Are video games addictive or harmful?
PHI 103: Informal Logic
These days children, teenagers and even the adults have been playing more and more video games. Either it’s on their phones, tablets, an actual gaming computer if they have one or even on the computer’s itself. However, there are some people that say that playing video games can be addictive and be harmful to the individual. Then there are some people that say that playing video games has it’s perks and benefits to the individual. But it all depends on the individual itself if playing video games give them some beneficial risks or would it be harmful or addictive to them. In this paper we are going to explore the specific question of whether playing video games is addictive or harmful. In this paper will also present a strong argument that playing video games has some benefits and that it isn’t harmful or addictive. Then it will be followed by an analysis of the merits of reasoning on both sides and the support provided by each.
Argument that Video Games aren’t harmful or addictive
Premise 1: According to Nakamuro, Inui, Senoh & Hiromatsu, (2015)., “Video game increase children’s interest in and awareness of various social problems ranging from violence to natural disasters.”
Premise 2: According to Griffiths, (2002)., “Video games attract participation by individuals across many demographics (e.g., age, gender, ethnicity, educational status).”
Premise 3: Video games is used as a form of therapy for individuals with ailments like Erb’s Palsy, muscular dystrophy, and severe burns. (Griffiths, 2005).
Premise 4: According to Eichenbaum, Bavelier, & Green (2014)., “Video games fight against declining mental capacities in old age, promote job-related skills, and offer models of how to teach children complex tasks and abilities.”
Conclusion: Playing video games individuals can reap the therapeutic benefits and educational benefits that comes with getting the skills to take on the tasks.
Support for the Argument that Video Games aren’t harmful or addictive
A study was conducted to see if young children that was exposed to watching TV and playing video games to see if it was indeed harmful to them. However, it was noted that there were benefits to watching TV and playing video games. That playing video games it would increases the children’s interest in the entertainment environments and that with the high-level graphics and technologies, the children were able to gain new and other knowledge that they were never exposed to through their own community. (Nakamuro, Inui, Senoh & Hiromatsu, 2015). With the study that the authors have done this supports the first premise.
According to Mark Griffiths who is a Professor of Gambling Studies in the Psychology Division wrote that “video games have great positive potential in addition to their entertainment value and there has been considerable success when games are designed to address a specific problem or to teach a certain skill.” Video games are developed for a range of ages and that the player understands the rules of the game. Some of the games are solitary in nature and some pits the players against each other. There are certain games that focuses or helps children with learning disabilities as well as games for therapeutic needs. What he presented and indicated in his article supports the second and third premise.
The authors had done a plenty of research and surveys. They indicated that video games lately have evolved into effective learning tools. That video games are weapons in the fight against declining mental capacities in old age. They promote job-related skills and that they are a model of how to teach children complex and difficult tasks and abilities. That video games can help an Alzheimer’s patient fight cognitive decay or it teaches a 12-year old mathematics. Thus, supporting the fourth premise.
Video games can be used for educational purposes, whether it’s helping a kid learn how to read or do math or help a child who has ADHD stay focus on his or her work, so they don’t stray. Video games can be used as a form of physiotherapy for arm injuries such as a child who has Erb’s palsy and it can also be used as occupational therapy to increase hand strength. (Griffiths, 2005). With that being said all the premises supports the conclusion.
Argument that Video Games are addictive or harmful
Premise 1: Violent video games brings out a person’s violent behaviors. (Porter, Starcevic, 2007).
Premise 2: Playing video games has a strong influence on the obesity in young children. (Nakamuro, Inui, Senoh & Hiromatsu, 2015).
Premise 3: Children, teenagers and adults can be addicted to video gaming.
Premise 4: Playing video games can confuse reality and fantasy.
Conclusion: Playing video games have a negative impact on a person’s health, behavior and cognitive development.
Support for the Argument that Video Games are addictive or harmful
The American Psychological Association indicated that there is a “consistent correlation” between violent game use and aggression but there is insufficient evidence that links playing violent video games to criminal violence. Porter and Starcevic allows their readers to feel that playing violent video games will bring out the player’s aggression. Even though this premise is considered weak since there’s not that much research that has been proven otherwise but the fact remains that people believe that playing violent games can bring out a person’s violent aggression and tendencies.
According to Tumbokon (2019), “Playing video games may have some bad effects on some children’s health, such as obesity, video-induced seizures, tendonitis, nerve compression, carpal tunnel syndrome, as well as postural, muscular and skeletal disorders.” A study was conducted to see if playing video games was harmful and the authors noted that obesity was rising in children who played video games rather than played outside with their friends or family. They had studied on children if there was a correlation of playing video games with childhood obesity and found that there was no effect but that the hours of sleep per day was associated with obesity. (Nakamuro, Inui, Senoh, & Hiromatsu, 2015). The second premise is a bit weak. But I do understand why they would believe that obesity and video games would be linked.
