Research Paper : Video Games Leading to More Violence?

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Wing Hung Fung (211-784-493)

Video Games Leading to more Violence?
In this day and age, technology most certainly has become an integral part of our life. Modern day technology has undoubtedly made our daily lives much more efficient while bringing us more convenience and flexibility along the way. The evolution of technology has also changed the way we socialize, entertain ourselves, and now quite possibly the way we behave. The existence of video games began approximately 65 years ago. What began as a simple “Cathode Ray Tube Amusement Device” has now transformed itself into modern day video game platforms. These platforms consist of using a personal computer, video game consoles, arcade games, and smartphones as a fundamental requirement to run the video game software. Video games along with modern day technology have now joined forces to create high definition video with high end graphics to deliver a realistic virtual gaming experience. The ultimate gaming experience however, comes with consequence and is now finding itself in the midst of a controversial issue. The controversial issue suggests that video games are encouraging violent behaviours amongst youth. Video game violence was a subject heavily debated in the past. The primary concern was whether such exposure poses significant risk factors for aggressive and violent behaviours. On the contrary side many believed that the competitiveness in games caused such behaviours, not the game itself. Results back then were inconclusive, but more or less, violence in video games became more acceptable. However, improvements to modern day technology and the development of new generation video games reinvigorated the debate. Two features of video games fuel renewed interest by researchers, public policy makers, and the general public. The active role required by playing video games is a double-edged sword. Firstly, for the positive side, educational video games are excellent teaching tools for motivational and learning process reasons. But, it also may make violent video games even more hazardous than violent television or cinema. Besides, a new generation of ultraviolent video games beginning in the early 1990s and continuing to the present resulted in lots of children and youths actively participating in entertainment violence that went way beyond anything available to them on television or in movies. Recent video games reward players for killing innocent bystanders, police, and prostitutes, using a wide range of weapons including guns, knives, flame throwers, swords, baseball bats, cars, hands, and feet. Just like every other controversial topic in the world, this one also has two sides to it. One side wants to prove that, playing these games can help people in real life; it can be a way of releasing their anger out without actually hurting anyone and anything. On the other side, there are millions of people who think that the number one reason of adolescent violence is connected to video games in one way or another. They believe that kids would not be able to even watch it let alone play it, because of the observational learning. In this essay, I will use one scholar and three popular sources to show that video games will encourage the violent behavior in youth. Then, I will use one scholar and four popular sources to state that there are other factors cause the violent behavior in youth, but not the video games. According to Tiffany Kaiser of Daily Tech “Those who normally didn’t play violent video games before the study, had decreased brain response to violent photos.”(Kaiser) There may be an explanation as to why violent games tend to make players more aggressive. Researchers at the University of Missouri Psychology department have found that the brain becomes less responsive to violence after any short or long time exposure to violent material. The researchers gathered 70 young adult volunteers who were randomly assigned to play violent and nonviolent video...
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