The Influence of Video Games on People's Health


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Today videogames are discussed intensively. Because of shooters in schools or other people who do terrible things influencing citizens’ lives, society thinks that videogames negatively affect the human psyche. Is it true? I will try to answer this question and tell you how videogames really influence the psyche. While authorities are trying to convince the public that computer games can affect the psyche negatively, many common citizens and scientists think differently. For example Neil Druckman said “Games have already been ruled protected speech. Focus on improving mental health assistance and stronger gun control”.

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Arguments against videogames often look like this: in games we kill people. Besides, we can do it extremely hard; blood is on every pixel of the screen; videogames show that violence is fun etc. Nowadays all games have an age limit. The content of the game is always indicated in the description on the cover. Therefore, if a child plays games intended for adults, it is not a problem of videogames but parents’ irresponsibility. Of course, videogames show that violence is fun, but players understand that it is fun only in the game. People who do terrible things “just as in the game” have problems with worldview. They are insane. They really need help in fighting the disease. They will not feel better, if we continue to blame them.

Nevertheless, videogames do influence our health negatively. Among the possible consequences are spoilt posture and impaired eyesight. Besides, you can grow addicted to videogames or become a sociopath. Some players died because they were very addicted. However, these problems can be solved. Firstly, nowadays there are comfortable and useful chairs for gamers to help maintain the posture but these chairs are often very expensive (health care has never been cheap, has it?). Secondly, you can do special exercises every 30 minutes while working on the computer. Thirdly, one should pay more attention to his/her child or friend, give them more support. Believe me it can help the addicted person. Because of failures, insults or indifference, they come to escapism and ignoring life. Remember: you can be addicted to anything. And games are not the worst thing.

What about the psyche? Taking into consideration their colleagues’ research psychologists Patrick Markey and Christopher Ferguson came to the following conclusions:

    Aggression increases by 0,4% during the game. Besides this value falls to zero.
    US Secret Service found out that only 20% of school shooters played videogames.
    In the months when violence games such as GTA or Call of Duty are released the number of murders is reduced.
    Statements about the harmfulness of games are dangerous for the society.

Beside a decade-long study of over 11,000 children in the UK has found no association between playing videogames from as young as five, and mood or behavioral problems in later life. The key finding that came out of the study was the fact that exposure to video games from the age of five was shown to have no effect on behaviour, attention or emotional issues. Neither television nor video games caused attentional or emotional problems and there was no difference between boys and girls in the survey results. The results of the survey seem to validate what others have been saying for some time now: video games are actually a positive force in the world or, at the very least, do not do any real harm.

Games can be useful for the society. A good example is Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice made by Ninja Theory studio. In the game we play as Senua, who has psychosis. This game shows us the world through the eyes of a mentally disturbed person. Besides Ninja Theory donated part of the revenue to Rethink Mental Illness, a mental health charity. Many people thanked the creators of the game. This game won a number of awards including Games for Impact by TGA.

As for me I am big fan of videogames. Games taught me a lot. Strategy taught me to think wider and go to the goal gradually. RPG taught me that every word is meaningful, each dialog with people is unique, every person should be approached individually. Shooter games show me horrors of war; my reaction has become more rapid. Games showed me life from different points of view. Games helped me to cope with self-disappointment. Games taught me not to give up, showed me that the closer you are to the goal, the more the enemies. Games taught me to be more open to others, helped to become more social.

In conclusion I would like to say that in my opinion games are scapegoats of real problems: parents’ irresponsibility, legalization of weapons, etc. Games do not affect the psyche negatively, if you know the limits. It has been confirmed by scientists and experiments [5]. Love games and remember: make art not war.

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