Computer Games: A Virtual Venom

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Technology particularly computer plays an important role in today’s society. It functions as a disseminator of information, a medium for communication, an entertainer, an information provider and a channel which can gallivant us in any part of the world. It unbinds us on doing vigorous searching of information because this technology have the capacity to spoon-feed all information that you ask. We don’t bother to unfurl the pages of the book instead we tend to go in front of computer and search information by tapping the keyboard. It is also a major provider of stuff that’s related to entertainment.

Movies, social media sites, electronic books and computer games are only few that computer can provide us. After all the benefits that this advancement can provide us, we cannot deny the fact that it has also disturbing drawbacks that may cause massive impact on the future of the society. One of these is the rapid, wildfire spreading of addictive computer games across the virtual world which can strongly influence the mindset and brainwash the ‘millennials’ especially those who are belong to the modernized/latest generation or also known as generation Z. Computer games was purposely invented to entertain and provide enjoyment to all individuals in this world regardless of age, gender, religion and other possible restraints. Yet these computer games which has a primary objective to entertain people are being absorb by the latest generation in a negative way. Instead of using it to kill leisure time, they spent almost most of the day dwelling in the virtual world especially with the purpose of playing online computer games. According to Statista. com in their 2016 survey, 25% of the respondents claimed that they spent 41 to 60 percent of their time playing online games. The disturbing fact here is that most of them are 18 years old and below. This fact is a strong proof that most of the Generation Z were being manipulated and excessively drowned to the astound feeling that they felt when they are playing computer games. They cannot contain their happiness and crave for more every time they are victorious and attain achievements which can triggers their mindset to play more. For instance, they attain a certain artifact that can unlock the new chapter of a certain game. This event gives them the eagerness to proceed in playing even though they exceed the normal hour of playing per day.

The curiosity and the anxiousness of ‘what lies ahead’ gives them the energy to pursue. After they attain what they seek and satisfied their unquenchable curiosity, another artifact or element will occur which can open another chapter of the game. And then again, they will be curious about the new unlocked chapter which will ignite their eagerness to continue the game. It looks like an endless cycle of achieving, unlocking and pursuing process. This cycle continues until an individual is completely drowned by overwhelming excitement, to the point that it distorts their proper thinking. That how computer games manipulate the cognition of an individual. They are cognizant that they are stepping beyond the boundary yet they can’t help themselves because the desire, curiosity and the eagerness to see what lies ahead surpass their proper cognition of things. As a result, they deprive themselves in mental and physical aspects which can affect their lifestyle, perception and rational thinking. Excessive exposure to computer games may lead to physical disorders. There are some cases that they deprive themselves in food and sleep just to satisfy themselves in playing computer games.

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According to Isfahan University of Technology, excessive playing of computer games affect the proper thinking of a victim. They neglect to satisfy their physical needs and ignore the bawl of their body. As a result, they tend to lose weight, gain periorbital dark circles or ‘eyebags’ due to sleep depravity, and fatigue. Another research according to Aksoy, playing computer games can cause obesity on a children because they deprive themselves in exercising. It can also cause some injuries on hands or palms (Aksoy, 2008). When they play computer games, they have to sit on chairs and excessive playing means that they are sitting and resting in a long period of time. This excessive sitting may increase the risk of having joint problems like back or neck pain and headaches. The negative effects of playing computer games is evident on children’s health. Overuse injuries of hands, lack of exercise, obesity, muscle and joint problems and eyestrain are some of the physical problems that an individual may afflict in excessively playing computer games.

