Video Game Violence Increases Violence in Children
A pair of parents in Reno, Nevada, is being put away behind bars after neglecting to feed their two young children because their attention was being consumed by video games instead (Lee and Finley 2). People have raised the question of the appropriateness of video games and how psychologically influential they are on a child’s mind. The effects of video games manifest themselves in a variety of ways, including psychologically, emotionally, and socially. Psychologists and scientists have done many studies that have linked violence back to video games. They have also uncovered what is in video games that makes the player so attached to the television screen and why they are so influential. Certain violent video games in the past have been found to be the cause of violence in the world. Although it is argued that violent video games have no negative effect on children, research has proved that violent video games do in fact cause children to be more aggressive and violent.
While people argue that video games are a good learning source for problem solving, the reality is that video games have a more negative impact than a positive one. Video games act as teachers and are a source of inspiration for children. Just as video games for toddlers teach them the alphabet and basic math, video games for older children and teenagers teach them violence, aggression, and stereotypes. According to Professors Douglas and J. Ronald Gentile, experts on media education, “Video games serve as teachers and are extremely effective at programming people’s ideas and behavior” (Lee and Finley 3). Although not all video games are violent, 90% of the video games on the market have violent scenes. Studies have shown that adolescent children have made violent video games the most popular. Through video games, children are taught to accept violence as an effective solution for problems that arise before them and are, therefore, likely to utilize violence in everyday life. The violence in video games is not always directed at any random people. Often times, the player is able to sexually assault women in the game. Being able to do so desensitizes the player to these violent acts. Portraying women as sex items in the game can result in the player’s viewing real women in the same way. Furthermore, video games often associate Asians with the martial arts and mafia, characterize African Americans as being in a violent gang, and depict Muslims as terrorists. All of these racist stereotypes, which children later apply to the real world, are taught through video games. Similarly, drugs, alcohol, and road rage are also glorified through video games. Some challenge the idea of video games being a major influence on children’s lives claiming that “the assumption that video games are producing violent tendencies reduces game players to mindless automatons whose only source of influence are the games they are playing” (Walker and Micah 3). Though video games are not the only source of influence on players, they do, however, play a major role in shaping a players viewpoint.
Along with psychological standards, children’s emotional standards are also influenced by video games. The desensitization towards violence causes children to be less likely to take action to stop it from happening in the real world. They become less emotionally moved by the idea of violence. A study showed a correlation in which children who are more exposed to violent video games are inclined to have lower levels of empathy towards others and a more positive attitude on violence. By constantly playing video games, children’s aggressive emotions are always on the surface, thus children are agitated more easily and have an aggressive reaction to the smaller things in life. Because of how often children play video games, the actions and events in video games become a standard way of life for the children. Furthermore, due to the immense amount...
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