P. Stephen Calcutt
9 October 2012
Video Game-Playing is Unhealthy for Teenagers
Effects of Violent Video games
The amount of time invested in various media by adolescents rises every year due to the increasing technology advancements. In fact, between 2004 and 2009 the amount of time an 8- to 18 year old spent with media increased by 1 hour and 17 minutes a day, resulting in 7 hours and 38 minutes per day in 2009 (Reinburg, 2010). This amount of time is mind-blowing when added up and compared to the amount of time adults spend at their jobs. On average, it is more than seven and a half hours a day, seven days a week, which is more than 53 hours a week and more than grownups spend in a full-time job (Reinburg, 2010). Many types of media occupy adolescents’ time, including television, movies, internet, video games, etc. Furthermore, different genres of media affect adolescents’ thoughts and actions during their lives. Due to increasing sales of video games, over $20 billion worldwide (Cohen, 2000), video game playing is an interest and concern regarding the amount of time and type that adolescents are exposed to and the effects of long-term playing. Although video games are designed to be entertaining, challenging, and educational, most of them encompass violent content. Some reports even conclude that as any as 89% of games contain some violent content and about half of the games include serious violent content towards other game characters (Gentile, 2004). This paper discusses the effects of teenagers playing violent video games in connection to increasing aggressiveness and hostility. Many studies have proven that the effects of violent video games cause increasing traits of negative attitudes and behaviors of adolescents that are exposed to these games. Uhlmann and Swanson (2004) investigated the effects of Doom, a popular 3D violent shoot-‘em-up video game, on students in their paper, Exposure to Violent Video Games Increases Automatic...
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Gentile, D. A., Lynch, P. J., Linder, J. R., & Walsh, D. A. (2004). The effects of violent video game habits on adolescent hostility, aggressive behaviors, and school performance. Journal of Adolescence, 27, 5-22. doi: 10.1016/j.adolescence.2003.10.002.
Reinburg, S. (2010). U.S. kids using media almost 8 hours a day: Survey finds few parents set rules as use of 'smart ' phones, computers soars. Businessweek Magazine. Available at: http://www.businessweek.com/lifestyle/content/healthday/635134.html
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Uhlmann, E. & Swanson, J. (2004). Expsoure to violent video games increases automatic aggressiveness. Journal of Adolescence, 27, 41-52. doi: 10.1016/j.adolescence.2003.10.004.
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