Information Technology in a Global Society

Title: How Does Video Game Addictions Affect the Social Lives of Teenagers?

Name: ShangQi Li

Homeroom: 11F

Area of Impact: Arts Entertainment and Leisure

Article Title: Combating video game addiction must be made priority, experts urge

Article URL: <http://canadianpress.google.com/article/ALeqM5hDrbvdYv87cpZkCbZKeWpoEHUbaw>

Word Count: 9620

Pages: 3


















How Does Video Game Addictions Affect the Social Lives of Teenagers?

A – Presentation of the Issue

A recent news article has brought to light the issue of video gaming addiction in youths and teenagers. The article shows that more and more teenagers are been drawn deeper into a “cyber dungeon” (Canadian Press). A recent online survey has shown that up to 97 percent of teenagers play some type of video game (Gaylord). One of the biggest types of games that people are addicted to is online games. Nowadays, technology is becoming better and better and people are able to afford better computers and better internet connections allowing them to play video games. Another reason that many people are drawn to play video games is that when playing a video game, the player is a character in a fantasy world and the player can become someone great in the fantasy world. Many people play games to escape the reality in life where people often feel small or unimportant. This is one of the main reasons that video game addiction has become a major issue in the youths of today.

B – IT Background of the Issue
external image C:%5CDOCUME%7E1%5CSHANGQ%7E1%5CLOCALS%7E1%5CTemp%5Cmsohtml1%5C06%5Cclip_image002.jpgVideo games and online games today are becoming more and more popular. Reports show that the gaming industry today is bigger than both the movie industry and the music industry. The gaming industry today is the biggest of all the entertainment industries today. Gaming has changed a lot through the years and the reason that games are becoming more popular is largely because games are getting better in terms of graphics, content, game play, etc. Gaming graphics have improved a lot over the years, and new GPU[[#_ftn1|[1]]]’s and CPU[[#_ftn2|[2]]]’s come out nearly every day. Most early games were based on two dimensional graphics were the games were often very linear. Next, there were three dimensional games which really what a computer game was like and how they could be made and played. Today, computer game graphics are often extremely realistic as in the example, of this screenshot from the game Crysis[[#_ftn3|[3]]] (Left). Another piece of technology that has had a large impact on the popularity of games is the computer and the internet. When computers first came out, few people could afford to buy one and few people saw the need for computers. Originally, computers were supposed to be used for work but nowadays, computers are being used to play games more and more. Computers nowadays have also become cheaper and better, and many technical improvements have been made. The internet also helped to increase the popularity of gaming and especially online gaming. The internet allows players from around the world to play together and the idea of being able to play against other players was a very appealing idea. The internet has also gotten better and better with the many improvements in the speed and bandwidth of internet.

C – Social Effects

One of the main effects that gaming addictions have on teenagers is that teenagers who play online video games, often cannot tell the difference between what is reality and what is not real. Some teens have been shown to be so obsessed with certain games, that it was as if the person only lived inside the game and did not care of the real world anymore. Many people who have gaming addicted family members notice that the family members will isolate themselves and spend all their free time playing games. Gaming often causes teenagers to isolate themselves from the real world and to constantly play video games. People who are addicted often cannot perform well at school or work and tend to have bad social lives (Villarreal). Some people who are addicted to games also treat their game lives as if it was their real lives and a recently there had been an incident in the news where a addicted gamer, became so angered with losing something in a game that he murdered the person who he had lost to (BBC News). Another rather extreme social and ethical problem with gaming is how addicted people often play games so much that they die from exhaustion or lack of food or water.

D – Solution to problems arising from problem

I think that one way to solve the problem of teenagers spending too much time on computer games is to have a method of restricting video games. Online gaming companies should start to create limits on how long a person could play games. Online gaming companies should work together and create a database that could list out how long a certain user has played a game everyday, and then they could give warnings too people who play for extended periods and they should start banning people who play for too long. This method would only be effective if online gamming companies would work together because gamers may just switch between many different games, to play for longer periods. Another effective way to restrict how long teenagers can play games is to use software programs on computers so that parents are able to restrict access to games. An example of currently used software is folder guard[[#_ftn4|[4]]] which is software that can be used to block access and usage of executable files or many other file types. Although folder guard is able to block certain files, there are still flaws to it and I think that people will be able to develop more advanced software specifically for monitoring and controlling how long people play games. One important factor that will warrant the success of this method is that parents will take the initiative to set up this kind of software. This software’s should have easy to understand interfaces, and should be easily used by parents to be effective.




Sources:

  • "Internet Gaming Addiction May Be Growing Health Problem." Consumeraffairs.com. 20 Oct. 2008. 27 Nov. 2008 <http://internet gaming addiction may be growing health problem>.
  • Villarreal, Phil. "Experts: Video game addiction is real; players scoff." Azstarnet.com. 28 June 2007. Arizona Daily Star. 29 Nov. 2008 <http://http:www.azstarnet.com/metro/189473>.
· Gaylord, Chris. "By the numbers: teens and video games." CSmonitor.com. 16 Sept. 2008. Christian Science Monitor. 28 Nov. 2008 <http://http:features.csmonitor.com/innovation/2008/09/16/by-the-numbers-teens-and-video-games/>.






[[#_ftnref1|[1]]] GPU is the graphics processing unit of computers. It is the main component needed to play good quality games.
[[#_ftnref2|[2]]] CPU is the central processing unit of a computer and this also effects gaming quality
[[#_ftnref3|[3]]] A screenshot from game Crysis, a game released in 2007 by the company Crytech
[[#_ftnref4|[4]]]A piece software that is used to restrict access on computers to certain files.