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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When young children are in early developmental stages, they are unable to comprehend the deep meaning of death and its consequences. When violent deaths are portrayed in the absence of all emotions- grief, empathy, sympathy, compassion, young children don't associate those emotions with death.
I am not blaming the video games/movie industry. It IS the parent's responsibility to make sure their children are not exposed before they are cognitively and emotionally able to process it.
Dynasty Warrier is a game based on the dynasty of china during that time and on true historical information, don't we also have our children exposed to this same type of violence in history class? Really be a parent, know what your children are watching, discuss with them it is a GAME and can be learned from not exemplafied. Violence is in our society always has been - how the parent manages it is the issue. Unfortunately most parents are afraid their children won't like them or love them if they disciplin them. HELLO that is part of being a parent, take responsibility for your childs action and stop blaming, games, tv etc that you can control
Since it's initial release, the Call of Duty franchise has released 9 of their main titles to major consoles. This does not include mobile apps and expansions. As of November 2011 (sorry I don't have more up to date figures on this) they have reported over 100,000,000 copies of their major titles sold. Assuming we lump them all together and that a majority of them are repeat buyers, we're looking at 13888888 people (using a 125 mil number I'm pretty sure it's higher than that to date). That's almost 14000000 people exposing themselves to a violent video game of their own free will. If we're going by their logic and we blame violent video games for our crazies, you have a 1/526 chance that the person next to you is going to "go postal" based on playing this violent video game. It may seem like a small chance but we're looking at a population of 7,060,281,019.
Stop pointing the finger at games. It is a stupid argument that benefits no one. By doing this you're not fixing the problem, you're putting a band-aid on a landmine victim. Until you fix the actual problem (and don't be fooled, the problem is the people) blaming everything else will not help anyone.
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