Video games are actually good for you
From slowing the aging process, helping Dyslexic kids reading better, to improving eyesight, video games do it all. Drew Guarini, author of "9 Ways Video Games Can Actually be Good for You" ofn the Huffington Post, says, "A study of 681 healthy individuals ages 50 and older revealed that playing 10 hours of a specially designed video game was able to stall the natural decline of different cognitive skills by up to seven years, in some cases." This data is helpful because, this means video games can help families who are worried about someone with Alzheimer"s, if a family member were to hear about this they would be able to research more and figure out what video games would help the best to keep the person young in the mind. As stated in "9 Ways Video Games Can Actually be Good for You" the author claims that a study performed by the University of Padua shows that playing fast paced video games can help Dyslexic kids read better. "The team separated children age 7 to 13 into two groups, one of which played an action game called "Rayman Raving Rabids" while the other played a lower tempo game. "When the reading skills of the children were tested afterwards, those who played the action game were capable of reading faster and more accurately." This information could aid parents who did not know how to help their Dyslexic child, or maybe the parents know how to help their child but the kid is not interested in the parent"s idea. This option would likely appeal to kids better. According to Drew Guarini, video games can also improve your eyesight. "In the 2009 study, expert action gamers played first-person shooting games like "Unreal Tournament 2004" and "Call of Duty" while non-experienced action gamers played "The Sims 2." Those playing the shoot-'em-up games saw a boost in their "contrast sensitivity function,"" In other words, playing more action packed video games can help you react and analyze data coming from your eyes. This means we could try and correct bad eyesight with video games containing more action. Parents who think video games do not bring benefits when playing may say something along the lines of how they didn"t have video games when they were younger and that they are more well rounded because they spent more time outside. The truth is that times have changed, most kids in society play video games. Also, kids will always be playing some sort of games, when parents were younger they must have played games outside, this kept them busy. Video games are this centuries way of occupying themselves and staying out of parents" hair.
Many people have been linking violence in society to video games, claiming that these games cause shootings and other violence in players, but it turns out there is no actual data that shows this claim. This claim is false and as relevant as saying our tap water causes violence. 91% of society plays video games with all ranges of violence, therefore making that claim is useless and proves nothing. Erik Kain, author of "Do Games like "Grand Theft Auto V" Cause Real-World Violence?", voices that "Overall, violent crime is down in the US"indeed, as violent video games have become more popular, violent crime has fallen." Which means that violent video games are doing the exact opposite than the other side states. Steve Levitt has an interesting hypothesis, he suggests that, "Potential criminals aren"t committing crimes because they are spending so much time playing violent video games." Or maybe these violent video games are good for those who need to let out a little anger, they take the anger out on some fiction world instead of taking it out on someone in real life. In Steven Pinker"s book, The Better Angels of Our Nature, Pinker writes that despite high profile acts of digital savagery, we are actual living in the safest period in the history of history. Along with those facts, developers are coming out with more and more gruesome and violent video games and millions are buying them, this must play a part in how low crime rates have been.
Countless parents and other adults are against the act of playing video games and often think less of children or teens who game. Dara Mohammadi"s article, "How Online Gamers are Solving Science"s Biggest Problems", documents that "In 2011, people playing Foldit, an online puzzle game about protein folding, resolved the structure of an enzyme that causes an Aids-like disease in monkeys. Researchers had been working on the problem for 13 years. The gamers solved it in three weeks." This means developers could make games like Foldit and come up with a solution for fatal human diseases. Mohammadi also stated that "people playing an astronomy game called Planet Hunters found a curious planet with four stars in its system, and to date, they've discovered 40 planets that could potentially support life, all of which had been previously missed by professional astronomers." What else could these games help with? Could players come up with the cure for Cancer?
Now when your mother or any other adult goes to nag you about gaming, you have evidence to support playing video games. You can tell them how video games slow the aging process, help Dyslexic kids read better, and improve eyesight. Other things you can tell them is that video games are keeping potential criminals off the streets and solving science"s biggest problems.
