The Effects of Video Game Violence and Profanity in Children and Young Adults
Monika Woods Anderson
This paper will discuss research findings on the potential effects of violence and profanity in video games on the children and young adults that play them. I will discuss various research findings, both positive and negative; as well as what conclusions can be drawn from these findings and whether or not additional research could prove to be beneficial in the future.
The issue of violent content in video games has become a growing concern over the years to parents as well as scholars and medical professionals. Since the first computer-based video game made was created ...view middle of the document...
First, that violent video games have negative effects on players. There was also the idea that profanity itself could potentially affect players in a negative way. Lastly, the idea that video games have the potential to have a positive effect on players despite the amount of violence was also discussed.
Video Game Violence
Violent content in video games is said to affect players in a few different ways. These effects tend to be cognitive and social in nature. Violent video games, especially when played for excessive amounts of time; have the potential to cause players to exhibit anti-social characteristics (Anderson, Bushman). Violent content in video games may also increase the frequency of violent thoughts; Thus increasing the amount of aggression exhibited by players (Anderson, Bushman). Video games are also thought to have a priming effect on players. This means that the amount of violence witnessed by an individual during gameplay may cause the individual to react aggressively later on in a real-life situation. (Krcmar,Lachlan). While the effects of violence in video games are not completely understood; most research shows that video games can have negative effects on individuals even if these effects are not observed immediately or during game play.
There is also some research that suggests video game violence and its effect on players depends on the nature of the violence itself. Real-life violence and fantasy violence have been shown to increase the potential for player aggression more than other types of video game violence (Sherry 2006). This means that a person who plays games with violence related to real life situations may be at risk for an increase in aggression more than a person who plays puzzle, problem solving or sports games that contain some sort of violence.
Although they are less talked about than the negative effects; there have been studies that suggest violent video games can, in fact, have a positive effect on those who play them. Some studies argue that rather than causing players to become more aggressive, violent video games provide a gratifying context for the experience of emotions (Jansz 2005). This means that video games have the potential to give players the opportunity to experience different emotions freely without the risk of being judged. Unlike real-life situations, games make it possible to feel and act out emotions in ways that do not cause harm to other human beings or to one’s self.
Profanity in Video Games
Along with the increase in video game violence has come an increase in profanity and vulgar language. There are far less studies on the use of profanity specifically and its effects on video game players; But scholars and professionals agree that verbal aggression and hostility is still a form of aggression that can be caused by profanity in video games and should be studied. Research conducted on profanity in video games...