Professor Aretha Matt
29 November 2012
A Violent Influence: How Video Games affect Children
Video games have become a large part of the culture in America as well as around the world. There are a large variety of video games to choose from such sports, non-violent, and violent. The most popular genre of video games that out sells the others is the violent video game. It is hard to say why violent video games seem to dominate all the others, but one reason for this is may be because they could allow users to turn their aggression into something not so harmful and simple. Ever since Pong swept the nation, scholars have been researching the effects video games ...view middle of the document...
The more time spent playing these violent video games desensitizes the viewers to violent acts in the real world. The Academy of Pediatrics states “More than one thousand scientific studies and reviews conclude that significant exposure to media violence increases the risk of aggressive behavior in certain children, desensitizes them to violence and makes them believe that the world is a ‘meaner and scarier' place than it is” (Tompkins). According to Tompkins, if children become accustomed and believed that this violent behavior is acceptable and normal it will be hard to change that belief as they grow older.
Since these violent video games are becoming easily available to children, more have become involved in violent crimes. Violent video games condone, promote, and justify the use of violence while concealing realistic consequences (source). Developing children mainly learn through physically doing things. This can lead to children taking video game experiences and using them in real life situations. Since violence always seems to be the answer in video games, some children will learn to think that violence is the answer. For example, in 2007, there was a tragic event at Virginia Tech University. A young man by the name of Seung Hui Cho went on a rampage on the campus and killed a total of “32 students and faculty” (Source). Cho admitted to watching videos games before the killing. Another example took place in the year of 1999 where a tragic shooting at Columbine High School occurred. Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold killed 12 students, along with one teacher. Shortly after the attack and killing of their fellow students and teacher, they both committed suicide. After the massacre, a police investigation revealed a video tape of both the boys. In the video, both boys made the comment saying it would be “just like doom.” Playing these types of video games has a hypnotic effect. When children play violent video games he or she may be unaware of the behaviors that are developing in their consciousness. The children who are easily absorbed into the video game that they are playing have a higher tendency of developing aggressive thoughts and actions (source).
A study done at the Indiana University School of Medicine shows scans of children’s brains who played violent games and the scans show increased activity in the amygdala, which is involved in emotional arousal and decreased activity in the prefrontal lobe, which regulates inhibition, self-control and concentration (Source). This means that there is evidence that shows that video games can cause some aggressive thoughts in people while playing violent video games. Also, when young people are playing a violent video game, their blood pressure and heart rate increases, and "fight or flight" hormones like adrenaline flood the brain (Source). Playing violent video games affects a person’s behavior making them increase in aggressive thoughts and actions. Many studies show an increase of...