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Online gaming

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Industry Considered by some as a curiosity in the mid-1970s, the computer and video game industries have grown from focused markets to mainstream. They took in about US$ 9. 5 billion in the US in 2007, and 11. 7 billion in 2008. Modern personal computers owe many advancements and innovations to the game industry: sound cards, graphics cards and 3D graphic accelerators, CD ROM and DVD-ROM drives, are a few of the more notable improvements. Modern games are among the most demanding of applications on PC resources.

Many of the high-powered personal computers are purchased by gamers who want the fastest equipment to power the latest cutting-edge games. Thus, the inertia of CPU development is due in part to this industry whose games demand faster processors than business or personal applications. History of Video Games The early 1980s saw the golden age of video arcade games reach its zenith. The total sales of arcade video game machines in North America increased significantly during this period, from $50 million in 1978 to $900 million by 1981, with the arcade video game industry’s revenue in North America tripling to $2. billion in 1980. By 1981, the arcade video game industry was generating annual revenue of $5 billion in North America, equivalent to $12. 3 billion in 2011

In 1982, the arcade video game industry reached its peak, generating $8 billion in quarters, equivalent to over $18. 5 billion in 2011, surpassing the annual gross revenue of both pop music ($4 billion) and Hollywood films ($3 billion) combined at that time. This was also nearly twice as much revenue as the $3. billion generated by the home video game industry that same year; both the arcade and home markets combined add up to a total revenue of $11. 8 billion for the video game industry in 1982, Controversies Over Video Games Controversies over video games often center on topics such as video game graphic violence, sex and sexism, violent and gory scenes, partial or full nudity, portrayal of criminal behavior, racism, and other provocative and objectionable material. Video games have been studied for links to addiction and aggression. Earlier meta-analyses (an analysis of several studies) were conflicting.

A 2001 study found that exposure to violent video games causes at least a temporary increase in aggression and that this exposure correlates with aggression in the real world. A decrease in prosocial behavior (caring about the welfare and rights of others) was also noted. [1] Another 2001 meta-analyses using similar methods[2] and a more recent 2009 study focusing specifically on serious aggressive behavior[3] concluded that video game violence is not related to serious aggressive behavior in real life. Many potential positive effects have even been proposed. 4] Recent research has suggested that even some violent video games may actually have a prosocial effect in some contexts for example, team play. [5] It has been argued there is generally a lack of quality studies which can be relied upon and that the video game industry has become an easy target for the media to blame for many modern day problems. [6][7][8] The most recent large scale meta-anlysis– examining 130 studies with over 130, 000 subjects worldwide– concluded that exposure to violent video games causes both short term and long term aggression in players and decreases empathy and prosocial behavior.

However, this meta-analysis was severely criticized in the same issue of the same journal for a number of methodological flaws, including failure to distinguish clinically valid from unstandardized aggression measures and for failing to solicit studies from researchers who have questioned whether causal links exist, thus biasing the sample of included studies. [9] Age The Entertainment Software Association states that 20% of video game players are boys under the age of 17, 26% are over 50 (regardless of gender), and that the average game player is 37. 10] In a survey of 1, 102 teenagers aged 12 to 17, 97% of them said that they play video games; moreover, half of the survey respondents said that they had played a video game in the last day.

Three-quarters of parents who were surveyed said that they check the ratings on their kid’s games. However, half of the boys who were asked about their favorite game listed a game with an “ M” or “ AO” rating as their favorite, compared with 14% of girls. [11] The adult demographic is the astest-growing segment of the American video games market with 32% of adults playing video games,[12] although critics have suggested that such statistics are often used to deflect from the fact that almost all American children are exposed to video games. [12] [edit]Gender While nearly 40% of players are female,[10] a 1998 study conducted at the University of Central Florida found that of the 33 games sampled, 41% do not feature female characters, 28% portrayed women as sex objects, 21% depicted violence against women, and 30% did not represent the female population at all.

