Video Games and the Impact on Children

Video games are among the most popular forms of entertainment available today. In fact, video games have surpassed the popularity of television and the internet in terms of influence on society. According to a recent survey, a full quarter of all American homes have at least one video game system. The popularity of video games has resulted in technological innovations such as the development of new computer platforms such as the Nintendo Wii and Xbox that enable users to play video games through the use of wireless controllers. Additionally, recent innovations in video game systems have allowed players to interact with others through the use of hand-held controllers and cameras, greatly expanding the scope of what can be done in a video game.

The video game industry is also responsible for the large amounts of money made by companies that develop, manufacture, market, and sell video games. These include such well known companies as Electronic Arts, Microsoft, Sony, and Sega. These gaming companies each have an estimated thirty to fifty million consumers who spend more than six billion dollars annually on video games. With so much money at stake, it is little wonder that regulation of the video game industry is emerging very rapidly.

One area of particular concern is the impact of violent video games on youth. Numerous studies over the last several years have shown the positive impact of violent games have on children. Games with realistic graphics, high degrees of challenge, and realistic weapons have been shown to increase both the frequency and the amount of aggressive behavior among children. Additionally, a number of experiments have found a link between exposure to violent video games and increased rates of school violence.

Regulation of the video games industry is beginning to take place. At present several states have taken action to restrict the sale and distribution of certain types of video games. For example, in June of 2021 in New Jersey a bill was introduced that would have the state’s Department of Education to investigate and regulate educational video games. The state has yet to act on the bill.

Some jurisdictions have even taken aggressive legal steps to enact legislation related to the impact of video games on youth. In California, for example, in January of 2021 the state passed the California Fair Product Law that specifically banned the sale of any computer games that contained violence, hate, or other objectionable content. In addition, in the state of New York a similar law was enacted to protect children from exposure to inappropriate computer games. While the New York State legislature has not taken measures to ban or regulate computer games, the state’s Department of Consumer Affairs developed a Consumer Protection Division that will coordinate efforts to remove games from the market that contain offensive content. As of this writing, only one state, Maryland, has taken steps to pass legislation related to the influence of video games on children.

Given the state of play and the fact that a number of countries around the world have banned video games it is not in the best interests of the video game industry to change the types of violent games that are being sold to consumers. Video game companies are also concerned that, if they do introduce educational games that teach positive aspects of their games, that they will be accused of promoting violence among game players. Nevertheless, given that the video game industry is a multi-billion dollar industry there is little that they can do short of cooperating with governments around the world and taking reasonable and sensible steps to protect their product, and the children who will play them. In the long run, children who grow up playing games that teach positive aspects of life will develop a healthy attitude towards the society around them. Learn more information about poker idn.

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