Online Essay… Excessive use of video games and negative health on teens.

Does the extensive use of video games have a positive or negative impact on the health of young people?

What are the most recent academic papers on the topic?

Clarify what all sides of the argument claim and only then offer your reasoned opinion.

Video games are a popular pastime for many people over the past 30 years. As technology has developed, video games have become more realistic and the player can become more and more involved in the game play. The extensive use of video games immediately creates an image of negative impacts on the health of young people. Interestingly, The majority of video game play features some level of violence – in 40 out of 47 of the most popular video games, violence was a main theme (Funk, p.86, 1993). There are a number of positive impacts that video game play can provide, but are not discussed as often as the negative impacts.

There are a large number of academic papers that discuss the negative impacts on the health of young people who play excessive amounts of video game play. There have been a number of tragedies in the past which have been linked to video games, with open dialogue about young people becoming desensitized to violence and creating a generation of anti-social gamers. There was a moral panic that was created after the 1999 Columbine shootings in the United States, which has sadly become almost a regular occurrence. “There is a fear that boys in particular will become desensitized brutes and exhibit aggressive behaviours towards others… as a result of playing hours of such games” (Jagodzinski 2006, p.282). There have also been a number of similar occurrences in the past decade that have drawn similar conclusions, linking the constant exposure of simulated violence reducing an individuals capacity to acknowledge the difference between what is real and what is not (Jagodzinski 2006, p.282). The idea of an individual becoming desensitized to violence is a significant theme that is present in so many academic articles relating to video game play, clearly showing that it is a very real issue.

An individual can lose hours in a day, by spending time in front of the computer, Play Station or Xbox, which can distract from other real world responsibilities (Van Rooij, et al 2010, p.489).   This further links to anti-social behaviour that can result in a negative impact on the health of a young person, both physically and mentally. Steps have been taken in games such as World of Warcraft, where there have been developments in a company’s social conscience, WOW provides diminishing reward for plays after six hours of continuous play (Funk 2005, p.295). This clearly shows that game development companies are aware of the negative impact on gamers as a whole, when games are played excessively.  There have been discussions about video game developers taking responsibility to make gamers aware of the potential addiction risks that can be attributed to playing video games (Van Rooij, et al 2010, p.489), with recommendations of providing customer care with referral services or providing warning messages, similar to those on cigarette packages.

Along with the numerous mental health impacts that can result from excessive video game play, there are also clear physical health impacts such as obesity, changes to cardiovascular functioning and RSI (Funk 2003, p.397). Other physical effects are the potential for epileptic seizure triggers during video game play (Funk 1993, p87).

With so many negative impacts, there are a number of positive benefits that have resulted, and will continue to result, in excessive video game play. Video games show a huge potential for further development in both educational and medical fields (Jagodzinski 2006, p.282). The future development of interactive digital games has the ability to be designed to improve the health in teenagers, and is able to encourage neural and physical activity in the elderly (Chambers 2006). In Australia, with an ageing population and the very real presence of illnesses such as Dementia and Alzheimer’s, keeping the brain active and engaged with a chronic illness could have huge potential for the patient.

The development of online multiplayer games does enable users to create friendships and even romantic relationships (Van Rooij, et al 2010, p.490), showing that there are positive elements that come from excessive online gaming. The MMORPGs such as WoW provide a highly social environment where gamers are able to explore different aspects of their personality that they may not be confident in doing in the real world. These environments offer that person freedom to express who they are, in a safe and anonymous way (Van Rooij, et al 2010, p.490). Recently there has been a rise in the popularity of events such as Supanova and Comic Con provides an opportunity for people to bring their online personas to life.

Presently, there are tens of thousands of academic papers, journal articles and books which provide insight and knowledge into video game addition, health benefits or impacts as well as the developments planned for the future. The research from the past 20 years shows an extensive insight into the social impacts of excessive video game play as the games have become more complex and need constant gamer engagement. The more recent academic papers offer more medical discussion about the impact on the brain. For example, a recent article by Granek, Gorbet and Sergio discusses how the extensive video game experience can alter the cortical networks for complex visuomotor transformations, a topic that would most likely not have been thought about a few decades ago when children were playing Pong or Space Invaders. It will be interesting to see the academic papers on video games as technology continues to develop.

