Video games: Fun pastime of destructive force?

By: Isaac Lund

According to a study conducted by the Pew Research Center in 2017, 43% of U.S. adults said that they often play video games. According to this same study, 57% of Americans aged 18-29 owned a dedicated gaming console.

With video games and online media in general becoming an increasingly important factor in our lives with the onset of the pandemic, whether video games are productive or not is information we can’t pass up.

Video games definitely have their upsides, or else they wouldn’t be so popular among high schoolers and adults alike. Things like cooperative in-game goals and voice channels allow people to build social networks, a skill that is essential throughout the rest of life as well.

Video games also hone decision making speed with fast-paced success-or-failure choices placed in front of players on a constant repeat. This same system also helps players to improve hand eye coordination and reflexes.

Finally, video games can replace more harmful vices and are proven to reduce cravings for other unsavory addictive behaviors.

Image taken from: Yourteenmag.com

All things considered, video games aren’t without their flaws either. If gaming becomes an intense addiction, it can cause psychological issues and even add on to already-present mental health disorders.

Gaming without moderation can also reduce physical exercise and hygiene, and can isolate one from family and friends, especially if played alone.

Also, while gaming often provides a needed escape from the stress of life, it can distract from, and increase, procrastination towards things that need to be done, such as schoolwork.

Video games can be an amazing form of entertainment, both interactive and cooperative. But playing video games without emphasizing their social aspect, or playing enough to cause serious addiction, can lead to a destructive spiral difficult to escape.

Is it worth the risk? That’s up to you.

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