Are Video Games Harmful?


by Alexandra Timpa, Reporter

It’s no secret that video games are loved by kids and teenagers all over the world. However, with the video game community increasing rapidly, and with no signs of slowing down, children are spending more time locked in their rooms rather than outside.

So the question is; are video games harmful?

There have been many studies that have shown the effects of playing video games. While some of the tests have shown that video games have a positive effect, such as improving hand-eye coordination skills and problem-solving skills, many of  the tests also prove that all these video games are having a negative effect on the people that play them.

The most obvious effect of playing video games is obesity. Many kids are spending more time sitting on their couch and twiddling their thumbs rather than going outside and being active.

A study done by the National Obesity Forum showed that “Over 45% of Americans, 12 – 17 years old, spent more than two hours per day glued to a screen and revealed a strong positive correlation between hours spent on TV/Video game play and the percentage of children classed as overweight.”

Another negative effect of these video games is that it has a tendency to lead kids into acting violent. Many of the most popular video games, such as GTA V, Halo, and Call Of Duty, are in fact some of the most violent. These games are sending children the wrong message and are opening a window for them to act out in ways that they wouldn’t if they hadn’t been playing these kinds of games.

The American Psychological Association (APA) also concluded that “there is a consistent correlation between violent game use and aggression.”

Along with the increasing rate of obesity linked to video games, there are also other health risks. These other health risks include damaging your eyes. Staring at a TV screen all day is not good for a person’s eyesight and will only damage their vision in the long run if they keep playing video games nonstop.

When asked how much time he spends playing video games, Palo Verde High School sophomore, Justin Veras, said that “I probably spend about 50-60 hours on a school week playing video games.” While that sounds like a long time, Justin said “ I do make sure I have time to do my homework and I work out everyday to make sure I stay active.”

Video games aren’t harmful unless you make them harmful. If all you do is play these games on your TV, of course you are making a bad choice. Overplaying video games will affect not only your health, but could affect your school work if you never make time to study or do your homework.

However, you don’t have cut video games completely out of your life though. It is perfectly alright to play a few hours of video games, but, you should make sure you are still finding the time to stay active and make sure you get all your work done before picking up that controller.