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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Yes violent video games absolutely influence behavior and emotions. Billion or trillion dollar entertainment businesses around the world have been successfully doing it .Anyone who says anything contrary to that is lying. When you see a sad movie ...you get emotionally sad. When you see a scary movie ...you get scared and jumpy with the music and the scene. You laugh when something is funny even if it's not real or ridiculous. You go to an amusement park and get scared or have numerous visual scenes which cause an emotional reaction. Your mind and your emotions react to whatever visuals or sounds even when you know you are sitting safely in a building. Yet the visual settings and the seating movements and sounds cause you to experience an emotional reaction to what you are subjected to. How about a song it too influences us.
Video games absolutely desensitize children over and over again because they play games that cause violent bloody deaths to opponents. While they jab with a button or joystick at the opponent you hear the loser painfully screaming in agony and visual pain. How can anyone rationally say it doesn’t affect them? Have you not ever seen something so gory that it stays with you? Well then how can anyone say that constantly seeing violence doesn’t desensitize you?
I agree there are negligent and very evil people who are miserable lousy parents. These people became parents only because they were fertile not because they were responsible or caring. But that is just one additional component instilling a distortion in the minds of the players decreasing their humanity. Violence and/or immorality are a common ingredient in video games that annihilates any concept to have a standard of human conduct.
"shockingly violent fantasy war game called Dynasty Warriors"?? Are you serious? Check the ESRB ratings. It's rated T for Teens. It's loosely based on historical figures in ancient China. There's no blood, people just blink and disappear when killed. There are no guns in this game. It's swords and soldiers, not blood and guts. Why not just accept the fact that a mentallyt disturbed individual had access to guns that his mother should have done better at keeping from him? At what point are we going to start holding individuals accountable instead of blaming everything and anything around them?
I've been playing games since Pong. So have millions of other people. Last I checked, we aren't all murderers. I don't think Charles Manson or Jeffrey Dahmer ever played call of Duty.
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Worried that a violent video game might sneak its way into your shopping cart during the holidays? Before you make it to the register, make sure you're armed with all the information you need regarding your child's games. Just because your well-meaning thirteen-year-old promises you that the game he's about to buy with the gift card from Uncle Mike is totally chill, doesn't mean it's good for kids. Do your research ahead of time to avoid any game store drama. And have a chat with your offspring before the big day; let them know that you're going to have to green light their choices before they get their hearts set on any particular item. At the end of the day, you're just being a good parent. Some of the games on the market now may look OK at first glance, but are actually quite objectionable. Trust us: We've done our homework and we're here to give you the ultimate low-down. Check out this slideshow for all the games to steer clear of this season. Don't say we didn't warn you.
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