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THE KOÇ SCHOOL


the effects of real life exercise in the body (Fiore). This feature is extremely practical for those who struggle to find neither time nor place to train and get in shape.

ABSTRACT Impact of Videogames on Adolescents

V

ideogames have been an important part of our lives since the first digital game ever, Pong, was released by the US entertainment company

Atari in 1972 (http://english.pravda.ru/). Since then the world of gaming and the idea of playing in an artifical world attracted more and more people until the whole new industry of gaming was shaped. Today we spend three bilion hours playing video games (McGonigal) which is quite a serious time. In this project I researched the impacts of these entertainment sources on adolescents, who are the primary consumers of videogames, by dividing them into two parts; adventages and the harms. Each part will focus on either benefits or the harms of videogames on teenagers.

Benefits of Video Games cents

for Adoles-

Educational Benefits Lots of researchs have shown that video games have a great effect on the improvment of the learning 1 skills. For example ONR indicates that video games can help teenagers process information much faster and improve their fundamental abilities to reason and solve problems in novel contexts

Steinberg).

Video games also help teenagers and pupils to improve their basic everyday skills such as  le( arning to delegate responsibility, promote teamwork and steer groups of people toward a common goal. Video games such as Brain Age or Guitar Hero also helps to improve hand-eye coordination, enhance split-second decision making and even, potentially, boost auditory perception (

Kornel)

Physical Benefits Video games may seem like an activity without any action therefore useless for body however it is proven that they help to improve many physical skill. According to the studies of the researchers from Deakin University2 video games help teenagers to improve their object control motor skills which is really important in some cases. Dr. Daphen Maurer of the Visual Development Lab of Ontario’s McMaster University has also proven that playing first person shooter games like Medal of Honor and Call of Duty can help the treatment of eye diseases such as cataract. That is because these games are so fast paced that they require an extreme attention training the visually impaired to view things more sharply. Other than these specific advantages some entertainment companies such as Nintendo has special fitness consoles3 that can provide

1 Office of Naval Research 2 Deakin University, Melbourne, Australia (taken from http://theweek.com/article/index/241121/7-health-benefits-of-playing-video-games) 3 Wii Fit

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Harms of the Video Games on Adolescents Psychologic Harms In contrast with the benefits of video games there are lots of harms that are caused by video games that can result in serious seizures. Especially playing violent games leads to increased physiological arousal, increased aggressive thoughts, increased aggressive feelings, increased aggressive behaviors, and decreased prosaically helping through adolescents. For example, in a study of over 400 7th - 10th graders, those students who played more violent video games early in the school year changed to become more physically aggressive later in the school year, even after statistically controlling for sex, race, and other relevant variables4 (Gentile). In addition to that the amount of time spent playing video games has a negative correlation with academic performance. The more the student spends hour in front of a TV the less their average grade is. According to other studies it is also proven that gamer teenagers tend to be lonelier and use aggressive language. (Bavelier)

Physical Harms Other than the mental problems caused to teenagers, video games are also the main reason for various illnesses and body problems. The most common ones among the youth worldwide is the typical migrane headaches and sleep disturbance. due to the hours spent in front of digital screens. Another diseases and disturbances that we relate with video game addictivness are carpal tunel syndrome, backaches, eating irregularities and poor personal hygiene. (Cenzon)

Conclusion Today we live in a world where the electronical system of a simple elevator is more complex than Apollo 111. Technology improves faster and faster and video games is a reality we can not deny. However as everything technology blesses us video games has both positive and negative sides. As people who has the knowledge to define these two sides, our job is to protect teenagers and children against the harmful side and let them take the advantage of the benefits.

(Endnotes) 1 Cliff Saran, Apollo 11: The Computers That Put Man On The Moon, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, New York, 2004, pg 29-35

4 Total screen time, Prior aggression etc.


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