Computer games have a negative impact on the development of children, especially contributing to aggressive and anti-social behaviour. Playing computer games has a greater negative effect because it involves interactivity which impacts on learning processes of the child.
• Numerous studies around the effects of violence in television, movies and video games on children have taken place over the last twenty years. The outcomes of various studies have shown that there is a negative effect of consuming violent media.
• When it comes to computer games, however, research by Douglas Gentile and Craig Anderson, indicates that violent computer games have an even stronger effect on children’s behaviour because of its interactivity.
• The General Aggression Model (GAM) has been developed to integrate recent findings in aggression theory and research with earlier models. In this model, the performance of aggression is based on learning, activation and application of aggression-related knowledge stored in memory.
• It suggests that violent media causes short-term increases in aggression. Various studies were performed to prove this statement, involving exposing young adults to violent computer games, and testing their reaction to stimuli. The result was a quantifiable impact on the individual’s ‘internal’ state, the conclusion being that “violent media increases aggressive cognition (including previously learned aggressive scripts and aggressive perceptual schemata), by increasing arousal, or by creating an aggressive affective state.”
• The long term effects involve learning processes. The model puts forward the idea that each encounter with violent media, is essentially one more learning trial, since knowledge structures are built on how humans perceive, interpret, judge and respond to events based on interactions in the real (in the family or at school) or perceived (the media) world.
• As stated earlier,