Research demonstrates that video games can influence our brains in both beneficial and harmful ways. Well-designed games can act as teachers, but violent games may desensitize players to violence. Thursday, July 23, By: Headlines about how video games affect the brain range from upbeat to dire.
Select network The consumption of violent media is a topic for discussion with regards to its impact on impressionable American youths. The question of whether or not violent video games can have a negative impact on the mental health and psychological stability of children is an important one.
There is a need to determine how children are affected by violent video games since these games have become more popular and widely available in recent years. Moreover, regardless of what position one takes regarding the influence these games may have, it cannot be disputed that children regardless of age spend a considerable amount of their time using a variety of media, including social media and video games Whitaker and Bushman Admittedly, even video games that claim to be for all audiences especially suited for young children also contain some violence, although not as extensive or graphic as those rated M.
Therefore, this paper will provide a review of the current research related to the effect of violent video games on children. Special emphasis is placed on studies and articles focused on changes in aggressive behavior and the theories that explain such changes.
Background information on video games and its impact on young children In spite of arguments to the contrary which will be addressed in more detail later the evidence appears convincing that regular playing of video games results in changes in the development of children, physical and especially cognitive, psychological and physiological McLean and Griffiths This is not to say that all changes are negative, because research also shows that positive changes are observed.
There is a significant literature showing such positive impacts, but this relates to video games in different genres developing thinking and reasoning skills, for examplenot those filled with graphic violence and death.
However, the most consistent findings related to violent video games and children indicate a clearly negative effect McLean and Griffiths Many experts consider video games as instruments with an ability to persuade casual users to become regular or even excessive users e.
Since the attraction of video games in indisputable, including violent games, understanding how the latter affect children is critical. Aggression and violence - a byproduct? This research article is concerned with theories of aggression, since it is important to understand how playing violent video games relate to the processes of the brain, both during the initial game playing and, perhaps more importantly, future behavior of people that are part of society.
One theory in particular, called the General Aggression Model, is used to examine how exposure to violent media content affects a young person in the short- and long-term Carnagey and Anderson The theory is rather complex but, as a brief synopsis, it states that a young person becomes desensitized to violence due to the way the violent action is presented.
In effect, a young person begins to view violence as ordinary and commonplace Greitemeyer and McLatchierather than something to be avoided.
As a result, the young person experiences definite cognitive changes that may include a diminished fear of personal injury leading to greater risk-takingand even a callous feeling toward violence and its victims Greitemeyer and McLatchie The evidence from studies based on social-cognitive learning theory clearly indicates that children involved with playing violent video games experience an increased presentation of aggressive behavior.
Significantly, Saleem et al. Furthermore, another study that applied social-cognitive theory to violent video games also containing offensive language obtained similar results Ivory and Kaestle These studies found aggressive behavior in children that included arguments and fights with their peers in various settings.
While not explicitly mentioned in the research, a reasonable conclusion is that this kind of violence during early growth periods can lead to violence and crime later in life. Video games remain popular with both children and adults, with adults including parents often viewing them as an easy method of keeping children occupied.
In addition, officials in schools, youth residential treatment centers, and other agencies utilize video games in various ways over the course of their day while working with children DeLisi, Vaughn, Gentile, Anderson and Shook As troublesome as it may be, even in these latter settings, adults are often inclined to let children play violent video games in return for cooperative or compliant behavior.
In light of the above-cited research, this behavior on the part of adults is troubling. This is especially true when children or youths have already shown an inclination toward psychopathology that may be aggravated by exposure to violent video games.
Contrary evidence discrediting the impact of violent video games There is a significant preponderance of literature pointing to the negative effect of violent video games on children. One of the most widely expressed complaints about the research is that video game playing—even violent games—are simply part of normal adolescent behavior.
Furthermore, it is claimed that nearly all media that young people are exposed to include violence so it is impossible to isolate violent video games as the greater source of problematic youth behavior DiLisi et al. In bivariate correlations, video game violence use was related to reduced dating violence; however, this relationship did not hold once other variables were controlled.
These results confirm expectations by other scholars that any links between video games and aggression are merely the byproduct of other processes occurring in the life of the child.
Admittedly, however, few studies exist that address violence or delinquency by young people, which significantly skews the results found in the literature overall. In most cases, these studies examined extreme cases of violent actions and crimes DiLisi et al.Video gamers, parents, politicians and the press often lionize or attack video games, which opens the door to spin that obfuscates our understanding of how these games affect people.
For example, the European Parliament has been debating whether to limit children’s access to video games. The psychological processes underlying the impact of playing violent video games on subsequent displays of aggression are most likely to include emotional desensitization When buying groceries, many shoppers prefer certain products simply because they have a familiar brand name.
The first and most important reason why violent video games have negative impact on child is it's negative physical consequences. Children spend most of their time in playing violent video games and they are unable to take their meals on time and at the end .
The assessment measure developed for this study, Social Evaluations of Video Games Survey for High School Students, was designed to assess adolescents’ attitudes towards and evaluations of gender stereotypes in video games as well as their video game playing habits.
It was found that playing violent video games is a significant risk factor for later physical aggression in both Japan and the United States—for boys and girls (Anderson et al., ). However, linking video games to poor social skills and behaviors often misses the bigger picture.
Although many concerns have been voiced related to playing video games, especially those that are violent, [e.g., increases in aggressive behavior in children (Anderson & Bushman, )], this paper will argue that certain video games also have beneficial effects.