Hi, I posted this on another forum as well (incase you see it elsewhere) and I want the people from thehelper.net to tell me their opinion on my Argumentative paper. Yes, I have already turned it in @ turnitin.com, so sorry for those who those who want to ninja my paper. I just thought it would be nice to get opinions from other people outside of school Who Says Video Games Are Bad? Over the years, video games quickly developed into one of the leading sources of entertainment that we know today. To many, video games provide a fun, harmless way to relax and pass the time. Contrary to the belief that playing video games jeopardizes one’s health, some actually support it. Much like reading a book, playing video games relieves people of their stress and allows them to temporarily forget the troubles on their mind. In many ways, we can see video games as a constructive activity to help one’s mind and body. Because of this, we should all make it a point to play video games on a daily basis for our own physical being and mental benefit. People can use video games as a fun yet practical way to exercise their mind and benefit their body. While some may think that video games rot a person’s brain, many games accomplish just the opposite of that. To the naked eye, playing a video game seems mindless and pointless. “Yet the knowledge built into ‘Madden,’ for example, employs a playbook the size of an encyclopedia. To win, players must have a sophisticated understanding of strategy and make split-second decisions about which play to choose”. Games like this demonstrate the required intelligence to reach the desired goals of the player (Glazer 939). And while some may disagree, video games can drastically improve a child’s literacy. Children learn to link words to the context of sentences and actions in popular games such as “Yu-Gi-Oh” and “Pokemon”. “Or consider this from a Web site for ‘Yu-gi-oh’: ‘The effect of ‘8-claws Scorpion’ is a Trigger Effect that is applied if the condition is correct on activation.’ Lots of low-frequency words here...” By playing a simple game like Yu-gi-oh, children can understand complex vocabulary rarely seen in their everyday reading (Gee 953). “‘Games stress taking your knowledge and applying it. That’s pretty crucial in the modern world,’ says University of Wisconsin Professor of Reading James Gee…” (Glazer 939). The right video games can help students prepare for the world ahead of them. Along with this, video games also provide another way of teaching students different lessons. “Students remember only 10 percent of what they read and 20 percent of what they hear but almost 90 percent if they do the job themselves, even if only as a simulation, according to research cited by the Federation of American Scientists”. The effectiveness of video games as a learning tool surpasses even the lecturing and reading methods used to teach students about the different business industries of the real world (Glazer 942). A test done with 7000 middle school students showed that, after playing a game called “River City” (a game that helps teach basic science) the students “improved their scientific- inquiry skills and increased their knowledge of biology at twice the rate of peers using traditional hands-on labs”. The tests mentioned display the positive effects of video games and their ability to instruct these children in an educational subject (Glazer 942). While people continue to doubt the overall usefulness of video games, we can see the viability of them in modern day tests and everyday life. The idea of an antisocial child appears as a typical belief when it comes to the “harmful” effect of video games. Stereotyping gamers as antisocial wrongly puts them in the category of “hardcore”, a name reserved for the more serious players. A recent survey shows that 93% of gamers interviewed read books or newspapers on a regular basis, 79% say that they stay physically active a minimum of 20 hours per month, and 62% claim to “attend concerts, museums, [and] theater” (Glazer 943).To classify all gamers as the typical teenage boy playing games in his basement falsely identifies the people playing video games in the world today. In today’s society, the image of a grandfather or a young female playing video games is hardly difficult to picture. Recently, a discovery found that the women playing internet-based games outnumber the men playing the same games. Though the women outnumber the men only by a slim margin, it shows the broad selection of games directed to all sorts of players (Reality Bytes). Gaming companies understand that adolescent boys only represent a small portion of their customers today. In 2007, BBC Audience Research discovered that “98 percent of all children ages 6 to 15 years old play video games. In the 16 to 24 groups the percentage of gamers decreased to 83 percent, while approximately 60 percent of people ages 6 to 65 play videogames” (Games are 21,22). The expansion of family oriented video games dramatically increased since the initial release of video games. “Titles like the karaoke game SingStar, the quiz show Buzz!, and several EyeToy games appeal to a wide audience that includes children, parents, and