Influence of Gaming & Multimedia Content Essay

In this essay, a range of issues will be covered relating to the impact of video game content, compared to the impact of multimedia content. Multimedia content refers to the footage that is shown in films, movies and videos. Whereas video game content can only be exposed to its target audience by specific hardware that where one chooses the exposure; multimedia violence can be exposed to a range of audiences, in a range of different ways, this argument will be covered later in the essay.

Also this essay will aim to compare and contrast which entertainment based media has more affect of its subject audience. Firstly, I will be looking at the impact of video game violence and what effects it has. To start I will look at the most studied link between crime rates and video games, more specifically violent crimes. The department of Health and Human Services shows that crime if down but not violence by young adults [1]. This being that video game violence is said to affect the mind of its target audience, and therefore raising crime rates.

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As a study on a group of teenagers found that video game violence made the frontal part of the brain to engage less, and this part was associated with holding back unacceptable thoughts [2]. This is to show that people engaged in violent video games have a tendency to act on violent thoughts, rather than to think before reacting and suppress these thoughts. Along with this study, there are numerous studies claiming that video games are creating an environment that those exposed to these games are less sensitive to violence. It has been suggested that the active nature of video games makes them unique among the screen?based media” [3].

This source was included within a report which goes on to talk of the interaction and behavior with video games. When a user plays a violent video game the user has to think about the situation within the video game, therefore the player has to make strategically thought out plans to survive or strategically think of plans and reactions to kill and/or harm other players and protect themselves.

These thought structures or plans then being rewarded by the game and giving the player incentive to continue to think or plan future violent strategies. The player also has the ability to choose the way in which they inflict harm to the game generated enemies or other online players, which are controlled using artificial intelligence (A. I. ) or those that are strategizing the same ways. This becomes even more realistic when interacting with other players in real time/live where communication is the key to game play.

During this game play interaction, not once does the player have any negative consequences. This interactivity from the player was studied and shown that it made the player have negative thoughts and behavior [4]. Secondly with more realistic game scenarios the negative effects on the audience are more apparent. This was revealed in another study which says “New?generation violent video games contain substantial amounts of increasingly realistic portrayals of violence.

Elaborate content analyses revealed that the favored narrative is a human perpetrator engaging in repeated acts of justified violence involving weapons that results in some bloodshed to the victim. ” [5]. In addition, because of its interactivity, which makes the player more violent, it also makes the player have less feeling for other people. A few studies have looked at this link, including one study on a few hundred students between the ages of ten to fifteen, showed that everyday video game usage lowered the empathy of the player [6].

The second study on two hundred adolescents shown they preferred violent video games and also stated they had poor empathy scores [7]. In the past few years there have been key games that have caused more controversy that others, one series of games in particular, have been included in most studies to do with violence. This being “Grand Theft Auto” (GTA) series, and from this series one of the most controversial games would be GTA: Vice City. This is set in a fictional city and includes gang wars, hate crime, graffiti/ tagging, general mayhem, murders, and many other extremely violent crimes.

The game has come under so more criticism, including a continual uproar from critics and finally after nearly being sued, the makers decided to change the game and re?release it [8]. On the other hand there are still some positive factors to video games as they can be a very valuable teaching tool. Video games have been shown to improve skills of the user, such as hand?eye coordination, reaction time, logistics, and also much needed skills such as math; where the user improves skills like estimating and problem solving [9].

In some cases, video games have shown to improved the vision of some users. This has been seen in the ability called contrast sensitivity function, whereby the user notices little changes to grayscale in any scenario. Along with this it can improve the user’s ability to track multiple objects. A study states that video games can enhance multiple abilities pertaining to the user’s eyesight, at the same time and goes on to say that it improves vision so much it can be used after eye surgery for a faster recovery [10].

In contrast to the positives and negatives of video game content, we have the impact of multimedia content, which also affects its audience, just as much as certain video game content does. For the most part, it is yet again violent content that has the most noticeable effect on an audience. Violence is much more common to be seen on screen based media rather than video games, or even in real life. If viewers regularly see violence in a screen based form their manner may become insensitive or ‘desensitized’ as one report likes to call it [11].

