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The Student News Site of Fresno Christian High School

The Feather

The Student News Site of Fresno Christian High School

The Feather

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Video gamers dive into virtual world

Dry eyes quiver as they strain to keep themselves open. Vision blurs as it focuses intently on the television screen; the constant click and clatter of thumbs smacking plastic buttons mesmerizes.

Some video gamers remain rooted in front of the T.V. for hours, completely oblivious to cramped limbs and a full bladder.

Within the homes of several campus students, this sequence of events unfolds quite often. Whereas some students put boundaries on their game-play, others practically lose themselves within a fabricated world.

“I’ve been playing video games since Super Nintendo was around,” Nick Frazier, ’07, said. “I play games for about an hour and a half everyday, unless I’m playing Halo. When I’m playing Halo, I turn into a vegetable and play for hours.”

Every year, more elaborate gaming systems and devices are developed. Rather than serving the sole purpose of providing interactive entertainment, systems now include CD players, DVD players and an Internet connection.

“Even my mom gets really into video games,” Kelly Gong, ’08, said. “It’s not unusual to hear her yelling at the T.V. screen occasionally.”

Games are rated in accordance to age and maturity level. Ratings include Y for Young Children; E for Everyone; T for Teen; and MA for Mature Adult. Mature Adult games usually include excessive swearing and “disturbing” behavior or images.

“There were a few games I played on my PlayStation 2 that really bothered me,” Ian Soares, a junior at the University of Phoenix, said. “I couldn’t stop myself from playing them during the daytime, but every time I tried to sleep I had night terrors.”

Most video games appear harmless on the surface, yet some have the ability to hold a powerful grip on the lives and minds of many.

Recently, a few educational video games for young children have been developed. Leapfrog, a budding educational company, has created multiple interactive games. These handheld electronics seem to be doing their part.

“I have a four-year-old daughter,” Jim Cirile, Disney employee, said. “My wife and I have purchased a few Leapfrog games for her. I love them because she loves them. She learned her counting and ABCs from these games.”

In spite of the educational aspects of some games, other games not only tamper with young minds, but may contribute to violent or aggressive behavior.

“In many violent games, players must become more violent to win,” Dr. John Anderson, [www.mediafamily.org], said. “In ?1st person’ violent video games, the player may be more affected because he or she controls the game and experiences the action through the eyes of his or her character.”

Video game devices and video games often seem expensive. New devices normally range anywhere from $150 to $350. Games cost about $50.

“Sometimes I waste all my money on video games,” Ronnie Gianetta, ’08, said. “I get really mad at myself afterwards, but the temptation is really strong.”

Some find a mystery that the core of the video game gimmick.

“What’s the big deal about video games?” Laurel Hutton, ’05, said. “I guess someday we’ll find out.”

For more information about video games, visit www.mediafamily.org/facts/facts_effect_print.shtml.

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