Impact of Video Games on Adolescents………………………... 4
Negative Effects of Video Games………………………………. 5
Positive Effects of Video Games……………………………….. 6
The Results of the Research…………………………………… 8
Video Games That Can Make You Smarter…………………… 10
Tips on Managing Teen Media Consumption………………….13
List of sources………………………………………………………….15
In this research we are going to present you a very controversial issue. This work has been inspired by the following problem. A great number of teenagers are completely absorbed into playing computer games. Nowadays this problem has an enormous actuality. Are computer games good or bad for children?
Video games are frowned upon by parents as time-wasters, and worse, some education experts think that these games corrupt the brain. Playing violent video games is easily blamed by the media and some experts as the reason why some young people become violent or show extreme anti-social behavior. However, many scientists and psychologists find that video games can actually have many benefits – the main one is making kids smart. Video games may actually teach kids high-level thinking skills that they will need in the future.
Nevertheless, we are not going to speak about specially designed educational games, aimed to develop children. We would like to attract your attention to notorious computer games, worked out only for entertainment.
"Video games change your brain," according to University of Wisconsin psychologist C. Shawn Green. Playing video games changes the brain’s physical structure the same way as do learning to read, playing the piano, or navigating using a map.
A Silicon Valley research group, S.R.I. International, finds that video game playing could raise cognitive learning for students, improve problem-solving and memory. Other studies found improvement in hand-eye coordination, pattern discrimination, reaction time, and spatial visualization abilities.
The work is based on the hypothesis that the most popular video games among teenagers do not only have a negative impact but also a positive one which can overlap negative when they are used properly.
We have chosen this theme for our investigation, as it seems to be urgent and argumentative. The general aim of our work is to prove that computer games have positive influence on children, as they develop skills useful in future.
The tasks of our work are:
to find and select information concerning the topic,
to define and compare positive and negative effects of computer games
to conduct a survey among our schoolmates,
to come to the conclusion due to the results of our research
to suggest parents useful tips
Thus, the object of our research is the influence that the most popular among teenagers computer games have on them. Consequently, the subject of our research is computer games or different genres.
While working on the research, we used following methods: search and selection of proper information, analysis, classification, survey.
Computer games: general outlook
Video games are a unique form of entertainment because they encourage players to become a part of the game's script. Although video games have been available for more than 30 years, today's sophisticated video games require players to pay constant attention to the game.
Probably one of the most notable and spectacular revolutions was the functional extension and re-definition of “digital entertainment”. This phrase, which once has been constrained to only the radio and television, was subsequently extended to personal computers by the creation of video games. Yes, video games, a means of entertainment that seemingly has become so popular and widespread nowadays people cannot realize anymore how “fresh” the concept was back in the 1980s. The word “game” itself is defined by Merriam-Webster dictionary as “a physical/ mental activity or contest that has rules that people do for pleasure…an activity engaged in for diversion and amusement.” Computer games, needless to say, seamlessly suit this definition in terms of digital environments.
Jennifer Grinnell from Michigan (USA) gave up her job in a furniture company - and now devotes all her time to the computer game "Second Life». Visiting the site "Second Life" is equivalent to traveling to a foreign country. Players acquire here with housing, furniture, buying cars, choosing how they will look like the second "I" - an avatar.
Jennifer specializes in the development of fashion design and image, which other players buy her for their avatars. Now she lives in a virtual world, inhabited by more than six million people. The players have different goals - some play just for the sake of excitement, others earn money.
Example of Jennifer Grinnell is revealing. Computer games create an alternative world, and this world is attracting more people spending more time here. It turns out that today of all types of mental activity we choose not chess or crossword puzzles, which examined the cognitive abilities of scientists, but computer games.
Playing video games is not usually associated with improving the brain or making one smarter, but this is what many studies suggest. Many kids love playing video games. It is one of the most fun and engaging childhood activities. Kids will do anything to win, including giving their brains a strenuous workout.
Computer games are played by people of all ages, but most of them are addicted children and youth. In Sweden, 60 percent of boys between 11 and 16 play computer games more than four times a week. Computer games from a hobby have become the main form of leisure. Game, judging by the significant volume of time that many children spend on it, could potentially affect the brain and cognitive abilities. But how - that is the question.
