Video Games Do Not Correlate To Violence In Schools

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Are you tired of adults saying video games are bad for you? Prove them wrong. This essay explains the different life skills that video games teaches to our youth and how those life skills can be
put to use in real life.

Submitted: June 25, 2018

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Submitted: June 25, 2018

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Video Games Do NOT Correlate to Violence In Schools

 

Have you ever been frustrated by a video game that you cannot beat? The difficulty makes you want to scream and throw your controller and whoever disturbs you, you take your anger out on them. Once that happens, your parents or any other adult now thinks that the video game that you are playing is rotting your brain or making you change for the negative. Most adults today think that the youth are violent because of video games. But according to scientific research this is not the case. According to psychological studies, by simply playing a video game does not have any long-term impact on the capacity for violence in the youth or on their ability to feel compassion for others.(Violent Video Games and School Violence) The difficulty of a game puts the brain in a state where it makes you really want to solve or beat it that is why you try over and over again. The reason why it makes you angry is because you are so determined to solve this puzzle so that you may feel good about beating it and move on to the next level by using what you have learnt from the previous levels. Today, children play video games in order to entertain themselves, have fun, but most importantly to learn. Video games in fact teaches academics, communication, resourcefulness , and problem solving skills to the young people that play them.

Firstly, the level of difficulty in a video game gives the player a chance to stop and think about the solution. According to Natalie Kilgore, she makes a very good example by connecting to the video game “The Legends of Zelda.” And she says, Through your controller, you are Link, the valiant adventurer, navigating a virtual icy cave in search of a coveted heart piece. In order to uncover the prize, you must figure out three of the cave’s puzzles consisting of several blocks of ice. You move the blocks in the correct north, south, west, and east combinations and hear the sweet sounds of victory. Solving a difficult video game puzzle is not only exhilarating,  but the hard work and knowledge it takes to succeed can make you feel pretty smart too because it teaches life skills like perseverance, and critical thinking.(1) Her example was effective because it clearly states that certain video games teaches you how to solve problems simply by looking around for clues to STOP and THINK. For example, the forensic scientists find criminals by utilizing the same methods. They have to crack the codes, find DNA, look for faces and identifications. Games like “The Legends of Zelda” teaches you these skills because there are puzzles you must take apart, faces you must look for, and codes to crack. It doesn’t stop there because the difficulty adds a necessary suspense. A suspense in which you NEED to solve this in order to master it and beat just in case it pops up again. The lessons of gaming does not have to be in the game itself but with the people around you. Furthermore, playing games in a group can strengthen abilities such as communication and resourcefulness. According to the article “Video Games Level Up Life Skills,” Kathryn Hulick states that when youths play together they are likely to build communication skills that will come in handy in the future. Researchers in Scotland also claim that playing games with other people can build resourcefulness so that they can better adapt to new situations. Sharpening those skills can help you get a job, or advance in your career. Making new friends are very important in the real world, and playing video games with others are one of the best ways to do it. Most teenagers today play a video game known as “League of Legends” where you are placed on a team with other people around the world. The articles are explaining that when you are playing a game like this, you need to work together as a team  in order to win and defeat the other team. You need to communicate with other participants in order to plan, assemble, and conquer. If you can't communicate you can't win. The game can build your leadership skills as well because you will need to assign your teammates tasks such as, taking the flag to the hill, take out the enemy, flank around and attack them from behind. Whatever the case may be, communication is needed in order to push on and win. But certain games can even teach career path skills, for example Electrical Engineering. Minecraft is the game to do it. According to David Roberts there is a material in Minecraft known as the Red Stone. With the Stone you can power all sorts of mechanical devices, but it is not simple. Luke actual electricity, correctly using the Red Stone means having to wrap your brain around how it’s current moves, splits, and transforms based on the blocks you use. You can create something as complex as a working calculator.(1) David Roberts explains that even complex things like electricity and how it works can even be taught in a simple video game like Minecraft, which is one of the most famous games in the world. In this game you can build creations which legitimately correlates to architecture. Students in school even uses Minecraft to do projects where they have to make something for a class. Even schools use video games to teach academics to young people who can not learn just by being told how to do it.

Continuing on, schools and other educational institutions use video games in order to teach young people between the ages of 3-12 academics such as reading, science, math, social studies, etc.One reliable source online is an app known as “ABC mouse”. This is a virtual classroom where they use games to teach children. The reviews for the app are all 5 stars, simply because their children are learning to read and write before the age of 5 or even 4. But this is not a violent game right? Well another source would be “Bookworm” it is a game where certain words play as bad criminals, and the worm is the good guy. You click on the correct word and the worm goes and disposes of the word. Anything with fighting is violent but that doesn’t mean we can't use it for good use. This teaches children vocabulary words and helps improve it. Maybe when you hear children say big words such as “intimidate” or “circumlocution” know that is probably the Bookworm’s doing. Furthermore, there are children who learn through games and not any other source.

