Do violent video games cause Behavior problems?
By: Kira Morales
It has been a long debated discussion of whether or not violent video games cause behavior problems such as violence and aggression in children and young adults. Obviously this is a chicken or the egg problem, in other words meaning which came first the aggressive kids or the violent video games. Do violent video games cause kids to be aggressive or are aggressive kids attracted to violent video games. Through some research, I agree that violent video games do indeed cause behavior problems depending on the child because not every person responds the same to the same things. There are many studies that have linked violent video games to violent behavior. Dr. Craig A. Anderson, Ph.D., of Iowa State University in Ames, and his colleagues took three groups of kids: 181 Japanese students ages 12 to 15; 1,050 Japanese students aged 13 to 18; and 364 U.S. kids ages 9 to 12. The U.S. kids listed their top three video games and the length that they play them, while the Japanese students listed their top 5 violent video game genres (such as first person shooter, fighting, and adventure) and how often they play. After taking in to consideration the amount of violent or aggressive behavior the children had shown before the experiment, they would see how their behavior had changed three to six months later. The Japanese children rated their own violent behavior as did the U.S. children but they also asked their peers and teachers. Children who were more exposed to video game violence did become more violent than their peers who didn’t. “The findings are ‘pretty good evidence’ that violent video games do indeed cause aggressive behavior”, says Dr. L. Rowell Huesmann, director of the Research Center for Group Dynamics at the University of Michigan's Institute for Social Research in Ann Arbor. Some people are more likely to be impressionable to video game violence than others. Violent games are among one of the many influences that can promote violent behavior. Violence and rebellion in the media have always been a lightning rod and video games are a favored mechanism for the male population to commit any violent acts. A fair portion of teenagers are emotionally upset, combative, and impulsive and probably shouldn’t be exposed to these types of video games. Social scientist expect video game violence to have an even greater impact on children and young adults than violent television. In violent video games you pick your own character and the weapon in which you will use to fight with. They also require not just your observation but your participation as well. In video games they tend to repeat the same type of violence which causes a behavioral rehearsal for violent activity. Every time you complete a mission you get a reward which makes you want to continue playing so that you may collect more. In those sentences you will notice someone or thing you can relate to, observing and participating, repetition, and a reward system these are not only things that are used in video games but we also use these methods in our educational system there for the children are learning violent behavior. “Some people claim there is no consensus about whether violent media can increase aggression in children, but this study shows that there is consensus,” the study’s lead author Brad Bushman, a communication and psychology professor at Ohio State University, said in a press release. Researchers surveyed 371 media psychologists and communication scientists from three different organizations, 268 parents from across America and 92 members of the American Academy of Pediatrics. Sixty-six percent of researchers, sixty-seven percent of parents and ninety percent of pediatricians all agree that violent video games will have a negative effect and increase the aggressive behavior in children. Children who play violent video games may have an inflation of aggressive thoughts which can cause aggressive behavior. In a study conducted by Singapore children between the ages of eight to seventeen who played more violent video games showed an increase in violent or aggressive behavior, such as hitting and shoving. Although those who cut back their playing time saw a deflation in aggressive behavior. The reason for the increase was because the kids who played more had more aggressive thoughts so when someone bumped into them they took it as that person being hostile towards them. “Children and adolescents who play a lot of [violent] video games change over time, they start to see aggressive solutions as being more reasonable ways to respond to conflict or frustration,” Anderson told live science. However other scientist who were not a part of the research suggest that there are flaws and doesn’t add anything to the argument over whether or not violent video games cause violent or aggressive behavior. Based on my research I am prepared to conclude that yes violent video game are a cause for bad behavior. Thought there are still some naysayers there is plenty of evidence that point to the link between violent video games and violent or aggressive behavior in children and young adults.
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