-18/news/29269310_1_surgical-skills-laparoscopic-surgeons-gamer LeClaire, J. (2006, April 10). Video Games Study Reinforces Negative Impact on Youth. Retrieved February 6, 2012, from TechNewsWorld: http://www. technewsworld. com/story/49858. html Lennon, J. (2012, February 9). Time you enjoy wasting, was not wasted. Retrieved February 17, 2012, from GoodReads: http://www. goodreads. com/quotes/show/29449

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