For decades

For decades, there has been an ongoing debate about if violent video games played by the majority of our youth are promoting violence and aggressive behavioral issues. A report from the American Psychological Association, (APA) concluded “The research demonstrates a consist relation between violent video game use and increases in aggressive behavior, aggressive cognitions and aggressive affect, and decreases in pro-social behavior, empathy and sensitivity to aggression.” (APA, 2015.) There should be more regulations on violent video games for children because it leads to aggressive behavior, addictive habits, and act as an aid to practice premeditated crime.
In video games, violent acts are often contextualized as heroic or humorous and many players experience aggressive scenes as entertaining. However, many experts are concluding that the use of violence for entertainment purposes within the gaming world might be perceived as trivializing aggression, especially by pacifists. It is also reasonable to assume that pacifists experience moral threat from violent video games. These games also directly reward violent behaviors. When you “kill” someone you are awarded with points or by allowing players to advance to the next level. In some games, players are even rewarded verbally, such as hearing phrases like “Nice Shot!” after killing an opponent. (Rothmund, 2015.)
The impact of playing video games can cause hostile behaviors in our youth and is a controversial topic that has been debated for decades. The video game industry has progressed into a dominant platform in the entertainment industry. Video games in all genres have rapidly become the one of the most popular forms of media. The video game industry revenues exceeded the movie industry sales in the United States in 2005 and worldwide in 2008. The gaming industry is increasing at substantial rates compared to the growth of the sales in the music and movie industries. However, the growth of this industry has been mainly due to the increasingly high number of violent video games created.
Shortly after the devastating Columbine shooting, in which two students at their high school decided to cause utterly disturbing tear on their school. Television, movies, and violent video games were a target for senseless acts of violent behavior. After this horrific event the media encouraged the narrative the Eric Harris And Dylan Klebold dispositions for violent video games. Nearly 15 years later, our youth doesn’t seem to be discouraged from playing. Approximately 90% of children in the United States play video games, and it is recorded that more than 90% of those games involve mature content that mostly contains graphic and violent content. (Bond, 2011.)
The United states population consumes an immense amount of media violence. Youths between the ages of 8 to 18 spend on average more than 40 hours plus per week using some type of media. This is not including their time spent of school or homework assignments. Roughly 10% of children aged from 2 to 18 play computer and console gaming more than an hour a day. For young boys whom age from 8-13 years of game time is about 7.5 hours per week. College students and even adults are known to still play video games. The cooperative Institutional Research Program found that in the year 1998, 13/3% of men entering college played at least six hours per week.
Contrary to most often public perceptions, video games play a role in the lives of the adults as well. According to Nielson Media Research, at least 45 million households in the United States own at least one gaming console. Nevertheless, researchers claim that younger children are more susceptible to the negative effects of playing violent video games compared to older teens and adults. In addition, the rapid increase games that include violence have raised serious concerns among parents, educators, medical professionals, and policy officials about their potentially harmful effects on abnormal child developmental behavioral issues. About 90% of pediatricians and 67% of parents agreed that violent games can increase aggressive behavior among our youth.
Another underlying concern about violent video games in the hands of children is the lack of parental oversight. The Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) rates all the games that are sold to the public. The ESRB gives the parents the option to decide what video games are allowed for their family to use. Teens in grades 8 through 12 report that about 90% of their parents have never checked the ratings before allowing their children to have the games. (Walsh, 2000.) As well as parents letting their children have free reign of their console all times of the day. This can easily lead to children becoming so addicted to games that they can go hours on end without eating, drinking, or sleeping. This addictive video game usage is a unhealthy lifestyle that can affect young children’s development in a negativity harmful way.
In a report published on August 13, an APA task force reviewed more than 100 studies on violent video game us published between the years 2005 and 2013. They concluded that playing video games can increase aggressive behavior and thoughts, while reducing empathy and sensitivity toward aggression. “Scientists have investigated the use of violent video games for more than two decades but to date, there is very limited research addressing whether violent video games cause people to commit acts of criminal violence,” said task force chair Mark Appelbaum in a statement. “However, the link between violence in video games and increased aggression in players is one of the most studied and best established in the field.” The agency states that it is counting on the industry to increase parenteral controls and to minimize exposure to young children.
