Skip Navigation

What kind of impact do video games have?

  • Aniya Faulcon
FILE PHOTO: JT Taga-Anderson, 9, left, and Mika Taga-Anderson, 13, play Grand Theft Auto IV in Los Altos, Calif.

Paul Sakuma / The Associated Press

FILE PHOTO: JT Taga-Anderson, 9, left, and Mika Taga-Anderson, 13, play Grand Theft Auto IV in Los Altos, Calif.

Airdate: September 23, 2022

Listen to Smart Talk every weekday at 12 p.m. and 8 p.m. on WITF 89.5 & 93.3. You can also stream WITF radio live on our website or ask your smart speaker to “Play WITF Radio.”

Since the early 1970s, video games have dominated pop culture and created communities and fans all over the world.

Games like Minecraft, Grand Theft Auto, Super Mario Bros., Wii Sports, and Mario Kart have dominated the multi-billion-dollar industry ranking as some of the best-selling video games of all time with millions of copies sold.

Although video games were created in the name of fun, recent studies are analyzing the positive and negative effects of video games.

Dr. Sa Liu, Assistant Professor of Interactive Media Studies at Harrisburg University, said a video games’ effect depends on the age group that’s playing and the type of game that’s being played.

“If you are looking at the growing body of research, its saying that video games have a very positive impact,” Liu said. “And for the violent video games, the study shows that the video game violence doesn’t really increase aggression over time, but rather it was other factors, maybe including the the player’s level of depression, exposure to family violence, or some other peer influences that affect you.”

She recommended that parents find a healthy balance and limit the amount of hours that their children play video games each day to encourage kids to experience other parts of their lives. On the other hand, Liu said video games have been proven to improve the cognitive function and the quality of life of elderly people.

Liu is studying how educational games impact learners and she said she’s seeing a positive change in student’s motivation, emotions, and critical thinking skills.

Lui also said, depending on the video game, people are either encouraged to be competitive or cooperative and can become addicted because of the challenges presented in the game, rewards, positive feedback, scaffolding, and good storylines.

Now video games are being played on cell phones and in virtual reality spaces. Liu said, she hope to see more development and innovation in the video game world.

“In the future, I would say that there might be more professional players competing in video games for an audience to see. I hope to see more learning games that focus on helping students to learn. It’s kind of hard to teach in real life using textbooks,” Liu said. “Hopefully in the future we will be able to experience more in the entertainment space. Developers and designers will be able to develop more games for a diverse audience and be more inclusive.”

 

Support for WITF is provided by:

Become a WITF sponsor today »

Up Next
Smart Talk

Spotted lanternfly is everywhere. Can they be controlled?