The Relation Of Video Games And Depression

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Video games: A game played by electronically manipulating images produced by a computer program on a television screen or other display screen. Pre-teens in America have been linked to the problem of depression due to video games. Video games are almost constantly blamed by people to cause depression. They are also said to be the cause of some mass shootings in the United States. Though people say these things occur due to video games, they really don’t. Video games don’t cause depression in teens and adults in America because they help teens become more social and helps them fight depression.

Video games have evolved so much from even five years ago, Every new game changes on how they look and play. At the beginning, video games were simple 2D image games where players stomp on mushrooms, hit their head on blocks, and collect power-ups. Now games have become more complex, and even more realistic. Players can drive around cities in exotic cars they only dreamed of having, fight as a soldier in war, and go to space. The gaming industry has also made competitive sport out of itself. Companies back in the 80’s era have also attempted to make more violent video games such as Mortal Kombat, Wolfenstein, and Doom, but violent video games never made a huge impact, but came the 2000s and 2010s, and companies had finally made realistic games that almost felt as if the player is there. Over 50% of today’s games are made up of graphic violence and gore. “Scientists found associations between high video game use and better social skills and school performance.” says Doug Boulton. “91% of Gen Z males regularly play video games, only incrementally higher than Millennials (84%),” says Alex Strauss. There are mainly two generations that play video games the most, a Millennial, a person who reaches young adulthood in the early 21st century and Gen Z are people born around the late 1990s and the early 2010s. Now that the brief background is set, next is to talk about the topics that video games can make people more social and fight depression.

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People say there is really no benefit to games and mostly disadvantages, but games can actually make people more social and is even said to help people fight depression. Columbia University has studied pre-teens and the study is said to have found that those children have often better peer relationships and social skills. Katherin M. Keyes PhD says, “Video games playing is often a collaborative leisure activity for school-aged children, and these results indicate that children who frequently play video games may be socially cohesive with peers and integrated into the school community”. Researchers say,”Studies have shown that gaming can be a powerful treatment for depression for people of all ages”. According to some researchers around 41% of young teens say that games help them escape the struggles of everyday life whether that be depression, anxiety, stress, etc.. A way for someone to fight depression with video games is to play their favorite game with a positive goal like developing creativity (like Minecraft), learning to solve new problems (like Portal), getting better at being able to bounce back from failure (Like Call of Duty). All video games have their own way of helping people get more social and they can help fight the extremely horrible, depression.

Video games can result in depression, low self-esteem, and anxiety. A study suggests that video games affect players physically and mentally. A group of researchers say, “Heavy gamers, who played an average of 31 hours a week, compared with 19 hours a week for other students, were more likely to suffer from depression, anxiety and social phobias.” Findings of another study also says that teenagers aged 13 to 18 who used the internet excessively were twice as likely to get depression months later. MRI scans have revealed the potential damage that video games have done to the brains of adolescents. Psychiatrists say, “The “emotional” part of the brain, responsible for the feelings of depression, was shown to be overriding the “executive” part of the brain that could rein in their addiction”. Video games are causing damage to the minds of young adolescents and they will continue to be damaged more and more if people don’t help them.

Video games don’t cause depression in teens and adults in America due to the fact that it helps teens become more social and helps them fight depression. Video games have evolved from something as simple as a 2D where a player can run, jump, and collect power-ups to being able to be in a realistic 3D world where people can play as a soldier at war, drive exotic cars in cities, or cast spells as a magical wizard, and more. The possibilities really expanded when the 21st century came and made games even more fun. Research states that teens can fight depression by playing games and has also been able to improve social skills. It is said that if teens play a game with a goal, they are helping themselves mentally either to fight against their depression or to prevent it. Video games are the harbinger of depression, anxiety, and low self-esteem the more addicted children are to video games, the more likely they are to get these mental illnesses. Video games are an attempt to help people get entertainment/fun in the virtual world where anything is possible causing depression was never a goal for the gaming industry to make.

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