Are Video Games the Bane of Society? | Teen Ink

Are Video Games the Bane of Society?

April 23, 2009
By Mohammed Hussain GOLD, New York City, New York
Mohammed Hussain GOLD, New York City, New York
10 articles 0 photos 15 comments

Over the years, parents and mentors have taken a similar stand against video games; therefore, conventional wisdom would have it that video games are bad for children. Video games are addictive to children, making them look at television, computer, or any other game compatible device for several hours; therefore, they get no exercise physically. Also, video games are mostly about violence and do not test the minds of children, providing no mental challenge. Games also result in the decrease of academic ability; children tend to not do their homework because they are worried about which monster to kill in “Halo 2”. Furthermore, video games provide no educational knowledge or morals they need to know in society.

It is clear from the article “Could It be That Video Games are good for Kids?” by Steven Johnson, that the author argues that video games are not an awful monster as conventional wisdom portrays them to be and that they have more positive influence on youth than negative influence. To support his position, the author suggests that a danger of video games is the increase in obesity. On the other hand, the author provides examples for the positive influence of video games. As stated by Johnson, “ Math SAT scores have never been higher; verbal scores have been climbing steadily for the last five years…the Nation’s Report Card is higher now than when the study was implemented in 1971.” Johnson is saying that video games, contrary to popular belief, have actually increased test scores. The author also states that crime has decreased too. According to Johnson, “The national carjacking rate has dropped substantially…” Johnson is stating that as video games have been created, less crime is occurring.

While conventional wisdom would have it that video games are bad for children, it is my view that video games have a positive influence on youth. In my experience, video games do challenge the mind mentally, contrary to popular belief. In my game, “Splinter Cell: Pandora Tomorrow”, as a secret agent, I have to make quick, logical decisions in order to not die. This tests my ability to think and use my mind in order to “survive”. Another example is that video games benefit children because games can give them educational knowledge, and help build character. In certain games such as “Sudoku”, the player learns more about mathematics and numbers. Video games make children come back and try to win when they are in difficult levels; this builds character. This makes them not give up. In my view, Johnson is correct; video games have more positive influence than negative influence. For example, Johnson states that crime has decreased. This is true; children steal cars, murder others, and bomb buildings in their local “Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas” game, which allows them to express their anger. Thus, they do not have to take out their frustrations, pain, and fury on people or things in reality. Another example is the increase in grades. Johnson claims that grades are increasing and I agree. In this video game age, more children are getting accepted into Bronx Science, Stuyvesant High School, and Brooklyn technical High School, and other prestigious high schools. This shows that children are getting better grades.

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This article has 4 comments.

on Mar. 28 2014 at 8:08 pm
izzy_0314 BRONZE, Hartland, Wisconsin
2 articles 0 photos 16 comments

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This is a good article, however, I would just like to say that I feel like your conclusion is weaker than the rest of the article. I was left a little hanging on edge and feeling no real conclusion to the essay. Other than that I think this is a very informational article.

on Jan. 21 2014 at 11:52 am
This was very well written and presented. I am glad you voiced an opinion contrary to others and fully agree with your stance.

on Feb. 2 2013 at 12:09 pm
IndigoElisabeth SILVER, Woodbury, New Jersey
5 articles 1 photo 171 comments

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I find most video games boring, personally. However, I don't think they're necessarily harmful. I mean, obviously, if someone were to sit around and play them all day, they would have a problem. But if try play them in moderation, then that's fine. So yeah, I agree with you.

LeoHollow said...
on Feb. 21 2012 at 9:58 am


Let me begin by pointing out that I enjoyed your paper, it's nice to see someone actually think about a subject instead of buying into the first side of the issue they hear about. It was clear you took the time to consider your position and the reasoning behind it. However, I feel you made a few mistakes that I wish to point out to increase the strength of your future works.

First off, you didn't make your position very clear at the beginning. In fact the line " games are mostly about violence and do not test the minds of children, providing no mental challenge." suggests that you take the opposite stance than the one you take later in the paper. In addition, the wording of this statement suggests you believe it is true, despite how you contest it later in your paper. It is important to establish your opinion early so you don't confuse your reader.

Also, in your second paragraph you suggest a possible disadvantage of video games: obesity. However, you never actually dealt with that point of view. You could have made the claim that although a child could become obese sitting around playing video games, (s)he could just as easily have developed the same condition reading. You also make mention of decreased crime rate, which was a good point to bring to the table. You could have given yourself more credibility in your audience's eyes by citing a particular study or source such as (

In the next paragraph, using examples like Splinter Cell: Pandora Tomorrow and Sudoku added force to your argument. Feel free to bring in more examples like this. They really boost your power. Note however, that you can also use comparisons such as: "Medications administered to children after medical procedures can be very addictive and harmful, but it is necessary for the responsible adult to control the amounts given and the timing between doses. Games can be seen in the same way; they are perfectly healthy when administered in moderation."

All in all, your point is valid and you make some excellent arguments, but you still have some areas you could improve on. I hope you will take this as encouragement and continue writing.