Video games have become very popular among many age groups especially teenagers. It's common for teenagers to spend hours playing video games, particularly games with violence, sex, and criminal behavior. This is a huge concern for many parents. One parent says, "My kid is so lazy, all he does is play video games in the basement! I don't know what to do."
Susan, another parent says, "It's frustrating when my son plays video games when it's a beautiful day out. I don't get it!"
Many parents tend to believe video games are a waste of time, antisocial, and believe their child will become violent. But most young people, especially teen boys describe video games as fun, exciting, and another way to spend time with friends.
An interesting fact parents should know is video game violence can increase aggression in only some individuals, depending on their personalities. Research by Patrick Markey, PhD, sampled 118 teenagers and participants played a violent or a non-violent video game and then hostility levels were tested. Teenagers who were "highly neurotic, less agreeable and less conscientious," are more likely to be affected by violent video games. Participants who didn't have these personality traits were not affected or only slightly affected. Surprisingly, research has also found violent content isn't the main draw for the younger audience. Boys especially, surround friendships around video games and are more interested in playing to compete and win. It can be similar to "rough-housing" play boys engage in as part of normal development. It's another outlet for competition, status or to establish a hierarchy in the group (Olson CK. "Children's Motivations for Video Game Play in the Context of Normal Development").
One teen, Alastair says, "It's exciting, it's like playing football, a way to bond". Another teen, Mike C. said, "Some of my favorite high school memories were on xbox live. It's an easy way to connect with friends."
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