Table of Contents
Play is an important method through which children develop various social skills and it even adds to their psychological skill development. But, various toys accessed by children lead to development of negative social skills and hampers their psychological development. One such toy is the violent video games that are being played for nearly 8 hours every week by children aging between 8 years to 13 years of age (Anderson 354). Playing aggression focused visual games leads to hampering of social and psychological development. Exposure to such games promote anti-social behavior such as aggression, aggressive ways of fighting social conflict and it even leads to development of negative psychological aspects including decrease in sensitivity towards victims of violence.
Violent video games lead to development of anti-social behavior within the children population. Those who reject the claim that violent video games lead to the development of violent behavior argue that over the years there has been an increase in the sales of aggression laden video games and at the same time the rate juvenile deviant behavior has declined in the region of United States (Kutner 8). The juvenile criminal offenses may be on a decline but there can be several other factors that are leading to this decline. In the context of playing aggressive visual games, the games are motivating children to become more and more violent. Their continuous exposure to violent incidences in video games such as beating other people is being internalized by them and they are indulging in similar behavior in various social settings. Video game exposure is making children perceive that aggressive behavior in games is pro-social and they are replicating the same behavior in their everyday lives. Anderson and fellow researchers conducted a meta-analysis in which they identified that 21 studies that were experimental in nature and were conducted on the subject of the impact of aggressive visual games on the aggression of children report with 95% statistical assurance that the violence in video games promoted children to act in aggressive manner in their daily lives (Anderson 357).
Violent video games harmfully impact the psychological elements of a child including to decreasing their sensitivity towards violence in the real world and leads to a decrease in their empathy associated with victims. Those in the favor of such games promote the idea that aggression based video games leads to less aggression in the real world because these video games help players including children release their stress and aggression within the game environment (Kutner 136). Those in favor are missing the point that violent video games are not helping children release stress. These games are rather making children prone to violent activity and are decreasing the response of fear, negative attitude towards criminals and supportive attitude towards victims caused due to exposure to violence. Paludi cited a study in which participants of the study were exposed to both aggression as well as non-aggression based visual games for nearly a period of 20 minutes (Paludi 56). The outcome of the study was that those who experienced the aggressive games were found to experience decreased in their sensitivity towards violent act when they were exposed to violence based videos. This suggests that as a consequence to repeated exposure to violence through video games, gamers become prone to violence and they may not indulge in helpful behavior towards the victims of violent acts.
Violent video games promote the negative way of dealing with conflict in social situation which leads to disastrous actions carried out by children during their real social life when they experience conflict. Those who are on the pro side of violent video games argue that these games impact children in a positive manner by depicting them the negative outcomes that are associated with violent actions. Due to this, those in favor perceive that violent video games are making children pro-social, rather than anti-social (Computer Weekly News 1). This argument provided by the pro aggression based video games group is quite week as identified by the researchers themselves (Computer Weekly News 1). This is because aggressive video games are more likely to decrease pro-social behavior as these games reinforce children that being violent has various rewards. For example Kutner and fellow researchers conducted a study in order to identify whether exposure to aggression laden games resulted in the development of pro-social ways of handling conflict or not. The researchers identified that the male children who experienced exposure to violence laden video games are less likely to use nonviolent techniques of solving social conflict and they believe that if someone does harm to them or make them angry should be dealt with in the same manner (Kutner 105).
Violent games played by children in their daily life are ruining the pro-social development and is leading to negative psychological development. Such games make children prone to violence and they lose their empathy towards those who are experiencing violence. These games make the children perceive that violence is acceptable and therefore they use similar behaviors in their social life as well as when they are dealing with social conflict.
- “Research Reports on Computational Psychology from Texas A&M University Provide New Insights.” Computer Weekly News, 21 Apr. 2011, p. 411. Computer Database, db16.linccweb.org/login?url=http://go.galegroup.com.db16.linccweb.org/ps/i.do?p=CDB&sw=w&u=lincclin_mdcc&v=2.1&it=r&id=GALE%7CA255292053&asid=eb2812c62028187ef4e12934257374bc. Accessed 31 Mar. 2017.
- Anderson, Craig A., and Brad J. Bushman. “Effects of Violent Video Games on Aggressive Behavior, Aggressive Cognition, Aggressive Affect, Physiological Arousal, and Prosocial Behavior: A Meta-Analytic Review of the Scientific Literature.” Psychological Science, vol. 12, no. 5, 2001, pp. 353–359., www.jstor.org/stable/40063648.
- Kutner, Lawrence, and Cheryl K. Olson. Grand Theft Childhood: The Surprising Truth About Violent Video Games and What Parents Can Do. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2008. Print.
- Paludi, Michele A. The Psychology of Teen Violence and Victimization. Santa Barbara, Calif: Praeger, 2011. Print.