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Video games. Good or bad?

Authenticity Statement:
I , Aisha Imasheva, declare that this work is my own original research and writing and that all original sources used
are credited.

Aisha Imasheva
Zhansaya Tatyyeva, Dugald Cresswell
Global Perspectives & Project Work
Nazarbayev Intellectual School of Math & Physics
Almaty City, Kazakhstan


Video game addiction is real. Video game addiction is a big trouble, because
eventually the number of addicted teenagers increases. The half of billion teenagers are
addicted. The youth is our future, and I am scared of predicting what is going to be with the
fate of mankind.
Hundred years ago there were a lot of ways to be engaged when you are free,
when you are not at school, or doing something else. Nowadays, there are a lot of ways to be
engaged, but vary games are used to spend teenagers’ time today. Come home, stare at a little
screen of computer, maybe television, tablet or even cellphone, and push buttons to dive into
the virtual world of the non-existent new adventures. What did teenagers do before video
games invented? Watching TV wasted a lot of time. Listening to the music was a daily ritual
during the days of radio. “Cribs,” “hide-and-seek” and “catch-up” were neighborhood games,
which were played by many happy teenagers and kids. And what is going on now? Has
something changed?
Nowadays teenagers spend a lot of time in front of screens. They do play other
games in a real life, but the majority of teenagers enjoy life in a virtual world. Games are
robbing their time which they could spend in a real life. Nearly 23% of teenagers report that
they feel addiction to video games. (Dr. Douglas Gentile, 2008). My thesis is that
consequences of video game playing are more harmful, than helpful.

The aim and methods
The research is based on primary and secondary methods. The primary
research is a survey that I’ve made and disseminated. As a secondary research I used articles,
and project works from the internet. Also I made several summaries from other peoples’


research papers. I’ve interviewed some friends and acquaintances who play online games
The aim of my research is to find consequences of playing video games. There
are a lot of effects to humans’ health, thus in this paper described what kind of effects does it
have. My research question is “What are the consequences of video games to Kazakhstani
teenagers between 10-18 years?” You will find the answer after reading my research paper.
The context of my research is the effects of video game playing. The research
contains Kazakhstani teenagers between 10-18 years. The time period is 1990 till present.
Two used perspectives are considered as good and bad consequences. Too much exposure to
violent video games must have some sort of negative effect on teenagers. Nevertheless, there
is no convinced evidence that violent video games are harmful. According to the most recent
comprehensive poll by the Kaiser Foundation, American children aged 8–18 play an average
of eight hours of video games per week, an increase of over 400 per cent from 1999 (Rideout,
Foehr & Roberts, 2010)
1st Perspective:
There are many types of video games. There are good reasons to suspect that video game
violence can contribute to behavior problems or anti-social attitudes.
For instance, a number of experiments show that people feel more hostile after playing violent
games—especially games that simulate real-life situations (Bartlett et al 2007; Bartlett and
Rodeheffer 2009).
There is also evidence that playing violent games can make people behave more aggressively
immediately afterwards.


In one recent experiment, researchers randomly assigned 77 adult volunteers to play either a
violent video game or non-violent alternative. Then, after 20 minutes, the researchers gave
players an opportunity to blast a stranger with loud noise. Players who'd spent time with the
violent game chose longer, louder blasts (Hassan et al 2012).
People seem to imitate others from birth. It’s very useful and helpful, because
we fast learn important activities and skills. But I think that imitating anti-social behaviors is
not good. Teenagers imitate behaviors from media they watch or play. Imitate characters that
they like, or attractive ones, maybe characters with a good status. Heroes from video games
are appropriate for this characteristics, and so now we have a statement that teenagers will
repeat actions of villains from games, or maybe main characters of violent games(Craig A
Anderson and Wayne A Warburton, 2012).

2nd Perspective:
There are many benefits of playing video games. For example, improving spatial cognition
skills. Spatial cognition is ability to mentally rotate things. Games such as “Tetris” where you
should place the objects, improve coordination skills. Researchers have tested experienced
gamers--kids and young adults--on variety of cognitive tasks (e.g., Boot et al 2008; Green and
Bavelier 2007; Dye et al 2009). Compared to non-gamers of the same age, the experienced
gamers could:
• track objects moving at faster speeds
• track more objects at once
• filter out irrelevant visual information
• switch more quickly from one task to the next