These harsh games are also an outlet to help organize crime. People who are planning to create crimes will use these violent video games to practice and help build up their confidence. The graphics on these games are so advanced that it looks and feels as if it is a real-life situation. Because of this, it makes consequences seem nonexistent. Advocates of video games have emphasized their use as an expressive medium. Violent video games offer a platform to teach children to practice aggressive solutions in conflict.
In a 2012 study, Andr Melzer of the University of Luxembourg along with Mario Gollwitzer of Philipps University Marburg in Germany, found that inexperienced players felt an urge to “cleanse” themselves after playing violent video games. Researchers asked players to play either a driving game or the harsh violent packed Grand Theft Auto for about 15 minutes, then pick gifts from an assortment, half of the options were hygienic, (shower gel, deodorant, etc.) and half nonhygienic (gummy bears, box of tea, etc.) Inexperienced players who played Grand Theft Auto were more likely to choose hygienic products than experienced players or inexperienced players who played the driving game.
Psychologist Douglas A. Gentile of Iowa State University states whatever we practice repeatedly affects the brain. If we practice aggressive ways of thinking, feeling and reacting, he writes, “then we will get better at those.” In a 2008 survey on the gaming habits of about 2,500 young people, Gentile and his father, psychologist J. Ronald Gentile, found that children and adolescents who played more violent games were likelier to report “aggressive cognitions and behaviors.” They concluded that violent video games “appear to be exemplary teachers of aggression.” They also found that eighth and ninth graders who played violent games more frequently displayed greater “hostile attribution bias” (being vigilant for enemies) and got into more arguments with teachers.
In 2010, Bushman along with colleagues from around the world, conducted a comprehensive meta-analysis of 136 articles reporting 381 effects of violent video games on aggression, empathy and prosocial behavior of more than 130,000 participants from across the world. His studies revealed that violent video games increased aggressive thoughts, angry feelings, physiological arousal. Higher heart rate as well as blood pressure. Violent video games have also decreased empathy for others. The effects occurred for males and females of all ages, regardless of age, race, gender, or what country they lived in. Bushman stated a very interesting but factual statement “Playing video games could be compared to smoking cigarettes, a single cigarette won’t cause lung cancer, but smoking over weeks or months or years greatly increases the risk. In the same way, repeated exposure to violent video games may have a cumulative effect on aggression.” (Bushman 354.)
Studies have also shown a connection between violent video games and bullying. Many peer-reviewed studied have concluded that children who play M-rated games are more likely to bully and cyberbully their peers, get into physical fights, be hostile, argue with teachers, and show aggression towards children. 600% of middle school boys and 40% of middle school girls who played at least one Mature-rated games hit or beat up someone. Compared to the 39% of boys and 14% of girls who did not play M-rated games and have never been in an aggressive situation.
In a 2015 peer-reviewed study found “compelling evidence that the use of realistic controllers can have a significant effect on the level of cognitive aggression.” An incident in Tennessee where two teens shot at passing cars and killed an innocent driver. They told the police they got the idea from the violent video game Grand Theft Auto. Bruce Bartholow, professor of psychology at the University of Missouri, stated that “More than any other media, these video games encourage active participation in violence. From a psychological perspective, video games are excellent teaching tools because they reward players for engaging in certain types of behavior. Unfortunately, in many popular video games, the behavior is violence.”
The US marine Corps Licensed Doom II in 1996 to create Marine Doom to train soldiers. The US army released first-person shooter game America’s Army to recruit soldiers and prepare recruits for war. The military may benefit from using soldiers to practice their kills, kids who are exposed to the harsh violence lack the discipline and training of the armed forces. This then leads to negative outcomes such as children becoming more susceptible to acts of violence.