Personally, it is clear to me that excessive video game play does have a negative impact on a young persons health. When an individual is so involved in a game that there is a significant impact on relationships, friendships and real world responsibilities, there will be consequences. It is important for individuals to keep perspective and understand when to stop. When reading through the research, it was clear that many of the cases that were being discussed were at the extreme end of the spectrum, and does not relate to every single gamer.   The potential positive benefits of video games can have a very big impact for those that will need to undertake physical rehabilitation but also for education. There are a number of casual games that encourage learning at a young age, for example, Leapfrog games. This idea of early education and learning development can provide great opportunities for the future. The medical advances that could also positively benefit from video games is also amazing. From simulated surgery to keeping children positive when undergoing treatment are two examples of the potential benefits of video games.

Clearly visible through the high number of academic articles relating to excessive video game play, addiction and impact on individuals, excessive video game play is a real issue which does not look to be going away in the near future. There is a real impact on the social responsibilities of a gamer’s day-to-day life which can be placed on the backburner. The number of negative impacts most certainly outweighs the potential positive impacts, but they certainly have their benefits. This issue is only going to continue as the popularity of video games increase as the rate of technology increases.

Reference List

Chambers, Heather 2008, ‘UCSD to study impact of video games on teenage health’, San Diego Business Journal, vol.29, no.24, pp.5.

Funk, Jeanne 1993, ‘Re-evaluating the impact of video games’, Clinical Pediatrics’, vol. 33, no.86, pp.86-90.

Funk, Jeanne 2005, ‘Video Games’, Adolescent Medicine Clinics, vol.16, no.2, pp.395-411.

Granek, Joshua, Gorbet, Diana & Sergio, Lauren 2009, ‘Extensive video-game experience alters cortical networks for complex visuomotor transformation’, Science Direct, vol.46, pp.1165-1177.

Jagodzinski, Jan 2006, ‘Video game cybersubjects, the ethics of violence and addiction: A psychoanalytic approach’, Psychoanalysis, Culture & Society, vol. 11, no.2, pp.282-303.

Van Rooij, Antonius, Meerkerk, Gert-Jan, Schoenmakers, Tim, Griffiths, Mark & Van De Mheen, Dike 2010, ‘Video game addiction and social responsibility, Addiction Research and Theory, vol. 18, no.5, pp.489-493. Retrieved from Informa Healthcare Database.

Online Essay Topic

So after some general class discussion on essay topics regarding New Communication Technologies, I wanted to adapt one of the provided essay questions from L@G.  I will be completing my essay on the following topic

“Does the extensive use of video games have a positive or negative impact on the health of young people?  What are the most recent academic papers on the topic, and clarify what all sides of the argument claim and only then offer your reasoned opinion…”

I am already worried about keeping this to 1,500 words… There is so much research and information out there on this topic, especially over the past 20 years as video games have become even more popular as the technology has increased.  I am the first to admit that I can lose days at a time to a new video game, and I type this as my boyfriend is playing a new PS4 game…

From an overview of the research I have been looking at, there are both positive and negative impacts on the health of young people that play video games.  I think that if you do just about anything in excess, it will likely be not great on your health (unless you are a gym junkie).  There have been a number of societal factors which have also impacted on the public perception of excessive video game play.  One key historical event was the Columbine school shooting and relating that back to excessive violent video game play, but that is something which definitely needs to be discussed in more depth than just 200 words… Much of the research was also positive, there have been studies into cyber-cycling games which encourage both physical and neurological activities which encourage kids to get off the couch and get active.

There is so much research to still look through, but I think that video games can definitely be both good and bad… It will be interesting/difficult to frame all of the research into a 1,500 word essay…

Week Six –

How many of the following can you complete while sticking to your political beliefs?  

  • Sign an e-petition & respond to a professional blogger at a major news site.

