The Instigator
AndreCarrington00
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
Will22
Con (against)
Winning
13 Points

Do you think video games are good for kids/teens!

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
Will22
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/11/2015 Category: Games
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 626 times Debate No: 71479
Debate Rounds (1)
Comments (0)
Votes (3)

 

AndreCarrington00

Pro

Improves education in kids. In the last few years, one game in particular has dominated the industry in a way never seen before, drawing players into worlds of their own design for literally hours on end. Minecraft has sold millions of copies and its success shows no sign of slowing down, but for those of you who are worried about fans spending hours watching Youtube videos of others playing the game, research has demonstrated that the educational benefits of Minecraft are almost limitless in scope. Very helpful towards kids, simply to help them get over problems. Video games increase imagination, hand-eye coordination, and give them a vast amount of creativity. Technology is growing and being a fan of video games lead to wanting to be in that industry and that helps them keep on track with technology.
Will22

Con

Since my opponent have not defined "video games", I will first define it using Merriam-Webster. "An electronic game in which players control images on a television or computer screen" The definition of two other sources, respectively Wikipedia and Oxford Dictionaries, reaffirm the key words, 'game', 'electronic', 'control', and 'display'. Put simply, it is a form of interactive entertainment utilizing a screen to provide display and feedback. This is a popular debate that has been going on for long, and the very fact that it exists as a debate means that there are valid points on both sides of it. Therefore, the task at hand is to determine its net benefit/harm.
Video games, as per the definitions above, contain a wide range of possible qualifying results - puzzle to arcade to adventure, X-boxes to computers to iPads, installed software to discs to online games. As a result, to consider their net benefit or the lack thereof we must consider all types of those that exist. Now, as example, my opponent included a singular game, Minecraft, as his evidence that video games are beneficial to children. Yet that is not representative of the overall population of video games. Much of the video games made today are of crude quality because of ease of making (just take into account the numerous versions of flappy bird) incomparable to the giants such as Minecraft that explicitly stands out in the gaming industry. For the sake of reference purposes, lets crudely categorize the existing types of video games. Puzzle games, (casual [2048, flow], arcade [Monument Valley, Portal], point-and-click [The Room, Machinarium]), adventure/action [Zork, Grand Theft Auto], strategy [Plants vs. Zombies, Pokemon], arcade genre [Angry Birds and Tiny Tower], role-playing (RPG) [Final Fantasy, HALO], multi-player online role playing games (MMORPG) [League of Legends, EVE], and a genre which I would like to simply call 'Run' games (for want of a better word) and those include games such as Temple Run and Smash Hit. And finally, simulations of many (if not all) of physical games such as Monopoly, Tic-Tac-Toe and chess. Hopefully with this overview of the nature of video games, my points will be understood better, and my opponent can keep them in mind as I go over my points.
Let us consider the possible benefits of video games towards kids and/or teens. My opponent presents a variety of commonly-heard points: improves education, imagination, hand-eye coordination, creativity, and relativity to technology. I will now rebut each point in turn. The points education, imagination, and creativity are very specifically dependent on a certain type of video game-that being, games like Minecraft that allow freedom in its gameplays, allowing for player creativity and widespread application (including education) purposes. In reality, those games are exceedingly few. Consider the above list of video game genres - how many of them actually can be used for purposes of education? I have heard valid claims that games such as Portal and Minecraft contain widespread classroom applicances and are already in use in some cases, but for most other games - precious few can say the same. Most games let the player play in a world strictly defined by the designer, e.g. the path only ever turns right/left/forward and the player only runs forward (Templerun), each plant can only be put in the rectangle-grid (Plants vs. Zombies), the player can only go around in a limited set of locations specifically defined (any point-and-click game). MMORPGs, due to their interactive nature, are less strict in that sense, and while they cannot be used for educational purposes, does account for the creativity and and imagination parts of the answer - that will be addressed later
