Video Games and Students

 video games have become an almost vital part of a teens life.

Courtesy of americanprogress.org

video games have become an almost vital part of a teens life.

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On November 8th 2011 thousands of teens and even adults were lined up outside the doors of various game store locations, eagerly anticipating the release of the new video game “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3.” A couple years before that another title named Halo 3 was released, it has sold over 14.5 million copies to date and is now the best selling game of all time on the “Xbox” platform. What this all comes down to is the fact that video games are a major part of many teens lives, myself included. In a recent study, sixty five percent of all households in America actively play video games. This billion dollar industry is always on the rise as new titles are released on almost a monthly basis. But what we have to look at is the fact that many students find it hard to draw a line between gaming and addiction. Now a very serious issue, many parents are deeply concerned about the both the educational and physical wellbeing of their children because of the fact that kids spend too much time glued to the TV screen. What you may find surprising is the fact that the average gamer spends an astronomical 18-20 hours a week playing video games. What many students need to learn is how to manage their time better.
Video games are a form of stress release for many teens; playing many different types of games helps take their minds off the daily stresses of life, schools work and the mundane daily routine. Playing these games can also be very enjoyable and competitive amongst friends and family members. “I just got the new Call of Duty,” says NYIT graduate Joel Chandy, “It’s a lot of fun playing with my friends, and it gets really competitive online when we all try to do better than each other.” According to a study, students cited social interaction as one of the key reasons for their game playing. The majority noted that it was a way of hanging out with friends, as 46 percent reported playing multi-player games. Much research even points to the fact that a limited amount of video games can actively sharpen ones reflexes.
What many parents are now growing extremely concerned about is the fact that many students spend too much time playing and not enough studying or getting a real source of exercise. Gaming addiction is becoming a very ugly reality and it is important that we combat it effectively. A study from Pew Internet Research has found that over 70 percent of college students play video games at least “once in a while.” Furthermore, half of the college students who play video games admit the fact that it keeps them from studying “some” or a “lot,” a substantial 9 percent even that gaming was a way to avoid studying. Video games are also prime-time for up-all-night college students. About 41 percent of college gamers play after 9 p.m. with only 8 percent reporting that they play before noon.
Although there are no clear guidelines to define “video game addiction” if you find yourself spending more time in front of the television set than with friends and family or your falling behind on your school work, it’s time to pause the game. In countries such as Amsterdam and the Netherlands, teenagers and many young adults are checking into addiction treatment centers to begin “detox” by admitting their helplessness towards playing video games. Although such treatment centers are very hard to find in America, many students can find help by talking to friends, family and other professionals.
Video games are fun and we should all play them but should also learn to manage our time better and more efficiently, instead of playing NBA 2K12 or Madden 12, go out and actually play basketball or throw around a football. Video games are a source of relaxation for many teens but we should not let them get the better of us.

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