With the rise of social media and the regularity of people spending time online, the awareness for social justice issues and “online people power” is most certainly on the rise.  With website such as change.org or petitions.com, people have every opportunity to put their name to a cause.  Earlier today I signed an e-petition to aid in the creation of an Australian Music Museum.  There are such a number of different causes and campaigns currently on change.org, everyone has the ability to voice their wants.  This is very similar to the rise on online commentary for news websites.  Many news stories now feature comments sections allowing a new sense of engagement between journalist/blogger and news reader.  It gives every day people a chance to voice their opinion, which is what I did earlier today on a news.com.au article

 

  • What is Barack Obama up to today? Can you send him a message about the importance of freedom on the internet?

Cyber-politics plays an immense role in todays political sphere.  It is a way that politicians stay in regular (and inexpensive) contact with their constituency.  Barack Obama has a heavy twitter presence to keep the world up to date, but also has the website to keep everyone the opportunity to give feedback.  Barack Obama can be contacted via the official White House website where you can submit questions or comments – which is what I had completed earlier today.  

 

  • What are/were the Australian Government’s plans to censor the internet (the so-called “Clean Feed”)?

There were plans from the Government at the start of the year to implement an internet filter.  There were discussions prior to the 2013 Federal Election about the internet filter – mainly discussing online safety for children.  Since then, there have been a few discussions from the Attorney General regarding the subject, but no legislation has been put forward to the House of Representatives to debate.  

 

  • What place does censorship have in a democracy?

Censorship and democracy do not go hand in hand.  People need to be able to express their opinions, for example, freedom to vote for whoever one wishes in elections.  

 

  • What are the benefits of the NBN? What potential form(s) will the NBN take when it is finally rolled out?

The NBN has been going through an evolving process lately due to the change of Government 12 months ago.  There have been number of reviews into the NBN program to identify what would be the best route to go.  Visiting both the Ministerial site for the Minister for Communications (Hon Malcolm Turnbull) and NBNCO website give updates on the latest progress for the NBN.  The current NBN plan is fibre to the node, rather than fibre to the home which was originally planned.  

The NBN will help speed up the internet speed, in an affordable and reliable way.  The NBNCo website will also show which suburbs are in line to receive NBN.  http://nbnco.com.au/about-the-nbn.html#.VAlDhks1f1o

 

  • Find out who your local, state and federal representatives are. Send one a message.

Checking enrolment is very simple – the Australian Electoral Commission website (aec.gov.au) is very useful to manage your enrolment, and to let you know what Federal, State and Local Divisions you fall under as a voter.   The AEC website will let you find out who your Local, State and Federal representatives are.  

 

  • Look up the Queensland or Australian Hansard to find the last time your local member spoke in parliament & let your local member know what you think about their last speech.

The last time my Federal Member spoke in the House of Representative’s was during Question Time, and asked a Question, I have included the link to the APH Hansard;

http://parlinfo.aph.gov.au/parlInfo/search/display/display.w3p;query=Id%3A%22chamber%2Fhansardr%2F512317ee-6094-4e3d-88f0-38ac38d28920%2F0156%22 

 

 

Week Three

Which of Stephen Stockwell’s books are in the Griffith library? 

Stockwell, S., 1954 & Scott, P., 1961 2000, All-media guide to fair and cross-cultural reporting: for journalists, program makers and media students, Australian Key Centre for Cultural and Media Policy, Nathan, Qld.

IN LIBRARY, PN5517.E8 S86 2000, College of Art (South Bank)

 

Cite three academic books that might provide useful material for an essay about Jean Luc Godard’s Alphaville. On which campuses do they reside?

The following three books would provide useful material for an essay on Alphaville, by Jean Luc Godard.  The books would provide valuable insight into the movie, the genre and also about Godard’s life.

Morrey, D. 2005, Jean-Luc Godard, Manchester University Press, Manchester. South Bank Campus

Godard, J.L., 1930, Coutard, R., Constantine, E., 1917, Karina, A. & Tamiroff, A., 1899-1972 1998, Alphaville, Chaumiane Production-Film Studio, United States?. South Bank

Meehan, P., 1948 2008, Tech-noir: the fusion of science fiction and film noir, McFarland, Jefferson, N.C. South Bank.

