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Can video games be healthy

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/16/2016 Category: Health
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,656 times Debate No: 91318
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (11)
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Video games are a major health benefit to the people of the world. They can: reduce stress, improve eyesight and help dyslexic children, and it can help manage pain, depression and addiction.


I will open my debate with a two facts :-
RESEARCH at the University of Montreal has found playing video games could increase the risk of developing Alzheimer"s disease in later life. It has been shown to affect the hippocampus part of the brain which controls memory, learning and emotion linked with Alzheimer"s and depression.


STUDIES over a decade found that exposure to violent video games is a risk factor in aggression in game players. The American Psychological Association report stopped short of blaming video games.
Debate Round No. 1


studies of video games are being conducted across the world on whether or not video games are healthy or not. Several studies show a rise in gray matter in the right hippocampus, right prefrontal cortex and the cerebellum areas of the brain responsible for spatial navigation, memory formation, strategic planning and fine motor skills in the hands.


I shall present my next evidences:

1. 90% of pediatricians and 67% of parents agreed or strongly agreed that violent video games can increase aggressive
behavior among children. [75]
2. Violence is Fun
Violent video games make hurting and killing people entertaining. This notion that violence is fun can cause gamers to imitate the game just for fun.
3. 60% of middle school boys and 40% of middle school girls who played at least one Mature-rated (M-rated) game hit or beat up someone, compared with 39% of boys and 14% of girls who did not play M-rated games. [63]
4. Makes Violence Acceptable
The games impart that violence is an effective strategy for solving conflicts and for attaining one"s goals. A 2009 research found that those who play violent video games believe in violent strategies more than those who play non violent video games.
5. Simulating violence such as shooting guns and hand-to-hand combat in video games can cause real-life violent behavior. Video games often require players to simulate violent actions, such as stabbing, shooting, or dismembering someone with an ax, sword, chainsaw, or other weapons. Game controllers are so sophisticated and the games are so realistic that simulating the violent acts enhances the learning of those violent behaviors. [23] A 2015 peer-reviewed study found "compelling evidence that the use of realistic controllers can have a significant effect on the level of cognitive aggression." [118] Two teenagers in Tennessee who shot at passing cars and killed one driver told police they got the idea from playing Grand Theft Auto III. [49] Bruce Bartholow, professor of psychology at the University of Missouri, spoke about the effects of simulating violence: "More than any other media, these [violent] video games encourage active participation in violence. From a psychological perspective, video games are excellent teaching tools because they reward players for engaging in certain types of behavior. Unfortunately, in many popular video games, the behavior is violence." [53] A Sep. 2014 peer-reviewed study found that first-person shooter games trained players to have better accuracy in shooting a gun outside the game, and made them more likely to aim for the head. [85]
6. Many perpetrators of mass shootings played violent video games. The teenage shooters in the 1999 Columbine High School massacre of 13 students played violent combat games. [43] Many mass shootings have been carried out by avid video game players: James Holmes in the Aurora, Colorado movie theater shooting (2012); Jared Lee Loughner in the Arizona shooting that injured Rep. Gabby Giffords and killed six others (2011); and Anders Breivik, who killed 77 people in Norway (2011) and admitted to using the game Modern Warfare 2 for training. [53] An FBI school shooter threat assessment stated that a student who makes threats of violence should be considered more credible if he or she also spends "inordinate amounts of time playing video games with violent themes." [25]
7. The American Psychological Association (APA) lists violent video games as a risk factor for aggressive behavior. In its Aug. 2015 resolution on violent video games, the APA wrote: "WHEREAS many factors are known to be risk factors for increased aggressive behavior, aggressive cognition and aggressive affect, and reduced prosocial behavior, empathy and moral engagement, and violent video game use is one such risk factor." [119] Dr. Craig Anderson, PhD, Director of the Center for the Study of Violence at Iowa State University, wrote: "Playing a violent video game isn't going to take a healthy kid who has few other risk factors and turn him into a school shooter, but it is a risk factor that does drive the odds for aggression up significantly." [120]
8. There is broad consensus among medical associations, pediatricians, parents, and researchers that violent video games increase aggressive behavior. [74] A 2014 study published in Psychology of Popular Media Culture found that 90% of pediatricians and 67% of parents agreed or strongly agreed that violent video games can increase aggressive behavior among children. [75]. More than 98% of pediatricians in the United States say that too much exposure to violent media heightens childhood aggression. [62] In addition, 66% of researchers agreed or strongly agreed. Since only 17% of researchers disagreed or strongly disagreed, and 17% were undecided, the study concluded "That means that among researchers who have an opinion, eight out of 10 agree that violent games increase aggression." [75] A joint statement by six leading national medical associations, including the American Medical Association and American Psychological Association, stated: "Well over 1,000 studies - including reports from the Surgeon General's office, the National Institute of Mental Health, and numerous studies conducted by leading figures within our medical and public health organizations - our own members - point overwhelmingly to a causal connection between media violence and aggressive behavior in some children." [33]

