Do Violent Video Games Cause Behavior Problems?

One’s mode of living can be affected by entertainment media. Most behaviors that kids and adults deem suitable come, partially, from the lessons they obtain from movies and television. There exist solid theoretical rationales to suppose that violent video games will include analogous, and perhaps additional, impacts on aggression.

Nevertheless, there exist few writings on the impact of exposure to video game violence since it is a new area of concern in the present U.S. culture. Hence, some people argue that video games do not cause as much aggression as that caused by watching violent TV and movies. This paper proofs that video games have severe, long term and short term behavior effects, which are worse than those of TV and movies.

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Prevalence of Video Games in the United States

Media violence is vastly consumed by the U.S. residents. Children and youths with years between 8 and 18 use over 40 hours every week on media excluding time spent on homework and school assignments (Ballard and Jefferson 717). Although television is the most common form of media used, electronic, video games have speedily gained popularity.

A number of children between the ages 2 to 18, approximately 10%, spend over one hour each day playing computer video games (Fling 39). Amongst boys aged between 8 to 13 years, the average number of hours spent on these games is over 7.5 hour each week (Harris and Williams 306). Learners in higher institutions of learning as well play video games frequently. By 1998, 13.3% of men joining universities spent at least 6 hr per week on video games (Irwin 337).

A year later, the number had augmented to 14.8%. Besides, 2% of the men accounted playing video games over 20 hour each week in 1998. A year later, the number enlarged to 2.5%. While the initial video games surfaced in the late 1970s, violent video games became popular in 1990s, with the homicide games Street Fighter, Wolfenstein 3D and Mortal Kombat (Ballard and Jefferson 717). All these three games involve murdering or hurting enemies.

The graphics, for instance, blood and echoes of these games were radical at the phase of their establishment. Before the last part of the 20th century, further graphically violent games grew to be accessible to all players, regardless of age (Gerbner 10). Although a number of enlightening, nonviolent, games subsist, the most profoundly advertised and utilized games are those that are violent.

Girls and boys in the fourth grade, 59% and 73% respectively, report that most of their preferred games are those that contain acts of violence (Dietz 425). A key area of concern is the lack of parental supervision. Most youths in grades 8 up to 12 details that merely 1% of their parents ever disallowed a purchase due to its rating, and 90% of their parents never verified the ratings of the games ahead of their purchase (Kirsh 180).

Why Video Games Increase Aggression and Violence

A number of reasons for predicting exposure to violent video games to augment aggressive conduct in both the long term (constant exposure over a phase of years) and short term (in about 20 minutes of the game) exist.

Founded on some former models of human aggression, the General Aggression Model is a valuable framework for appreciating the impacts of violent media. The act of aggression is mainly founded on the learning, stimulating, and use of aggression-associated knowledge constructions amassed in the memory, such as schemas and scripts.

Conditional input variables, such as latest exposure to violent media games, pressure aggressive behavior via their effect on the individual’s current internal state, symbolized by affective, cognitive and stimulation variables.

Violent media augment aggression through teaching spectators how to be hostile, through priming violent cognitions, counting, formerly, learned aggressive perceptual schemata and aggressive scripts, by mounting arousal, or by forming an aggressive affective condition (Anderson and Deuser 166). Long-term impacts, as well, engross learning procedures. From childhood, humans discover how to perceive, understand, critic, and react to actions in the social and physical surroundings (Geen and Mathew 15).

A variety of knowledge constructions for these actions builds up ultimately. They are normally founded on daily interpretations and relations with other persons. Every violent-media incident becomes a new learning experience. As the cognitions constructions are repeated, they grow to be highly differentiated, composite and hard to modify.

Another model of academic and social impacts of exposure to media violence has been created by Huesmann (Huesmann 37). This model demonstrates that as a child grows to be aggressive regularly, the qualities and social relations that she/he practices also vary. All told the amalgamations of long-term and short-term procedures create the positive relation linking aggressive-violent behavior and exposure to media violence.

GAAM: Input Variables and Internal States

Both situational and personal variables can alter an individual’s character through affective, arousal and cognitive variables. For instance, individuals who score high on tests of aggressive traits have highly available information structures for aggression-associated knowledge. They assume aggressive views more regularly than do those persons who attain less on aggressive personality tests, and have social acuity schemas that result to aggressive perception, belief, and provenance prejudices.

The present accessibility of aggression-associated cognitive structures can as well be influenced by situational input variables. Being affronted may lead an individual to consider of how to revenge the insult in a destructive manner.

Playing a violent video game, as well, can augment the availability of violent cognitions by semantic priming procedures. Just seeing an image of a gun or other arm can augment the availability of aggressive feelings. Both input variables control an individual’s existing affective condition, for instance, aggression-associated feelings of aggression or rage.

Several individuals feel irritated nearly at all times. A number of circumstances can make someone irritated. Nevertheless, we do anticipate that playing violent video games will habitually boost thoughts of rage, weighed against playing a peaceful game. Certainly, playing an annoying game is apt to amplify rage (Bandura 91). Nevertheless violent material, in the lack of another aggravation, is liable to have small direct effect on affect.

Long-Term Effects of Video Game Violence

Impacts of long-term media violence on aggression emerge from over-learning, growth and reinforcement of aggression-linked cognition systems. Every occasion persons play violent video games they practice aggressive scripts that edify and strengthen violent acts against others, positive thinking about the use of violence, caution for opponents, anticipations that others will act in violent ways and viewpoints that aggressive solutions are efficient and suitable.

