Parents and other adults have begun to become more concerned about violent video games due to the increased reality in the games. However, society may not realize how children and teens are affected by these games. In modern times, children and young adults are affected by violent games in a negative way by causing changes in their behavior. The average American child watches 28 hours of television a week and by the age of eighteen will have seen 16,000 murders and 200,000 violent acts (Gallagher). People who defend violent games like to point out that playing the games does not mean all players will go out and commit acts of violence, and that millions of people who play do not demonstrate violent behavior(Hicks). Although that is true, the games that are the most popular happen to show the most violence.
In 2008, 298.2 million video games were sold in the United States. Six of the top ten best-selling games exhibited violence, with four of the games rated M for a mature audience, which is for people who are seventeen and older (procon.org). One study found seventy-one percent of the games played by children contained at least some type of mild violence, while twenty-five percent had intense violence and blood. This study also found that children ages seven to twelve play games rated M as a part of their daily routine(Hicks). During the holiday season of 2013, the most popular games sold were Assassin's Creed 4: Black Flag, Deadpool, Grand Theft Auto V, Ryse: Son of Rome, Saints Row IV, and The Last of Us. These games have some common themes which are blood, strong language, sexual content, and violence (consumerreports.org). Today's games may be extremely graphic but these violent games can have some positive effects.
According to Patrick Kierkegaard of the University of Essex, England, there is evidence that video games are anything but harmless and they do not lead to aggression (sciencedaily.com). There are benefits for video game players. In the 1980s, scientists also discovered that playing video games, even for a short amount of time, can improve reaction time and hand-eye coordination. Dr. Daphne Bavelier's research, from the University of Rochester, also suggests that game playing can boost the sharpness of vision. These and other beneficial effects have made Bavelier and her team try to make games that help certain medical needs (Korte). Video games can also be used as teaching tools because they reward players for participating in certain types of behavior (Jaccarino). On the other hand, violent games may not give the same benefits and might even cause negative behavioral issues.
Social scientists, since the 1980s, have found that playing violent games can and does cause hostile urges and mildly aggressive behavior as a short term effect (nytimes.com). Hostile expectations are not the only reason players become more aggressive. After playing the game, players expect others to behave aggressively. Their expectation may make them...