Psychological Effects of Video Game Violence on Children

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Psychological Effects of Video Game Violence On Children
Video games will turn 34 years old in 2006. The industry that started with Pong is now a multi-billion dollar worldwide industry. Over the last decade, video games have become an integral part of American culture where violence is a common factor in many of these games. An increasing number of people are becoming concerned with this violence, and its possible effects and influences among gamers. As we enter an age made of computers and filled with virtual realities, knowing the effects of violence in video games is becoming increasingly important. Video games, in all forms, lead to aggressive behavior in young children.

When electronic video games were introduced in the late 1970s, they were basic, animated interactive games such as Atari's Pong, a simplistic version of Ping-Pong, which accounted for 0% video game violence. Early popularity of video games was somewhat sporadic until the late 1980s. When the Nintendo system with its more sophisticated graphics was introduced a surge in video game interest resulted. “Constantly improving technologies (e.g., laser applications, virtual reality), varied platforms (e.g., handhelds, CD-ROMs, cartridge consoles, Internet, etc.), and increasingly realistic and complex game scenarios have resulted in growing popularity and increased profits ever since” (Game Zero 1). Therefore, the industry is continually expanding at a rapid pace as graphics attract more gamers to spend money to fulfill their needs of violence. Unfortunately, greater sophistication and realism found in today's video games are associated with increasingly violent themes. One of the first "violent" video games was Pac-Man. However, in today's games, children can battle realistic looking characters and witness the resultant blood, gore, and mutilation. The intense, active nature of children's play when presented with violence further emphasizes these concerns. Or else, the children would be...
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