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Playing Mind Games In Video Games Media Essay

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Media
Wordcount: 1770 words Published: 1st Jan 2015

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and Video games and : a bright title in nowadays world of pop culture, yet a very controversial area of it. Simply known as electronic games that interact with the user using video feedback technique, video games are growing ever popular. Ranging from core, casual, serious, to adventurous genres, video games succeed in captivating their users in a total different world of theirs. Are games that good for the coming generations? Is another virtual world necessary besides that they are living in? Well, obviously, as fun as video games are as tricky they actually are. According to researches, video games are growing to be more confusing, addictive, and time demanding. These later problem must and can be solved by many ways such as monitoring, filtering, and timing video games.

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One of the most common criticisms of video games is that they expose users to immoral themes and provoke violence. “The contemporary video game involves a fully realized imaginary world” Malcom Gladwell * points out, but is this “world” safe? New console games are so developed that they are able to simulate the real world we live in, and most players-which are youngsters- can easily fall into the trick. Never forget that as Postman and Powers declares:”moving pictures are a kind of language themselves”*, we should stand then at what kind of language is this! Many popular games handle serious themes like: war, wrestling, killing… and with the complex graphics they provide the game becomes captivating and even influencing. I once saw my cousin making up a street fight after few rounds playing the famous:”counter strike, grand theft auto, call of duty…”. Actually, Grand Theft Auto: Vice City came under similar criticism, also for implying allegedly racist hate crimes: The game, taking place in and Vice Cityand , involves a gang war between Haitians and Cuban refugees, and the player often plays for either to fight against one another. Haitian and Cuban anti-defamation groups strongly criticized the game for these actions, including using insulting language such as and kill the Haitian d@headsand . Does anyone like his children growing ignorantly into such race-based decisive beings? And that’s not far away from taking place when games are overused (which happens frequently in the real world). And that’s not it, gamers spend hours detecting related ideas like new weapon releases, or learning some dangerous moves that can really be harmful! They tend to be more aggressive and irritated as many studies revealed, when they should be more interested in peace and a more civilized world.

Another is that spending time playing video games causes addiction accompanied with serious attention problems. Gladwell states:”players have to explore and sort through hypothesis in order to make sense of the game’s environment, which is why a modern video game takes at least forty hours to complete” *. Logically, so much attention and time to waste for fun (whatever sort of games it was)! So we can define video game addiction as the excessive use of console games that interrupt daily life. Cases have been reported in which users play continuously, isolating themselves from social contact and concentrating almost entirely on winning some rounds rather than more important life events. The pleasure and “fun” that such games provide loosens the users’ control on the playing time interval and attracts him more and more, so he/she may end up playing, for example, 20 rounds straight without even noticing. During gaming the special sensational treats in the game provide satisfaction that is more demanded by the users’ unawareness, like the sense of being amused or even the rush provided by a race or a battle! Moreover, all the effects contained in these video graphical products are mesmerizing. Malcom Gladwell continues *:”players are required to manage a dizzying array of information and options”, which keeps all their senses busy and expires their attention span. The more teen sits around playing video games, the more at risk they will be for learning problems and attention problems. Or else how do we expect that a gamer caught with supreme dazzling dimensions to be interested in simple everyday tasks!? How many times do parents have to call their children when playing console games until they first say an empty “yes”? It usually requires more than calling their name to catch their attention and receive a real meaningful response for their demands! And if observed more carefully, gamers of all ages tend to get bored easily. Children get bored at school when nothing is enough to derive their energy back for class activities and suffer learning problems. Adult players get grumpy frequently at work too; they just do their job with no minimal enthusiasm. Why? Well, who cares for the real world when he has his own “virtual” but “exciting, superb, and wonderful” world!

In addition, video games include “advergaming” that victimizes players and urges them to fulfill certain objectives. To make this more clear consider “Pepsi man” a video game released by PepsiCo. , this game is recorded to make people thrive for Pepsi whenever playing it (at least that’s what happened to me)! Advergaming is the practice of using video games to advertise a product, organization or idea. Games for advertising are mostly categorized as a type of serious game, these games are found to have a strong promotional or implied purpose other than pure entertainment. Smart programmers hired by companies put the producers’ interests in selling their products into video games under the title of entertainment. The product placement in online multiplayer games is done by including the wanted products, services and brands into the game. This entire “trick and treat” pattern leaves the person exposed to such conspiracy hypnotized. Hypnotized to play more, to consume more, and to be taken advantage of more! Don’t forget the amount of subliminal messages included in such console games that overcome the right of free choice a human being should enjoy. A hidden message is information that is not immediately recognized, and that must be discovered and analyzed before it can be known, not the case in vigorously played console games. In the computer game Doom II, a message can be played in reverse to hear and you must killand . Does it make sense when children supposedly gaming for innocent entertainment hear stuff not suitable for their age and perform implied tasks not favorable to be handled? Are video games safe then? Such methods silently make products and ideas appealing to our deceived minds. That is definitely improper.

Such controversial problems must be solved for the sake of the coming generations and this can be done in different ways. After all there’s nothing to stop companies from producing such games (a video game isn’t illegal), neither there is a way to take one way to bring joy to the children from them. Yet human beings are still able to control their daily intake of “perceived matter”, they can supervise the quantity and quality of it as a mean of protective technique.

A way to minimize such negative sides of console games is a proper monitoring of the quality of the games introduced to a certain country, area, and house. At the country level, the official departments for social and educational affairs should be assigned the task of trying, analyzing, and authenticating the games and its contents. Thus, the government will limit the entrance of harmful video games according to objective measures. After all, “selection then serves as a kind of sieve or screen through which our knowledge passes before it becomes our knowledge”* says Newman and Genevieve, and in this case we are selecting video games so that their harmful content willn’t become a part of our knowledge. The violent games will therefore stay away of the children’s reach and the virtual fighting madness will decrease from the innocent-hood. Also, the players will be protected, so that no greedy business men will get advantage of ignorant citizens. And no more hidden messages will control the minds of fun-seeking users.

But this isn’t enough to solve the whole issue. Even if the harmful content is removed, the visual and audible effects are still there in the game, the attractive elements are still present, and those are at the essence of games and can’t be removed. So another aid is needed, and this is the parental supervision, or any superior authority attention. The playing time is to be monitored so that the child/gamer is having enough fun, but not enough to know his attention off. Another task is a second inspection of the games content to decide it’s convenience to the age, mental and growth stage, and tolerance of the player.

Moreover, campaigns can be held across the country to educate parents and older players about the disadvantages of video gaming. And explain for they why exactly are they to deal carefully with such entertainment method, urges them to inform other players if not present, suggest more useful games to try. Or even talk about more fruitful entertaining methods like hanging over with friends and family or reading books…

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What proceeded reveals the problems caused by video games. So it’s about time to understand that video games are not always human being’s friends. People were not put on the wide planet Earth to waste 40 hours weekly inside their rooms, mesmerized infront of the pc or TV, playing video games. We were made to move around, to go outside and play, to work, to exchange thoughts, talks, and feelings with others, to think. It is time to re-evaluate how every individual, parents, and children live their lives. Don’t let more people waste their lives in virtual worlds full of illusions.


* Malcom, Gladwell, “Brain Candy: Is Pop Culture Dumbing Us Down Or Smarting Us Up?”, paragraph 6, line 9 / paragraph 7, line 8 / paragraph 8, line 1

* Neil, Postman and Steve, powers, ” Television News: The Language of Pictures” paragraph 2 line 8

*Newman, P.Birk and Gneviene, B.Birk, “Selection, Slanting, and Charged Language”, paragraph 4 line 1


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