Violent Video Games and their Relationship to Violent Acts
It seems that in every facet of the media today, when it comes to teenagers and acts of extreme violence, people are quick to point the finger at violent video games. Several school shootings in the past were definitely used to target these types of games as the cause to violent youth. This response is usually not related to facts, but rather to emotions. People that blame violent video games for teenagers and their corrupted behaviors just want a simple answer to a complicated issue. Unfortunately, there is not just one cause that leads teenagers to commit violent acts.
Research is the key to finding the proper information in explaining why some teenagers turn to violence to deal with their problems. Hundreds of studies have been done on violent video games and their effects of teenagers playing them. The results are very conflicting. The majority of the research that has been done on this subject is on single player games and takes place in a controlled environment. The environment that teenagers live in today is far from controlled. And over half of the video games played today are played by two or more players in a social forum. The largest link to violent video game players that has been found to date is increased aggression. And increased aggression is not violence. The definition of aggression in many of these studies is also vague. But whatever the definition is, it is not a definition of violent acts. To show that a person will punish someone more heavily after playing a violent video game does not prove a violent act will come from this person. To show that a violent video game will cause an increase in heart rate and decrease in empathy is also not a sign of violent acts to come. Some studies found that violent video games had a calming effect on children and teenagers. That could be because they are not as competitive as other teenagers might be. Playing violent video games can give teenagers a safe way of dealing with their emotions. A 2007 study reported that “45% of boys played video games because "it helps me get my anger out" and 62% played because it "helps me relax” (Nunley, T.2013). Furthermore “sales of video games have more than quadrupled from 1995-2008, while the arrest rate for juvenile murders fell 71.9% and the arrest rate for all juvenile violent crimes declined 49.3% in this same period” (ProCon.org 2013). People need to be educated on these facts so that they can see that it is not just video games we are talking about.
As children are developing into teenagers, there are many factors to consider in determining why they become violent. There are many risks to a child who may turn them to violent acts or behavior. First, you have to consider individual factors, which might include mental illness, emotional immaturity, restlessness, difficulty concentrating, and risk taking. Next we have to look at family factors, which might be...