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Video games have now been with us for more than 40 years, and in that time they’ve evolved from simple concepts brought forth by muddy visuals (such as the Atari classics Atari Arcade - Play Retro Video Games In HTML5 [MUO Gaming] Atari Arcade - Play Retro Video Games In HTML5 [MUO Gaming] Anyone who plays video games today owes a huge debt of gratitude to Atari and the founders and engineers who worked for the company during its formative years. Atari was responsible for many of the... Read More ) to complex and involving gameplay made real by detailed visuals (such as the best games of 2012 Game Of The Year 2012: 5 Must-Play Video Games [MUO Gaming] Game Of The Year 2012: 5 Must-Play Video Games [MUO Gaming] It's been a good year for video games, with some cracking titles having been released on all of the various formats available to gamers. But 2012 is almost at an end, with 2013, and a... Read More ). In recent years they’ve also grown from niche hobby to mainstream fodder, especially with the emergence of casual games, and consequently casual gamers.

Strangely, video games have always been a source of controversy. In the early days it was parents worrying about kids spending all their money in arcades, and now it’s a whole range of issues which we’ll be outlining below. It’s high time we, and by that I mean both gamers and non-gamers alike, have a serious, even-tempered debate about the effect video games are having on society. If any. Which is the subject of this week’s We Ask You.

This Week’s Question…

We want to know, Are Video Games Good Or Bad For Society? On the surface this is a simple question with only two possible answers. But that’s not how we want to play this. Think long and hard about what effect you feel video games are having on individuals, relationships, and society as a whole. To help kick-start your gray matter, let’s look at some common beliefs about video games.

Video games are blamed for encouraging real-life violence, specifically gun crimes where one person goes on a rampage. They’re blamed for promoting inactivity among children, which will inevitably lead to obesity. And they’re blamed for dumbing down society, as most youngsters would rather play the latest Call Of Duty than read a book.

They’re the negatives most people opposed to video games will spout whether asked to or not. But there are also positives. Video games can improve hand-to-eye coordination. They can help children learn new skills, such as problem-solving and those associated with cognition. And competing against others can help foster social skills against different types of online gamer Know Your Enemy: 5 Types Of Online Gamer You're Guaranteed To Encounter Know Your Enemy: 5 Types Of Online Gamer You're Guaranteed To Encounter Assuming you play online then you're guaranteed to have met certain types of online gamer. It's unavoidable. There are a wide range of them out there, but they can all be pared down to just... Read More .

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Those short lists represent merely a soupçon of the pluses and minuses attributed to video games. And it’s time to see which side of the fence the MakeUseOf readership sits on. Do you believe video games are good or bad for society as a whole? Can the blame for any of the current ills of the world be leveled at video games? Are there any changes you’d like to see made within the industry? If so, what are they?

Don’t just answer with “Good” or “Bad,” instead let us know the reasons behind your thoughts, whether they are purely instinctual or keenly objective.

Drawing Conclusions

All comments will be digested to form conclusions in a follow-up post next week where we will detail what You Told Us. One reader will be chosen for the coveted Comment Of The Week, getting their name up in lights, and the respect of other readers. What more motivation than that do you need to respond?

We Ask You is a weekly column dedicated to finding out the opinions of MakeUseOf readers. The questions asked are usually open-ended and likely to necessitate a discussion. Some are opinion-based, while others see you sharing tips and advice, or advocating tools and apps to fellow MakeUseOf Readers. This column is nothing without you, as MakeUseOf is nothing without you.

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