Video games are applications built for use with personal computers and video game consoles to simulate real life activities. Although some video games are played directly from a computer with easy accessibility for the player, others are played on the internet and involve multiple players. Online games simulate real life situations, but with some distortion of facts and exaggeration. Video games require the player to participate both mentally and physically on the various events in the game (Pearce et al, 2009). Since video games use a graphical interface, the player is likely to be emotionally involved in the events and the setting of the game environment. The environment that the game creates for the player seems to be real, and the player feels as if he or she is in another world. This ability of the video games to create an imaginary world for the player earns them the name virtual games (Bogost, 2007). Virtual gaming is common on the internet with many participating players who progress competitively against each other. The more skilled player is, the higher the advancement to other levels of the virtual world.
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Video games require a computer with a conventional display device or a video game console connected to a compatible display device or a computer. The turn of events in the virtual world created by the games is crafted in such a way that it stays dynamic to avert monotone, which may discourage the player from continuing with the game (Bissell, 2010). In this regard, video games are inevitably addictive if excessively played. The player feels compelled to continue playing the game even after spending numerous hours doing the same. He or she cultivates an abnormal concentration towards the game so that it becomes highly prioritized over the other possible constructive activities. The player loses the basic sense of reality and dedicates his or her efforts towards making progress through the various levels in the game rather than focusing on making advancement in real life matters. The video game may cease to provide its intended aspect of entertainment and engross the player with the competitive task of keeping ahead of other players or virtual adversaries in the game. Video game addiction is said to set in when it becomes considerably difficult for the player to cease his or her gaming activities in favor of other more essential tasks (Kutner, & Olson, 2008)
Video gaming development started with the creation of a rudimentary electronic device that could qualify for a basic video game. This device consisted of a modified cathode ray tube, which served as the display when gaming. In addition, games had pictorial representations of targets on screens. An individual was considered competence in a game if he or she could hit a target with a dot on a phosphor screen. This device was invented in 1947 (Castronova, 2005). The introduction of more powerful computer chips in the 1970s enabled the creation of more sophisticated video games. Furthermore, the development of the internet led to the introduction of the concept of virtual world, which creates a simulation of the real world with real achievements (Abanes, 2006).Want an expert to write a paper for you Talk to an operator now
Video game addiction affects people of all age groups. However, of all these groups, the most affected are children and young adults. When a child is addicted to video gaming, he or she spends a considerable amount of time playing the game. In this regard, the child does not have spare time to get involved in other activities that are essential for human development. Unregulated access to video games by a child leads to serious social skill dysfunction in the child. In addition, the child may develop a violent tendency since most of the games depict violent achievements as glorifiable acts. The urge to perform violent acts may persist to the adulthood of an individual if it becomes deeply embedded into the gaming child’s mentality. Some of the most violent serial offenders have had to have a history of addictive video gaming (Bruner, 2006). Video games have the capability to distort an individual’s perspective of life beyond repair if the particular person is involved in excessive gaming. Spending of most of the time on games could impair a person’s social skills since video game addicts never have the time to develop social skills or learn how to nurture friendships. In addition, an individual may develop a strong willed personality inclined towards achievements that do not involve teaming up with other people. Furthermore, an introvert kind of personality is likely to develop with excessive gaming. Video game addicts choose to stay indoors and engage other players in the virtual world of the gaming. These individuals lose touch of the reality and may have unrealistic views regarding the real world based on the virtual world that they are accustomed to.
Once a person is engrossed with the imaginary achievements of virtual gaming, a tendency to avoid work is inevitable. The addicted individual will prefer playing a video game to attending to even the most basic chores that are obvious in a domestic environment. With time, this behavior becomes a deeply entrenched character of perpetual laziness. As a result, the individual’s performance in most aspects of his life becomes adversely affected since he is more concerned with the virtual world of gaming (Cefrey, 2010). Consequently, the person starts to regard himself as a failure in the real world. To compound the problem, after spending much time video gaming, the individual may gain mastery of the game. His achievements regarding the game considerably improve and he holds himself in high regard in the gaming world. Moreover, the player may outperform most of the online contenders and as a result become encouraged to continue with the game in pursuit of more challenges. Furthermore, the individual develops hypercompetitive psychological inclination considering that the virtual world in online gaming enables involvement of people from all over the world who together create an imaginary world (Griffiths, 2002).
The virtual worlds created by videogames are characterized by unrealistic speed and turn of events. This unrealistic perception may affect an addicted individual’s sense of time. Patience and concentration may become significantly challenging in tackling real world issues. The poor performance in real world issues lead to a more focused approach in the gaming world (Roberts, 2010). Furthermore, the individual may accumulate virtual wealth in the online gaming and use this money to buy tools that enable him or her to compete effectively against other players. Entrepreneurs, to siphon money from addicted players, exploit this concept of using virtual money in gaming. The virtual money used in the online virtual world can be obtained by purchasing it with the real money (Consalvo, 2007). The purchased virtual currency is used to buy virtual accessories that are essential in the virtual world. In this way, the manufacturers of the game software financially cripple the addicted individual.
Another serious affliction of video game addiction is the distortion of the perception of ideological concepts. Some games are designed depicting the competition of one race against another. Normally, one race always seems to be inferior to the other in the game. Furthermore, some games distort religious perceptions since some religions may be depicted as religions of villain people in the virtual gaming world. This twisted nature of some of the video games lead to a prejudicial judgment of people of certain races or religious orientation in the real world (Corneliussen & Rettberg, 2008).
An individual’s perception of the real world concepts of challenges may be altered by video games. The person gets used to imaginary concepts that are not applicable within the real world setup. A narrow channel of thinking is developed by the game in the players mind. Furthermore, as the game impairs the social participation of the individual, his relationship with immediate family members becomes adversely affected. A detached character, especially addicted adult players, is likely to affect the rest of the family members particularly due to his or her isolated nature (Kays, 2008). In this essence, the player abandons his or her social responsibilities towards close family members.
Video gaming could cause severe physical strain on the player. Cases of coma resulting from exhaustion after playing a game excessively have been reported around the world. Several people have also died from physical trauma caused by excessive video gaming (Clark & Scott, 2009). Furthermore, others have committed grave acts of aggression such as murder concerning video gaming. All these acts are due to the altered perception of the player regarding real life issues. Long-term health implications are also common in ardent gamers (Cleave, 2010). In addition, introvert character, hypotension, hypertension and cardiac disorders are exhibited in addicted gamers.
In conclusion, video games develop an escapist nature in an individual when played for long. These games provide a form of an asylum for life challenges. An individual may be unaware of the game’s effects until a substantial damage has been done to his or her life. The law is not clear concerning the regulation of video game manufacture and use. This increases irresponsibility by the manufacturers and addicted players. However, it is possible to mitigate video game addiction by encouraging the addicts and moderate players to participate in other constructive activities.
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