Video Games Research Proposal
The issue of video games has been a global trend among the youths due to the advancement in technology. Most of the young people play video games on their personal computers, smartphones, game box, and tablets. The number of people that access the internet to download the video games is also increasing. On the other hand, the adolescent populations usually access the internet to communicate with others and playing video games. This research will critically examine the influence that activities like video games have on the lifestyle of the youth. The research will be based on the social cognitive theory. The theory suggests that the society tends to learn aggression from the things they observe in the mainstream media and aspects such as video games. Therefore, researching the impact of video games on children’s development is a critical issue that should be elaborated. They use the video games for entertainment purposes that have had both positive and negative impacts on their lives. This research will critically examine the impacts the video games has had on the lifestyle and behavior of the young people.
Statement of the Problem
There have been many arguments about the impacts of video games on young children. Some people argue that these games do not have a significant effect on the children while others argue that it has adverse effects. Scholars have reported that playing video games exposes children to violence and aggressive behavior. Furthermore, it has some psychological and emotional effects. There are also some allegations that the adolescent are the most vulnerable population and spend more time on playing video games than on studies and other work. This research will seek to research on these issues to provide a reliable information that will assist in providing a remarkable solution.
Purpose of the Study
The purpose of this study will be to find out the extent that the video games has contributed to aggression and violence among the children. Secondly, the research will examine how the video games impacts on the social lives of the children in the contemporary society. Thirdly, the research will also examine the video games affect their academic life. Finally, the study will also evaluate the rate of addiction among the video game consumers.
Scope of the Study
The scope of this study will be to look at how the video games has influenced the behavior of the adolescent female in the UAE, a case study of household in Abu Dhabi. It will put into consideration the types of video games that are usually played by this population. It will also evaluate the methods in which the adolescent from Abu Dhabi uses to access the video games.
Significance of the Study
The research will analyze the impacts of video games on children. It will evaluate whether the video games contribute to the violence observed from children who play the video games. The research will also examine other third variants can contribute to aggression after the children have watched the videos. Third variances may include the personality traits of the children. Furthermore, the research will focus on how addiction on these games has negatively influenced the social lives of these children. The research will also provide a reliable recommendation that can be adopted to handle the issue of aggression that comes as a result of video games.
According to Gunter (1988), the violent video games is a popular activity among the adolescent youths and children. They have been marketed to these groups of people, and they can be obtained regardless of age. According to the study conducted by Australian Government (2010), it was discovered that many adolescents sacrificed a lot of their time and money on the video games. The study also revealed that most of the children without the electronics usually go to cyber cafés to download and play the video games. Various researches have been conducted and have come up with various results about the impact of video games on young children. According to Whitaker & Bushman (2009), approximately 94% of teenage girls played video games. Their male counterparts consisted of 99%. The research further indicated that the young children spent around forty hours every week playing these games. Some of these video games involve violent and aggressive actions. 89% of these games involved violent actions (Whitaker & Bushman, 2009). As such, these video games consisting of violent behavior may have various impacts on children. Various children may react differently to these acts based on their personality characteristics or the situations they are facing. Whitaker & Bushman (2009) continue to argue that video game playing is an active process. The players who are the children are actively involved in the process, and all their mind is engraved on it. Furthermore, these children in most cases identify with the aggressive character in the videos. The violent character is viewed as a hero, and most of these kids want to emulate them thinking that they will also become heroes. If they are playing these video games in groups, they may tend to take sides and those that do not support the violent side are considered to be inferior. Another research revealed that the violent characters are always regarded as the winners and are always rewarded. For instance, if the game was about shooting, those who are shot become losers while those that shoot the other group become the champions. As a matter of fact, when one is rewarded, they become motivated to continue with the same act (Carnagey & Anderson, n.d.). For instance, if a child performs well in school and is rewarded, he or she will strive to follow the same step he/she followed to reward. On the other hand, if an employer rewards his employees for good performance, they are likely to do the same thing for them to continue being rewarded. Likewise for these games, those that are rewarded for winning will strive to do the same the next time. Some may even go to an extent of practicing it in real life to see if anyone will applause them. Being actively involved in an act influences them more compared to when they watch as a second person do it. The study discovered that children who were actively involved in violent games were more aggressive than those that watched them may be on television (Whitaker & Bushman).
Another research by California State Science Fair (2005), found out that watching video games did not only affect the children’s behavior but also their physiological aspect. There are various changes that occur in their bodies while playing. Firstly, there is increased heartbeat because of the tension and excitement that comes with playing these games. There is also an increase in blood pressure because of the active activities involved. Additionally, these children who involve in violent behavior tend to become emotionally tough with time. This means that they become cold and may not help a person in pain or needy person. This situation occurs because while playing the violent games, they are not supposed to help the helpless in the games. Helping them may cause defeat, and, therefore, they are supposed to victimize their opponents as much as possible.
Critics have continued to argue on the ability of researchers to measure the extent or the level of violence that these videos have. There are those that have realistic violence while there are those that have imagery violence such as the cartoons. Researchers have not come out clearly on how they go about defining the difference between the two. Furthermore, enough research has not been done to determine the effects of each. They generalize these effects that should not be the case (Australian Government, 2010). Additionally, the term aggression may be relative. What may be aggression to someone may not be aggression to another. A research by Zorilla (2012) argued that researchers use various unstandardized measurements while carrying out research when referring to aggression. They may overrate the meaning of aggression compared to what the society defines it. Additionally, the impacts of these video games may be little but the fact that many children, particularly in this digital era, engage in them makes the issue stronger.
