Influence of Gaming & Multimedia Content

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Influence of video game & multimedia content

Composition Unit 7 Lesson 5
M. Malahi - Grade 8

In this essay, a range of issues will be covered relating to the impact of video game content, compared to the impact of multimedia content. Multimedia content refers to the footage that is shown in films, movies and videos. Whereas video game content can only be exposed to its target audience by specific hardware that where one chooses the exposure; multimedia violence can be exposed to a range of audiences, in a range of different ways, this argument will be covered later in the essay. Also this essay will aim to compare and contrast which entertainment based media has more affect of its subject audience.

Firstly, I will be looking at the impact of video game violence and what effects it has. To start I will look at the most studied link between crime rates and video games, more specifically violent crimes. The department of Health and Human Services shows that crime if down but not violence by young adults [1]. This being that video game violence is said to affect the mind of its target audience, and therefore raising crime rates. As a study on a group of teenagers found that video game violence made the frontal part of the brain to engage less, and this part was associated with holding back unacceptable thoughts [2]. This is to show that people engaged in violent video games have a tendency to act on violent thoughts, rather than to think before reacting and suppress these thoughts. Along with this study, there are numerous studies claiming that video games are creating an environment that those exposed to these games are less sensitive to violence. “It has been suggested that the active nature of video games makes them unique among the screen‐based media” [3]. This source was included within a report which goes on to talk of the interaction and behavior with video games. When a user plays a violent video game the user has to think about the situation within the video game, therefore the player has to make strategically thought out plans to survive or strategically think of plans and reactions to kill and/or harm other players and protect themselves. These thought structures or plans then being rewarded by the game and giving the player incentive to continue to think or plan future violent strategies. The player also has the ability to choose the way in which they inflict harm to the game generated enemies or other online players, which are controlled using artificial intelligence (A.I.) or those that are strategizing the same ways. This becomes even more realistic when interacting with other players in real time/live where communication is the key to game play. During this game play interaction, not once does the player have any negative consequences. This interactivity from the player was studied and shown that it made the player have negative thoughts and behavior [4].

Secondly with more realistic game scenarios the negative effects on the audience are more apparent. This was revealed in another study which says “New‐generation violent video games contain substantial amounts of increasingly realistic portrayals of violence. Elaborate content analyses revealed that the favored narrative is a human perpetrator engaging in repeated acts of justified violence involving weapons that results in some bloodshed to the victim.” [5]. In addition, because of its interactivity, which makes the player more violent, it also makes the player have less feeling for other people. A few studies have looked at this link, including one study on a few hundred students between the ages of ten to fifteen, showed that everyday video game usage lowered the empathy of the player [6]. The second study on two hundred adolescents shown they preferred violent video games and also stated they had poor empathy scores [7]. In the past few years there have been key games that have caused more controversy that others, one series of games in...
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