even grandparents”. (Games are 21,22). A census showed that “almost sixty percent of frequent gamers play with friends. Thirty-three percent play with siblings and 25 percent play with spouses or parents…” Video games create a great way for families as well as friends to bond and develop a stronger relationship with one another (Reality Bytes). A more recent display of interaction with others on video games is Massive Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games (MMORPG’s). Games such as EverQuest (EQ for short) give a picture of the online community that many teenagers and adults partake in. In EQ, players can stay together by joining guilds (similar to a clan) or putting each other on their friend list. Many guilds go to the extent of creating guild get-togethers in real life to see how each player compares to their online characters and just to get together for the social aspect. Just like playing a sport, guilds keep scheduled appointments to assemble their group and to play together. These appointments, also known as raids require a collaboration of up to a standard of seventy-two, or maybe even more players to kill what is known as a “raid boss”. “Through the strengths of guilds, people have fallen in love, best friends have been found, and millions of friendships formed” (Hardcore 89). Rarely do video games socially isolate a person from others; on the contrary, video games provide a way to build a better relationship with family and friends. (Hardcore 90) In the realm of gaming, the debate on how violent video games affect children remains highly controversial. The idea that violent video games negatively influence children stands as a highly accepted theory. While some may claim that the violent behavior portrayed in a game will cause the child to mimic it, they lack sufficient evidence to support it. There are many factors that determine the stability of one’s self-control. “Children who are already having problems with a bad social environment will probably not benefit from being exposed to large amounts of disturbing media material, video games included, but for the majority of players, gaming is a harmless activity”. In the testing labs, the variables differ from real-world situations and not all possibilities can be accounted for when doing this type of experiment (Research on 418). Game designer Eric Zimmerman uses “the magic-circle” to explain the difference between in-game violence and real world violence. “The same actions — say, sweeping a floor — may take on different meanings in play (as in playing house) than in reality (housework)… Yet, a child who responds to a video game the same way he or she responds to a real world tragedy could be showing symptoms of being severely emotionally disturbed”. This boundary line allows children to freely express themselves without the worry of real world consequences (Reality Bytes). And not all games use violence as the main appeal to their games. “[Blogger Glenn Reynolds] overheard his young daughter chatting with a friend about The Sims saying, ‘You have to have a job to buy food and things, and if you don’t go to work, you get fired…’” “The Sims” as well as a variety of similar games disprove the pessimistic view that video games only negatively influence children (Brain Workout). Video game violence and its influence on children remains a debatable argument and will continue to be studied until a valid result is reached. But, at the moment, we can determine that there are many variables that decide a person’s emotional reaction to certain situations and that not all games produce the same negative results in each person either. Many people believe that playing video games can negatively affect a person’s health. One harmful effect of video games that seems to trouble people’s minds involves the damage they cause to the eyes. Studies done concerning this topic discovered positive results in players playing first-person shooter games, such as Counter-Strike Source. When playing one of these games for only 20 minutes a day, some players’ eyesight improved by 20% because of the eyes’ attempt to stay in focus during game play (Why Games 20). Another misconception that people commonly see in video games involves its negative effect on the brain. In Japan, the elderly play the game “Brain Training” on the Nintendo DS to prevent dementia. Puzzle games and memory games keep them focused and reinforce their mental stability. (Why Games 20). Video games are also found to help with one’s hand-eye coordination. A study done at the Beth Israel Medical Center in New York found that people who played the game “Super Monkey Ball”, a game on the Nintendo Wii console, prior to performing an operation had 37% less mistakes. They also found that the same people tested were 27% faster and tested 42% better on a chirurgical test (Why Games 20). Lastly, the case of obesity and its link to video games only depends on the game being played as shown by 17-year-old Tanja Jessen. Jessen was able to achieve a weight loss of over 100 pounds playing the game Dance Dance Revolution (Why Games 20). These are only some of the many success stories of video games and their positive