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?
More from MSN Living: The top 10 worst moments in mom judgment
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.”
Tell us on Facebook: Are you ok with your kids playing violent video games?
More from MSN Living:
12 violent video games to avoid
50 ways to stay bonded to your kids
How to help your kids feel safe
Is homework really necessary?
Districts look to beef up school safety with panic buttons
Photo: Image Source/Getty Images
Another point that I think should be incorporated is that there are plenty of things that can cause desensitization, including our media. While I still have empathy for the families, there are several factors that make it of no real issue for me. First is the reality that while none of these experiences have happened to me or near me, I may find the story disturbing and wish the best for the victims, but am overall unaffected. Call it what you wish but location and the personal nature of the crime is an emotional trigger, where the humanity sets in with the reality of ones situation. Second, I have begun to notice, at least within myself and the society around me, that while these are horrifying events, the more they happen and the more they are paraded day in and day out on television and other media outlets, the less affected we as a society on a whole are. I think we should regulate how long and how much the media broadcasts on these situations if we are to curb some problems. Not only does it become normal to hear these tragic stories week after week, sometimes day after day, but it also attracts a crowd of disturbed people. When I say disturbed, I mean sick individuals, looking to exploit their crimes in a manner that brings them some form of personal satisfaction, by becoming 'famous', or even fulfilling other character defects or desires. I am all for the freedom of speech and media, but I think maybe our corporate media giants should analyze the effects of being to open and honest. Let me share something I have written.
"Water always falls, it is how it falls that determines how much damage it does."
There is a such thing as being to honest.
I would also like to point out that quite a few people have commented on the lack of discipline within our society and I quite agree. America, please tell me when we stopped being parents? Police officers and military members that are station home side carry weapons all the time and do not commit these heinous acts. Why? because they more than likely grew up under a firm and steady house hold, and went in to a career that also taught what? DICIPLINE.
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.
family: tips, trends & advice for all things family
Kids and water parks go together like macaroni and cheese. Check out our top picks for your next wet and wild vacation.
We got new dads to dish on what they wish their partners knew. So, listen up, mamas!
Are you really ready to be a parent, or should you stick with a houseplant? Find out before you TTC.
With all the glitz and glamour that comes out of Tinseltown (not to mention the endless tabloid fodder), it's not always obvious that many celebrities are animal lovers, too.
From designer crosses to giant breeds, we scoured Vetstreet's data of millions of dog breeds to determine the trendiest breeds of the past decade.
One of the most unsettling consequences of bringing a child into your previously simple, happily oblivious manly life is that you’re now unquestionably, inescapably…The Man.
Whether it was baby’s first kick or the first time your boobs leaked in public, there’s a point in every mom’s life when the world as you know it ends and you realize -- Whoa, I'm someone's mom now. Some of our favorite mommy bloggers revealed what their aha moments were. They range from heartwarming to completely hilarious.
From DIY jewelry to homemade “flowers” to sweet vases, you can help your kid make mom’s day with these crafty gifts.
The first parenting shock: They let you take the baby home. Like, without supervision. Only then do the real surprises unfold. Here's what readers told us was most unexpected for them as they embraced this whole mama thing.
Be prepared to say, 'awww,' multiple times while flipping through this collection super-sweet stuff for babies and kids on Etsy.com. Take a peek at some of our favorite finds for moms (and click 'More' to find out how to get this amazing gnome hat!)...By MSN Living editors
Your Mother’s Day plans are all set, right? Brunch is booked and a fabulous gift is wrapped and ready to go. So take a breather and celebrate these stylish celebrity moms who work hard, care for their kids, and manage to look amazing in the process.
Find out this year’s top baby names on Parenting.com, and see what we predict will be big in 2013