Research Paper

The Effects of Violent video Games on the Youth

Stephanie Andrada

Journalism 02

Professor Dada

Stephanie Andrada



Professor Dada

The Effects of Violent video games on the Youth

Everyone knows that video games are fun, and people like to play them. Video games pump adrenaline through our veins, it makes our hearts race, along with the sweaty palms on the controller, the thrill of beating your opponent or trying to level up. However, do these video games that are so much fun, and everyone seems to all know and love have negative effects on our children? In this paper, it will discuss the negative as well as the positive effects of what video games can do to us as children. Whether it can make human beings more violent or more susceptible to crime.

In a study conducted by Douglas A. Gentile, Ph.D., a developmental psychologist at Iowa State University stated in his study that, “children who are already aggressively dangerous are more prone for violent video games to alter their state of mind.” The study involved 3,034 children, ages 8-17 observing them for three years in Singapore which suggested that violent video games when played influence aggressive behavior, which also produces long lasting changes in how a child views violence. It also stated that since there are a large number of youths and adults who play violent video games, Dr. Gentile wanted to conduct this study to better understand the effects that violent video games have on public health, intervention studies and can have important implications for theory. A psychologist from Ohio State University stated “We did a comprehensive review of every experimental study, reviewing 381 effects from studies involving 130,000 people, and results show that playing violent video games increases aggressive thoughts, angry feelings, and physiological arousal.” The suggestion that video games are the only cause as to why children become more violent, angry and have physiological responses to violence is flawed. Yes, video games do take part in dangerous behavior but, it is not the sole source and reason why children to exhibit violent behavior.

An example of this is, would be the Columbine Shooting. The two students who were involved with this, played an enormous amount of violent video games which made them produce a more violent behavior in reality. Not only did it do that but, over time the students had a loose grip on what was real and what imaginary, including the consequences that come with their actions. Having a loose grip on reality can alter your way of empathizing with others, being able to problem solve and come up with a mature and calm solution to a stressful encounter. Although violent video games are not the only reason why this shooting occurred, it did take part in what happened that day. His study included that “when these children were asked a series of questionnaires, he took a closer look at his observations and noticed that children who spend more hours playing video games that are aggressively violent tend to have an increase of aggressive behavior and have violent tendencies” (Douglas A. Gentile). This is compared to children who do not play a large amount of hours sitting in front of a television playing video games.

On the other hand, in this same study Dr. Gentile also had written that he was performing said that, “over the years children who grew into an older age had less aggressive tendencies and less aggressive behavior than those who were younger”. The reason for this is because, as a child gets older their mentality matures and they find better ways of dealing with reality in a more sophisticated way. A study that was conducted by Dr. Vincent Matthews along with his colleagues at Indiana University explains that if someone were to play a violent video game they would have a more aggressive behavior that before they started playing the game however, once that subject stopped playing the violent video game their brain chemistry changed. In order to properly come to that conclusion the team did MRI’s on the test subjects. According to an article from Brandon Keim, “There are a great many studies of this variety. The results aren’t uniform and have come under a certain amount of methodological criticism, but they tend to point in a common direction.” A psychiatrist at the University of Florida, Ray Hall stated “I don’t think we have enough science to suggest that playing video games causes violence in children any more than watching violence on TV.” He was not convinced that the violence seen in video games was not the cause for aggressive behavior. Hall explained the fear that society has today about video game violence in the like comparing it to the fear that society had back in the 1950’s where comic book, Dungeons and Dragons, and rock music became very controversial.

Based on the research that has been collected and analyzed that is contained within this paper, it seems as though the video games are not all too blame. There are a number of combinations as to how the youth respond to violent video games. Of course the parents and the children themselves should pay attention to what they are playing and need to be able to separate reality from fiction. In order to control what your child sees and how they are going to react to it everyone needs to pay attention to the behaviors of that person, whether it is a child, teen, or even an adult. The effects of violent video games does not only affect children but it can also affect those who like to see themselves as mature and high functioning adults. No matter what people are going to be persuaded by the media in order raise revenue for that product. It is not the job of video game companies to put out a product that co-insides with the moral values of Christian behavior that this country was built on. It is their job to push a product that will sell and make them a lot of money. The good thing is that the government is there to implement and monitor the rules that are put into place to warn parents about the heinous violence that is depicted in those types of video games, after that is done, it is then the job of the supervising adult, parent, or guardian to limit the amount of violence their child sees.

Violent video games are not the problem. It is all about how the person who is playing perceives it, how long they play it and how well they can separate fact from fiction.

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