effect on a player’s health. In today’s culture, we see video games as an accepted pastime. According to the Entertainment Software Association (ESA), “about half of all Americans play computer and video games” (Glazer 954). Teens, especially, contribute to the development of the video game industry. “Teens have been a big contributor to this growth, with 81 percent of teens – 17 million people – using the Internet to play games online, according to the Pew Internet and American Life Project. That’s a 52 percent jump since 2000” (Glazer 954). Researchers continue looking for answers on the effects of video games to further their knowledge on the subject. Some schools even decided to invest in the development of video games in the classroom. “…West Virginia has the highest incidence of obesity amongst children and young adults. To combat this problem, local authorities decided to offer Dance Dance Revolution as an alternative choice in gym class…While old-fashioned jumping jacks might illicit apathetic shrugs from students in West Virginia’s 157 middle schools, jumping on a Dance Pad to the catchy rhythms of DDR has been met with enormous success”. (Video Games 44). Another approach that some people recently chose for their children is the “unschooling” process. The “unschooling” process allows children to freely choose their favorite activities and use them as a learning device in their daily lives. EverQuest works perfectly well with the “unschooling” program because parents can play with their children and monitor them. Some aspects of the game that make it even better for this process include, “math, reading, sociology, economics, creative writing and communications” (World of). Many decisions then branch out from the child’s interest in the game such as checking out related books from the library, online research, and online discussions with other players. There are actually designated places where people can find such posts on game related topics called forums. Forums give the gamer a place to discuss their discoveries and experiences with other players around the world, or whatever they may feel like discussing. Research by the University of Wisconsin-Madison found that “…85 percent of the conversations [in forums] showed that players had decent levels of scientific literacy… Players used reasoned arguments, backed up hypotheses and even brought statistics to bear on issues that they faced near the higher levels of the game” (World of). The research done by this project along with the help of other projects will serve as a worthy cause as video games may someday become a part of humans’ everyday lives. On the other side of video games, some people have attempted to link video games to the reason of a crime they have committed. These crimes, such as grand theft auto or murder, have been successfully linked to video games as the reason they performed the crime in few court cases. In a story for the Palm Beach Post web site, llinois attorney James H. Waller states, "While I don't believe that violent video games tend to have any negative effects on otherwise healthy people, my job is to present ANY theory to a jury that would explain why my client did the things he did." (Callaham) John Callaham also says placing blame on outside forces, including the playing of violent games, "humanizes the client and shifts the culpability." The defense works, he claims, mainly on "an unsophisticated, typically older, somewhat more rural jury pool or judge. Callaham ended his interview with "The jury knows that a lot of kids today are playing this Grand Theft Auto game and that it's very violent or adult before we even walk into the courtroom." While popularly believed in our everyday society, the small amount of the successful court cases link video games as a primary reason successfully make people believe that video games are a reason of committing such a crime. However, the judge was wrong on his decision, as there was no hardcore evidence saying the video game had an effect on the person who executed the crime whatsoever. The lawyer himself said he did not believe in video games being the reason of violence and that it was a theory simply made to win a court case, not solid evidence. Concluding, video games provide a valid source of entertainment with many positive aspects to support it. Benefits ranging from enhanced literacy to improved scientific understanding encourage the necessity of video games in a modern world. With the assistance of online games, many shy people find the opportunity to create new friendships and socialize with others around the world. Video games teach children various aspects of the business world such as teamwork, cooperation, and economics. The same games used as entertainment also assist in the development of a healthy body, both physically and mentally. Studies show astounding results when utilizing video games as an educational tool and further research will determine the ultimate potential of these games. Video games prove to be a viable choice for positive entertainment today as well as a great way to socialize. Therefore, we should all play video games on a regular basis for our own well beings.