Do Video Games Cause Bad Behavior

1474 words - 6 pages

One of today’s most debated topics is whether violent video games cause bad behavior. This topic has been researched for almost 30 years and there are still major opinion differences. Many psychologists say violent video games do cause bad behavior, and claim that games such as Manhunt, Grand Theft Auto, and Modern Warfare, desensitize people to violence, making it a norm in society. Others disagree, claiming that these games, although they can be very violent, can help people develop critical thinking skills. (Nonviolent video games are preferred for this though). The truth is, violent video games do both; studies indicated that some games increase aggressive thought, feelings and behaviors in both the long and short term. But, studies also show that some benefits include visual attention to the periphery of a computer screen, improve adults contrast sensitivity, and some games require team work, which helps develop collaboration skills.
Why do some like video games while others despise them?
As stated before, video games can cause many problems, and many benefits, which explains why people either love them, or hate them. Video gaming is very repetitive, and that’s what makes them such good teachers. Douglas Gentile, author of the article ‘Video Games Affect the Brain-for Better and Worse’ says, “. . . repetition is one precondition for long-term potentiation—the strengthening of brain-cell connections (synapses) through repeated use that is thought to underlie memory storage and learning.” That being said, violent video games that involve strategy can increase the amount of critical thinkers in the world. However, the fact that video games are such big influences on their players is exactly why so many people in society are uneasy about them. What are kids and teens playing ‘Manhunt 2’ (player stalks and kills victims to please a “director” who wants the murder to be as horrific as possible, and the player is injected with a drug that brings out their natural “homicidal tendencies”) or ‘Resident Evil 4 (players shoot, stab and bomb their way through hundreds of real looking humans and monsters. “Cursing and sexual dialogue round out the mix.) taught to do? Playing these games will not make them go out and shoot someone, but they use more aggressive language, and images, have less ability to control their anger, and externalize these things in violent ways.
Violent video games can harm society.
There are many issues when dealing with the two sides of this debate. Those who claim violent video games don’t harm society sometimes get their information from what they believe to be expert advice; many times this advice comes from “experts” hired by media industries. “The media industries spend so much money on trying to convince the general public that there is nothing to worry about,” says Craig Anderson, who was interviewed on “Violent Video Games and Other Media Violence”. “The media industry is very worried about its profits and will do...

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