Effect of Violent Video Games

Topics: Violence, Video game controversy, Media violence research Pages: 5 (1864 words) Published: November 18, 2012
Positive Effects of Violent Video Games
Contrary to popular belief, violent video game actually has a lot of positive effects. According to studies done about the relationship of violent of video games and violent crime, this form of popular media has reduced the amount of violent crime. As stated in the journal written by Benjamin Engelslatter, “... video game play is generally associated with reductions in the violent nature of the crimes commited.” (Engelslatter). Also, based on information from the FBI, the rate of youth concerned with atrocities is continually going down (Winegarner). As violent video games are becoming more and more popular, crimes done by teenagers who play this form of media are decreasing . One reason for this is the “incapacitation” effect of violent video games. Instead of doing violent things in real life, they act out these tendencies in games such as ‘Grand Theft Auto.’ As indicated by a study done by Kutner and Olson a pair of Harvard researchers, young adults are merely trying to relax when they spend their time playing mature rated or even more violent video games. The psychologist used a different approach in their research and had conversations with their tests subjects who have just finished playing violent video games for a long time (Cheung). Playing violent video games serves as outlets wherein people are able to unleash their violent tendencies. As emphasized by Michael R. Ward, the reactions of people in real life are comparable to those from playing violent video games. These people refer to this as more “socially acceptable” and so they decide to interact with this form of media (Ward). In addition to this, an experiment made by Dr. Christopher J. Ferguson of Texas A&M International University suggests that, “...violent video games reduce depression and hostile feelings in people through mood management” (Ferguson). Some notable cases which support the engagement in video games in general are from the undergraduates of South Ridge University in the USA who find it as a relevant activity because of its social nature which strengthens their friendships. For them, it is not a grave deterrent to their studies because unlike other forms of leisure such as drinking, it does not have notable side effects. It simply serves as an escape from all the work, studying and other strenuous responsibilities of real life (Grabon). Although all of these may be true, a lot of researchers still disagree with certain evidences and provide further studies which seek to disprove violent video games as a healthy form of entertainment. Negative Effects of Violent Video Games

Media violence in general is prevalent on the youth coming in many forms but according to analysts, the “booming” industry of video games has the most widespread impact in modern society. According to studies, violent video games make gamers more aggressive towards other people. In a November publication of Journal Pediatrics, children in the United States and Japan are observed to have inhibited a more hostile attitude after playing violent video games. Their counterparts on the other hand showed little or no increase at all of their aggressive behavior after a subsequent length of time. They stated that, “This was true even after the researchers took into account how aggressive the children were at the beginning of the study, a strong predictor of future bad behavior.” (Harding). Another notable observation is how being engaged in violent video games instead of merely acting as a third party lets the players experience sensations similar to the real world. This “physiological arousal” led to the development of more intense and violent thoughts in the minds of the participants in an experiment where test subjects were requested to engage in a game called ‘Dactyl Nightmare’, a vehement virtual reality game. (Anders, et al.) As children spend more time playing violent video games, they are shown to be more prone to engage in...
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