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ENGL 1010
Elaine Tarutis

1 Delgado Chantz Delgado May 3 , 2011 First Year Writing Seminar Professor Elaine Tarutis Video Games: Positive or Negative Effect? In middle school, after classes finished, it was always a race to get home between my brother and I. The first one on the Playstation usually played the longest throughout the day. I remember specifically a time that we both kind of got there at the same time. Class finished at around 2:15pm, and I hastily left homeroom and caught my bus. When the bus came to a halt at my stop, I speedily ran out and made my way to my apartment building thinking, “Yes, I made it.” As I began to turn the key to our hallway door, I looked at the stoop to my apartment and noticed a light-skinned figure waiting near the door. I went a little closer and said to myself, “Hmmm, that looks like my brother! (Went closer to him) Hey! When did you get here?” My brother responded astutely, “I have been here for about twenty minutes, I forgot my keys in school.” This was a recipe for disaster for both of us. I was so eager to play that although I did not get to the door first, if it was not for me, nobody would play the system. I yelled, “Josh! I should play first! Give me the controller!” When video games were between us, still to this day, both of us cannot function. My brother and I are what experts will call, “Video GameAddicts.” The scene verifies how much video games impacted our lives. Video games have been available to the consumer for the last thirty years. They are unique form of entertainment because they encourage the user to be a part of the 2 game’s script, unlike movies and shows. With technology increasing, today’s video games require the users to pay close attention to the game, which can have its positive and negative effects on the player. Despite the beautiful feeling I get from playing the Wii Console, or achieving the many prestige levels available in Call of Duty, experts suggest that video games affect me in an unbelievable and unusual way. From a personal standpoint, video games are essential in my everyday life. Due to the pleasure my dad received from playing video games, he introduced my brother and I to the video game world. My brother and I both play video games a lot and some say that we are both addicts of the machine. Not only are we both college students, in a few months, I will be beginning my sophomore year and he will be beginning his senior year in college. Obviously, we both know how to manage our video game time with academics, but how has these video games shaped our personality to what it is today? I interviewed my older brother and he told me that he spends most of his free time playing video games. His favorite games are usually action, shooting, and army games. Due to the type of gaming he is attracted too, he claims that he obtained important tips from the countless hours of video games. He stated, “Currently, my favorite game is Call of Duty Black Ops. I feel like any player can learn from these games because they contain objectives that the gamer should complete if he or she wants to either get better at the game or receive some type of acknowledgement for the hours one puts in. These type of games encourage the users to set goals in life, and to try to figure how can they achieve these goals.” My brother makes a valid point because when you play video games, you adapt to the culture of the game and most of the time, it will affect your everyday life. Moreover, on the negative side, my brother said “when you get addicted to a game, it can 3 Delgado consume your social life, affect your health, and disrupt your sleeping pattern.” I can relate to this quote because I get addicted to video games really fast. When this occurs, I rather play video games than go out with friends and as a result, I put myself in a box. Additionally, the more I play video games, the less I work out and the more I snack on junk food. Consequently, with more food and energy in my system, I tend to stay up later and I deprive myself of sleep. On the contrary, Nicholas Porter, who happens to be my roommate, does not really play video games. He claims that in order for him to maintain such a high grade point average, he has to devote most of his free time to studying. When comparing the grades of my brother, Nick, and I, there is a significant difference. Nick contains a 3.7 grade point average while my brother and I are in the B and C range. Nick claims, “I am a social video game player. I usually play sports games with friends, but I rarely get addicted. I usually keep myself busy with jobs and school work anyway.” Here is a case of a college student who enjoys video games but spends close to zero hours a week on them. He feels that he has too much on his plate to sit down and play video games and his proof is in his grades. Interesting enough, the idea of being addicted to video games and whether you take something positive or negative out of it, begins when you are a child.According to the article titled “The Impact of Video Games on Children,” the most widely used “positive impact video games are said to have on children is that they may improve a player’s manual dexterity and computer literacy.” However, experts say that video games cause children to be more aggressive. In my case, my favorite video games as a child were sports games and fighting games. Due to the games, I would constantly pretend like 4 my hamper was a basketball hoop and played for hours.Additionally, I would wrestle my teddy bears and do fighting moves on them, which would usually result in them being ruined. Luckily, my parents limited me and my brother’s playing time, which may have helped us in the long run. In a study by Walsh in 2000, a majority of teens admitted that their parents do not impose a time limit on the number of hours they are allowed to play video games, which consequently leads to the teen becoming more aggressive. My brother and I were always regulated until our sophomore year in high school and as a result, we are not aggressive. Walsh also recorded that male teens play more than double the amount of hours a week than females. In my survey, I gathered information on fifty students, twenty-five males and twenty-females.About one-fifth of the females play video games about two to three hours a week. The rest of the females surveyed do not play video games and when they do, they play the workout games on the Wii. However, only two males out of the twenty-five surveyed do not play video games. On average, college male’s play about ten hours a week, which shows how accurate Walsh was in their survey as well. Nonetheless, most of the students admit that during breaks and summer recess, the hours playing video games increase greatly. I know that during breaks, I spend so much time playing video games that I have no social life. It is something us gamers do to relax and relieve stress. Studies suggest that students are likely to pay more attention to something relating to a video game because it allows the student to be interactive. Therefore, according to an article named “Investigating the Impact of Video Games on Students’Engagement and Learning about Genetics,” some teachers are doing a study to incorporate video games in their learning exercise of genetics. The results were strikingly similar on actual exams but 5 Delgado what was interesting was that the participants’level of engagement in the video game exercise when compared original teaching methods were extremely different.A significant amount of students participated in the video game exercise, which strikes the question, should video games be implemented as a learning technique are some topics in school? Clearly through this study, students are more likely to participate in these exercises when compared to traditional methods. If the choice were up to me, I would definitely implement video games in the education system. Kids pay more attention to visual learning, especially if it is fun. Maybe the department of education can attempt to improve on various methods of teaching students with the implementation of video games
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