The Relationship Between Violent Video Games And Aggressiveness

2050 words - 8 pages

Like most people around my age, I love video games. Although I do not invest much time into gaming, I keep myself updated with trends and technologies involved in the creation of latest video games. Video gaming industry began to boom in late ‘70s and in just a few decades, video games went from pixel graphics and 8 bit music to 3D graphics and HD surround sound audio. As the gaming market grew, it created thousands of employment opportunities in variety of field such as programming and designing. Nowadays, creating games could cost hundreds, thousands, and even millions of dollars and some titles generate profits greater than Hollywood blockbuster films. People who are born in ‘70s, ‘80s and ‘90s grew up with this dynamic industry and have experienced the rapid change of its trends and technologies. But despite all the benefits video games give us, there might be some consequences to these entertainment systems we all enjoy. Most of the popular game titles involve some kind of violence, such as hitting, killing, breaking, or smashing. It may get worse during multiplayer game when players have more freedom to do or say things at each other. Some people claim that this violence in the games is making the player aggressive. There were shooting and other brutal incidents linked with violent video games thus experts have done many studies to learn more about correlation of violent games and aggressive behavior. As a fan of video games, I decided to investigate further on this controversy to answer the question: Do violent games really make people aggressive? Or is it that aggressive people are attracted to violent games?

I cannot begin writing about this inquiry without mentioning the renowned social cognitivist, Albert Bandura, who is known for his research on children aggression. In high school AP psychology class, I learned about observational learning, a type of learning where one learns by observing and then imitating the behavior of others. With this in mind, Bandura designed his famous bobo doll experiment to see how kids of different age group react after seeing a barbaric adult. The experiment revealed that the kids who were exposed to an aggressive adult showed more aggressiveness when given a toy, such as a bobo doll, while kids who watched non-aggressive adult showed little or no aggressiveness toward the toys. This suggests that children can be shaped by exposure to different environments. A professional teacher, Laurie Fowler, wrote about her interview with Bandura on her personal website. In the interview, Fowler asks Bandura what he think the “impact of virtual violence will be on the first ‘digital’ generation.” Bandura responds by saying “I don’t believe it matters that the violence is ‘virtual’” (Fowler, pars. 10). He explains that whether it is real or virtual, exposure to a model who behaves violent will affect children as they grow up especially when they end up in a similar situation as with video games. For example, when...

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