The popularity of video games has increased tremendously since the release of the first video game in 1976. Little do we know how this newer technology is affecting the youth, for children and adolescents are the main users of video games. Children are being exposed to violence in the video games that have become so popular, and that is only the beginning.
Violent single player video games are a hazard to the gamer’s thoughts and actions. The first violent single player video game came to be in 1976. Death Race 98, the first violent videogame was taken off store shelves the same year it was released. The main point of the game was to run over as many gremlins, that had human like figures, as possible. This game feature stirred up controversy in the public. Fears that the game seemed too realistic, even though it was an arcade video game, threw the game off store shelves. In many studies  researchers [have] found, kids who played video games featuring fighting, attacks and killing were  more likely than their peers to become more aggressive over time (Norton). Games focused mainly on violence can change the way gamers perceive themselves or others in the real world. Violent videogame players get a sense that they need to be aggressive to get their way or accomplish something like in the game. Mortal Kombat, another popular game stirred up controversy as well. Released in 1992, Mortal Kombat was mostly known for its  unashamed glorification for murder (Crossley). In the game, the players could kill and rip the heart out of a fallen opponent, tear the character’s head off and hold it as a trophy, as it was encouraged with the words Finish him! which flashed repeatedly on the screen. Such brutality in a game which was intended for teenagers and children was deemed inappropriate. Most video games revolve around battling and killing enemies, and sometimes this inspires gamers to do the same (Denise). Children and young adults have a stronger connection to these sorts of games being the intended consumers. Exposure to violence at a young age can have a toll on a young one’s thoughts and actions. Single player video games disrupt players’ thoughts and actions, as well as, lead to physical and mental health problems.
Single player video games traumatize gamers physically and mentally. Many gamers play video games nearly every day for several hours, isolating themselves from the real world. In the United States every one in five children and adolescents ages 2-19 is obese, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Two such causes [of obesity] are video games and lack of sleep  (Gaudiosi). Every time video game players game it they are more likely to eat more after they are done playing. Video game players sit around for long periods of time trying to complete different accomplishments on the game or just because they are playing with their friends. Video games can lead to damaged eye sight, insomnia and in some rare cases can cause PTSD. Video games have been proven to cause anxiety and or depression in many gamers. Adolescents who are addicted to gaming are actually lowering their stress regulation and increasing their anxiety levels. What’s worse, these brain changes can lead to other physiological changes like the development of depression or anxiety (White River). Although many teens and children may become less stressed while playing video games it also produces more of a need to play. While playing video games, players after time, show lower levels of hormones causing anxiety and depression. Single player video games scars teenagers and children and causes isolation.
Teenagers isolate themselves while playing video games. Single player video games help keep children off the street and from walking down the wrong path, but these games can be more damaging than they are sought to be. Children and teenagers being the intended public for most of the video games released nowadays, are spending a lot less time talking to their peers and being active. It has been observed that children addicted to  games tend to play more and avoid social relationships (Zamani, par. 7). Young adults and children who play single player video games have little to no contact with people other than their parents. Isolation from reality can lead to depression anxiety and stress, which could also, lead to aggressive thoughts and behavior. With little to no social contact from peers or the outside world these children will grow up not knowing how to function. All the children would know is how to push buttons with their thumbs to move in a virtual world.
Violent video games help keep those who are more aggressive at home. The New York Post, speculates that the pixelated mayhem gives gamers an outlet for their aggression, or [keeps] potentially violent people safely at home (Kaplan, par. 2). Adolescents who have grown to be aggressive are more likely to stay home and play violent video games instead of being out in the world harming innocent people.
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