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How Do Video Games Affect Kids?
By Blake Smith, 9th grade
August 17, 2006

Parents, have you ever questioned what influence video games have on your children? Well, I have the facts that tell you just how video games affect the youth of America.

First, one negative influence that video games have is that they can foster violence. This means that when kids play these games and see their favorite character commit some type of violent action, they want to repeat it. Second, video games influence youth negatively by supposedly giving children a negative image of women. Women are not usually used in video games, and when they are, their purpose is usually sex appeal. Lastly, social isolation is a negative influence of video games. It causes the student not to care about grades or learning and to want to stay as far away from the real world as possible because of how much the player likes the videogame world.

What possible positive influences can video games have? They are an activity that captures kids’ fascination, even the educational ones that resemble a game. For example, Pac Man was a fantastically popular game when it came out. However, this game was an educational game that put puzzles into the game and caused you to have to use your brain to solve each puzzle to reach the next level. Video games are also extremely motivating and generate interest in a certain topic in the game. To illustrate, the videogame I Love Math causes children to become fascinated with and motivated to do math.

Some video games have a positive influence on children. There are learning games for children to play like Leap Frog. Leap Frog is a company that makes video games, especially for kids up to ten years old. There are also learning games for teens through age 18. However, other games may not even be suitable for adults to play let alone kids. These games include Grand Theft Auto and the Playboy Mansion. They could have a negative effect on kids, especially in the future. They may think it is okay to commit crimes that are played out in Grand Theft Auto or any other games that follow that basic plot.

In conclusion, some games might be suitable for kids, and then some games should not have been made. I hope you have learned something about video games and monitor your children closer when they are playing their games.

Santa Fe College Career Pathways University of Florida Star-Banner St. Petersburg Times

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