Parents are concerned that gambling. Basically, they are afraid of three things: computer games have a lot of violence, and children become more aggressive. Sittingstill in front of a computer, children gain weight. Plusall of themarise attention disorders and ADHD symptoms. However, the cult of violence in movies and on television has been arguing for decades. The theme, of course, requires very serious analysis, but now it's not about that. The question of a lack of physical activity is also very important, but leave it to the conscience of nutritionists and those who decide how much physical education lessons should children have at school. We are also especially interested in whether computer games influence on the ability to concentrate, and if affected, in what way.
Impact of Video Games on Adolescents
Today 97% of teens in the U.S. play video games, and sales of games are growing. The domestic video game industry brings in nearly $12 billion a year. This popular form of media has both positive and negative effects on children.
The most widely acknowledged "positive" impact is that video games may help children improve their manual dexterity and computer literacy. Ever-improving technology also provides players with better graphics that give a more "realistic" virtual playing experience.
This quality makes the video game industry a powerful force in many adolescent lives. When a video game is “pro-social” and rewards players for building a town or helping others, children tend to show more empathy and helpfulness in their daily lives, according to a 2014 study by Douglas Gentile, Ph.D., associate professor of psychology at Iowa State University.
However, studies also show that video games with violent content are linked to more aggressive behavior in teens. This is a concern because most of the popular video games contain violence.
Part of the increase in aggressive behavior is linked to the amount of time children are allowed to play video games—and daily media use by children is increasing significantly.
A 2010 survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation found that youth age 8 to 18 devote seven-and-a-half hours a day to entertainment media. Less than half of the kids surveyed said their parents have rules about the shows and games they can watch or play.
In interactive video games, players are encouraged to identify with and role play their favorite characters. Players move up in game levels as their character masters skill and wins. In a video game about stock cars, winning may mean winning the race. But in many of the popular games, players move up levels by winning fights or battles. Players directly benefit from engaging in acts of violence.
Gentile & Anderson (2003) state that playing video games may increase aggressive behavior because violent acts are continually repeated throughout the video game. This method of repetition has long been considered an effective teaching method in reinforcing learning patterns.
Research has also found that, controlling for prior aggression, children who played more violent video games during the beginning of the school year showed more aggression than other children later in the school year. (Pediatrics, Nov. 2008)
Negative Effects of Video Games
Most of the bad effects of video games are blamed on the violence they contain. Children who play more violent video games are more likely to have increased aggressive thoughts, feelings, and behaviors, and decreased prosocial helping, according to a scientific study (Anderson & Bushman, 2001).
Too much video game playing makes your kid socially isolated. Also, he may spend less time in other activities such as doing homework, reading, sports, and interacting with the family and friends. On the other hand, a study by researchers at the North Carolina State University, New York and the University Of Ontario Institute Of Technology points out that gamers usually do not replace their offline social lives with online game playing, but rather it expands them. In fact, among gamers, being a loner is not the norm.
Some video games teach kids the wrong values. Violent behavior, vengeance and aggression are rewarded. Negotiating and other nonviolent solutions are often not options. Women are often portrayed as weaker characters that are helpless or sexually provocative
Games can confuse reality and fantasy.Academic achievement may be negatively related to over-all time spent playing video games. Studies have shown that the more time a kid spends playing video games, the poorer is his performance in school. (Anderson & Dill, 2000; Gentile, Lynch & Walsh, 2004). A study by Argosy University's Minnesota School on Professional Psychology found that video game addicts argue a lot with their teachers, fight a lot with their friends, and score lower grades than others who play video games less often. Other studies show that many game players routinely skip their homework to play games, and many students admitted that their video game habits are often responsible for poor school grades.
Although some studies suggest that playing video games enhances a child’s concentration, other studies, such as a 2012 paper published in Psychology of Popular Media Culture, have found that games can hurt and help children's attention issues — improving the ability to concentrate in short bursts but damaging long-term concentration.