 

What is a book that will assist you to find out about possible research methods to explore social media? Full citation.

Wu, J., Sun, H. & Tan, Y. 2013, “Social media research: A review”, Journal of Systems Science and Systems Engineering, vol. 22, no. 3, pp. 257-282.

 

This resource will explore the impact of social media and how it has been examined. It will also go through a range of research methodologies and approaches, showing the broad spectrum of research which has been undertaken.

 

What is the latest medical thinking about internet addiction? What database did you use? Full citation.

There are a number of resources available through the Griffith Library – searching through ProQuest there are a number of sources which produce information.    For example, searching in ProQuest allows you to narrow down to exact what field would be applicable for each subject.  For a recent article relating to the medical thinking about internet addiction I found the following article,

Lin, C., Lin, S., & Wu, C. (2009). THE EFFECTS OF PARENTAL MONITORING AND LEISURE BOREDOM ON ADOLESCENTS’ INTERNET ADDICTION. Adolescence, 44(176), 993-1004. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com.libraryproxy.griffith.edu.au/docview/195947740?accountid=14543

 

What are IT engineers thinking about surveillance cameras? Identify a theme you could write an essay about and cite three papers that would be useful.

Through searching the Griffith Library there are an extensive number of books, journal articles and magazines which would be useful to write a paper on surveillance cameras.  One topic can be the rapidly evolving technology that has been developed for surveillance cameras.   Three papers which would be useful include the following…

DIGITAL SURVEILLANCE CAMERA. (2002). Aviation Week & Space Technology, 157(24), 76. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com.libraryproxy.griffith.edu.au/docview/206092964?accountid=14543

Surveillance camera with HD video. (2011). Electronics Weekly, (2487), 8. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com.libraryproxy.griffith.edu.au/docview/910025845?accountid=14543

PBS&J studies high surveillance cameras. (2004). Public Works, 135(8), 22. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com.libraryproxy.griffith.edu.au/docview/218818655?accountid=14543

 

 

 

Communication Development

Week Two

 

The future of technology is pretty exciting.  If you consider the developments over the past decade, looking forward to the next decade does open up your imagination.

I found this interesting video which is a bit of an insight over what “could be” over the next few years.

Personally, I have been using NCT to communicate for quite some time.  For as long as I can remember there has always been a PC in my home – internet had a dial up connection.  I’m not sure if the youth of today would be able to deal with trying to watch a YouTube video with dial-up speed.  Technologies that I used include MSN Messenger, ICQ, Encarta, I remember when Google really took off and Myspace (the first time).  Most of the NCT that I was using were introduced to me by friends.  The NCT that I use these days are quite different.  For example, LinkedIn as a professional development tool, Twitter for work purposes only and Facebook to keep up to date with friends.

The past few years have shown that Social Media can have negative effects.  When applying for jobs, people will investigate your online “social media” footprint.  Most people do not understand that what is on the internet, is there forever. There are quite a few security concerns.  For example, Facebook are frequently updating their privacy and security features, sometimes not to the knowledge of users.  Most recently the Federal Political discussions regarding the collection of Metadata and tracking of individuals online movements has brought the discussion back to the sphere of public awareness.

The development of these NCT, especially  can also make individuals more antisocial.  People post their lives, families and movements on Facebook.  If you know what your friend is up to, why would you go out of your way to make time to catch up with them?  I think it is incredibly important to focus on real world, face to face connections.

Social Media is impacting the way people receive their news and information.  Personally I am not for/against using any particular social media.  I only use Twitter for work purposes, but it is something I do not go out of my way to use on a personal level.  This decision is very much a “I just can’t be bothered to use it” reason.

The future?!

The start of New Comms

Hi all,  as a Communications student at Griffith University I have created this blog to keep you all up to date with the development of my skills whilst studying.  Currently I am enrolled in a course called New Communications Technology to held further develop the skills I already have.  Over the next few weeks you will see further development of the blog, including updates and further improvement.

Hope you like it!