Time to regulate or ban video games?
Some video games are camouflaged by educational content. The ones most addictive are built around the most negative themes that promote killings in war-like scenarios, racial and gender stereotypes. Numerous studies conducted across the world have found adverse effects of video games on the physical and mental development of children.
Video game industry has several multi-national players, Sony, Tencent, Nintendo, Microsoft, Activision etc., each of which earns billions of dollars, enjoying tremendous lobbying power, can buy scientists, writers and columnists. A Google search throws as many papers glorifying the games for supposedly increasing memory, concentration and cognitive abilities, that address mental depression and loneliness as against their harmful effects on children and adults.
But parents suffering from the unbearable agonies of their children losing focus and going stray know the truth. Gaming companies employ highly skilled scientists trained in neuro-science, child psychology and human behaviour from the best universities in the world and pay them fabulously to design games that make players addicted. Playing games releases the pleasure-giving neurochemical dopamine in the brain telling it to do it again, yet again and still again.
Studies show gaming even changes the structure of areas of brain involved with higher cognition. Studies using brain scans show decreased activity in areas of the brain dedicated to self-control and increased arousal while playing games that use violence. Consequences of addiction to video games are falling grades, sleep deprivation, fatigue, irritability, when stopped from playing, increased anxiety, obesity, aggressive behaviour, lack of interests in social interactions, other physical and mental activities essential for healthy growth.