Video games may also have bad effects on some children’s health, including obesity, video-induced seizures. and postural, muscular and skeletal disorders, such as tendonitis, nerve compression, carpal tunnel syndrome.
When playing online, your kid can pick up bad language and behavior from other people, and may make your kid vulnerable to online dangers.
A study by the Minneapolis-based National Institute for Media and the Family suggests that video games can be addictive for kids, and that the kids' addiction to video games increases their depression and anxiety levels. Addicted kids also exhibit social phobias. Not surprisingly, kids addicted to video games see their school performance suffer.
Kids spending too much time playing video games may exhibit impulsive behavior and have attention problems. This is according to a new study published in the February 2012 issue of the Journal of Psychology and Popular Media Culture. For the study, attention problems were defined as difficulty engaging in or sustaining behavior to reach a goal.
Positive Effects of Video Games
When your child plays video games, it gives his brain a real workout. In many video games, the skills required to win involve abstract and high level thinking. These skills are not even taught at school. Some of the mental skills enhanced by video games include:
Problem solving and logic - When a child plays a game such as The Incredible Machine, Angry Birds or Cut The Rope, he trains his brain to come up with creative ways to solve puzzles and other problems in short bursts
Hand-eye coordination, fine motor and spatial skills. In shooting games, the character may be running and shooting at the same time. This requires the real-world player to keep track of the position of the character, where he/she is heading, his speed, where the gun is aiming, if the gunfire is hitting the enemy, and so on. All these factors need to be taken into account, and then the player must then coordinate the brain's interpretation and reaction with the movement in his hands and fingertips. This process requires a great deal of eye-hand coordination and visual-spatial ability to be successful. Research also suggests that people can learn iconic, spatial, and visual attention skills from video games. There have been even studies with adults showing that experience with video games is related to better surgical skills. Also, a reason given by experts as to why fighter pilots of today are more skillful is that this generation’s pilots are being weaned on video games.
Planning, resource management and logistics. The player learns to manage resources that are limited, and decide the best use of resources, the same way as in real life. This skill is honed in strategy games such as SimCity, Age of Empires, and Railroad Tycoon. Notably, The American Planning Association, the trade association of urban planners and Maxis, the game creator, have claimed that SimCity has inspired a lot of its players to take a career in urban planning and architecture.
Multitasking, simultaneous tracking of many shifting variables and managing multiple objectives. In strategy games, for instance, while developing a city, an unexpected surprise like an enemy might emerge. This forces the player to be flexible and quickly change tactics. Cognitive researcher Daphne Bavalier talks about how video games can help us learn, focus and, fascinatingly, multitask.
Quick thinking, making fast analysis and decisions. Sometimes the player does this almost every second of the game giving the brain a real workout. According to researchers at the University of Rochester, led by Daphne Bavelier, a cognitive scientist, games simulating stressful events such as those found in battle or action games could be a training tool for real-world situations. The study suggests that playing action video games primes the brain to make quick decisions. Video games can be used to train soldiers and surgeons, according to the study. Importantly, decisions made by action-packed video game players are no less accurate. According to Bavelier, "Action game players make more correct decisions per unit time. If you are a surgeon or you are in the middle of a battlefield, that can make all the difference.
Accuracy - Action games, according to a study by the University of Rochester, train the player's brain to make faster decisions without losing accuracy. In today’s world, it is important to move quickly without sacrificing accuracy.
Strategy and anticipation - Steven Johnson, author of Everything Bad is Good For You: How Today's Popular Culture is Actually Making Us Smarter, calls this "telescoping." The gamer must deal with immediate problems while keeping his long-term goals on his horizon.
Situational awareness - – Defense News reported that the Army include video games to train soldiers to improve their situational awareness in combat. Many strategy games also require the player to become mindful of sudden situational changes in the game and adapt accordingly.
Developing reading and math skills – The young gamer reads to get instructions, follow storylines of games, and get information from the game texts. Also, using math skills is important to win in many games that involves quantitative analysis like managing resources.
Perseverance – In higher levels of a game, the player usually fails the first time around, but he keeps on trying until he succeeds and move on to the next level.
