Video games can be played on several types of platforms: home consoles used with TV sets, computers, and computers with access to the Internet, coin-operated arcade machines, and handheld devices including games systems, cell phones and Palm Pilots. Computer and video game sales in the United States are a $6. 35 billion industry, with estimates of $16. 9 billion by 2003. The major studies indicate that children ages 2-18 spend, on average, between 20-33 minutes a day playing video games. The amount of time spent playing video games varies by age.
On average, 2-7 years old spend 8 minutes a day, 8-13 year olds spend 32 minutes a day, and 14-18 years old spend 20 minutes a day playing video games. Boys spend substantially more time playing video games than do girls, regardless of age. On any given day, 44% of boy’s report playing video games compared to 17% of girls. Atari introduced video games in 1972; this was a table tennis game. Nintendo introduced hardware in 1986 and it is estimated that over 4 billion pounds has been created through them selling games. As fashion and taste changes, so does the video games, and many companies try to change the correct theme of their games e. g.
at the beginning of the football season a football game becomes popular e. g. Fifa 2004. In the class discussion it was indicated that girls who like games with violent themes prefer fantasy or cartoon violence, whereas boys prefer realistic, human violence. In the UK they have been major concerns about videos games, especially the amount of violence involved within them. I believe that a violent game does have an effect on the individual subliminally as Paul Taylor states this in ‘Sociology in Focus’. Games have been evaluated and its been concluded that they are not just entertaining but also have effects which can be positive and negative.
I believe the positive aspect of gaming is that it has an education impact as it provides individual’s with detailed insight on computer literacy, the design feature in the most popular interactive games are extremely detailed, which I think improve skills such as visualisation, visual attention and concentration. Playing violent games allows them to explore their feelings, master their rage, improve strategically thinking and empower themselves against life challenges. The negative aspect of participating in playing games is that it sometimes interferes with homework and academic performance.
It increases verbal aggression and physical aggression. People that spend time playing violent games are probably more likely to be in fights than people that don’t play at all. The Sociologist SKIRROW quoted that: ‘Video games are unattractive to women since they are apart of a technology which is identified with male power, and they usually involve male characters acting in aggressive way. Women also state that games are sexist because they tend to have no main role in the video game e. g. they are being rescued or need saving by the main character.
Women characters in the game are also not identified by their name but for example someone’s girlfriend. Most games are targeted towards the males so most games examine boxing, racing, football and fighting. Overall most games are based on real life situations, this means that they put real life situations into the game e. g. Sims. Its not the producer’s fault but the nations fault, as this is how the society operates. In conclusion, I believe that the media is gaining power and will come to eventually directing and determining the culture of society rather than respond to or reflect societies culture.