Impact of Violence in Movies and Video Games on Children

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Impact of Violence in Movies and Video Games on Children
Television and video games have become more violent in content. We have become desensitized to the graphic violence we are exposed to via television and video games. We have grown so use to viewing media with this type of content that it no longer phases us, and it almost seems normal. Violence can be found in everything from children’s cartoons with violent humor to video games that encourage players to kill opponents to advance to the next level. Studies show that children exposed to violence may be more aggressive. When children view violence as a way to solve problems, it can lead to bullying and an irrational view of how to resolve conflict. Studies have also showed that children exposed to violence can experience anxiety and the perception that the world is an evil place. Expert’s opinions

Clearly there is no shortage of opinions on the impact of violent media on children. A report published by the surgeon general back in 2001 pointed to a steady increase in youth violence for a decade from 1983 to 1993 with a quote “The report found strong evidence that exposure to violence in the media can increase children's aggressive behavior in the short term and concluded: Research to date justifies sustained efforts to curb the adverse effects of media violence on youths." Surgeon General, 2001, p. 87). 10 years later, the issue and supporting studies have only increased. As one would expect there is an unbalance between information and studies available to compare with the negative impact side acquiring an overwhelming majority. Schneider Family Services Company director, Gina Simmons, states that a 1999 national study reported that an average American child spends 40 hours per week viewing various forms of media like TV, media, and video games. When these children complete elementary school this equates to them having seen 8,000 murders and 100,000 other acts of various violence. In addition Simmons references a July 2000 joint statement of six professional associations that concur there are more than 1,000 studies connecting media violence and aggression in children (Simmons, 2008, p. 1).

Although Craig A. Anderson, a media violence researcher and a chair of Iowa State University’s Department of Psychology agrees that the abundance of violent video games tend to have negative effects on children’s behavior and states that “It’s Society, not science, that must decide how to deal with the negative effects of violent video games." In contrast he also recognizes some positive influences from today’s video games. Anderson recognizes that most interactive games now require and include complex problem-solving skills. As well as referencing a flight simulator game he bought his son, which allowed him to develop skills used in NASA summer camp that amazed the camps staff (Hoerrner & Hoerrner, 2006). Analyzing and Contrasting

From the surgeon general noting increases in violence among youth in the late 80s and 90s to a plethora of new studies supporting the same or similar evidence, one may be concerned with the bias that appears to exist primarily on the negative side of the issue. While analyzing deeper, and when looking through one filter, the focus on negativity toward children and media delves deeper. When the 1999 study above is mentioned, the numbers are shocking. The study showed that children spend 40 hours during the week on different forms of media; notably violence, but one has to question if the study would have equated for the abundance of media in society today, and how much media in our lives has skyrocketed. The study not only assumed the viewing amounts within a child's entire elementary cycle but also assumes how many hours of violence a child would likely watch. The reference to one thousand studies on the subject shows how clearly the issue is of concern to parents, teachers, and the future of behavioral condition society may have to...
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