The topic about how a violent video game causes a violent behaviour among children has been a complex and controversial subject in the society. This is because there have been a number of reports where children who are addicted to violent video to have a sudden outburst of anger towards others. Therefore, it became a political topic for years since the 1970s. There have been numerous researches that have been conducted by various people in the world to find out if the violent video games are causing the children to have violent behaviours. There have been conflicting reports about this matter in that a person will not be able to know the real truth. It is a fact that the video games are a very addictive thing that causes the children to spend more times playing the games thus ends up not concentrating on their studies. This will end up affecting their future lives. There have been numerous reports that children have committed crimes after playing too much violent video games. A good example is the columbine massacre; that is when the topic of violent video games causing children to be violent was discussed more by the political leaders (Ferguson, p.33).
There are some researches that have been conducted that prove that violent video games do not cause anyone to have violent behaviours. The truth is that when the children keep playing the violent video games they will try to mimic those games and think that the violence is normal. There have been numerous conflicting debates about the issue of video games, which began in the 1980s. The people who were supporting the video games claimed that it would be helpful and educational in that the children will be able to learn something from the games (Nauert). While those with the negative views believed that it was very harmful to the children; thus the legislature should try to make restrictions.
According to most researchers, some of the problems linked to video games are the addiction, social development, aggression, sexual morality and violence. There are different versions of violent video games in the market such as grand theft auto, Doom and halo. The reason for choosing this topic is because there have been a lot of controversy and debates from the political leaders in the society about this issue. It is, therefore, a political concern about how violent video games cause a violent behaviour among children.
The factors that make violent video games to make children have violent behaviours
It is a fact that the children learn from the things they see from the media in that they consider some behaviours as appropriate. According to most research done, it has observed that most children especially the teenagers like playing violent videos. This in return is causing the video games company to have high demands on video games that are violent themed. The fact that technology is always improving the video games has also become very realistic.
The fact that there are different types of violent games it is what has made the children want to continue playing the games. According to most research conducted, it stated that most children who frequently play violent video games are always withdrawn from their peers or people in general. Some of the main reasons for this are because of the addictions they have towards the game. They prefer playing the games rather than make friends (Anderson& Dill). There are other children who refuse to go to school because they want to play the games in their computers. Whenever someone tries to stop these children from playing the video games, they start having anger outburst at them regardless of the person. There was an incident that occurred in 2010, when a 19-year-old boy had angry outbursts towards his parents because they tried to stop him from playing the violent video games on the computer. This incident was reported by the BCC news channel.
According to some of the researches that have been conducted, it indicated that the violent video games have caused many children and adults to have aggression problems no matter their sex. The reason that causes these children to have aggression problems is because of the overexposure of playing violent games in that they start believing that it is a normal thing. The other reason that causes aggression was when the children or people playing the violent video games became obsessed with the game. The obsession could bring about different consequences. A good example is the fact that it could make the addict replicate his obsession in real life. This could cause them to commit crimes such as robbery, theft and murder. A good example of such a case was the columbine massacre. In the columbine high school, two teenagers named Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold brought guns to school, shot, killed 13 students including themselves and injured 23 (Beresin).
There were many reasons that caused the two teenagers to commit a massacre. When the investigation was conducted, it was found out that the two teenagers were obsessed with playing too much violent video games. One the games that they were so fond of playing was Doom a game that is used by the military in order to train their soldiers. The game involved a lot of shooting, which the two teenagers mimicked in real life. One of the boys before the shooting had customised the violent video game in that he changed the shooters in the game and made it two. In the customised video game, the two boys were supposed to carry their guns and shoot at the athletes. This is exactly what they did in real life (Ferguson, p.26).
This incident is among the things that have caused many congress people to argue about whether the violent video games could be restricted or not. In having restrictions in violent video games is claimed would help reduce violent outburst from children towards others. It is a fact that whenever children are playing the video games they feel like gods because they are able to control and kill whenever they feel threatened while this is not the same for real life. This is because in real there are rules that people are supposed to follow in that they are not allowed to kill anyone whenever they feel like it. The fact that they are in control in the game, and they are not in the real world, it will frustrate them thus the only way to release their frustration is through aggressions.
Anti social behaviours
It has been stated that when children become addicted to the violent video games or any kind of video games they end up being withdrawn or isolated from their peers. The main reason for this is because they became shyer and also they are not fully aware of reality. The fact that they are used to playing games makes them think that what is reality is not and what is happening in the game is real. The truth is that the children end up living in a fantasy world. This will make them not to be able to make friends or interact with the other children. This will make these children be loners and outcast from the other children. The state of loneliness is what is causing the children to be depressed and more obsessed with playing video games. It has been stated that most killers in the world have always been stated to be loners.
Most children who are addicted to video games usually form bonds with other players online. The children will form plans about the mission, which they would eventually change the plans to be about real life crimes. A good example of such an incident occurred in 2008, when four teenagers went off on a crime spree in New Hyde: New York (Beresin). They began by stealing from a man then beating him up and also stole a BMW car from a woman. These teenagers were addicted to the game of auto theft auto IV. This logic is true because if the children were not able to have any common interest with the other children in schools or their neighbourhood then they would find solace from the children they meet online. The bond they form will end up causing them to be chaotic.