I would like to thank my opponent for creating this debate. As she has not provided any framework, I will begin argumentation in this round, and also rebut her arguments as well.
The BoP will be shared between the two sides. Pro must prove that video games aren’t harmful, while I must simply prove that they are not. Both Pro and Con must prove their side on a general basis. Whichever side more effectively solves their BoP should win the debate. Let’s begin.
One of the most widely disputed topics in the modern age, video games, have been attacked and praised, put down and lifted up. I have definitely played my fair share of games, but I try to limit the exposure. Despite what personal beliefs may be, we need to look towards the experts, and find the cold hard facts as to whether or not video games are harmful. In doing so, I have found that video games are indeed harmful, and are a legitimate concern in our present society. It is for that reason that I negate the resolution which states, “Video games are actually good for you.”
C1: Video games of violent nature are inherently detrimental.
Although not all games are violent, we see an increasing majority of popular games being very violent and containing graphic images. An article published by Scholastic explains, “These [video] games can contain frightening images. Players are often facing an enemy in a fight, so the player is directly involved in a violent act. Mark Smith of Florida describes what he does in one game: “I’ll cut off a guy’s head,” says the 10-year-old. “Or sometimes I’ll take my sword and chop him into pieces.”  These actions can be not only imprinted on children’s minds, but also practiced by the children themselves.
Steve Woodhouse, Steve Woodhouse, who is executive headteacher of The Wolds Federation of Schools described this effect, “Children who repeatedly play brutal video games are learning thought patterns that will stick with them and influence their behaviour as they grow older. Kids are playing on them not because parents don’t care, they don’t understand the content of these games and the impact they have on children over time.”  The most popular games are in the category of brutal and violent games, which will be a detriment to students in the present, but even more so later. Further, parents don’t realize the harms that come from the games, so they don’t do anything about it.
Medical Expert James D. Sargent documents how such games can have a multitude of harms. In the study published by the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, he finds, “Participants were selected with random-digit-dial procedures and followed for 4 years. Data were analyzed with linear mixed modeling to assess change over time and structural equation modeling with latent variables to test hypothesized mediational processes. Among those who play video games, playing MRRG [mature rated, risk glorifying] games was associated with increases in all measures of behavioral deviance. Mediational models support the hypothesis that these effects are in part a consequence of the effects of such gameplay on sensation seeking and rebelliousness, attitudes toward deviant behavior in oneself and others, and affiliation with deviant peers.”  (Other contributors to this report include: Hull, Jay G.; Brunelle, Timothy J.; Prescott, Anna T.) The evidence is overwhelmingly in favor of the notion that MRRG games can and have caused great harms to individuals and families as well.
C2: Video games consume time, which results in negative consequences.
Besides explicit content having a fatalistic effect on gamers, we see that time spent playing the games also has a diverse effect. University Herald published a news article on March 31, 2014 that showed, “Researchers at the University of Oxford found that the time spent playing video games affected children's behavior. Their findings suggest that children who play video games for more than three hours a day are more likely to be hyperactive, get involved in fights and not be interested in school.”  This heightened chance of harms results from the time spent playing. In fact, most gamers play for extended periods of time. Besides this, it’s one of the few things they do.
Jack White, famous American musician says, “This generation is so dead. You ask a kid, 'What are you doing this Saturday?' and they'll be playing video games or watching cable, instead of building model cars or airplanes or doing something creative. Kids today never say, 'Man, I'm really into remote-controlled steamboats.'”  Simply too much time spent in front of a screen is bound to be detrimental.
C3: Video game play is directly linked to criminalistic behavior.
