“Technology is a useful servant but a dangerous master” says Norwegian politician Christian Lous Lange (1930, no page). Indeed, technological progress made a step forward in humans’ civilization, changed people’s life and brought new innovations. Virtual reality, as a part of this progress, gave an opportunity to have a look at the world built on imagination with a possibility to be involved in all actions happening there.
Computers, PlayStations and other gaming platforms allowing people to interact with a virtual gaming world are becoming popular today, especially among children. Definitely, some video games positively impact on children’s learning skills at schools or colleges, even showing better results in their education. However, these games are one of the controversial issues existing presently. There have been conducted many researches, which discovered some negative effects caused by virtual games.
On the one hand, the positive effects of digital games can be linked with academic education of children. These games can teach young people some subjects at schools or universities, for example algebra and geometry (Corbett et al., 2001).
One of the reasons for this can be that children act actively while playing video games instead of just listening or watching, which make computer games good teachers. Moreover, a practice of video games for educational purposes may be helpful for migrant children. There are several reasons for this such as possibility to change languages, an opportunity to repeat tasks which were difficult for international students and other reasons. For instance, this practice was successfully used by the Pennsylvania Department of Migrant Education to teach international students (Winograd, 2001).
Turning to the negative effects, a serious concern about digital games attributes to violent games, which are gaining popularity among children, whereas educational and challenging games are becoming less popular. Perhaps the most problematic issue connected to the violence in games is the formation of aggression in children’s behavior. According to Park (2014), new research has proven that those children who are addicted to sit hours playing video games are more likely to act themselves in a hostile way than those who are far from spending lots of time in front of gaming platforms.
Shooting at people and killing them, acts of stealing and kidnapping, and a clear vision of bleeding profusely – all these factors are responsible for the appearance of kids’ aggressive attitude towards other people. But aggressiveness is not only problem. Other behavioral problems are also caused by violent games such as making some actions normal whereas they are abnormal.
For instance, well-known game “Grand Theft Auto” gives a clear vision of actions which are terrible in reality, such as hiring prostitutes and murdering them to take money back, killing pedestrians by driving on the sidewalk in GTA world, carrying out an attack on people randomly and others (Wendling, 2014).