Video games: A virtual escape into another world

Video games: A virtual escape into another world

Madison Earhart, AP Lit Set 4

With the new Xbox 360 and Playstation III game “Call of Duty: Black Ops” and the new Xbox 360 Kinect on many Christmas lists,  video games continue to be an integrated part of everyday life. The time spent gaming has increased dramatically since the invention of motion controls and the ability to have live chat with other gamers.  

Video games,  for most people, are an escape into a different world, and often affect their real-world responsibilities. Men and women of all ages, teenagers, and children all spend excessive amounts of time gaming, and for some individuals, it begins to consume their lives.  

The new advancements in gaming technology the past five years has made video games both more personal and more interactive.  Craig Palosky from the Kaiser Family Foundation notes that in the past five years the use of media, especially video games, has risen dramatically. “Today, 8-18 year-olds devote an average of 7 hours and 38 minutes to using entertainment media across a typical day (more than 53 hours a week).”

But when does gaming become too much? Should children be limited in their time spent paying games? Kaiser Family Foundation reports that only three in 10 children have rules or limitations on how much time can be spent playing video games. This report emphasizes that “heavy media users” often make below-average grades in school, compared to “light media users” who do not play video games every day. Nick Earhart reinforces this finding:  “I used to play Xbox 360 for at least five hours a day, and since I’ve stopped playing, my grades have gotten better.”

“Compared with nongamers, adolescent gamers spent 30% less time reading and 34% less time doing homework. Among gamers (both genders), time spent playing video games without parents or friends was negatively related to time spent with parents and friends in other activities,” according to a study done by H.M. C..

Jeffrey Earhart responded, “Nick is a completely different person without playing video games – he is more enjoyable to be around, and his grades have improved.”

When asked how much time they have accumulated playing Xbox 360, Wii, or Playstation III the interviewees were apprehensive about providing an answer. Nick Earhart says, “Over two years,  I have played a little over 60 days.”

At first reluctant to answer, Ricky Rivera responded that he has spent around “50 days playing Fifa in the past two years.”

The gaming revolution has made it possible for individuals to escape into a different world and has therefore become an obsession. Once addicted to playing video games, gamers find it very hard to stop playing them, even though  they affect their lack of time for other aspects of their life.