Pattern recognition – Games have internal logic in them, and the player figures it out by recognizing patterns.
Inductive reasoning and hypothesis testing - James Paul Gee, professor of education at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, says that playing a video game is similar to working through a science problem. Like a student in a laboratory, the gamer must come up with a hypothesis. For example, the gamer must constantly try out combinations of weapons and powers to use to defeat an enemy. If one does not work, he changes hypothesis and try the next one. Video games are goal-driven experiences, says Gee, which are fundamental to learning.
Mapping – The gamer use in-game maps or build maps on his head to navigate around virtual worlds.
Memory - Playing first person shooter games such as Call of Duty and Battlefield series enables the player to effectively judge what information should be stored in his working memory and what can be discarded considering the task at hand, according to a study published in the Psychological Research.
Concentration - A study conducted by the Appalachia Educational Laboratory reveal that children with attention-deficit disorder who played Dance Dance Revolution improve their reading scores by helping them concentrate.
Improved ability to rapidly and accurately recognize visual information - A study from Beth Israel Medical Center NY, found a direct link between skill at video gaming and skill at keyhole, or laparoscopic, surgery.
Taking risks - Winning in any game involves a player's courage to take risks. Most games do not reward players who play safely.
How to respond to challenges
How to respond to frustrations
How to explore and rethink goals
Teamwork and cooperation when played with others – Many multiplayer games such as Team Fortress 2 involve cooperation with other online players in order to win. These games encourage players to make the most of their individual skills to contribute to the team. According to a survey by Joan Ganz Cooney Center, teachers report that their students become better collaborators after using digital games in the classroom.
Management – Management simulation games such as Rollercoaster Tycoon and Zoo tycoon teach the player to make management decisions and manage the effective use of finite resources. Other games such as Age of Empires and Civilization even simulate managing the course of a civilization.
Simulation, real world skills. The most well-known simulations are flight simulators, which attempt to mimic the reality of flying a plane. All of the controls, including airspeed, wing angles, altimeter, and so on, are displayed for the player, as well as a visual representation of the world, and are updated in real time.
The results of our research
In order to fulfill our tasks and reach our goal we studied the results of international research, concerning popular game genres and games (app 1) and after that we created following questionnaires and suggested our classmates to answer them.
This is the questionnaire we used to find out what place games take in the life of peers. Twenty-seven teens from the8th form answered the questions.
Do you play computer games?
How many hours a day do you play computer games?
30 min-1 hour
I don’t play
Put game genres in order of importance to you:
The significance level
The genre of games
First Person Shooters
Action Role Playing Games
Do you play computer games?
94% of our schoolmates play computer games.
How many hours a day do you play computer games?
The majority of the respondents play 1-2 hours every day
The results of the second question are represented in the chart (app 2)
Put the kinds computer games in order of importance to you:
Simulation games and puzzle games are less popular among my classmates.
The least enjoyed kinds of video games are first person shooters and sports games.(app 3)
The next step was to find out favourite games of teenagers according to the game genres. Teenagers were offered to choose the best game of different genres.
Suggest your favorite game
Thus, we have got the following result: (app 4)
The most favourite game
Call Of Duty
Little Big Planet
After that we created an online poll in the social network VKontakte in order to find out what our friends and classmates consider the most beneficial in playing computer games. We suggested the following question: “What benefit, according to your opinion, is the main when playing computer games?” They had to vote for the following points:
The development of quick thinking, making fast analysis and decisions.
The development of multitasking
The development of tactical thinking
The development of teamwork and cooperation when played with others
The development of reasoned judging.
The majority of respondents chose the development of tactical thinking as the main advantage of computer games. (Other results in app 5)
Finally, we suggested the list of popular games and the qualities they can develop.
Video Games That Can Make You Smarter Not all video games are played the same, therefore different video games present different cognitive challenges and emphasize different thinking skills. The difference in the way the game is played categorizes video games into genres. The most popular video game genres are first strategy games, simulation games, action adventures, RPG, first person shooters and puzzle games.
