Do Violent Video Games Make People More Aggressive?

Topics: Aggression, Video game, Video game genres Pages: 6 (2150 words) Published: January 6, 2013
Running head: Do Violent Video Games

Do Violent Video Games Make People More Aggressive?

November 19, 2012

Do Violent Video Games Make People More Aggressive?
Video games are something I have become very accustomed to. I am constantly running to the store to purchase whichever is the current hottest video game out for my husband and children. I do not purchase anything that I would classify as a violent video game. However, I do purchase wrestling and fighting games; which to some, those games may actually be qualified as violent. Many times children will play video games and then act out what they have done in a video game. These thing could range anywhere from pretending they are a super hero to picking up a younger sibling and throwing them across the room like they saw in a particular video game. They tend to want to be and do things that the video games do. It is exciting to them. What we need to find out is if certain video games; in particular violent video games are having an effect on not just children but people in general. After someone sits at home all day playing a shooting game, are they more likely to be aggressive towards someone in any given situation. Many may argue no. They may say that it depends on the person and their upbringing and so forth. While I do agree with that to some extent, I have personally seen firsthand that a lot of the times after playing these violent video games, people do tend to be more aggressive. It may not be something that is being done purposely. Many may not even notice that they are behaving differently after playing these games. I think that the person’s mental state and current situation may also play a role and how they may react to the video games. I have found many sources that have completed studies on this very issue. There are some that are sure that violent video games do in fact cause aggression; while there are others that state something completely different. This is exactly why I chose this topic. This purpose of this paper is to focus on how violent video games can lead to aggressive behavior.

What is Aggression?
Aggression can be classified as many things. Particularly, in psychology and other social and behavioral sciences, aggression refers to behavior that is intended to cause harm or pain. Aggression can be either physical or verbal, and behavior is classified as aggression even if it does not actually succeed in causing harm or pain (Science Daily, 2012). Many times aggressive behavior is only looked at in the physical form. However, in the case of violent video games and whether or not they cause aggression, we need to look into both physical and verbal aggression. Theoretical Perspectives

There are many theoretical perspectives that offer explanations for why violent video game play may be associated with an increase of aggressive behavior. From a social learning perspective, adolescents who play violent video games may imitate the aggression that they observe in the games (Willoughby, 2012). As previously mentioned, many times people tend to want to act out what they have seen in games, especially children and adolescents. I recall growing up, my brother and I used to act out different wrestling moves that we had seen on video games. Although, we were not doing these things to hurt one another, sometimes one of us did get hurt. We just thought it was something fun to do. We never thought that one of us could get hurt while enacting what we saw on the video game. According to the study in the journal Pediatrics, children and teens who reported playing violent video games had more aggressive behavior months later than their peers who did not play the games (Harding, 2008). In one theory, by the name of the excitation theory; they mentioned that the transfer of physiological arousal may be a mechanism through which observing violence may lead to aggressive...
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