Is playing video games problem solving or problem inducing?

Maddy Frazier and Aiden Foley

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PRO by Aiden Foley

     When the world was first introduced to video games it didn’t have a screen or our definition of advanced technology. To them it was the most advanced technology the world would ever get. The first video game was called “Pong.” It’s the pixelated virtual version of table tennis with two dimensional graphics. It was released in 1972 and was played on an Atari which was released June 28th, 1972 and is one of the first gaming consoles to be produced.

     Since then, there has been a debate on whether video games are good or bad. Some say video games are bad and rot your brain, but there are others that believe that video games are beneficial. According to the Max Planck Gesellschaft study in Berlin, Germany, playing video games increases grey matter (the darker tissue of the brain and spinal cord, consisting mainly of nerve cell bodies and branching dendrites). The growth of grey matter was observed in the right hippocampus, right prefrontal cortex and the cerebellum. The brain regions mentioned are involved in functions like spatial navigation, memory formation, strategic planning and fine motor skills of the hands. The changes were noticeable after the experimental group desired playing video games more and more. They believe that video games could help people with mental disorders such as schizophrenia, post-traumatic stress disorder, or neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s or dementia.

     In fact, the military uses video games to train their soldiers; more specifically they use first-person shooters. According to, 15 current and former army soldiers interviewed said that it was important to continue being in the mindset of a soldier even off the battlefield.

     What sophomore Simmion Shelley has to say about video games is, “They (video games) help your hand-eye coordination and from what I’ve heard they help with reflexes. I think it’s cool that video games which are seen as bad could help society in many different ways.”

     Video games have been proven to relieve pain according to, TheHuffingtonPost specifically, virtual reality games. Gaming keeps the brain busy and uses other senses instead of focusing on the pain. Gaming also releases an endorphin in the brain that’s generally associated with happiness and capable of numbing pain and discomfort.

     There’s a lot of downsides to video games, but a statement we could all agree on is usually whether or not video games have negative consequences depend on the person playing the games. Someone could play violent video games and it could help them with stress or it could make them have more violent tendencies.


CON by Maddy Frazier

     It’s hard for the public to get enough exercise if they are staring at a flat screen TV, computer, phone, or simply having their hands stuck on a controller playing video games. How is someone going to have enough active play if their eyes are glued to a game?  Hypnotizing the public with what they think may be increasing their intelligence by giving them so called “ problem solving skills,” and improving hand-eye coordination is not what’s going on. These fun and addictive electronic games are becoming a distraction from school, family, financing, and can give people low-self esteem, high stress levels, and depression.

     With a constant distraction such as video games people would rather sit down and stay where they are instead of pausing their game to get up to have a simple conversation with someone, pay bills or go to school. Spending time with family and friends is becoming less of a priority partially due to games becoming a more common form of entertainment.

     School is also being put aside: homework isn’t being done, grades are falling and classes are being failed. The chance to graduate can decrease when people play video games. They stop doing what they need to do and instead continue doing what they want to do: playing the games. Games don’t give people  problem solving skills unless they are games that involve logic. If the video games are just an adventure game, shooting game, or a game to mess around on there’s no learning. Games don’t teach us history or math. Often times it is difficult to distinguish what is real and what is fiction in a game that incorporates history. An event in a game could be real, but it’s not teaching any history if the character someone plays in the game wasn’t actually present at the event. Education is a big need for a great future, but if someone is putting aside their school for games, they aren’t learning what they need to be learning.

     Financing is also becoming a pressing problem for many people that play video games. People won’t want to work if they have a game waiting to be played. This means bills won’t be paid. There would be no lights, no wifi, no water, and soon enough, no house. As the bills stack up, so does aggression. People get angry when a game lags because wifi hasn’t been paid from being too lazy to do so. Getting mad at a game is a common reflex. A game may not have been saved and the progress could be gone. People will start to get frustrated with the fact they did something on the game, but because they didn’t get up to pay their bills they have to start over. The thing is, stuff isn’t as fun the second time. That person already did it once so there is a chance they aren’t going to feel like doing it again but likely they will. They are determined to keep going because it is a game. Nothing serious, so it must be fun, but it’s deadly. What happens when things go too far? The controller gets thrown, a T.V. gets smashed, or worse things could happen. All the frustration stacks up making it harder to keep going. One little wrong move eventually gets a person to break and give up. The feeling of giving up can hurt one’s self esteem.

     The low-self esteem can even carry on. Talking to family or friends after hours of gameplay could cause some problems. The anger of spending substantial time on a video game to just give up may continue throughout the person’s day. People may tell others ‘It’s just a game’ because it is. Playing a video game once in a while wouldn’t be as bad as all the time, everyday.