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.”
Tell us on Facebook: Are you ok with your kids playing violent video games?
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Photo: Image Source/Getty Images
I hate when **** like this is said...video game dont promote **** but entertainment. "In a recent study.." my ****!!! CEO's are robbing billions for millions, nothing is said! I dont come on your job and slap the dick out your mouth?!?!? Then why come and tell me my job is killing kids- GO **** yourself "BigBrother"
You don't have to have research to know that when you experience stimuli over and over that it becomes the new norm for you. We have ample studies that support the simple statement; "you are what you experience". It doesn't take a neuroscientist to deduce that anyone who watches horrific and violent dvd's and engages in violent interactive gaming is going to be affected by them. Those who are mentally challenged will be more affected if they cannot discern reality from fantasy.
Parents and educators must play a role as well as government instituting gun controls but most importantly the media industry has got to be held accountable when it comes to what they are making available to the public to view.
If you live and experience calmness and peacefulness you will increase the chances of being a calm and peaceful person. If you live and experience violence and human degradation you will increase the chances of being violent and degrading to others.
“There have been no scientific studies that connect violent video games to violence,”
Duh! It is a matter of the heart, or a spiritual matter and not about the physical realm.
Are people really this blind?
I'm sorry there is a lot more to someone committing violence crimes than just video games. I mean a kid isn't going to just one day out of the blue say hey you know what I think today would be a great day to rob, rape, or kill someone all because I see people in video games do it. There has to be a some other problem going on in the kids head like being bullied to many years, or sexual abuse, abusive parents to trigger the violence. I mean think about it when was the last time someone just up an killed someone out of the blue all, because they were ONLY playing violent video games. I bet you can't tell me with out having problems any trauma or mental thing a persons life. Take a look at the Sandy Hook massacre we don't now what was fully going on in the kids life to commit such an awful thing. We just know what we heard on the news.
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