Games put students at risk

Violent video games can lead to addiction, violent tendencies.

While the gaming community continues to experience growth and awareness around the potential negative effects of video games is also rising.

A debate over the significance of violence in the gaming world has sparked the interest of industry professionals and gamers alike. Some, such as lawyer Jack Thompson, have claimed gaming encourages anti-social behavior, while others have argued that all media, including video-games, contains inevitable violence.

“I learned about a video game called ‘The Stanley Parable’ that tests the limits of conformity from a student,” English teacher Susan Wilson said. “Movies and books engage themes artistically, and open possibilities for discussion when their themes are expressed in complex ways. The only obstacle I see for video games doing the same this is their reputation for being simplistic and straightforward.”

The popularity of multiplayer gaming has also aroused controversy regarding the value of the online social interaction.

“I’m only allowed to game over the weekend since my parents are worried about it interfering with my studying,” Nick Camminante ’18 said. “When I play sports games, I’m usually talking to my friend through the microphone, but no so much with other games.”

Parties outside of the gaming world have expressed concern for the power of video-games. The Illinois Institute for Addiction Recovery reports games can create a non-chemical addiction similar to that of gambling. Playing games for a long time in one sitting and refraining from socialization in order to game are warning signs of a potential addiction, according to the Institute of Addiction Recovery.

“That addiction is very real,” Service Learning Director Raymond O’Connor said. “I’ve seen what it does to their relationships with their families, their friends, and their schools. It disrupts normal living habits, and they miss important developmental stages.” TechAddiction, an online organization, suggests one-on-one counseling, family time and wilderness-based therapy to help gaming addicts. Additional links to books and reports about video game addiction are also provided on its website.

“I think the games now are more violent and graphic,” Chris Cohen ’18 said. “Although that could just be due to me getting older and seeing the more violent games. There’s a lot more online interaction, and most of the time I play online with my friends in real life. I usually play games on the weekend for a couple hours, and maybe an hour one week.”