Violent video games can lead to aggressive and violent behavior in children and adolescents. “Violent media increase aggression by teaching observers how to aggress, by priming aggressive cognition (including previously learned aggressive scripts and aggressive perceptual schemata), by increasing arousal, or by creating an aggressive state” (Anderson and Bushman 355). As more children are becoming exposed violence in video games in the recent years, violence in schools and other locations where children are prominent has increased. “A national crime victimization survey compiled and maintained by the United States Department of Justice, shows that overall crime rates in United States society have fallen. Simultaneously, school- based studies reveal that many violent behaviors have increased among children and adolescents” (“Causes of School Violence” 1). Exposure to violence in video games can lead to aggressive behavior, desensitization, and an increase in crimes committed by children and teens in our society.
Today’s youth is heavily influenced by the media. Video games, television, and movies make up a large part of the lives of children in America. These easily accessible forms of entertainment are lightly regulated by parents and the government; children and adolescents are exposed to extremely violent media everyday. “By the time the average American child reaches seventh grade, he or she will have witnessed 8,000 murders and 100,000 acts of violence on television. Some people say so much violence on television makes American society- including its children- more violent” (“Causes of School Violence” 1). Among the violent media, video games are the current trend. Although video games are rated by ESRB (the entertainment software rating board) based on content, and specified what age group they are appropriate for on
their cases, many parents overlook the ratings, and allow their children to play game intended for mature audiences. A survey of teens conducted in 2000 regarding video games reveled the following: “89 percent reported that their parents never limited time spent playing video games” (Anderson and Bushman 354).
Video games provide an interactive, accessible way for children to commit virtual crimes and experience violence. They can also be extremely addictive leading to prolonged negative exposure. Violent games do not teach children and adolescents how to deal with their anger constructively; instead they give children and adolescents ideas that could involve causing harm to another in- game character or destroying property. Not all youth are the same, some who play video games can withhold from transferring the violence to the real world while others see it as a way of dealing with their problems. “For some, there is a concern that children who are inundated with the images of shootings bombings and rapes will become desensitized to such violent acts and possibly learn to use them as valid responses to life’s stresses”...