Below there are the most popular game genres and the cognitive and motor challenges they present, which forces the players’ brains to adapt, learn, change, and become smarter. Note that a game can belong to more than one genres and may involve the use and development of multiple skills:
A player needs a developed hand-eye coordination to be a good first person shooter. In almost every second of the game, a player keeps track of the position of the enemy, his speed, where the gun is aiming, and so on. The player simultaneously works these factors out in his head, and coordinates his brain’s interpretation and reaction with the movement in his hands and fingertips. He also needs to think fast, making decisions that are accurate under stressful situation.
The downside, though, is that many of first person shooter games are violent and may affect the mind of vulnerable youngsters
1.Call of Duty (Franchise latest: Call of Duty: Black Ops III)
The game puts the player in powerful battlegrounds of the future, where new tactics with advanced weapons are used to win in a high-tech era of combat. The advanced arsenals include vehicles like hoverbikes and highly specialized drones. According to a University of Rochester study, shooting bad guys in video games can unexpectedly give players better vision. In a 2009 study, expert action gamers who played first-person shooting games like "Call of Duty" saw a boost in their "contrast sensitivity function," or the ability to discern subtle changes in the brightness of an image. Considered one of first of the visual aptitudes to diminish over time, the ability to pick out bright patches is key to tasks like driving at night.
Strategy games requires the brain to plan, strategize and manage limited resources and logistics. When playing a strategy game, the player has to be flexible and should be quick to change tactics when something unexpected suddenly happens, just like in the real world. Playing a strategy game also involves making fast analysis and quick decisions, sometimes with incomplete information.
Complex, strategy-based games can improve other cognitive skills, including working memory and reasoning.
"Civilization"is a strategy game that is recognized as one of the greatest strategy franchise of all time. Players strategize to become Ruler of the World by creating and advancing civilization from the dawn of man and into space age. It involves waging wars, conducting diplomacy, discovering new technologies, and going head-to-head with some of history’s greatest leaders.
Role Playing Games
In action role playing games or RPG, you take the part of a character in a fictional world. The characters have a goal while exploring a dangerous environment. In order to reach a goal, the player also makes fast analysis and decisions, just like in first person shooter games, although the pace is slower. On the other hand, the decision-making is deeper than first person shooter games because many other variables are involved. The games also exercise the player’s inductive reasoning skill, that is, the ability to think scientifically by hypothesis-testing, which is fundamental to learning.
3. Fallout (Franchise Latest: Fallout 4)
The player (playing with a first or third person perspective) freely roam over the land of Fallout, an open world consisting of wilderness expanses, dungeons, cities and towns. The player navigates by riding horses or using a fast-travel system to warp to previously discovered locations. The objective is to develop the player’s character so that it is able to cope with the quests it pursues. The character also chooses from a variety of weapons, armor that he acquired to be effective in combat.
Action-adventure games combine fast-paced action that engages the reflexes, as well problem-solving that involves thinking, in both violent and non-violent situations. Popular action adventure games range from hybrid first-person action-adventure that involves shooting, to sandbox open-world adventures that involve non-linear game-play in an open world. Depending on the game, action adventure games engage players in experimentation, problem solving, strategic thinking, teamwork, and even creativity.
Minecraft is a very popular open-world sandbox game set in a landscape with blocks representing trees, dirt, rocks, water, and a lot more that are randomly generated. Players perform various activities in the game, from building things, exploration, to combat. There are no specific goals but there are different modes: survival, adventure, and creative.Around the world, Minecraft is being used to educate children on everything from science to city planning to speaking a new language, said Joel Levin, co-founder and education director at the company TeacherGaming.“Minecraft extends kids’ spatial reasoning skills, construction skills and understanding of planning,” said Eric Klopfer, a professor and the director of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Scheller Teacher Education Program. “In many ways, it’s like a digital version of Lego.”
Simulation games usually mimic the real world, such as flying a plane, managing a city or a zoo. As such, it teaches or introduces real-world skills. Many simulation games also teach players to make management decisions, such as the effective use of finite resources. Many of them also requires math or number skills to make analysis needed for decisions and actions.