Too much playing of computer games may also affect the mental and psychological aspects of an individual. It distorts the proper thinking of an individual that may lead on doing mischievous things. For instance, they tend to ask money from their parent/guardian because there’s a payment in school. As a parent/guardian, they have the responsibility to fulfill the academic needs of their son/ daughter which draw them no choice but to provide the need of their child. The only drawback in this kind of scenario is that the parent is oblivious of the child’s thinking. They don’t have an assurance if their child is telling the truth or not. On the child’s perspective, he/she ask money because he/she will use it to rent desktop on cafes and skip his/her classes. They lose their money just for temporary satisfaction and at the same time they lose learnings and knowledge for cutting classes. For instances that they are prohibited by their parents to go out and restricted at home because of too much playing computer games in a café, children resorts to escape from their house without permission of their parents just to go to café and play computer games. That’s how computer games manipulated the minds of the latest generation. It looks like a venom that slowly poisons the proper cognition of generation Z and corrupts their proper rational thinking. The scenario discussed above are one of the symptoms that an individual is nearly approaching to pathological gaming or ‘computer addiction’. Even they are cognizant of their wrongdoings, they can’t help but to do it because they are overpowered by the influence that they got from excessive playing of computer games. Pathological gamers are likely to develop anxiety, insomnia, social isolation and depression.

Also one of the most visible and detrimental effects of playing computer games is the increased aggression in children. This negative effect only arises when they are playing violent computer games. War-games, gun combat games, bloody games and other games that depict graphics that are related to violence, guns, destruction, and blood are games that triggers the aggressiveness of the children. Studies revealed that children who plays violent computer games immunes to the horror of violence, imitates the violence that they see and as they continuously exposed to violent games, the rate of aggressiveness of children increases. If they are frequently exposed in this kind of games, it may affect their proper thinking and most probably may perform horrid things if their parent don’t take action instantly. A comprehensive meta-analysis involving 100 research papers shown that exposure to violent video games is a causal risk factor for increased aggressive behavior.

As they are belong to the latest generation, even in the early age they have the knowledge and ability to browse the internet for online games they desire. We cannot deny the fact that their ability to browse the internet can lead them to the sites which are prohibited for their age. For instance, they are searching for a new online games. On the middle of searching, a certain pop up advertising adult game appear. Due of curiosity, they tend to open it which leads to an adult site. This scenario is one of the possible event that may happen if the parents don’t watch their child properly. In accordance to the scenario above, computer games may also produce lewd images and graphics that can influence the cognition of the latest generation. It may stir their slumbering sexual thoughts and peck their curiosity. As a result, they tend to satisfy their curiosity by engaging in mild sexual activities. According to American College of Pediatricians, early exposure to lewd graphics or videos ignites the desire of an individual 18 years old and below to engage in sexual activity just to satisfy their curiosity and to feel the pleasure that they tend to see in adult gaming sites. In addition, early exposure to this kind of lewd imagery is the primary reason why there was a teenage pregnancy and early parenthood. These disturbing graphical images allures individual 18 years old and below to engage in coitus activities. Innovation of technology is unstoppable. The unquenchable thirst of humans on knowledge and discovery ignite their passion to continue invent things that can be beneficial to society. As the most intelligent creature existing in this world, we have the ability and capacity to think rational and to perceive the difference between right and wrong. Before we engage in playing computer games, let’s put in our mind first that it was only a medium for entertainment and a medium to kill our leisure time. It is not something that’s worth half of your time. Let’s think first before we proceed in next preceding hours of playing computer games.

“Can the next two hours be beneficial for me or can cause me some problems?” we need to adopt this way of thinking to obviate us to wrong path of life. Because once we are devoured by computer games, it will be hard for us to resist. It will be hard for us to escape. Don’t let computer games manipulate your way of thinking. If you surrender yourself in the influence of computer games, it will only shows that you are inferior. That the computer games has a complete domination on you. We can’t freely accept the fact that us, humans, are being controlled by the innovation that we invented.

Before it’s too late, we need to control ourselves. If you think that a single click on mouse will lead you in a miserable life, restrain yourself on performing that click. Rather than spending your time playing computer games, try to avert your eyes on different things like reading novels, engaging in outdoor activities, out of the town trips and many more. Discipline is the sturdiest, hardest and most powerful weapon to save, defend and protect ourselves in the pitfall of temptation and misery. We must put in our minds that we need limitations in every aspects of life. We need to learn to control our desire and curiosity so that we can’t be easily allured by negative stuff. Lastly, we need to be responsible in playing computer games. Set a barricade to stop yourself on approaching pathological gaming. As the saying says “Once is enough, twice is more than, thrice is poison”.

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