Video games and those who play them have been talked about, studied, and turned over and over in order to decide whether video games had anything positive to offer, or if they had simply rotted the minds of gamers.
There are some pretty undeniable positive effects to video games, such as increased reaction time and the ability to apply games to education in order to hold attention and reinforce ideas.
Despite this, video games get a bad reputation.
They are said to be creating anti-social teenagers, desensitizing gamers, encouraging violence, and all other manner of terrible society- shredding effects.
Games have been accused of sexism, the promotion of the patriarchy and rape culture.
However, games have been taking a turn recently, offering more diverse options, showing a wider range of peoples, and being targeted to wider audiences than just teenage males.
If games can have such negative effects by portraying violence and crimes, then they can also have a positive effect by portraying diversity, different social groups, and promoting understanding through their portrayals. As for the risk of becoming anti- social, there are mass multiplayer games that are played online and often require group play and interaction, often in the form of parties and guilds.
I’ve personally seen some of these used to help people begin to socialize again after traumatic experiences.
Games can cause problems, but they are what you make them, they create what you make them create. It is all in how things are handled.
-Hailey Holcomb, Opinion Editor
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