Effect of Video Games on Kids

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Tessa Johnson
Professor Harrison
Composition II
2 October 2012
Effect of Video Games on Kids
Growing up, playing outside was what I did for fun. Whether it was riding my bike, playing with friends, or swimming, I was outside for hours at a time every day. Today, kids have access to things like Xboxes, Playstations, and Nintendo DS. In a study conducted by Gentile, Lynch, Linder & Walsh (2004) "adolescent girls played video games for an average of 5 hours a week, whereas boys averaged 13 hours a week." A survey done by Harris Interactive shows that 23 percent of youth have felt “addicted to video games.” Studies have shown that teenagers who play violent video games for extended periods of time tend to be more aggressive, are more prone to engage in fights and confrontations, and see a decline in academic success. (Gentile et al)

In 2010, Robert Weis and Brittany Cerankosky conducted a study to see how video games affect academic success. They selected a group of boys who didn’t own video games and assigned them to one of two conditions: the “video games now” group got a game system immediately, and the “video games later” group didn’t receive their systems until months later. The researchers tracked the boys’ academic success at school. They found that the boys who got their game systems immediately spent less time on schoolwork and, 4 months later, they got lower reading and writing scores. This makes sense, since more time spent playing video games means less time studying. Also, the distraction of video games can cause kids to lose interest in their studies and cause them to fall behind. These results line up with another survey done by Cummings and Vandewater in 2007, which concluded that kids aged 10-19 who played video games spent 30% less time reading and 34% less time doing homework. (Cummings & Vandewater)

A 2009 Brigham Young University study found that as video game usage increased, the quality of relationships with others, including family,...
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