Violent Video Games Increase Aggression

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Qi Mu
English 112
Oct 23, 2012
Violent Video Games Increase Aggression
Since the advent of Violent Video Games (VVGs), they have become more and more popular. Now, VVGs enjoy unprecedented popularity. According to a 2008 Pew Research Center report, 95% of children play video games, and among them, more than half play VVGs (Violent Video Games) (“Violent Video Games and Young People”). A question may be raised: Does VVGs harm people? Many say they don’t. Perhaps they didn’t know many researches show the opposite. VVGs are harmful to both adults and kids because VVGs increase their aggression. Opponents argue that there are no substantial connections between VVGs and aggression. For example, In 2007, Ferguson, an associate professor of psychology at Texas A&M International University and the author of Suicide Kings, after doing a meta-analysis study which contain all the articles concerning violent video games and aggression behavior from 1995 to 2007, denies that there is a link between VVGs and violent behavior (Ferguson “The Good, the Bad …”). For another example, the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals declares “The state has not produced substantial evidence that … violent video games cause psychological or neurological harm to minors" (qtd. in Gallagher). In short, many people do not think VVGs cause harm to minds. These declarations, however, are not valid. First, although Ferguson found that VVGs do not cause aggression behavior in his 2007 study, he only used resources that concerning the connection between VVGs and behavior (Ferguson “The Good, the Bad …” 311-12). Thus, it is not comprehensive enough. Besides, Anderson, an Iowa State University psychology professor and chairperson of the Department of Science and Technology of the university, refutes that if people examine many researches and find out what is the most common feature of all those studies, they would know the truth. That is “exposure to violent video games increase subsequent aggression”. It becomes even more obvious when people look at those high quality study results (Anderson “Violent Video Games and Other Media Violence (Part I)” 30). Thus, by reviewing all the studies regarding this topic, people would find there is a connection between VVGs and violence. What is more, a new study shows the opposite too. Marko et al, an assistant professor at Nanyang Technological University of Singapore, finds similar results. They did a longitudinal study which published in 2011 and was three weeks long. This study is newer than Furguson’s one. In the study, they used 135 participates, and assigned them to two groups; one group played a VVG called Grand Theft Auto, and the researchers prohibited participates in the other group playing any video games (Marko et al.) The result reveals “playing violent video games leads to an increase in aggressive attitudes” (Marko et al. 597). This study shows that VVGs harm the mind. Further, Anderson et al. have done a study in Japan and U.S, which consists of 1231 children in Japan. They published this study in 2008. They measured those kids’ aggression at the beginning of the study, and then they measured the aggression level after about half a year. In this study, Anderson et al. suggests “violent video games are a significant risk factor for later physically aggressive behavior” (Anderson et al). So, VVG do increase violent behavior. Then, Anderson, Gentile and Buckley have done a study with 161 kids and 354 adults. , They published it before 2007. They divided participates to two groups. One group played non-violent video games and the other played violent video games. Immediately after participates' playing, they measured participates’ aggression by a test. The test was also a video game, and it was a competitive one which the winners would punish the loser with a noise. The winner set the noise level. The result tells researchers that "participants who played the violent video games punished their opponents...
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