Video games are entertaining, to say the least. After a hard day’s work, an hour of video games helps us tone down the pressure we have to go through on a daily basis. Not only does it help us think on our feet, but also helps us improve our coordination skills, especially our eye-hand coordination. (Read: 8 Reasons Video Games Can Improve Your Child)
It is not a myth that video games can be bad as well. Video games make players lazy and devoid them of the life outside the four walls of their home. Unregulated and unmoderated gameplay is also known to damage the eye. Most commonly, video games are known to waste our precious time. Instead of doing their homework and living a normal life, both children and adult gamers resort to hours and hours of video gaming to live a life that isn’t real. (Read: Negative Potential of Video Games)
In the four and a half decades that video games have existed, there have been changes every few years. Now, in 2017, video games look almost like a non-animated movie. With major technological upgrades coming in every few years, it is difficult to point out when such upgrades are going to stop.
Video games have branched out to several genres as well. Now, we have games that not only involve word play and ping-pong but also tests how well we know cars, weapons and arms. According to a study in 2015, shooter games had led sales that year, with 24.5% of total sales, followed by action (22.9%) and sports (13.2%). As we can clearly see, gamers nowadays prefer the more violent type.
With that being said, age restrictions are necessary. Video games attract young children the most and not knowing much about life, they begin to believe that whatever they see is right. Normally, games that contain violence have an age rating of 16 or above. It is imperative that the age ratings are considered before a video game is bought.
Over the years, there have been various crimes committed by people, based on what they had seen on video games. Games like Grand Theft Auto and Call of Duty are based on violence and have received flak for instigating people to commit crimes. Although not directly responsible, analysts have blamed the theme as a whole for the bad deed done.
Whether video games should be linked to crimes committed is a hotly debated topic. In my honest opinion, the answer is no. Any person in their right mind would know that the lives we lead as different characters in video games are not real. Everybody enjoys video games, but I guess it all comes down to understanding and upbringing. I had played my first shooter game (Max Payne in case you were wondering) when I was 6 years old and was a regular player. It has been 14 years since, and I have played many more violent games such as GTA, Call of Duty, Hitman and completed the entire Max Payne trilogy. However, never have I ever felt the need or urge to go out into the streets and hack someone to death or rob a bank, because I know it is wrong and because people have always taught me that it’s wrong and what happens in the game stays in the game.
Many YouTube personalities make their living off playing video games, reviewing them for others and running a commentary over their own gameplay for the entertainment of others. They have never committed any crimes, let alone crimes based on video games. Video games were made for the purpose of entertainment and it should remain that way. It is utterly immature to blame your failure as a guardian on video games. No sane person would get influenced by a false reality to go out and do something immoral and illegal.
In spite of everything, guardians should still be careful about choosing and buying video games for their children because our surroundings influence the values and beliefs we all grow up with and implement later in life.