This desensitization affects the audience a lot in the same way that video games do, but with a slight difference, whereas video games get the interactivity edge, screen based videos make up with much more realistic footage often enhanced with computer technology, realistic scenarios & unbelievable makeup & costumes. With this a viewer may become less caring towards others, and have no understanding for the real consequences of committing violent acts towards other people nor differentiate between make believe and reality [12].

Another report put together various studies on children’s development and reached generalized conclusions, showing that when exposed to screen based violence, they claim that children would be more violent and have anti social behavior. They would also become less aware of violence and people who suffer from brutality, as they consider it to be normal. It also creates a desire for more violence where children are actively seeking it and turning to other forms of screen based violence, like the internet, which will be looked into later within this essay.

Another way it has shown to impact children is that they assume that violence as a way to sort out or deal with problems or issues, as yet again them this seems to be normal [13]. The impact of screen based multimedia violence also has a traumatic effect in another aspect in that for some children there may be a development of fear of the real world and any uncomfortable situations, as they are afraid of violent situations and these may develop in some situations [13]. Furthermore in the study of children’s development, when exposed to screen based violence, two psychologists L.

Rowell Huesmann and Leonard Eron found that younger children, who watch hours of violent videos, have the inclination to grow up and have more frequent outbursts of aggression [14]. All of these studies of violence and its outcomes show that screen based content has just as much of an impact as video games do. In more recent times, videos are more easily accessed using the internet and multiple other sources such as video game stores, video rental stores and even grocery stores for example.

As the internet is a place for free expression for the world, there is a higher chance the video content could have a greater impact on people that ever seen before. This is due to the complete lack of regulatory guidelines and enforcement of any kind to the content found online which is mainly because it is nearly impossible to track, rate and even check all internet content and the debate of the Freedom of Speech and that the internet should continue as free expression. Therefore, websites may show content that is bias, has bad morals, has scenes of violence, etc. ith total disregard to whom is viewing it and what it impact it may have on that person. There are no warning messages given before viewing as none are required which is in direct contrast of DVD’s, videos and TV shows broadcasted to a wide audience that may not have chosen to view clips of violence included while viewing other content of interest, but are often forewarned due to Federal regulations. Thus internet access can easily lead to these violent images, clips and such being shown to wrong target audience, which means they could have an even greater impact.

Just like video games and films, internet has violent content but, there is also another impacting content that should not be forgotten. This pertains to alcohol, drugs and sexual behavior that often goes along with the violent behavior, but can be found alone just as often mixed among other content. All these things impacted the audience to experiment, open their minds, be more accepting after they had seen them, or even try them most times while still underage. A few studies have shown this and made a link between screen?based media or content and the rise in alcohol and drug use, plus a link in the involvement in sex while underage.

One study also showed that sex was most linked to a specific genre of videos, these being music videos [15]. Although most screen?based videos seem to have a negative impact, there are a few positives, but only if the audience seek specific videos that they wish to watch and only then does these positive effects manifest, but in reality most people stumble across videos, especially on the internet and see either a little or a lot of what they have found when more oft than not, they watch longer than they intended to.

On the other hand, movies and television series have a chance to promote personal development, in ways such as increase and expand vocabulary even if they don’t intend to, learn different customs and pick up better manners. With movie too, they often portray positive morals such as doing the right thing overcomes wrong [16].

Finally, to conclude this essay, both entertainment types with their subsequent outlets, have shown that there are pros and cons to each and how they in the end impact behavior and development with video game content having a greater noticeable negative impact than that found with multimedia content at this time. This brings us to its extra edge it has over multimedia, and that of its interactivity. This draws one into the video game, provides choices to feel completely part of the game, playing a major role in the how they game is played out and what is to happen next.

But multimedia content shows even more of a negative impact on its viewers because unless they intend to watch something educational, the viewer is more times than not going to see violence or bad behavior particularly on the internet and the content will be more realistic than video games. Out of the two entertainment types, video games would have to have the more positive effect as in many case there is stricter guidelines for sales and distribution and now a federal regulated rating system that many or may not e enforced, so that only the target audience can see them. All of this being said, it may change anytime in the future so that video games become the more negative of the two but, then this could only be possible when they become as realistic as videos, less controlled and therefore take on all the impacts that multimedia content has been found to promote. So in the end, the only controlling factor to keep this in check and stopping a more serious impact would be the federally regulated rating system.

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