|← The Importance of Maintaining Academic Honesty||Data Collection →|
Majority of adolescents in the US and around the world love and play video games. For instance, the research, carried out in 2008, documented that 97% of American youth between the ages of 12and 17 play video games. This fuels the 11.7 billion dollars income for video games in the industry. Out of the 20 video games, selling fast in the US in 2008, 10 contained violence. Consequently, violent video games, allegedly, increase bullying, as well as violence, towards women in school. Some critiques argue that the games desensitize the players to violence through rewarding players for winning violence. It teaches children that violence is acceptable in the society. However, violent video games do not cause violence in the youth.
Violent video games do not contribute to violence, because the decline in violent juvenile crimes was observed as the violent video games gained popularity in the United States. There was a significant decline in juvenile murders between the years 1995 and 2008. Generally, the arrest of juvenile crimes has declined significantly as the sale of violent video games went four times higher. In addition, the link between violent games and violent behaviours among the youth is not justifiable. Most studies were designed with flaws and most of the methodologies employed in the studies are not reliable in evaluating vices, such as noise blast tests employed in a majority of these studies. The thoughts about aggression in children are confused with aggressive behaviours. There is also lack of studies following children’s behaviour over an extended period.
Due to research, revealed by the US secret service, it has been discovered that a number of attackers in schools had an interest in video games less than the interest shown in violent books, movies and in the way of writing of the attackers. This study did not find any relationship between playing violent games and school shooting. Such fact implies that there is no direct link between violent behaviours and violent video games (Willis, 2010). Furthermore, the small correlations found between violence and playing of violent video games may be explained by the fact that most of the violent youths develop interest in violent video games. Violent video is not the cause for violence in youths. This is because most of the youths who have experienced violence in some way have the tendency of seeking violent forms of entertainment, such as violent video games.
By allowing the youth to play violent video games we may see the lowering of violence level inside them as video games replace rough and violent behaviours. Through playing violent video games, adolescents get an opportunity for expression of aggression as well as forming peer group. All the youth playing video games understand at the back of their minds that they are playing video games. The youth has the ability to distinguish fantasy and reality, which prevents them from emulating violence in the video games to violence in the real life. Playing video games provides a safe way for aggressive, violent and angry feelings in children who play video games. In a study, carried out in 2007, it was determined that 45 percent of boys who play these games assume that they help them to get the anger out (Gerdes, 2004). Some say that playing video games helps them to relax. In addition, violent video games provide healthy opportunities for children to explore the rules and consequences of violent behaviours. These, subsequently, give them the opportunity to experiment issues such as death, war and violence without having real world consequences.
In violent video games, the level and intensity of actions, performed by certain characters, is put under control so that to give the youth an opportunity of regulating the emotional state. Previous research explores the capability of controlling emotional and stressful responses to different stressful events. Violent video games can affect and influence the form of violence, but they do not cause violence to occur among the youth. Young people might employ different models that they have seen during violence, but not use them to cause violence. Furthermore, there is no link between violent video games and criminal violence. The link, existing between video games and violence, can be explained by the use of other factors, such as family violence and delinquency. Research shows that violent video games result in more arousal and aggression due to the fact that comparative games are less exciting for the youth (Craig, 2003). The short term aggression in children does not mean that the child will leave the house to go and commit violence. In addition, the research carried out by the American Academy of Paediatrics revealed that exposure to violence in the media represents a significant risk to the behaviour of children and adolescents.
On the other hand, from extensive research, it has been concluded that violence in the media contributes to violent behaviours in the youths. Video games contribute to youth violence. For instance, there is elevation of bullying in schools attributed to the fashionable use of violent video games. From the research done in 2008, it was reported that 60 percent of school boys who played violent video games were reported to beat up someone, compared to 39 percent of the boys who did not play violent video games. Furthermore, the majority of video games reward their players for winning in violent episodes. This creates a window for the players to learn violent behaviours. Previous studies have proven that when violence is rewarded in games, the players exhibit an increase in aggressive behaviours, compared to those who play video games with punished violence. Too much video games desensitize players towards real life. This is because the fact of disappearance of killed victims is common. The players can even have multiple lives. For instance, in 2005 violent video games were linked to the reduction of the amplitudes in the brain. The p300 amplitude in the brain desensitizes violence and increases aggressive violent behaviours.
Video games are also associated with incidences of school shooting. Violent video games make the youth learn that violence is acceptable as a way of solving conflicts, and also an appropriate way of achieving individual goals. Most of the youths playing violent video games rarely believe in the use of non-violent strategies in finding a solution to problems, in comparison to the youths playing non-violent video games (Haugen, 2008). In addition, violent video games make the players derive happiness and pleasure by causing pain in others. Most of the youths have a higher likelihood of confusing video violence with the real world violence. The players may mimic the actions in the video games when making ethical decisions, when faced with challenges. Most of the violent video games require active participation, identification and repetition of violent characters. The new game controllers allow immersive physical interaction which increases the chances for youth violence.
In addition, playing violent video games increases the level of aggressive behaviour. One research made it possible to discover that it takes as long as four minutes for aggressive feelings to return to normal in children after playing. It also takes approximately 10 minutes for the heart rate to return to baseline after playing. The more violent the video games are, the more aggressively the children will react. For instance, the video games with lots of blood generate more aggressive and violent thoughts compared to the video games with less violence. There is a measurable increase in arousal and hostility when blood is present. Playing violent games enhances aggressive behavioural scripts because a behavioural script occurs as a result of repetition of actions and ultimately affects the subconscious mind. For example, one of the common behavioural scripts is the drivers’ scripts in the driver’s mind which always tell the driver to get to the drivers seat, fasten the seat belt and turn the ignition. Consequently, violent video games can result in the development of behavioural scripts. The violence in video games can lead to violence in the real world when these scripts are triggered in daily lives, for example, during play time in school.
In conclusion, violent video games do not cause violent behaviours among the youth. Other factors play an immense role in increasing the violence level in young people, among them are economic, social and environmental factors. The family set up is also an important factor. This is because children born in hostile homes are more violent compared to children from humble families.