English / Violence In Video Games

Violence In Video Games

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Autor:  anton  11 November 2010
Tags:  Violence
Words: 1577   |   Pages: 7
Views: 369

Over the past ten years, statistics have shown that the violence among young people is increasing every year. Many people blame musicians and other types of artist who portray negative actions as something positive. Others might blame the parents for not watching over their children. But many people fail to bring up technology as an issue. With the new DVD that shows sex and violence or computers that gives kids access to unauthorized sites, technology is something that many parents need to look out for. Violent video games can also have a major impact on a child's thinking and actions. In many ways video games have had a negative impact on young children in today's society.

New game systems like Game Cube, X Box, or Sony Play station 2 are the new hype of the 21st century. The games for these systems can affect children as well as adults. These video games have caused many problems in our society regarding issues such as addiction to games, and depression among adult. According to Grossman, many children starting from their early teenage years found that almost a third played video games on a daily basis and 10% played for at least 25 hours a week. Street Fighter, Grand Theft Auto and Halo are very interactive in the violence of slaughtering the opponent that children find very exciting. Even though the video game industries put signs like "Rated 18 or older and state violence level that are not recommended for children under age of 12 on the game boxes parents ignore the signs and still continue to purchase these items. In the modern popular game the bad guys don't just disappear after they die like they used to, they act out real life actions. For example, someone who gets shot in the neck normally falls to his knees while holding his face in the old games. Now when the characters get shot, blood squirts all over the place, covering the whole scene while the other opponent just laughs or does a victory dance. Even when some video games have explosives, the character’s body parts explode everywhere.

A perfect example of how violent video games have had a negative impact on young people is the Columbine High School shooting which took place on April 20, 1999. There were two students, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold who turned an average high school day into a massacre in Littleton, Colorado. They murdered 13 and wounded 23 of their classmates before committing suicide. Although nothing is for certain as to why these boys did what they did, a police investigation showed that both Harris and Klebold liked playing violent video games like Doom, which is a video game that is licensed by the United Statse military to train soldiers to successfully take a life. The Simon Wiesenthal Center, which tracks Internet hate groups, found in its archives a copy of Harris' web site with a version of Doom. He had customized it so that there were two gunmen, both with extra weapons and unlimited ammunition, and the other people in the game could not fight back. Also for a class project they made videotapes similar to their favorite game where they customized a version of Doom. Harris and Klebold were dressed in trench coats, carried guns, and killed students. The sad part of this was that they completed their videotape in actual life less than a year later.(CNN.com)

By comparing the outcome of observing versus playing violent games on young adults' and their arousal levels, hostile feelings and aggressive thoughts the results in this study point out that students in collage that had played violent video game had a greater heart rate speed, reported more nausea and dizziness, and unmasked more violent thoughts in an individual than those who've played nonviolent games. In the “Journal of Family Violence” there was an article tittled “cognitive tempo, violent video games, and aggressive behaviors in young boys.” This article was about a study conducted by Irwin and Gross to find the effects of playing ‘non-aggressive’ verses ‘aggressive’ video games on second grade boys which were identified as “impulsive or reflective”(Gross 340). The subjects (2nd grade boys) that “had played the aggressive videogame compared to those who played the non-aggressive game displayed more verbal and physical aggression to intimate objects and playmates during a subsequent free play session”(Gross 342). Thus showing that when children play videogames they would most likely bring mannerisms from the game to real life.

According to a study conducted by Steven J. Kirsch titled “Seeing the world through Mortal Kombat colored glasses: Violent video games and hostile attribution bias,” the effects of playing a violent versus a non-violent video game were studied. After playing these games, third- and fourth-graders were asked questions about a hypothetical story (Kirsch 179). On three of six questions, the children who had played the violent game responded more negatively about the harmful actions of a story character than did the other children (Kirsch 180). These results suggest that playing violent video games may make children more likely to attribute hostile intentions to others (Kirsch 182).

In another study by Karen E. Dill, Ph.D. & Craig A. Anderson, Ph.D., violent video games were considered to be more harmful in increasing aggression than violent movies or television shows due to their interactive and engrossing nature. The two studies showed that aggressive young men were especially vulnerable to violent games and that even brief exposure to violent games can momentarily increase violent manners in all types of participants. (Pg 13) The first study was conducted with 227 college students with aggressive behavior records in the past and who completed a measure of trait aggressiveness. They were also reported to have habits of playing video games. It was found that students that were playing more aggressive video games in junior and high school, engaged in more aggressive behavior. In addition, the time spent playing video games in the past were associated with lower academic grades in college, which is a source of frustration for many students, a potential cause for anger and aggression as discussed in the previous paragraph. In the second study, 210 college students were allowed to play Wolfinstine 3D, an extremely violent game, or Myst, a nonviolent game. After a short time, it was found that the students who played the violent game punished an opponent for a longer period of time compared to the students who played the non violent game. According to Dr. Anderson "Violent video games provide a forum for learning and practicing aggressive solutions to conflict situations." He also stated "playing a violent video game appears to affect aggression by priming aggressive thoughts. Longer-term effects are likely to be longer lasting as well, as the player learns and practices new aggression-related scripts that become more and more accessible for use when real-life conflict situations arise." This shows that despite the fact that this study was for a short term period, longer term effects are likely to occur as the player learn and practice new aggressive techniques By these related ideas in video games, he or she can become more and more accessible for the real-life conflict that the player emulates.

Calvert and Tan are two physiologist that compared the effect of playing versus observing violent video games on young adults’ in the Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology in a segment titled Impact of virtual reality on young adults' physiological arousal and aggressive thoughts: Interaction versus observe. The segment states that the young adults revealed “arousal levels, hostile feelings, and aggressive thoughts”(Tan 128). Results indicated that “college students who had played a violent virtual reality game had a higher heart rate, reported more dizziness and nausea, and exhibited more aggressive thoughts in a post test than those who had played a non-violent game”(Tan 134).

The United States Surgeon General C. Everett Koop claimed that home video games are one of the top three causes of family problems. There have been studies that have found violence video games don't have negative effects on people but there are also many experiments that found a similar reaction between the negative behavior, and violent video and computer games. The effects of violent video games on its players are restraining conditions under which there are things that must be taken into account, which include age, gender, and class/level of education. (10) However, violent games do affect children, as the studies show, especially early teens, and I feel that there needs to be a stricter regulation regarding the availability of these games to young children.

Even though there are many complaints about the violent video games, they continue to be the most popular games on the market. When they first came out they were addictive... but know it seems to have taken over in the adult and youth virtual world.

Works Cited

Kirsh, Steven J. "Seeing the world through Mortal Kombat colored glasses: Violent video games and hostile attribution bias." Childhood 5 Feb. 1998: 177-184.

Calvert, Sandra L., and Siu-Lan Tan,. "Impact of virtual reality on young adults'

physiological arousal and aggressive thoughts: Interaction versus observation’."

Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology 15 Jan. 1994: 125-139.

Gross, Alan M., and A Roland Irwin. "Cognitive tempo, violent video games, and aggressive behavior in young boys." Journal of Family Violence 10 Mar. 1995: 337-350.

"As many as 25 dead in Colorado school attack." CNN.com 20 Apr. 1999. 10 Dec. 2004


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