On the point that games contribute to hand-eye coordination, I again ask my opponent to refer to the categories above - how many of them help contribute to hand-eye coordination? Certainly not The Room, or Slenderman, nor Plague Incorporations, nor Monopoly, nor Tiny Tower, Plants vs. Zombies, Pokemon, and 2048. In truth, games that offer hand-eye coordination are only in the area of "run" games, reaction games, sports simulation games, and certain MMORPG and action games. That does not strike me, as representative of the whole video games population. Furthermore, the "benefits" of video games on kids/teens are understood to have some appliance in life - however, while the brain reaction speed might be enhanced, the 'hand' part of hand-eye coordination is less benefited so. This because the muscle memory of each part of the body has to be individually trained, and with the certain exception of real-life physical simulation such as Wii, most video games exercise the reaction speed and accuracy of the right-hand index finger, which does not strike me as particularly helpful when dribbling basketball or juggling.
My opponent has also said : "Technology is growing and being a fan of video games lead to wanting to be in that industry and that helps them keep on track with technology." However this is untrue in two ways. First, being a fan of video games does not necessarily lead to one wanting to be in the "technology industry". If that were to be true, every gamer on the planet would become a programmer, designer, or some other type of job/interest that correspond with technology and its industry. I myself am a gamer (sue me for the hypocrisy involved in being one while simultaneously defending the con side of this debate :P) and I don't possess any interest in doing so. Secondly, video games are only a small portion of technology, and being interested in them certainly does not help one very much (a small portion, but no more) in "keeping on track" with the developing technology, which has anything from self-driven cars to 3d printing while computer games include humanized limbless birds launching themselves at their equally limbless nemesis pigs in order to achieve vengeance via suicide bomber-esque missions.
Now, having established that video games as a whole doesn't serve much considerable benefits, and that the ones that do are only a small portion of the overall population, I shall go through some of the harms video games deal on kids/teens. The most commonly heard reasons are addiction and subsequently eye damage and time waste. Indeed, as opposed to the few examples my opponent gave that benefit the player, there exists in opposition many games which give the players nothing but take a vast amount of time away from them. This goes from simple casual games to MMORPGs. As an example, my opponent said that while fans watch youtube videos, they mostly play Minecraft itself so to gain beneficial effects from it. I have a brother who plays Minecraft valiantly, and dabbles in all aspects of it from adventuring to redstone programming, yet he still spends more than double the time he uses on Minecraft to watch videos of others playing - other than addiction, playing video games had changed other aspects of his life, side effects that counteract the good the games might've brought. This shows that even the most beneficial games can be harmful in that regard. This is normally already harmful, but the age group specified here are kids/teens, and the ones who have the luxury of playing video games most like goes to school as well - and the issue of addiction hampers normal school work even more.
Lastly, they make the players - especially teens - become detached from reality. As I said earlier, MMORPGs do have creative benefits, but they are such huge, interactive worlds that players may choose to participate in that world more than they do the real one. It is not uncommonly heard for a person to be still reliant on parents going into, and even after college, gaming instead of making something for their lives. There exists a certain age where some gaming time would be okay, but at this crucial jumpstart age kids/teens can't afford the luxury.
Thank you.
Debate Round No. 1
No comments have been posted on this debate.
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by TheJuniorVarsityNovice 2 years ago
TheJuniorVarsityNovice
AndreCarrington00Will22Tied
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Total points awarded:05 
Reasons for voting decision: Will uses better sources and properly refutes all of pros arguments
Vote Placed by tejretics 2 years ago
tejretics
AndreCarrington00Will22Tied
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Total points awarded:05 
Reasons for voting decision: Con's arguments were sharp and powerful. Pro's sole argument was short and weak. Arguments to Con. Con also used the only sources: Merriam-Webster, Wikipedia, and the New Oxford Dictionary of English.
Vote Placed by lannan13 2 years ago
lannan13
AndreCarrington00Will22Tied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Con refuted all of Pro's points and more.