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Promoting Violence: Video Games Vs. Social Environment

1975 words - 8 pages

In the last two decades, video games have become popular, especially violent video games such as Call of Duty, Unreal Tournament, and Grand Theft Auto, among others. According to Anderson and Bushman, “[a]bout 10% of children aged 2 to 18 play console and computer video games more than 1 hour per day; among 8- to 13-year-old boys, the average is more than 7.5 hours per week” (354). Due to their explicit violent content, violent video games have been seen as a negative influence in society by promoting aggression in the real world, thus increasing violence in society. Most people assume that playing violent video games has negative effects on players because violent video games create aggressive behaviors on the people who play them. However, studies show that violent video games bring some benefits, and people who normally choose to play violent video games are the ones that have been raised or have been exposed to a violent environment.
Playing violent video games is considered to have negative effects on the players. Violent video games create an aggressive behavior in the people who play them. Experimental, correlation, and longitudinal studies have supported the idea of an increased aggressive behavior due to playing violent video games. Based on experimental studies, “. . . individuals in laboratory environments have demonstrated short-term increased levels of physiological arousal, hostile feelings, hostile attitudes and aggressive behavior following sessions of playing violent video games compared to non-violent video games.” In addition, correlation studies “. . . have demonstrated a significant relationship between exposure to violent video games, trait hostility, and aggressive or antisocial behavior,” which supports the idea that violence is directly related to playing violent video games. Even though “. . . there has only been one published longitudinal study on the effects of video game violence showing that exposure to violent video games was related to increased aggressive behavior,” this study supports the idea that violent video games contribute to violence on society by promoting aggressive behavior. The shooting at Columbine High School is an example of how violent video games could contribute to aggressiveness because “the 1993 game Doom . . . was played by Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold before they went on a shooting rampage at Columbine High School in 1999, killing 12 fellow students and one teacher, before committing suicide” (Porter and Starcevic 423). In a like manner, the author of the Washington Navy Yard shooting, Aaron Alexis, was an addict to violent video games online; one hypothesis of the reasons that led him to shoot twelve people is that he is addicted to violent video games online. Thus, on those two cases, the Columbine and the Washington Navy Yard shooting, violent video games is believed to have influenced the actions of the perpetrators. Likewise, Mitchell Johnson and Andrew Golden, who were the...

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