The games themselves can have mind-altering effects that can cause gamers to commit crimes they would have from which they would have otherwise abstained. Associate professor of psychiatry Vladan Starcevic exemplifies this in the report “Are Violent Video Games Harmful” which states, “The 1993 game ‘Doom’ belonged to the ‘first person shooter’ genre and was played by Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold before they went on a shooting rampage at Columbine High School in 1999, killing 12 fellow students and one teacher, before committing suicide. The two killers had mentioned the game in a video they made before the massacre, stating it would be ‘just like Doom.’”  The criminals themselves evidenced that their actions were in direct correlation to the violent game they had been playing.
A study titled “Children, Adolescents, and the Media” done by Victor C. Strasburger, professor of pediatrics at the University of New Mexico School of Medicine gives input on how games can provide that mind altering effect on gamers. “Studies suggest that violent video games increase aggression by increasing aggressive thoughts and emotions, even when their physiologic arousal properties have been controlled. Playing violent video games can prime aggressive thoughts, increase positive attitudes toward violence, and help create a hostile attribution bias: a tendency to perceive other people’s behaviors as malevolent.”  Because of these mind altering factors, games are definitely dangerous and can lead to criminalistic behavior.
My opponent brings up a variety of points concerning how video games are beneficial. However, most of what she brings up concerns games that are not MRRG games. Games such as those are somewhat beneficial due to the required thinking and problem solving. However, just like any other video game, the screen time is harmful psychologically and to the eyes as well. Popular Science published an article by Daniel Engber that explained, “staring at screens can cause discomfort, says Mark Rosenfield of the State University of New York’s College of Optometry. In a study conducted by his lab, about 40 percent of office workers from a sample in Manhattan reported having symptoms of eyestrain for at least half the time they’re on duty—a condition he calls “Computer Vision Syndrome.” 
According to my opponent, games have led to scientific discoveries. However, these are once again harmful just do to screen time. Furthermore, findings such as those are very few and far between.
I will start this round with rebutting your counter arguments and then provide more information and facts of how video games (violent and not) supply numerous benefits.
My opponent began with how violent video games give children bad ideas and causes a bad influence, video games of violent nature are most definitely for those of us who can tell the difference between fiction and non-fiction and what is wrong and right. Also, the ESA (Entertainment Software Association) have ratings for games that should not be played by youth. I advise that parents and children abide by those ratings, and if they do not then those families can use with their own caution. I never stated that violent video games were good for children.
The opponent brings up another concern of staring at a screen for to long will ruin users eyes. In Times magazine, Markham Heid writes of Doctor Joshua Dunaief who documents that most cases of 'Computer Vision Syndrome' are actually caused by either, dry eyes or your eyes becoming too fatigued to actually interpret correctly. "there are tiny muscles inside your eyeball that change the shape of your eye’s lens in order to bring whatever you’re seeing into focus," after time the muscles become tired and can no longer focus, computers are not to blame.
Many do complain of our generation being 'dead' and socially inactive, however, maybe older generations just simply don't get it. As technology gets more and more advanced, the more we want to use it. Many children do spend their weekends playing video games, because they spend 8 hours every day for 5 days straight learning. We're spent and tired of being in schoo, video games can be a relaxer. Everyone has a hobby and video games is one. A hobby with benefits also.
My opponent seems to be one of many who link shootings to violent video games, however, 91% of society play video games! Therefore the claim that violent video games cause violence is irrelevant. Sure there is alot of thought provoking choices you can make when playing these first shooter games but a potential crinimal can also get ideas from simply watching the news, like so many do every single morning.
One of the numerous benefits of of playing video games, violent included, is the lesson of teamwork. Many games have an option to play against and with other gamers all over the world. This can teach players of how sometimes, when you can not succed on your own, you may be able to succed with another to aid you. Players will realize that when two, or more, come together, great things can happen.
Washington Post's article, "A New Study Shows Benefits of Violent Video Games fo Kids' Learning," states that "A 2013 meta-analysis found that playing shooter video games improved a player’s capacity to think about objects in three dimensions just as well as academic courses to enhance these same skills, according to the study. This enhanced thinking was not found with playing other types of video games, such as puzzles or role-playing games." showing that even video games containing violence have their own gains. The artcle also documented that these games can help in childrens problem solving skills and a boost in creativity.
