Violence in video games lead to violent outbreaks and bad behaviour in real life, many people believe so. Are these violent video games moulding and fuelling today’s generation of young minds to a more violent side, forgetting the idea that these games are solely for entertainment purposes. Many studies have taken place surrounding this idea, giving valid points to both sides of the topic. Video games are extremely popular all over the world, connecting people through the internet allowing them to interact with one another through a cyber-portal for entertainment, with varying genres of games from card games, first person shooter’s, racing or even 3D strategy games.
These games connect millions of people all around the world, gamers spending countless hours glued to screens looking at a bunch of pixels. These games are evolving every year, as technology gets better so do the games, with more realistic graphics, sound effects and scenarios. So with this, the violent games are also becoming far more realistic, violent and aggressive.
Are these prolonged hours spent playing these games damaging these people’s minds? Many of the violent war games being released today have age restrictions on them, R16 or R18 warning people of the violent content the game has, however this does not stop underage people getting their hands on them.
In the article “Video games and youth violence: A prospective Analysis in Adolescents” written by Christopher J Ferguson, it quotes “The potential influence of violent video games on youth violence remains an issue of concern for psychologists” , stating that this topic is widely concerning to many people.
Many studies have taken place to look into whether or not these games are causing bad behaviour, but in this article Christopher J Ferguson states that none of these studies have developed well validated measures of youth violence caused by the games. This article also points out that having depressive symptoms can lead to violent outbreaks due to antisocial traits with the individual, and gaming is an antisocial activity, therefore these games attract to those who already have these depressive symptoms and the potential to act out violently. And the violent game has nothing to do with making the person violent, as these potential issues are there prior to the individual even playing the game. There have been many studies based around violence in video games, whether it is elevated blood pressure, aggressive behaviour or violent outbreaks.
A study led by Brock University PhD student Paul Adachi has proved that yes these violent games are causing aggressive behaviour, but this is based on how competitive the game is and not due to the violence. Therefore a non-violent game that is equally competitive will lead the user to show similar aggressive behaviour. In many cases, like the 1999 Columbine High school massacre where Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold killed 12 students, one teacher, and injuring 21 other students before turning the guns on themselves. It was well known that the two teenagers who committed this extreme violent act were excessive players of the violent video game called “Doom 3D”, in which the player embarks on defending mars from aliens with large automatic weapons. A lot of people claim that this game caused the two to violently outbreak into the massacre, however there is no proof, and once again, the game has not caused anyone else, out of its millions of players over the years to commit the same heinous crime, Eric and Dylan were capable of these crimes before playing the game, it is however a possibility that the game helped their psychopathic views to be glorified. Where normal people do not have these psychopathic traits in the first place and play games like this for entertainment only.
Children failing in school can become violent or show aggressive behaviour due to the low academic marks and failing to achieve, and many studies state that video games cause children to fail school, thus leading to violent aggressive behaviour. This is falsely accusing video games based upon facts that can be associated with various other activities. Spending six hours a day watching TV, shopping, or sleeping will just as equally affect your school grades, it is down to the individual how they use their time effectively. In the article “Violent video games do not cause aggression” written by Lester Haines, it states that the university of Illinois carried out studies regarding the possible link between violent video games and real world aggression, concluding their findings from their first long term study to show that the violent games “did not cause any substantial increase in said aggression”.
Violent video games bring millions of people around the world entertainment, and social interaction through the internet connecting them with other gamers, who have similar interests. Allowing interaction through talking and playing the game, there are many people who believe that these violent video games are causing many people to act out violently, recreating what they see or play in these games. Blaming these games for people’s actions is obscured. If someone is capable of committing extreme violent acts, or acting in an aggressive manor, they were capable of it well before they took part in playing a computer game. It is down to the individual who plays these games to act responsible, know right from wrong, and play the games for entertainment only. Violence is not just in video games, it is everywhere and all around us.
Poole, S. (2000, Apr 26). Parents 2: Healthy living: Video games will make your kids violent and more likely to fail at school, according to new research. nothing could be further from the truth, says games junkie steven poole. The Guardian, pp. 16-2.16. Retrieved from http://ezproxy.aut.ac.nz/login?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/245514814?accountid=8440Ferguson, C. J. (2011). Video games and youth violence: A prospective analysis in adolescents. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 40(4), 377-377-391. Retrieved from http://ezproxy.aut.ac.nz/login?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/858659823?accountid=8440Keenan, T. (2008, Apr 04). Do some video games encourage violence?; one former soldier thinks that this type of entertainment is teaching kids to kill. Nanaimo Daily News, pp. C.6. Retrieved from http://ezproxy.aut.ac.nz/login?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/361607229?accountid=8440Study finds competition in video games, not violence, causes aggression. (2011, Sep 03). Daily Gleaner, pp. C.4. Retrieved from http://ezproxy.aut.ac.nz/login?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/887134689?accountid=8440Grace Shin. (2008). Video Games. A Cause of Violence and Aggression.Retrieved from http://serendip.brynmawr.edu/exchange/node/1723Lester Haines, (2005, Aug 15), Violent video games do not cause aggression, retrieved fromhttp://www.theregister.co.uk/2005/08/15/video_games_and_aggression/
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