5. SimCity (Franchise Latest: SimCity 2013)
SimCity enables the player to build a city and do the challenging job of urban planning. Players zone land for residential, commercial or industrial development, as well as building and maintaining public services, transport and utilities. It effectively teaches the player how to manage finite resources and the complex consequences of decisions.
Sport games are similar to action games in the sense that they are fast-paced and take good hand-eye coordination to win. For some, they are preferable to many action games because they do not involve violence. Though players won’t learn the physical skills necessary to excel in actual sports by playing sports video games, they can learn player moves and team strategies that are used to win games. Thus, quick thinking and making fast analysis and decisions are involved, often in situations that are constantly changing.
7. NBA 2K(Franchise Latest:NBA 2K16)
NBA 2K series with the most realistic gameplay in the new NBA 2K16 game. For the first time in the history of the series introduced a career mode MyCAREER, created under the guidance of acclaimed filmmaker Spike Lee. Lead your hero to fame in the NBA, manage the entire association or hone skills, competing with other players from around the world through the network. New character animation system makes the movement more fluid and realistic articulation, as never before.
In achieving goals in puzzle games, players work out their brains by figuring out patterns, logical thinking, or solving intricate problems under time pressure. Many puzzle games are played casually, that is, they are usually simple games with simple rules and do not take a lot of time commitment or skills to play. The popularity of smart phones and tablets gave rise to many puzzle game players. These games bring a relief from boredom, especially when commuting or waiting.
8.Little Big Planet(Franchise Latest:Little Big Planet 2)
Little Big Planet is a puzzle platform game where players control Sackboy, and navigates him through various levels, collecting items and battling the forces of Negativitron (which sucks the fun, color and life out of Craft World) along the way. The best aspect of the game is the players’ using their creativity to design levels for them or others to play. Players can make their own scenery, character, obstacle and even compose their own music.
It should be noted that there is also a study that video games might actually be good for kids if they play for an hour or less per day.
Tips on Managing Teen Media Consumption
Because of the popularity of video games, completely eliminating them from your child's life might be difficult. However, you can decrease the negative impact that they have on your child. Here are a few tips:
Know the rating of the video games your child plays (see below).
Do not install video game equipment in your child's bedroom.
Set limits on how often and how long your child is allowed to play video games.
Monitor all of your child's media consumption—video games, television, movies, and the Internet.
Supervise your child's Internet use—there are now many "video games" available for playing online.
Take the time to discuss with your children the games they are playing or other media they are watching. Ask your children how they feel about what they observe in these video games, television programs or movies. This is an opportunity to share your feelings and grow closer with your child.
Share with other parents information about certain games or ideas for helping each other in parenting.
Perhaps in the future there will be a game that sums up all the scientific and practical achievements of developers and will combine the thrill of adventure games and games of the genre "action" with intellectual challenges, develop working memory. And by the way, it is possible that this will happen in the very near future, as one company has already released a Nintendo game "Train your brain."
Having studied the works of international scientists and psychologists we can say that computer games have either positive or negative impact on adolescents. On the one hand, when your child plays video games, it gives his brain a real workout. In many video games the skills required to win involve abstract and high level thinking. These skills are not even taught at school. In our research we have revealed all the advantages of computer games which make them useful, entertaining and developing for a child / adolescent. Teachers and parents are often mistaken when they are opposed to video games.
On the other hand, there are several disadvantages. The main of them are: computer games have a lot of violence and children become more aggressive. Sitting still in front of a computer, children gain weight. Plus sometimes they substitute real life for virtual one. We would like to add that computer games are useful, but in moderation. Teenagers should play video games wisely. Because when you play very often or for a long period, their positive impact is not only reduced to zero, but also goes into the minus. Overall, we must always be aware of the dangers that wait for us when we sit down at a computer desk or your favorite game console.
In conclusion, we would like to say that our hypothesis has been proved, the goal has been reached and the tasks have been fulfilled.
We have done a great and long work and sincerely hope that it will benefit young people and teach their parents to be more attentive to their children's enthusiasm for a new fashion.
Nevertheless, there are great opportunities for further research in this sphere as the industry of computer entertainment develops in a very fast pace. New types of games and ways of playing appear, fascinating more and more teenagers.