Other people have critiqued the research that has been done before as it only evaluates the effects of these video games without considering the third variables. There are other factors that contribute to this aggressive behavior when the child plays these games. Firstly, it is the personality type of the child. There are children who are aggressive by nature, and when they are exposed to these violent games, this aggression becomes more. Furthermore, these aggressive children may be searching for any material that may arouse their aggression behavior (Markey & Markey, 2010). Additionally, there are those that are influenced by peers to engage in these behaviors. Economic status is also another factor that may largely contribute to the violent behavior. Children from poor backgrounds may act more aggressively when exposed to violent video games. The situation may be so because the child may be trying to react to other challenges that he may be facing. Researchers who carry out research on the impact of the video games on children only come up with the results without putting such parameters into consideration.
A report by Steinberg (n.d) found out that video games can lead to addiction. There are children who play these games without a break. Their minds get stuck on these games, and they play them all day. This addiction has negative effects as it messes up with the child’s social interaction. When they are on these games, most of them do not talk to those around them. They do not have time to interact with other kids or other people. Consequently, this behavior leads to isolation and may even affect them an older age as they will be ant-social. Hence, parents should control their children’s behavior and limit the level of game involvement. Besides, the addiction may affect their communication skills adversely as they are not used to talking to people. Some of the kids may even avoid taking meals or participating in important events because of the addiction caused by these games (Browne, 2009).
The research will use a qualitative approach in pursuit of the level of aggression that the children undergo after playing the violent video games. Flick (2008) has described qualitative research as a type of research that produces findings that are not arrived at by the use of statistical methods and other means of quantification. Flick (2008) has also stated that researchers using the qualitative research approach are usually interested in determining how people interpret their experiences. Therefore, qualitative research will be the most suitable for interpreting the experiences of the children who mostly play the video games.
The topic of this study is also blended significantly with the qualitative research because of the understudied nature of the subject. Furthermore, qualitative research is usually significant in pursuit of the thought and perspectives of the participants regarding the impacts of the video games. This approach is also significant in the analysis of the interactions between the participants and the researcher’s naturalistic settings with limited boundaries. Therefore, the unique interaction with youth from various household implies that different results findings will be obtained from the different household. This aspect is because the findings directly depend on the experiences of the participants (Flick, 2008).
Strauss and Corbin (1998) have also stated that qualitative research assumes that there exist different perceptions and meanings of people basing on the realities. Some are influenced by the personal interaction, environment, and opinions. However, people tend to give meaning to the experiences that focus on the process in which the meanings are obtained from. Additionally, it can be an inductive process as the researchers usually use the qualitative approach to collect evidence to justify the theories and the hypotheses that previous research neglected.
The primary instruments that the researcher will use in the collection of data for this research will be the interviews. Interviews with the parents will be the most appropriate methods of collecting data from the households within Abu Dhabi. This method will entail the usage of significant research questions that the researcher will design. The researcher will avoid the aspect of having many interview questions with many people to make the management of data easy.
The researcher will also seek an informed consent from the interviewees to avoid the aspect of bulging into people’s households without consulting. An informed consent usually entails the aspect of notifying the research subjects before the actual date of the interview. The researcher will also notify the interviewees of the significance of participating in the study through the answering the interview questions.
The questions will be open-ended questions and will entail a conversational nature. Strauss and Corbin (1998) has acknowledged that this type of approach is significant in providing a first-person account. This strategy will give the researcher an insight of the respondents answer rather than questions that give incomplete feedback. The advantage of the interviews in qualitative surveys are also significant because the answers are usually detailed which might be difficult to obtain through the questionnaires. Additional questions can also be asked basing on the response or the feedback that the subjects give. Therefore, in the research about the influence of video games interviews will be an ideal strategy to get honest feedbacks from the children and parents.
Tools of Measurements
According to Salkind (2010), measurement has been described as the systematic and replicable process where events are classified on their particular dimension. Therefore, to assess the validity and reliability of the data collected, the researcher will use a specific focus group. A pilot study will also be conducted on some selected group of people in Abu Dhabi to pretest the validity and reliability. The test will be aimed at evaluating whether the instruments used represented the actual variables under this study.
Moustakas (1994) has asserted that research should focus on the wholeness of the experiences and a search for principles of the experiences. Moustakas perceived experience and behavior as an integrated and a phenomenon that cannot be separated from the person experiencing it. Therefore, to significantly assess the reliability of the findings aspects such as triangulation, saturation, and collaboration and researcher bias will be evaluated.
Triangulation in this study will involve the use of an investigator triangulation to measure the confidence of the collected data. This aspect will entail the utilization of the reflexive triangulation techniques to create awareness on how the researcher might have influenced the study. The participants who are the adolescent and their parents will also be involved. The triangulation will also factor in the peer-reviewed.
The sampling method the will be used for this research is census sampling. Sahu (2013) discusses that under this technique the entire population is tested and data collected. The significance of using this strategy is the data collected will be more accurate and reliable. Under this technique, the researcher will be able to conduct an extensive and detailed study. The results collected using this method will also be free from bias basing that the entire population is participating in the study (Sahu, 2013). The only demerit of this method is that it requires a lot of time in data collection and resources.
Work Plan and Budget
The collection of interview data will be conducted on the weekdays from Sundays to Thursdays. This is because most of the people in Abu Dhabi are from Islamic religion and are not available of Fridays. The estimated budget for the study is approximately 1500 dollars because the research does not need a lot of traveling.
The study is expected to reveal how the issue of video games has promoted aggression among the population in Abu Dhabi. This information will be significant for the government in the implementation of the policies of parental guidance. The results and the findings of this study are also expected to reveal the time taken by the children in playing video games apart from other significant activities like doing homework and volunteer activities. The study is also expected to reveal how the video games has affected the social lives by taking their concentration as an effect of globalization.