The Rayflector

The Negative Impact of Video Games

Chance Prosser, Wed Editor

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Ranging from game consoles to phone apps, video games are a form of entertainment teenagers may use. Yet, similar to a drug addiction, a gaming addiction is negative for a student’s mental health.

Dr. Nicholas Kardaras, writer for the New York Post, has written about how video game consoles are a form of “digital drug.” In his articles, “It’s ‘digital heroin’: How screens turn kids into psychotic junkies,” stated that devices as simple as a smartphone affects the brain’s frontal complex the same way that cocaine does. With the pleasure coming from the use of technology, this leads to students coming back to it as an addiction.

“Another aspect of it that isn’t even as much as the addiction part but general interest in school, that when you’re on your phone and solely focused on what’s happening on your phones, nothing in school is going to seem as interesting as what’s going on your phone,” Mr. Matthew Richardson, Psychology teacher, said.

Back in 2013, the American Academy of Pediatrics reports that teenagers spend 11 hours in front of a screen such as their smartphones, iPads, computers or TV.

“There’s been extensive research done in the past couple of years that really points to a serious issue of technology addiction and also the impact that the time spent on technology has on the brain and brain development,” Richardson said

11 hours is a lot of time, and for high school students, there are ways that teenagers can fit that time in. They can use mobile devices during class, distracting them from learning and possibly affecting their grade to the point that it starts to go downhill.

Another way that the 11 hours can be met is if students stay up during the later hours of night using their devices. Although not serving as a distraction in school, device use could lead to teens staying up later than they should and getting a lack of sleep, affecting their performance regardless.

“Children should be exercising or doing something beneficial with their lives instead of video games that in the end lead to violence,” sophomore Lillian Rhodes said.

Raytown High School is currently trying to push for less usage of mobile devices during instructional time to try to limit the amount of time a student is on their phone. Still, some technology use could benefit students in learning.

“I am in no way saying that responsible use of technology in education isn’t a good thing,” Richardson said. “There are many wonderful applications of technology to the classroom.”

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The Negative Impact of Video Games