• better detect changes in briefly-flashing visual arrays
• more accurately predict how three dimensional objects would appear when rotated
These differences might reflect self-selection: Maybe people who are more skilled at these tasks
are more motivated to play video games.
But experimental studies suggest that playing action video games might help people become
more skillful in at least one visual-spatial task. Inexperienced people trained with video games
have improved their mental rotation abilities (e.g., Green and Bavelier 2007; Feng et al 2007;
Boot et al 2008).
A considerable literature reveals video games to be a powerful teaching tool
(eg, Barlett et al, 2009; Murphy et al, 2002; Swing & Anderson, 58 Growing up Fast and
Furious2008). They have been used to teach algebra (Corbett et al, 2001), biology
(Ybarrondo, 1984), photography (Abrams, 1986), and computer programming (Kahn, 1999),
to teach children how to manage diabetes (Lieberman, 2001; 2006) and to teach specific skills
using simulators (for example, by Qantas pilots, NASA and the Air Force). Gentile and
Gentile (2008) describe the educational advantages of using video games as teaching tools.
These include the power of video games to engage children and to “encourage children to
persevere in acquiring and mastering a number of skills, to navigate through complex
problems and changing environments, and to experiment with different identities until success
is achieved” (p 127).
The results

The results of my survey show 30 Almaty students have completed it for this report. The
difference between genders is not very big (12%). Almost 100% of students are teenagers
between 13-16 years. 26.67% of respondents play games less than one year, 23.33% play video
games over 1-3 years and 30% of people play 4-6 years. The rest of interviewed students (20%)


started to play more than 7 years ago. According to this it is evident that the demand for video
games is not associated with a time period. 75.86% of interrogated teenagers play games over 13 hours per day. 10.34% of interviewed people play 4-6 hours a day. Respondents, who spend 710 hours a day and 11-15 hours are both 6.90%. The statistic shows that most of teenagers spend
not a lot of time playing video games. People I’ve consulted play video games in many places.
80% of teenagers play at home. 13.33% of them use the school and specialized places for
playing. 16.67% play in the internet clubs. The majority have good marks at school. 70% is 5-4.
13.33% of them have only 4-5. The rest don’t go to school. It is shows us that video games do
not affect to the school performance. Less than a half teenagers (41.38%) don’t have any health
problems. 24.14% of them have sight, sleep and neck/back problems. 31.03 got sadness and head
ache. 13.79% have heart problems (palpitations). 84% of teenagers feel relaxed while play
games. 34.62% feel freedom. 11.54% of respondents feel like they are getting stronger. 73.33%
of people feel themselves okay without games. 26.67 are nervous, 13.33% feel defectively and
other 10% imagine playing games soon. That three are the symptoms of video game addiction.
According to this it is showed that 26.67% of them are seemed to be addictive. By analyzing
chart, it is seemed that mainly people has effects of playing games. But the important thing is
that their marks at school are good (Appendix A).
The research thesis states that the video game consequences are more harmful
than helpful. There are a lot of health diseases because of the games. Yes, maybe it is
enjoyable and relaxing, but the palpitations or sight are more important. The addiction is not
really insignificant. The attention of teenagers decreases. We need smart and healthy
generation. I made the survey and found that many of video game players have health
problems; they cannot feel themselves fully without games. Teenagers feel that they are
getting stronger while play video games, but they don’t exactly get stronger. Mentally they
grow, take power, but physically they don’t. Gamers spend a lot of time by playing this kind


of games, instead of self-improvement. Games are not fully harmful. It has many benefits, but
that benefits can’t cover the weakness.


Reference list

Anderson, C. (2004). An update on the effects of playing violent video games. Iowa:
Academic press
Barlett CP and Rodeheffer C. 2009. Effects of realism on extended violent and nonviolent
video game play on aggressive thoughts, feelings, and physiological arousal. Aggress Behav.
Buckley, K., & Anderson, C. (2006). 24. in a theoretical model of the effects and
consequences of playing video games. Iowa.
Burgess, M., Stermer, P., Burgess, S., Brown, B. P., Dill, K. E, & Collins, M.A. (2007).
Race and sex in video games: Descriptive and experimental research, Manuscript in
Dye MW, Green CS, Bavelier D. 2009. The development of attention skills in action
video game players. Neuropsychologia. 47(8-9):1780-9.
Gentile, D., & Anderson, C. (2007). Violent video game effectson chilren and adolescents.
Iowa: Oxford University Press.
Granic, I., Lobel, A., & Engels, R. (2012). The Benefits of Playing Video Games.
Green CS and Bavelier D. 2007. Action-video-game experience alters the spatial
resolution of vision. Psychol Sci. 18(1):88-94.
Sara Prot, Katelyn A. McDonald, Craig A. Anderson , Douglas A. Gentile. (2012). Video
Games: Good, Bad, or Other?(Vol. 59).


Sherry, J. (2001). Human communication research. In The effects of violent video games
on agression (Vol. 27).

Appendix A