Whether it’s a PlayStation 3, XBOX 360 or the increasingly popular Nintendo Wii, people are getting their fix of video games from sunrise to sunset. Video gaming has become an important part of many students’ everyday routines, and it then becomes a question of whether or not it is positively or negatively affecting their lifestyles.
A nationwide survey conducted by www.psychcentral.com surveyed 1,178 video game-playing children whose ages range from 8 to 12 years old. Their results stated that 8.5 percent of children exhibit six of 11 addiction symptoms that are commonly used to diagnose pathological behavior. This then creates detrimental problems that stay with this child well into adulthood.
Not everyone deals with this problem, and many students see it as a way to just relax after a hard day at school.
“Gaming is just something to do, its fun,” said Brandyn Humphries, 20, who added that he enjoys playing video games, but solely as a hobby.
The second floor of Rogers Student Center brings in a lot of frequent video gamers every single day. The “Rec” Room is fully equipped with two flat screen TVs as well as an XBOX 360 and a Playstation 3. Although, some students don’t own a console, having access to games on campus provides them with their only way to play.
“I don’t really have one at home, so I only play it in the rec room. I also have a job, so it’s just something that I do whenever I’m here,” said Bryan Thompson, 22.
Along with gaming being extremely time consuming, it also creates another type of problem among students.
Confrontation in the Rec occurs a lot of times while in the heat of competition. Problems like cheating, sore losers and trash talking are main sources of conflict.
“When it comes down to it, it’s just a game, and all the fighting just shows another form of immaturity,” said Humphries.
Not only does gaming test the strength of student’s priorities and tempers, it also puts them to the test of how much they are willing to spend in order to maintain the “gamer lifestyle.”
“I spend about $100-150 on games every year,” said Quincy Morrow, 18. “I like to buy the brand new games when they first come out, so it costs more.”
Brand new video games typically range from $50 to $70, and most gameplaying students said that they buy two to three games a year. In 2008, the video game industry spent a reported $823 million dollars in advertising alone. According to researchers with Nielsen Company, the amount spent on advertising is pocket change in comparison to the $21.3 billion dollars in revenue brought in by video games that same year.
“The game industry is a billion dollar industry and there is a great deal of potential for more growth as time goes on. I don’t see the industry going into a slump anytime soon,” said Gaming and Simulation Professor Casey Callender.
Whether it’s money or time, people are investing a significant amount on the variety of game consoles, as well as games and additional equipment. Video games may be a sweet escape or stress reliever for some, yet an out of control obsession for others. If you or anyone that you know is suffering from video game addiction, you can contact (866) 869-4530.