Violent video games and child aggression
Survey finds 75 percent of parents think violent video games contribute to actual violence.
Little more than one month has passed since the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut and the world still grieves for the 26 lives lost.
As the community of Newtown and the nation struggle to make sense of the devastation, gun control, mental health issues and violent video games have all been called into question. Groups like Sandy Hook Promise call for a ‘national conversation’ and President Obama is rolling out plans to curb gun violence, but the search for solutions on how to avoid a repeat incident remains.
In the days following the shooting, details unfolded surrounding Adam Lanza, the 20-year-old Newtown shooter, his “strange” behavior and “obsession” with violent video games kept surfacing. Lanza lived at his mother's colonial-style mansion, where he had two of the house's four bedrooms – one for himself and the other for the computer where he played violent video games, reports the The Telegraph.
According to express.co.uk, Lanza's favorite video game was said to be a shockingly violent fantasy war game called Dynasty Warriors. Was it a game or easy access to a deadly arsenal of guns – he reportedly learned how to shoot after his mother took him to local ranges - that inspired Lanza to carry out the deadly massacre?
The topic of virtual violence resulting in real life aggression has long been controversial. Are these games simply a fun hobby, or for children who may already be mentally or emotionally unstable, do these games have the ability to push someone over the edge?
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A new survey from Common Sense Media found that 75 percent of parents think violent video games contribute to actual violence. 1,050 people were surveyed, and 89 percent of them say violence in video games is a problem. (45 percent say it's a major problem; 44 percent say it's a minor problem.)
"There is a real harm in children having exposure to violence, such as playing violent video games," says Licensed Clinical Psychologist, Debra Kissen, Ph.D., M.H.S.A. of Chicago, IL. "By playing violent video games, children (and adults) become desensitized to this content and therefore experience less of an emotional reaction to violence," says Kissen. "Therefore, violent behavior becomes normalized and becomes a more reasonable alternative when experiencing a conflict."
Jason Schreier, Editor of Kotaku, the Gamer's Guide challenges the Common Sense Media survey findings and the association between violent video game use and violence.
“There have been no scientific studies that connect violent video games to violence,” he wrote on the site. “There have been studies that connect violent video games to aggression (more on that in the near future), but there is absolutely zero evidence, according to leading researchers in this field, that links violent video games to violent crime in any way.”
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"Lanza's favorite video game was said to be a shockingly violent fantasy war game called Dynasty Warriors. Was it a game or easy access to a deadly arsenal of guns that inspired Lanza to carry out the deadly massacre?"
Do modern-day E-Journalists research anymore? There are NO GUNS in the Dynasty Warriors series of games, only bladed weapons of the era the games takeplace in, around the 2nd century China. And by videogame standards, it's not "shockingly" violent.
Really, stop blaming media. I've been playing video games and watching violent horror and action films since the early 80s and have yet to go on a killing spree or violent rampage. I'm married with children, have a good career, and have varied interests and hobbies.
It's just ignorance to blame it on video games. Video games have a ratings system and believe it or not, it works just fine. If your 13 year old is playing an M rated game then you're not doing your job as a parent. Of course, your job should not be simply to keep your 13 year old from playing these games but to TALK to your children and know what they can and cannot handle emotionally, psychologically. But that's the problem, parents don't know their children anymore, they're completely disconnected.
If video games desensitize our children to violence...what about television, or the news shows reporting as a matter of fact on the wars that are being conducted, i.e. capturing Bin Laden, and the praise received by the Seal Team 6. I think placing blame is easy and endless, we can find all types of reasons why something terrible happens...let's practice the one thing that will help avoid it...parenting.
Video Games are only the latest in a long line of things blamed for violence. It used to be Rock music. Any responsibilty for a child playing a video game that is too violent for their age and impressionable mind, falls solely on the negligent and absent parents/guardians.
Each video game box clearly states the age group appropriate for the game and why. Disturbed people will always committ terrible acts, despite the age of the person. But let's get over the fact that a game causes these acts. Virtual guns do not cause real deaths. People, pay attention to your children and keep your weapons locked in a safe. Stop redirecting the blame onto a legitimate artistic and entertainment medium.
I think if a person has those tendencies towards violence , games, movies or music will NOT further those feelings. AS LONG AS......There is a responsible parent or guardian there to explain it to them the difference between the fake world and the real world
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