And so now I await the PRO's argument.
Debate Round No. 2


I may not have information for you currently, but these are all credible links that can almost immediately disprove you're thoughts and position on this issue:


I do agree that the links you provided give good evidence, but I shall now show you some major points against video games:

1. Addiction. If you spend your time "interacting" only with a machine playing on the computer, TV or handheld, that reduces your experience in interacting with real people. If you become addicted to anything, your other relationships and skills all suffer. Just as alcoholics and shopaholics sustain tangible damage to their physical bodies, relationships, finances and emotional health, becoming addicted to video games can be extremely destructive to a child or teen. They tend to become loners with low self-esteem and the problems compound and multiply.
2. Desensitization to Violence and Sexualized Content. As many as nine out of 10 video games depict violence in some form. That's unconscionable, to be presenting that much violence to impressionable young minds. Women and girls also tend to be depicted only as hyper-sexed beings, which is a grave concern. It's not true that every child who spends time with violent video games is going to "go postal" and kill people or hurt females. But studies do show that these young people have a significant increase in aggression and a significant decrease in the ability to delay gratification. Those tendencies make them worse family members, students and future employees, a tremendous problem.
3. Obesity. The American Academy of Pediatrics reports that childhood obesity increases as time spent before a screen increases. One-third of American children are now considered overweight. Those who play video games for several hours every day would end up being overweight or obese. The only way to counter this is hours of exercise which gamers don"t really show interest in. With obesity on the rise across the country and the world, video games are not seen as the best form of fun or entertainment. Obesity also opens the doors for various kinds of health ailments.
4. Video games can damage the nerves and tendons in the hand, especially the thumbs and other fingers that are subjected to too much use. Slouching and stagnant postures are not healthy either. Anyone who plays video games for several hours and does so regularly every day or on several days in a week would eventually have physical problems.
5. The recent release of Grand Theft Auto IV has sparked controversy over the effect of video games on human behavior. Gamers have the option of getting drunk and getting behind the wheel of a car, which has provoked MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) to petition to the ESRB to change GTA IV"s rating to AO (Adult Only) and for Take Two (makers of GTA IV) to withdraw their game from store shelves.
6. A few people's opinion on the topic is:
"I've known a few people who would gamble so much with in-game gachapon that they would not be able to afford anything in real life, like one friend couldn't afford a BED for years, but she'd spend a lot of money gambling for her video game character's clothing pieces. The same happened with a friend who would be unable to afford a place to live, and kept bouncing from his parents' and grandparents' home, and even begging me for real life money, even though he did have money that he'd use to gamble for more virtual game items than I could afford myself." Kouki (quora)
"The cons of video games include Reduced physical activity, along with all associated health effects. Increased risk of myopia. This doesn't actually have anything to do with games directly, but the fact that most gaming occurs indoors, and the lower light intensity of indoors environments relative to sunlight leads to higher myopia rates. Reduced patience to deal with situations where nothing changes at all. Takes time and money that can be allocated to other activities. Reduced tolerance for injustice. The real world is extraordinarily unfair where success is very badly correlated with individual effort and far more closely linked to the social context in which the individual was located. Games are almost perfectly fair where success is linked mainly to individual effort, ability and decision making ability. Someone who is too accustomed to the fairness of a virtual world programmed to be so might not ever be able to accept the reality of the real world." Ryuu Shun (quora)
"I think that Fatigue, Eye Strain,Auto Disconnection From The Real World and Laziness are just a FEW of the cons of video games" Animesh (quora)
7. Here is a recount of a gaming addict:-
OFFICE worker, James Perrott, 26, from Peterborough, was a professional gamer in his late teens and early twenties. He says:
"I started playing games when I was 15 on a PC. When I went to university I dedicated more time to gaming because there was no one there to tell me to stop. I"d skip lectures and stay up gaming until 2 or 3am, then sleep until midday. I"d get takeaways instead of cooking just so I could continue gaming. It was a dangerous cycle. I had gained weight and my grades were starting to slip. I also chose gaming over school friends and didn"t have a girlfriend. It became my whole life when I started competing at tournaments all over the UK and Europe. When I scraped through my second-year exams I knew something had to change or I"d fail my finals. I gave up completely, which was really hard to do." (The
8. Research on The Negative Effects of Video Games on Children:
. Increasing levels of obesity with screen-based time, primarily television (
. Playing more than 3 hours of video games day can result in poor psychological adjustment in children (
. Violence and video games (
. Ignoring other activities due to 7 hours 38 minutes a day of digital-media time(
. Possibility of video game addiction (
9. Promotes Poor Health
video games promote poor health in general. We need sunlight for some vitamins to work on our body, and while we are playing video games, we are not getting a lot of sunlight.
10. It can damage your relationship:-
Video Games can Leave one-Half of a Couple Feeling Abandoned
When playing video games becomes more than an entertaining hobby, the result can be that one-half of a couple feels like a video gaming widow/widower. Any time somebody in a relationship feels as if video gaming or another hobby is more important to their partner than they are, the relationship is at serious risk. Too much time spent gaming can definitely harm a relationship.Easily Influenced Players can Pick up Anti-Social Behaviors
The average person can spend a few hours playing video games that are highly competitive in nature or even violent, without exhibiting any negative behavior changes. Unfortunately, there are a few individuals who cannot do this. Instead, these folks become irritable, isolated, and in some instances aggressive. This can be more troublesome with male gamers who can be badly influenced by the extremely sexist subculture that permeates the world of online, multiplayer gaming. When these behaviors impact a relationship, the result can be permanent damage to a relationship. In extreme cases, verbal abuse and even relationship violence can occur.Couples can Fall into a Pattern of Using Video Games as a Means to Avoid Real Issues
It takes a lot of focus and attention to play a video game. A gaming session that begins early in the evening may not end until it is time for a couple to go to sleep. This can mean hours of fun for a couple. It can also mean hours of time spent not working on the relationship, not hashing out problems, and avoiding difficult conversations. When this happens, problems that need to be dealt with fester and grow until they become a major issue in the relationship. Even worse, the relationship simply atrophies from neglect.