In June 2018, the World Health Organization declared that compulsively playing video games as a mental health disorder. That anyone who plays video games for more than 12 hours a day is addicted to video gaming. The excessive need to get on their games and play at all hours of the day and night would make the person addicted to video gaming. When a person who enjoys the world of video gaming they can often confuse reality from fantasy. Sometimes they would prefer to live in the fantasy world more then the real world. They tend to isolate themselves from the real world, forget what they are supposed to be doing, but live through their fictional character in the fantasy world. Which leads to support the last two premises.
Excessively playing video games does have a negative impact on the gamer. It can lead to an increase in depression, anxiety, isolation from family and friends making them more anti-social and a possibility in increasing their aggression and making them more hostile against people. Some people would rather live in the fantasy world then face reality. After carefully reading the premises and the corresponding articles they all support the conclusion even though some of the premises are weak, but they still make the conclusion strong.
Analysis of Reasoning on Both Sides
As noted, both arguments have premises that are supported by scholarly sources. Even both arguments additionally provide strong support for the truth of their conclusions. I believe that each premises could have some fallacy of some sort. Granted that the authors had conducted some research studies or surveys, but their opinions can be bias as well in taking the answers that best fitted the article and implementing it to where it would make a difference amongst its readers. Even if the scholarly article has been peer reviewed and they had included researches and studies from other authors that had conducted research on the same topic it could still be of the same issue to where they pick and choose what is relevant to them to use at the time. Instead of just laying everything out and going with what they have done.
The study of scholarly sources on both sides of the issue allows critical thinkers to be more aware of types of impacts and benefits and to be able to weight the options for in knowing if playing video games are beneficial or harmful. Even using non-scholarly sources, a person can still weigh their options out and hope to not be bias on both sides of the topic.
Upon studying both sides of this question, my own evaluation of the research indicates that playing video games can be both beneficial and harmful. That there is risks and benefits when it comes to playing video games. When video games are used in a learning setting, children can do well in school as well as help them work socially amongst each other. It supports a creative way of thinking and learning. When video games are used the wrong way, it can be addictive and harmful.
Lately, there are some people who believe that video games can be addictive and harmful. But there are also some people who believe that video games can be beneficial. As a parent, when I come across this topic I honestly believe and because I am a video gamer as well that video games are beneficial. To be honest I have honed in on the skill of multi-tasking and that’s because I played tons of video games when I was growing up and I still am. But then that could be a personal bias. But after doing some foot work and getting some intel on this topic I can see why video games are labeled bad to some people and beneficial to others.
Playing video games can be beneficial when it’s used for educational purposes, recreational purposes, as well as therapeutic purposes. Video games have helped individuals learn, rehabilitate, as well as escape the real world for a little bit and indulge in some fantasy life. However, the risks of excessively and compulsively playing video games is drastic as well. It leads to increase of depression, anxiety, anti-social behaviors, as well as violent or aggressive behaviors.
All of the research that has been done and is still being conducted as we speak reiterates the same thing over and over again. But it is the person itself to think critically and logically when applying themselves to the topic is video games harmful or addictive. It’s known with research that it is addictive and harmful as well as beneficial.
Nakamuro, M., Inui, T., Senoh, W., & Hiromatsu, T. (2015). Are Television and Video Games Really Harmful for Kids? Contemporary Economic Policy, 33(1), 29–43. https://doi-org.proxy-library.ashford.edu/http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/journal/10.1111/%28ISSN%291465-7287
Griffiths, M. (2002). The educational benefits of video games. Education and Health, 20(3), 47-51. https://doi:http://irep.ntu.ac.uk/id/eprint/15272/1/187769_5405%20Griffiths%20Publisher.pdf
Griffiths, M. (2005, July 16). Video games and health. BMJ. 331(7509): 122-123 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC558687/
Eichenbaum, A., Bavelier, D., & Green, C. S. (2014). Video Games: Play That Can Do Serious Good. American Journal of Play, 7(1), 50–72. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com.proxy-library.ashford.edu/login.aspx?direct=true&db=eric&AN=EJ1043955&site=eds-live&scope=site
Copenhaver, A., Mitrofan, O., & Ferguson, C. J. (2017). For Video Games, Bad News Is Good News: News Reporting of Violent Video Game Studies. CyberPsychology, Behavior & Social Networking, 20(12), 735–739. https://doi-org.proxy-library.ashford.edu/10.1089/cyber.2017.0364
Porter, G., & Starcevic, V. (2007). Are violent video games harmful? Australasian Psychiatry, 15(5), 422-426. https://doi-org.proxylibrary.ashford.edu/10.1080/10398560701463343
Tumbokon, R. (2019, April 28). In 25+ Positive and Negative Effects of Video Games. Retrieved from https://www.raisesmartkid.com/3-to-6-years-old/4-articles/34-the-good-and-bad-effects-of-video-games
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