By Tanner Ames Posted April 16, 2014
Video games, if you don’t already realize, are just about everywhere in the world today. They are on your phone, on tablets, computers, and of course, the original platform they were made for. Video game companies create games to fit the interests of young people’s minds, and they can become quite a distraction.
First of all, to know the full effect of video games, we must first realize why we play video games. When asked why you play, many would say “because it’s fun”; but why do we find them so appealing? I was watching the Game Theorists on YouTube, and I stumbled upon an interesting concept. C.A.R.. No, not the “vroom vroom” car, but more along the lines of a video game concept. CAR is an acronym C, Competence; A, Autonomy; R, Relatedness. These three factors are generally what grab the interest of gamers.
Competence is the feeling of growing in idea or mastering the game. This is found in games like Mario Bros. where you are able to complete a level, thus earning a high score. Autonomy is being able to control your own actions, to control the world around you, found in such games as “Skyrim”. Knowing that any action that you control comes from your own mind. Most of the time, based on the game, it doesn’t matter what you do, it doesn’t change the plot, but you did it. The last is Relatedness, relatedness is having the feeling that you matter in a game. Without you, that damsel in distress would’ve been eaten by a zombie, or the land of Hyrule would’ve fallen into despair.
Our brains are probably some of the greatest technology we have. It is a malleable material that changes with every stimulus provided. So when you are playing “Grand Theft Auto”, you can differ, in ideas, from another player. Someone could take the examples provided in the game, and interpret it in a positive way. Saying this is not the way to go in life. Others, however, could do just the opposite; they could see the references in the game, and try and pull some of the stunts, thinking that life is just as easy as the game, but it isn’t. In video games, you can get shot numerous times and just end up in the hospital. In real life, if you get shot, you can die.
Video games can make some people go insane. Even the most simple games, such as “Temple Run” or “Flappy Bird”, for mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets, have led to people actually destroy their devices by throwing them or just smashing them against the ground. There were also people who sold their phones pre-downloaded with “Flappy Bird” on eBay for a large sum of money; due to this game being taken off of the app markets.
Many people say that violent video games such as “GTA5” create needs in young children to kill and steal. Though there are actually cases in which young people do commit various crimes from the plot of these games. But, do you think some people have actually stopped doing crimes because the satisfaction of doing it was brought upon them by these games? You shouldn’t go buy your five-year-old these games, they are incredibly vulgar; however, you shouldn’t blame the actions of an individual on the influences of these games. A person should act responsibly.
Some video game companies such as Nintendo, Xbox, and recently Play Station, have created systems, or add-ons to systems to help lose weight, or just to keep us active. These devices include the Nintendo Wii and the Wii Fit, the Play Station Move, and the Xbox Kinect.
If you have read this far, just know there are more games then just “shoot ‘em ups”, and realize that games can have great effects on people. Scientists have been studying these effects, but they haven’t come up with a conclusive answer yet, so my theory is the only thing we really have. You won’t become a “lazy couch potato” as many believe. Video games can be good for you. Contrary to what parents believe, they don’t rot your brains, they can actually teach you valuable life skills, such as bravery and heroism. Some of the best games, in my opinion are the Legend of Zelda series. They provide just about every need. Every game has there ups and downs so choose the right ones.