Follow these links and look into it yourself:
9. 10.
Debate Round No. 3


UnnamedStudent forfeited this round.


As pro has forfeited this round I will not post my argument. However I will say, "Vote for con!"
Debate Round No. 4


I was not able to post in round 4 because I was conveying information in the best way possible, here is my argument

Here are 7 ways video games can benefit your health

Your parents may have tried to kick you off your Super Nintendo just about every time you sat down in front of it because they were concerned about how it might affect your long-term health. Plenty of studies have shown that games that don't require a lot of physical movement can have an adverse effect on children as they grow older. But perhaps counter-intuitively, there have also been several studies touting the health benefits of gaming.

1. Video games are therapeutic for children with chronic illnesses
The University of Utah released a study last year that examined the effects of regular gaming on children diagnosed with illnesses like autism, depression, and Parkinson's disease. Kids who played certain games, including one designed just for the study, showed signs of improvement in "resilience, empowerment, and a 'fighting spirit.'" Researchers believe the games' ability to act on "neuronal mechanisms that activate positive emotions and the reward system" helped improve kids' demeanors as they faced the daily challenges of their illnesses.

2. Video games improve preschoolers' motor skills
Letting a 4-year-old sit in front of a TV with a game controller might not seem like the most productive use of her time. But researchers from Deakin University in Melbourne, Australia, would disagree. Their study examined the development of 53 preschool-aged children, and found that those who played "interactive games" had better "object control motor skills" than those who didn't. It's not clear, though, whether children with better-than-average motor skills tend to gravitate toward video games in the first place.

3. Video games reduce stress and depression
2009's Annual Review of Cybertherapy and Telemedicine included a study that found that gamers who suffered from mental health issues such as stress and depression were able to vent their frustration and aggression by playing video games " and showed a noted improvement. The study hypothesized that games gave certain "Type A" personalities time to relax in "a state of relative mindlessness" that allowed them to avoid reaching "a certain level of stressful arousal" as they tried to relax.

4. Video games provide pain relief
Video games don't just provide relief from emotional pain. They can also help those who are suffering from physical pain. Psychologists at the University of Washington developed a game that helps hospital patients suffering from immense physical pain by using an age-old mental trick: distraction. The virtual reality game "Snow World" put patients in an arctic wonderland in which they throw an endless arsenal of snowballs at a series of targets, such as penguins and snowmen. Military hospitals found the experience helped soldiers recovering from their battlefield wounds. The soldiers who played "Snow World" required less pain medicine during their recuperation.