In schools, some teachers on the first day of school survey students and ask them, “what is their learning style?” The majority of the survey would answer “through games.” According to a survey taken from the  Jeffery Van Camp,  91% of kids prefer to play video games. The reason why they prefer to learn this way is because it is easier. Children love to have fun, and gaming provides the entertainment they need so that they can be engaged and ready to learn what the game has to offer. When you play a game, you are locked into the virtual world and you are trying to find a way to beat the game or figure out what to do in order to progress forward. While being entertained, you learn as you go. As you finish the game, you have the knowledge of what you did to beat the game, especially if it is an educational game. Afterwards, when you see a problem appear in real life, you know exactly what to apply in order to solve it. You remember these skills due to the experience you have with the game. Even if you get things wrong in the game, you remember those wrong choices and choose a different tactic, or way to get the answer right. It is all in your memory. For example, "Multiplication Car Wash" a game where you must answer multiplication questions in order to wash the dirty cars. The problem is, the cars are dirty. The solution is, your correct answer will wash the cars, and you progress forward to the next car as the game gets more difficult and challenging. The more challenging it is, the more you learn. Playing games like that teaches our youth math academics at a young age. Not only is it challenging, but it is fun. The more fun you have the more you will want to play it and learn new things. Adults need to view the benefits and impacts that games have on our youth because they are the next generation to lead us. They believe various negative comments that other “responsible” adults would claim.

One of the most common opposing views that adults have in video games is due to the “unhealthy” risks. All parents want their children to be smart and healthy and they believe that video games are getting in the way of it. Ever heard the term “It is rotting your brain” or “It is ruining your eyes” or even “It is making you violent"? This is false simply because playing a game does not have these effects on your children. First of all, children who are obsessed with playing video games are not becoming violent, they are becoming competitive. They feel that they have to win at all cost, so they play for longer durations not giving up. As for the eyes, it is not the game that has the negative impact on the eyes. Research states that the TV or Computer itself can do that to you. It is the flashing lights and colors that are responsible for making your eyes water and turn red. This is also due to lack of rest, which is why it is important to take breaks when playing games. Parents also believe that sitting down in one spot is also unhealthy for children. Scientists say that sitting down in one spot all day can cause cardiovascular risks. This statement is false. We all have our moments when it comes to sitting down all day. Adults sit down all day in an office doing paperwork. Taxi drivers sit in a car all day driving people to their current destinations. Children in schools sit down in classes all day for hours learning from their teachers who also sit at their desks. Even reading a simple book requires sitting still for a long period of time. So clearly, they need to provide more evidence to make this true.

And I close with this. As you can see, video games are not “rotting the brains” of the youth. Some adults needs to wake up and see that. Our smartest children today are where they are now because of video games. They started from young and they grew smarter and brighter with every click and every press of a button. Even though some games may have negative settings and environments, they still teach life lessons, academics, and other useful skills to help our youth with solving problems, and other situations. If you haven’t noticed young people are more familiar with new high tech devices. It is all thanks to the technology of the video game. Remember, simply playing a game does not make you change. Our research has spoken, Scientists said it themselves, the brain does not work that way. Remember that the difficulty of the game is the only thing that frustrates the player and that is what makes the player actually angry. It is because of their competitive will that drives them to that state of “I must win at all costs” but the players do NOT stay like that for the rest of their lives. It is a temporary feeling until the player beats the game. Afterwards they can reflect on that themselves and make them feel good. It is a human behavior because there is always something that frustrates us to the point where we take it out on others. So try your best to keep calm in those situations, take in deep breaths and try again. Because being angry will not help you actually solve the puzzle to your mystery, though it is nice to be a little competitive sometimes, for it is what makes a game a good game.

 

 

· Kilgore, Natalie “What Life Skills Can Video Games Teach Kids?” 6 March 2012https://electronics.howstuffworks.com/family-tech/tech-effects-on-family/life-skills-video-games-can-teach-kids.htm

·Hulick, Kathryn “Video Games Level Up Life Skills” 27 September 2017 https://www.sciencenewsforstudents.org/article/video-games-level-life-skills

·Roberts, David “Ten Useful Skills You Can Learn By Playing Video Games” 13 August 2017 https://www.gamesradar.com/10-useful-skills-you-can-learn-playing-video-games/

 

 

 


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