There are over 1 181 million electronic games in the world.In 2020, the number of game players is expected to be 2.6 billion worldwide.A segment of electronic games are considered to be both educational and harmlessly entertaining.

One such game teaches Geography;another, how to fly an airplane.Others train the game players in logical thinking and problem solving.There are games that are even intended to have a therapeutic effect on the player.For instance,some may be designed to help people with reading disorders.Some of the games may also help young people to become more computer literate ,which is an increasingly important skill needed in this ever changing technology driven era.

DARK SIDE OF ELECTRONIC GAMES

A segment of games features anti-social themes of violence,sex and crude language.Unfortunately,its a segment that seems particularly popular with kids under the age of 18.

DAVID WALSH, PRESIDENT OF THE NATIONAL INSTITUTE ON MEDIA AND THE FAMILY

One study conducted showed that almost 80 percent of the electronic game shat young people preferred contained violence.The president of Virtual Image Production,Rick Dyer said “these are not just games anymore. These are learning machines.We are teaching kids in the most incredible manner what it is like to pull the trigger…what they are not learning are the real life consequences.

Public protests against anti-social electronic games were made as early as 1976.The first outcry being against the arcade game Death Race, whose idea was to run over pedestrians walking back and forth across the screen.The new more sophisticated games of now have better graphics, allowing the player to participate in even more realistic acts of violence.

In the game Rape Day,for example,game players portrayed as dangerous rapists.They would attack and rape vulnerable and weak women even after the victims begged to be spared.After a huge public outcry that the game encouraged the players to commit sexual assault, it was removed from the market.

The tragic shooting that occurred at Sandy Hook elementary school in Connecticut USA in December 2012 is debated to be connected to excessive violent game playing by the shooter.The killer a 20 year old killed himself after killing 26 people including 20 children aged 6 to 7 and 6 adults.

 

picture showing armed characters of a video game

IS ALL THIS SIMULATED VIOLENCE HARMFUL?

More than three thousand studies have been conducted on this subject.Some suggestions agree to there being a connection between violence in games and increased aggressiveness in game players.Incidents of violence among youths are often seen as evidence of a connection.

Some specialists downplay the influence of the electronic games arguing that other factors must be taken into consideration.Such factors to be considered include the possibility that players who already have violence tendencies are choosing such games.But could it be that violent electronic games still play a contributing role?It seems unrealistic ti insist that people are not influenced by what they see.If that were true,why would the corporate world spend billions of dollars each year for television advertising?

Electronic game violence may be even more dangerous than violence shown on televisions or in films,since the player identifies himself with the characters carrying out the violent acts.Television can make us spectators of violence,electronic games makes us feel like participants.Furthermore, a movie may take a person only a couple of hours to watch, but a person may spend up to hundreds of hours trying to master a typical game.

JOURNAL OF RESEARCH OF PERSONALITY AND SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY

EFFECTS ON HEALTH

1 Seizures(EPILEPTIC)

People that are predisposed to epilepsy are advised to stay ten meters or more away from a television or computer when they are playing.In addition to this, they are encouraged to wear sunglasses.This is because it is argument-ed that continuous playing of electronic games triggers seizures.The earliest concerns that seizures are connected to electronic games was first reported in… .A story covered by the Sun newspaper in 1993 stated that a boy chocked on his own vomit during a seizure that was triggered by playing a video.Similar and less serious cases were then reported all around the world.This pushed electronic game manufacture to include epilepsy warnings in the instruction manuals for their gaming products.

2 MUSCULASKELETAL PROBLEMS

Persistent game players may suffer from musculoskeletal problems.A study on game players showed that they have increased physical complaints associated with video gaming.Their complaints range from pain in the hands,the wrists and up to the neck.Dermatologists have discovered hemorrhages and onycholysis (that is the loosening and separation of a nail) in patience that spend a lot of time playing electronic games. players also suffer from tendonosis, (tendon injuries) of hands and wrists as a result of over use during game playing. Players may also suffer from what is called play station thumb. This is characterized by numbness and a blister on the thumb. The blister is a result of friction between the controller and the thumb from rapid and persistent game playing. Game players are more likely to suffer from postural problems due to the persistent playing playing of games. The New England Journal reported a case of a fracture of the base of the fifth metatarsal from game players especially those who play Wii video games.

OBESITY AND OVER WEIGHT

Many people who consistently are playing electronic games are usually diagonized with obesity or over weight. This is a result of lack of physical activity as their time is spent sitting in front of a television or a computer. Possibly, it could be that people that are already physically less ft choose less physically demanding activities in this case gaming. Studies show that people who spend a lot of time on television or playing games have a higher incidence of obesity. A German study showed that boys who spend less than 1,5 hours on games are 75% less likely to be overweight than those who spend the same amount of time on games.There is also a link between video games and an increase in (junk) food intake regardless of appetite which increases the incidence of obesity in game players. This increase in obesity on game players has led to companies developing exercise equipment that can be used while playing electronic games. Obviously though, it would be far better to limit the time spent on playing such games leaving ample time for other activities that help a person to develop a well rounded personality.

VISION ISSUES

Eye problems may result from staring at a screen for great lengths of time.Surveys show that at least a a quarter of all consistent computer users experience visual problems.One reason for this is that the blinking rate may slow down, causing dryness and irritation of the eye.Blinking clears the eye,stimulating tear production and washing out contaminants.Extensive and fixed staring at video games causes eye strain.This is because our eyes are not biologically equipped for chronic heavy viewing of digital swift images from electronic devices.Dizziness,nausea ,headaches and sometimes vomiting results from extended periods and frequent video game playing.

On another hand,research shows that for people who suffer from amblyopia (dimness or blurring of the eyesight due to a fault in transmission from the eyes to the brain) electronic gaming may be helpful.A

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