I would like to thank my opponent for a comprehensive response, and apologize for such a late response. I have been busy as of late.
My opponent first attacks my case by saying that she advises families to check ratings before allowing children to play games. However, there is many families who do not strictly monitor the severity of the games. Many gamers play games rated above their age level, or specified rating. In fact, the same company she brought up, ESA (Entertainment Software Association) released statistics on the average age of gamers, and the percentage of gamers in each age group. The report of the Average Age Data for Gamers taken in 2012 showed that the average overall gamer is 30 years old. Besides this, 32% are under 18 years, 31% 18-35, and 37% who are 36 or more years old.  This shows that a large percentage of all gamers play under 18 years of age. Furthermore, in 2013, 20% of games sold were the "shooter" genre, second to most behind "action" at 30.9%.  Both of those top two categories frequently contain explicit and violent content. Lastly, in this general argument, my opponent states that she does not advocate for violent games being good for children. However, under the premise of the debate, she did not and has not specified to what type of games the resolution is referring. Thus, violent games fall under the umbrella of the resoltuion, and are pertinent in the debate.
Her second attack is against the harm for users eyes. She claims that the harms are not due to the computers and/or gaming monitors themselves, but strictly to eye fatigue. However, that is the problem that we face when considering eye problems in relation to gaming. TED speaker, New York Times Bestselling author and game designer Jane McGonigal shows just how much time gamers spend at their hobby. "Currently there are more than half a billion people worldwide playing computer and videogames at least an hour a day -- and 183 million in the U.S. alone. The younger you are, the more likely you are to be a gamer -- 99% of boys under 18 and 94% of girls under 18 report playing videogames regularly. The average young person racks up 10,000 hours of gaming by the age of 21 -- or 24 hours less than they spend in a classroom for all of middle and high school if they have perfect attendance. It's a remarkable amount of time we're investing in games. 5 million gamers in the U.S., in fact, are spending more than 40 hours a week playing games -- the equivalent of a full time job!"  The same network my opponent used to back her claim supports this notion as well. Times Magazine documented that "the average U.S. gamer age 13 or older spent 6.3 hours a week playing video games during 2013. That’s up from 5.6 hours in 2012, which was up from 5.1 hours in 2011."  The trend is not moving in the right direction, and will only lead to further fatigue of the eyes, thus causing Computer Vision Syndrome at an increasing rate among gamers.
Her next argument focuses on the reality that teens spend a lot of time gaming, which results in socially inactiveness and often awkardness. She claims that the older generation just "doesn't get it" and that the teens and children just need a break after school. However, we also see that coming straight home from school and gaming doesn't require the physical exertion necessary for teens to maintain a healthy lifestyle, and instead, many teens become sedentary. Centers for Disease Control and prevention suggest that teens and children get a minimum of 60 minutes of physical activity each day. They state, "Aerobic activity should make up most of your child's 60 or more minutes of physical activity each day. [Muscle strengthening should be done] at least 3 days per week as part of your child's 60 or more minutes. [Bone strengthening should be done] at least 3 days per week as part of your child's 60 or more minutes."  The long hours of playing video games is only detrimental.
My opponent then claims that there is no link to shooting games and violent crimes. She backs that up by saying 91% of people play games, which is no support. People can still be affected even though many people play the game. Refer back to the evidence from Vladan Starcevic. The shooters directly linked their actions to the game.
My opponent also brings up that games help with teamwork. This minute benefit is outweighed by the host of harms.
Her next claim is that video games assist problem solving and creativity. This is benefit is also outweighed by harms that can come from attempting to receive those benefits.
vvonderwall forfeited this round.
My opponent has forfeited. Extend arguments.
vvonderwall forfeited this round.
My opponent has forfeited the remaining rounds. Extend all arguments and vote Con.
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