Seven hours. That is the amount of hours a day the average American child plays a video games (Anderson 354), and with technology advancing and games becoming more graphic, the concern over a violent game’s effect over a child’s development is growing. What does playing video games for seven hours do to a child’s development? Violent, role-playing video games adversely affects a child’s development and causes aggression in children and adolescents; these games desensitize players, reward hurt and destruction, and glorify dangerous weapons. For some clarification, violent video games are defined as any game where the objective is to cruelly hurt or kill another character. Role-playing games are defined as any game where the player is responsible for the characters actions; they instigate all moves made by their character. Also, aggression is defined not to mean that a child will go to school and shoot everyone or even engage in fist fights as result of playing too many video games. Aggression here means non-physical acts as well as physical ones.
The first harmful effect of violent, role-playing games is their effect on a youth’s reaction to violence and gore. When a child spends so much time exposed to the kind of brutality depicted in violent video games, the actions executed lose meaning. When interviewed, Mrs. Oake, a registered nurse and mother of two, stated “Eventually, the gravity of the violent acts and their consequences are lost on these children. It may become difficult for them to grasp the fact that this behavior causes serious consequences in real life.” In turn, this means that the children are more likely to be aggressive, because the magnitude of their actions means nothing to them. Dr. Levine agrees that “Desensitization, then, can help children engage in activities that were previously anxiety-provoking.” (33) Meaning that one
Bibliography: Anderson, Craig A., et al. “The Influence of Media Violence on Youth” Psychological Science in the Public Interest 4.3 (Dec., 2003): Web. 15 Nov. 2009 A journal about the effects of media violence (T.V, movies and video games) on youth Gentile, Douglas A., et al. “The effects of violent video game habits on adolescent hostility, aggressive behaviors, and school performance” Journal of Adolescence. 27 (2004): Web. 30 Nov. 2009 Journal on the effects of video games on adolescence Haugen, David M. and Susan Musser, eds. “Media Violence” Opposing viewpoints Series. Detroit: Gale, 2009. Print. Levine, Madeline. Viewing Violence. New York: Doubleday, 1996. Print. Seltzer. “Tendencies” No date. Online Image. Parentstv.org 18 Nov. 2009 Picture of two boys who have beaten up a newspaper stand