Child perception of the violent video games
The way a child views the violent video games is what will determine their behaviours. There are some children who play video games and will view themselves as the heroes, therefore, they would not do anything that will end up ruining that image they feel when they are playing the games (Ferguson, p.30). There are some children who when they play the game they know that it is just a game in that it does not depict reality. This will enable them to have a normal life and that when they are playing the violent games it is just a fantasy. There are others when they play the violent games they feel alive in that they turn it into their reality. This will make them be aggressive and violent just like their characters in the game. In the games, one has to kill in order to survive this is how they would think is supposed to happen in the real world. This would make the children most especially the teenagers to commit crimes or have an outburst of anger towards anyone.
While playing the violent video games it causes a person to know that winning is everything. This effect of winning can be advantageous or harmful to the person. In children when they are, winning it makes them feel some sort of accomplishment. This feeling is what would make the child do whatever it takes in life to win. This is where violence could be used especially if the child kills in the games in order to win. There have been reports where some children use violence in school events when they have lost. There are others who kill themselves when they have lost in a game or failed an exam. This shows how violence video games can be very controlling in a child’s life.
Parents are supposed to know what their children are up to but in the modern society what they do is work. This makes them not aware of what their children are doing and seem not to be concerned. The lack of knowledge about the games in the market makes the children take advantage and make their parents buy them the modern violent games (Beresin). The fact of the matter is that the violent video games are in high demands, and they have been customised to almost look real. These causes the children to want them in order for them to look as they say ‘cool’. The parent will buy these games as a way of buying their children’s affection.
There are some parents who do not even care what their children are watching because they are too drunk or stoned to know what’s happening. This problem already is causing harm to the child and by adding violent video games in the mix then it will increase their aggression problems. The combination of both factors would cause the child to be involved in a violent crime. Most of these children can be found at the juvenile prisons. These shows how important parents are supposed to take care of children and check what they are watching or playing in their computers (Beresin).
How gender is portrayed in the games
According to most researches that have been conducted, the statistics states that about 21 percent of the violent games objectifies women or there are some that promote violence against women (Espejo). There are other games that do not show women population. The women in the games are usually sexualized in that they have big hips and breasts. This in the video games is claimed to be the perfect and beautiful women. In the games, the women are always portrayed to be weak in that they need to be saved. This will make the children in the society especially teenage boys not to be respectful towards the girls. This is because they believe that the women are weak and need saving. There are others who will use violence towards women. This is because, in the games, they are usually aggressive towards the women.
It has been claimed that the children when they play some of the games they are able to learn about race. There have been controversies about some of the games such as resident evil, Def Jam: Fight for New York and grand theft auto series (Ferguson, p.27). These games were claimed to have been promoting and encouraging racist hate crimes. There were some games where a white person was shooting and killing all the black people who were claimed to be the enemies. This would make a white child who is playing the game not to feel safe around black children. In the end when confronted by a black child innocently the child will think that he was trying to attack him and end up using violence to save himself. When this happens, it will cause a much bigger issue in the society. This is the reason why the government tries to ensure that the games produced are not promoting any sort of hate crime. It is also important for the parents to try to control their children from playing such hateful games.
Arguments against violent video games causing children to have violent behaviours
There have been arguments that claim that violent video games do not cause children to have violent behaviours. These arguments were supported by evidence collected from researches done. The main reason why these researches were done was because of the debates that were taking place in some countries such as United States. In the researches, especially the one done by the youth and adolescent it found out that the games helped some of the children with attention deficit disorder to channel their attention on the game (Funk et al., p.300). This will help in calming them down thus making them stable thus reducing their aggression. The research was able to come to the conclusion that children playing violent video games do not make the children have violent behaviours especially those who already had existing mental problems (Nauert). This could also be true with the normal children especially since the main reason for playing video games is so that one can be able to pass the time and get some sort of entertainment.
In conclusion, the issue about violent video games causing children to have violent behaviours is something that has caused many people to try to investigate in order to find out if it is true. The evidence that has come forward has caused many politicians who are pushed by the people to try to find ways in which some of these games can be banned or have restrictions. In most researches it indicates how the violent video games causes the children to have addictions, aggressions, antisocial behaviour, gender issues and race issues. These causes are what are causing the children to have a violent outburst that could end up causing them to commit murder or other crimes.
There are some other researches that indicate that the violent games do not make a person have violent behaviours. This is most especially for children who are claimed to have mental problems. It is stated that these children end up feeling calm after playing the games. The fact of the matter is that the violence video games have contributed to some of the violent behaviours among children. These effects for some of them will end up being long term in that they will not be able to finish school and thus will not be able to get good jobs. There are others who end up in prison.
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Funk, J. B. et al.. Rating electronic games: Violence is in the eye of the beholder. Youth & Society, (1999): 283–312.
Ferguson, C. J.. The school shooting/violent video game link: causal relationship or moral panic? Journal of Investigative Psychology and Offender Profiling, (2008): p.25–37.
Nauert, R.. In New Study, Video Games Not Tied to Violence in High-Risk Youth. Psych Central . (2013)
Espejo, R. Video games: many video games reinforce gender stereotypes. San Diego: Greenhaven Press. (2003)