5. Video games can improve your vision
Mom may have warned you that sitting in front of the TV wasn't good for your eyes. But one developmental psychologist found it could actually be beneficial to your vision. Dr. Daphen Maurer of the Visual Development Lab of Ontario's McMaster University made a surprising discovery: People suffering from cataracts can improve their vision by playing first-person shooter games like Medal of Honor and Call of Duty. She believes these games are so fast-paced that they require an extreme amount of attention, training the visually impaired to view things more sharply. They can also produce higher levels of dopamine and adrenaline that "potentially may make the brain more plastic," she said.

6. Video games improve your decision-making skills
Most video games require fast reactions and split-second decisions that can mean the difference between virtual life and virtual death. Cognitive neuroscientists at the University of Rochester in New York found these games give players' brains plenty of practice for making decisions in the real world. Researchers suggest that action-oriented games act as a simulator for the decision-making process by giving players several chances to infer information from their surroundings and forcing them to react accordingly.

7. Video games keep you happy in old age
Researchers from North Carolina State University looked closely at our aging population to see if there was a link between playing video games and mental well-being " i.e. "happiness." They found that senior citizens who said they played video games " even occasionally " reported "higher levels of happiness, or well-being," says Rick Nauert at PsychCentral. "Those who did not play video games reported more negative emotions" and were more likely to be depressed. It's unclear what exactly is behind this link " or if the relationship is even causal.


My final argument is as follows:-

Most of the bad effects of video games are blamed on the violence they contain. Children who play more violent video games are more likely to have increased aggressive thoughts, feelings, and behaviors, and decreased prosocial helping, according to a scientific study (Anderson & Bushman, 2001). Also according to Dmitri A. Christakis of the Seattle Children"s Research Institute, those who watch a lot of simulated violence, such as those in video games, can become immune to it, more inclined to act violently themselves, and are less likely to behave emphatically.
The effect of video game violence in kids is worsened by the games" interactive nature. In many games, kids are rewarded for being more violent. The act of violence is done repeatedly. The child is in control of the violence and experiences the violence in his own eyes (killings, kicking, stabbing and shooting). This active participation, repetition and reward are effective tools for learning behavior. Indeed, many studies seem to indicate that violent video games may be related to aggressive behavior (such as Anderson & Dill, 2000; Gentile, Lynch & Walsh, 2004). However, the evidence is not consistent and this issue is far from settled.
The American Psychological Association (APA) also concluded that there is a "consistent correlation" between violent game use and aggression, but finds insufficient evidence to link violent video play to criminal violence. An open letter by a number of media scholars, psychologists and criminologists, however, find APA"s study and conclusion to be misleading and alarmist. On the other hand, many experts including Henry Jenkins of Massachusetts Institute of Technology have noted that there is a decreased rate of juvenile crime which coincides with the popularity of games such as Death Race, Mortal Kombat, Doom and Grand Theft auto. He concludes that teenage players are able to leave the emotional effects of the game behind when the game is over. Indeed there are cases of teenagers who commit violent crimes who also spend great amount of time playing video games such as those involved in the Columbine and Newport cases. It appears that there will always be violent people, and it just so happen that many of them also enjoy playing violent video games.
Too much video game playing makes your kid socially isolated. Also, he may spend less time in other activities such as doing homework, reading, sports, and interacting with the family and friends. On the other hand, a study by researchers at the North Carolina State University, New York and the University Of Ontario Institute Of Technology points out that gamers usually do not replace their offline social lives with online game playing, but rather it expands them. In fact, among gamers, being a loner is not the norm.
Some video games teach kids the wrong values. Violent behavior, vengeance and aggression are rewarded. Negotiating and other nonviolent solutions are often not options. Women are often portrayed as weaker characters that are helpless or sexually provocative. On the other hand, a University of Buffalo study suggests that violence and bad behavior played in the virtual world may be contributing to better behavior in the real world. Gamers who play violent games may feel guilty about their behavior in the virtual world and this may make them be more sensitive to the moral issues they violated during game play.
Games can confuse reality and fantasy.
Academic achievement may be negatively related to over-all time spent playing video games. Studies have shown that the more time a kid spends playing video games, the poorer is his performance in school. (Anderson & Dill, 2000; Gentile, Lynch & Walsh, 2004). A study by Argosy University"s Minnesota School on Professional Psychology found that video game addicts argue a lot with their teachers, fight a lot with their friends, and score lower grades than others who play video games less often. Other studies show that many game players routinely skip their homework to play games, and many students admitted that their video game habits are often responsible for poor school grades.
Although some studies suggest that playing video games enhances a child"s concentration, other studies, such as a 2012 paper published in Psychology of Popular Media Culture, have found that games can hurt and help children"s attention issues " improving the ability to concentrate in short bursts but damaging long-term concentration.
Video games may also have bad effects on some children"s health, including obesity, video-induced seizures. and postural, muscular and skeletal disorders, such as tendonitis, nerve compression, carpal tunnel syndrome.
When playing online, your kid can pick up bad language and behavior from other people, and may make your kid vulnerable to online dangers.
A study by the Minneapolis-based National Institute for Media and the Family suggests that video games can be addictive for kids, and that the kids" addiction to video games increases their depression and anxiety levels. Addicted kids also exhibit social phobias. Not surprisingly, kids addicted to video games see their school performance suffer.
Kids spending too much time playing video games may exhibit impulsive behavior and have attention problems. This is according to a new study published in the February 2012 issue of the Journal of Psychology and Popular Media Culture. For the study, attention problems were defined as difficulty engaging in or sustaining behavior to reach a goal.
According to Catherine Steiner-Adair, a Harvard-affiliated psychologist and author of the best-selling book "The Big Disconnect: Protecting Childhood and Family Relationship in the Digital Age", if kids are allowed to play "Candy Crush" on the way to school, the trip will be quiet, but it"s not what kids need. "They need time to daydream, deal with anxieties, process their thoughts and share them with parents, who can provide reassurance."

