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Do Video Games Result In More Violent Youth?

1604 words - 6 pages

The progressively realistic features and marketing of video games has increased their over-whelmingpopularity among youth. "79% of American children now play computer or video games on a regular basis[and] children between the ages of seven and 17 play for an average of eight hours a week" (Walsh, 2). Crueland gory video games have been a constant debate among parents, educators, and government officials, andalthough youth with a history of aggression are more prone to the affects of violent video games, this doesnot mean there is a lack of harm to the 'normal' children of society. When focusing on the influences of videogames, we must remember that parents have the ultimate authority when it comes to controlling thebehavioral affects violent video games have on society's youth.A meta-analysis focusing on the effects of normal American children initiates a debate on prominentand reoccurring information when comparing violent and non-violent games. As mentioned in Walsh's article,studies measuring the physiological responses have shown that violent games increase physiological arousalincluding heart rate, systolic blood pressure, and diastolic blood pressure. These physiological effects arealarming, as they are the same types of physiological reactions bodies have when engaged in a fight. Also,studies measuring cognitive responses have shown that violent games increase aggressive thoughts. Childrensubjected to brutal games tend to interpret ambiguous social cues as being of hostile intent such asdepression, negative self-perceptions, and peer rejection. Similarly, studies measuring pro-social attitudes andbehaviors after playing violent video games have shown that they decrease a player's tendency towardpositive behaviors like helping others and changing emotions. Finally, studies measuring aggressive actionsafter have shown that vicious games increase aggressive behavior.Furthermore, when looking at a particular study of eighth and ninth graders, "students who playedmore violent video games were more likely to see the world as a hostile place, to get into frequent argumentswith teachers, and to be involved in physical fights" (Walsh, 11). Many researchers and psychologists believethat sadistic video games are not to be blamed for these types of behaviors; instead, the cause is a previousaggressive personality that is attracted to more violent games. While this may be true to a certain extent, thisstudy found that exposure to fierce video games is a significant cause of physical fights, even when students'hostility level and amount of game playing are controlled. "Children with the lowest hostility scores are almost10 times more likely to have been involved in physical fights if they play a lot of violent video games than ifthey do not play violent games (38% compared to 4%)" (Walsh, 11). This study concluded that children whoare more hostile but do not play violent video games are less likely to be involved in fights than children whoare less...

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