Furthermore, characterizations of women tended to be stereotypical: highly sexualized (” visions of beauty with large breasts and hips”), dependent (” victim or as the proverbial ‘Damsel in Distress'”), opposed (” evil or as obstacles to the goal of the game”), and trivial (” females depicted [… ] in fairly non-significant roles”). [13] However, this report has been criticized[14] for not representing a wide range of video games, and that the games analysed, being up to 20 years old, do not represent the current status of the video game industry,[15] and that strong female characters are now increasingly more prevalent. 16] A UK survey of 200 women by an online game rental company suggested that female gamers have 34% more sex than female non-gamers. [17] A similarly non-scientific poll suggests that men who play video games are 3 times more likely to admit to masturbating than their non gaming counterparts. [18] Historically, the video game market has been predominantly male. However, the percentage of women playing games has steadily increased over the past decade.

One of the most common criticisms of video games is that they increase the violent tendencies among youth. However, several major studies by groups such as The Harvard Medical School Center for Mental Health, The Journal of Adolescent Health, and The British Medical Journal have shown no conclusive link between video game usage and violent activity. “[22][23][24] One study did find an increase in reports of bullying, noting, ” Our research found that certain patterns of video game play were much more likely to be associated with these types of behavioral problems than with major violent crime such as school shootings. 22][23] One of the first widely accepted controversial video games was developer Exidy’s 1976 title Death Race, in which players controlled cars that ran over pixelated representations of ” gremlins”.

The game caused such an outcry that it was pulled from store shelves and profiled on 60 Minutes. Long Island PTA president Ronnie Lamm pushed for legislation in the early 1980s to place restrictions on how close video game arcades could be to schools, asserting that they caused children to fight. 25] Portrayals of violence allegedly became more realistic with time, and so politicians such as U. S. Senator Joe Lieberman conducted hearings during the 1990s regarding what he referred to as ” violent video games” which, in his opinion, included such games as Mortal Kombat. His sentiments have been echoed by certain researchers, such as Dr. Craig A. Anderson who testified before the Senate, ” Some studies have yielded nonsignificant video game effects, just as some smoking studies failed to find a significant link to lung cancer.

But when one combines all relevant empirical studies using meta-analytic techniques it shows that violent video games are significantly associated with: increased aggressive behavior, thoughts, and affect; increased physiological arousal; and decreased pro-social (helping) behavior. “[26][27] Anderson himself was later criticized in a 2005 video game court case for failing to cite research that differed from his view. [28] Disbarred attorney Jack Thompson has filed lawsuits against the makers of violent games, alleging the simulated violence causes real-world violence.

An example of video game controversy Grand Theft Auto: Vice City came under similar criticism, also for implying allegedly racist hate crimes: The game, taking place in ” Vice City” (a fictional Miami) in 1986, involves a gang war between Haitians and Cuban refugees, and the player often serves both gangs to plot against one another. Haitian and Cuban anti-defamation groups highly criticized the game for these actions, including using phrases such as ” kill the Haitian dickheads” (a phrase used in the game, referring to the Haitian gang with which the character is having a shoot-out).

After the threat of being sued by the Haitian-American Coalition, Rockstar removed the word ” Haitians” from this phrase in the game’s subtitles. Lt. Col. David Grossman, a former West Point psychology professor, has written several books that pertain to the subject of violence in the media, includingOn Killing and Stop Teaching Our Kids to Kill. During heights of video game controversy he has been interviewed on the content of his books, and has repeatedly used the term ” murder simulator” to describe first-person shooter games.

He argues that video game publishers unethically train children in the use of weapons and, more importantly, harden them emotionally to the act of murder by simulating the killing of hundreds or thousands of opponents in a single typical video game. Grossman’s conclusions have been criticized by some scholars, however, as highly selective and misleading. [29] Research published in 2001 suggested that violent video games may increase mild forms of aggressive behavior in children and young adults.

Analyses also showed that exposure to violent video games results in increased physiological arousal, aggression-related thoughts and feelings as well as decreased prosocial behavior. The research comprised a meta analysis, laboratory and field studies. [1] However meta-analyses by other groups have not replicated these findings [2][3] and these other groups have been critical of attempts to link violent games with aggression.

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