I accordace to the latest comment, check the previous argument, it has links to websites

OK, moving on here are a few links for you:





















21. " Healthline News

22. " News " Science








Debate Round No. 5
11 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by zunngozaba555 1 year ago
No , Children shouldn't play video games. Children always claim that games make they happy but the happiness is not real. I think it like drug addict. It isn't a permanent happiness. Moreover , most children say games can increase their skill. It's true but it increase a very little if we compare with direct study. It is a excuse of children who addict games. So i think games have a little benefits but doing other activities have benefit more than.
Posted by nickolas 2 years ago
Here is the URL of Oxford University studies on gaming;
Posted by nickolas 2 years ago
Damn it! I can't vote without arguments that I've created. Oh well, here is what i was about to say; UnnamedStudent had more reliable sources than Sarmad5. The violence creating violence thing is absolutely not true, Oxford University studies have proved that violent video games don't make gamers violent but frustrating ones do. Trust me, the feeling to throw the controller at the TV proves itself. And parents saying "I wish my child would stop playing games, it's unhealthy" means NOTHING! Most parents might not have even played games before so they wouldn't know a thing. Besides, we are in the present time, adults are playing video games today and even putting YouTube videos of let's plays and reviews like SkyDoesMinecraft, Peanut Butter Gamer and MatPat. So Sarma5, you've got nothing on gaming.
Posted by dtien400 2 years ago
Can you provide me with a link please? I'm actually really interested to hear about it.
Posted by sarmad5 2 years ago
In reply to the latest comment, these are proven through reserch in which the brain's agression levels rose up signifigatly.
Posted by dtien400 2 years ago
This debate is idiotic. Con is proving correlation between video games and violence, but not causation. For example, Con says that people who play violent video games are more likely to choose violent solutions for real-world problems. Where is the proof that those gamers wouldn't have chosen violent solutions even before they played video games? What if people who think problems should be solved with violence naturally gravitate towards violent video games?
Posted by thebestdebate 2 years ago
Violent video games may be an issue, but not all video games are violent. There are thousands of puzzle games (sudoku), strategy (Chess), and other peaceful and thought provoking video games. There are also video games aimed at education and improving cognitive function; these games are healthy. Violent video games can also prove beneficial. The military has been training soldiers with games such as Battle Field and Call of Duty to increase bravery and improve the way they think under pressure. Also, even if a few people have been violent as inspired by violent video games, they were only a few people. There are millions of people all around the world who play Call of Duty and near the same number play Battle Field; if these video games are causing people to act more violently, the world would be a far more violent place. Furthermore, those people that acted violently as inspired by video games likely had severe mental conditions where they were easily influenced or naturally aggressive. Video games weren't what caused them to turn violent, it was probably a mental condition that would have caused violence without a game.
Posted by UnnamedStudent 2 years ago
in regards to my most recent post, the links are not fully posted so to any viewer, don't make assumptions, check out the link before you say: "youu just found this crap online that's about Minecraft or some crap like that. These are all credible and trusted links.
Posted by ballpit 2 years ago
The studies regarding violence are skewed and have an equal if not greater amount of studies telling the opposite story(they don't cause violence). Alzheimer's studies are very hard to conduct and I have not looked into it yet so I will be doing that. The lack of sources from con makes me question these experiments however. Lastly the debate is not over so pro has a chance to provide sources.
Posted by fixedwounds 2 years ago
I agree with con.Pro, you should do your researches before making a debate, you have nothing to prove. NOT AT ALL.
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