A new trend in our society is the issue of how frequent mass shootings are becoming. These events are awful and atrocious, but the ones that truly shock us are the ones that affect our youth. School is the one place where our youth should be allowed to learn in safety and without fear. However, these events are happening more frequently and without a proper solution and our society has started to place blame on things that are not related to the real issue. One main scapegoat for the issue is video games, many sources claiming that they are making younger people unsensitized and violent. However, this claim is simply based on fear and in reality, the use of video games is seen to play a highly positive role in the lives of children and adolescents. Video games can be a learning tool to improve essential skills in children, they can help improve intergroup relationships especially in struggling groups of youth, and they can also help improve grades for students. Video games are an engaging and interactive tool that should be used and integrated into the lives of children and adolescents so that they can gain the skills associated with them.
The use of technology such as video games has been increasing in the last few years as access to technology and electronics also increases. One main fear that people have with this increased use is that children and adolescents are going to become increasingly violent as they age. This is an understandable fear as school shootings are becoming more frequent in our current society. Articles have even been published, appealing to the fear that everyday citizens have. Katherine Kealty, a researcher who conducted a study into the connection between violence and video games, said that “In 2005, the APA issued a statement called the Resolution on Violence in Video Games and Interactive Media that stated that violent media was linked with feelings of aggression and feelings of hostility” (Kealty, 2013). However, in her article she told us that this idea was very misleading, especially for those who did not have the background knowledge on the topic. The same study by Katherine Kealty discovered that “video games caused no increase in aggressive behaviour and in children with ADHD, the video games actually had a decrease in aggressive behaviour” (Kealty, 2013). This study displayed that this fear of children and adolescents becoming violent because of video games was simply a myth and an idea that was appealing to the fear of those who do not have the background knowledge on the topic. Therefore, we should look past the false idea that video games make youth violent and instead focus on the proven results that cause positive change in youth.
Society has also become more and more competitive and the younger generations are needing to become more educated in order to succeed. As the world’s demand for skills and talents become greater, it is important that we change the way we look at learning tools. One main way to engage younger students in their learning process is by including the use of video games. A study completed by Ru-Lan Hsieh, Wen-Chung Lee, Jui-Hsiang L was completed over a four-week period where children with developmental delays played video games. This study showed that the brain released a chemical called endogenous dopamine which is involved in “learning, attention, sensory-motor integration, and behaviour reinforcement” (Hsieh, Lee & Lin, 2016, p. 10). The use of video games in this study showed increases in skills that help boost the abilities that are needed in order to learn new things in the classroom. Therefore, if video games are used with traditional methods of teaching then it could help children and adolescents succeed in school, especially those who struggle with the current educational system.
Overall, video games have been proven to have many positive benefits. They are shown not to increase aggression in younger individuals but to actually decrease aggression in children who have behaviours that tend to be more aggressive than the average child of their age. Video games have also been proven to release chemicals in the brain that promote learning, attention, sensory-motor integration, and behaviour reinforcement within adolescents. Both of these points show exactly how the use of video games in schools and younger individuals could have a major positive impact on the development of skills for children and adolescents.
Adachi, P.J.C., & Willoughby, T. (2017). The Link Between Playing Video Games and Positive Youth Outcomes. Children Development Perspectives, 11(3), 202-206. doi: https://doi-org.library.sheridanc.on.ca/10.1111/cdep.12232
Gonzalez-Bueso, V., Santamaría, J. J., Fernandez, D., Merino, L., Montero, E., & Ribas, J. (2018). Association between internet gaming disorder or pathological video-game use and comorbid psychopathology: A comprehensive review.International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 15(4), 668. doi:http://dx.doi.org.library.sheridanc.on.ca/10.3390/ijerph15040668
Hsieh, R.L., Lee, W.C., & Lin, J.H. (2016). The Impact of Short-Term Video Games on Performance among Children with Developmental Delays: A Randomized Controlled Trial. PLoS ONE 11(3), 1-16. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0149714
Kealty, K. (2013, October 16). Study: Video games, gun violence not related. University Wire. Retrieved from Sheridan Library Database
Page, Z. E., Barrington, S., Edwards, J., & Barnett, L. M. (2017). Do active video games benefit the motor skill development of non-typically developing children and adolescents: A systematic review. Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport, 20(12), 1087-1100. doi:http://dx.doi.org.library.sheridanc.on.ca/10.1016/j.jsams.2017.05.001