Moreover, frequent exposure to graphic acts of violence is apt to be desensitizing. The formation of these aggression-linked cognitive structures and the desensitization outcomes transform the individual’s character.

Players involved in video game for long can emerge more aggressive in attitudes, perceptual prejudices, attitudes, values, and actions than they were prior to the frequent exposure or would have befallen with no such exposure. Hypothetically, these long-term transformations in aggressive behavior function in the instant situation via both input variables explained in GAAM; situation and person variables.

The relation to person variables is clear–the individual is now violent in attitude and tendency. However, the way long-term impacts of frequent contact to violent video games can alter situational variables is less apparent. Nevertheless, Huesmann has constructed a lucid model of the academic and social impacts of experience to violence on television (Huesmann 37).

When an individual grows to be aggressive, the social surroundings react. Persons who are ready to interrelate with them, the nature of exchanges that are made, and the circumstances made accessible to the individual all transform. Relations with parents, teachers, and nonviolent peers are apt to deteriorate, whereas exchanges with other aggressive peers might augment. Hence, we anticipate getting a positive relationship between an individual’s height of experience to violent video games and his/her aggressive actions.

Unique Dangers of Violent Video Games

Current information indicates that concern regarding the potentially harmful effects of playing violent video games is not mislaid. Additional reflection on some key traits of violent video games denotes that their risks may well be larger than the risks of violent movies or violent television. Three motives can elucidate this. The first is the desire to identify with the aggressive person (Leyens 375). The player presumes the characteristics of the champion, and at times, selects a trait whose qualities the player then adopts.

The player directs the act of this character and frequently visualizes the video game globe via that character’s sight. Hence, the chief character is identical with the game player, latently intensifying the effect of the game. The second cause of concern is the active contribution pertaining video games. Study on the catharsis hypothesis discloses that aggressive behavior typically augments later aggressive mannerisms (Bushman 955).

The dynamic task of the video game player entails opting to aggress and behaving g in an aggressive way. This preference and action constituent of video games might lead to the building of a more whole aggressive script, than would happen in the inert role adopted in watching violent TV shows and movies.

The final reason to suppose video games to include a larger effect than movies or TV engrosses their addictive character. The strengthening distinctiveness of violent video games can also boost the training and presentation of violent scripts.

Video games obsession can stem, partially, from the penalties and rewards, which the game accords the player (Griffiths and Newton 473), similar to the reward construction of slot apparatus. Logically, violent video games present an absolute learning atmosphere for aggression, with concurrent exposure to reinforcement, modeling and practice of behaviors. This amalgamation of learning approach has been revealed to be more potent than any other technique employed (Klein, 395).

In conclusion, video games, which are violent, give a forum for discovering and practicing aggressive resolutions to conflict circumstances. The outcome of violent video games seems to be cognitive in trait. In the short term, playing violent video games influences aggression through priming violent thoughts.

Long term impacts are apt to stay for long, as the player discovers and practices novel aggression-linked scripts that grow to be progressively available for utilization when real-life conflict circumstances occur. If frequent, exposure to violent video games can lead to the formation and heightened availability of a range of aggressive cognitive constructions, hence, varying the individual’s basic persona structure.

The resultant changes in daily social relations might also lead to steady augments in the aggressive change. The lively nature of the learning atmosphere of the video game puts forward that this medium is more risky than the more profoundly explored movie and TV media. With the latest drift toward vast realism and graphic aggression in video games, in addition to, the growing recognition of these games, users of violent video games, as well as parents of users, are supposed to be aware of these latent hazards.

Topical proceedings in the news, for instance, the relation between youth killers in Colorado and violent video game play, have flickered civic debate regarding the impacts of video game violence. While the debate goes on, video games are growing to be increasingly violent, explicit and rampant. Scientists must add new research to the presently small and lacking text on video game violence impacts and elucidate for society what these dangers involve precisely.

The General Affective Aggression Model has been demonstrated as helpful in organizing a broad array of research results on human aggression and in creating testable schemes, including the current exploration on video game violence. Further short-term investigation on the impacts of violent video games is required in order to identify the natures of game players and games that decrease and deepen the aggression-linked impacts.

Works Cited

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Ballard, Michael and Jefferson Weist. “Mortal Kombat: The Effects of Violent Video Game Play on Males’ Hostility and Cardiovascular Responding.” Journal of Applied Social Psychology 26 (1996): 717-730.

Bandura, Alois. Aggression: A social Learning Analysis. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1973

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Geen, Robert and Mathew Quanty. “The Catharsis of Aggression: An Evaluation of a Hypothesis.” Advances in Experimental Social Psychology 10 (1977): 1-37

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Griffiths, Michael and Newton Hunt. “Dependence on Computer Games by Adolescents.” Psychological Reports 82(1990): 475-480.

Harris, Morris and Williams, Reagan. “Video Games and School Performance.” Education 105 (1980): 306-309.

Huesmann, Lois. Aggressive Behavior: Current Perspectives. New York: Plenum Press, 1994

Irwin, Gross. “Cognitive Tempo, Violent Video Games, and Aggressive Behavior in Young Boys.” Journal of Family Violence 10 (1995): 337-350.

Kirsh, Smith. “Seeing the World through Mortal Kombat-Colored Glasses: Violent Video Games and the Development of a Short-Term Hostile Attribution Bias.” Childhood 5(1998): 177-184.

Klein, Morris. “The Bite of Pac-Man.” The Journal of Psychohistory 11(1984): 395-401.

Leyens, Picus. “Identification with the Winner of a Fight and Name Mediation: Their Differential Effects upon Subsequent Aggressive Behavior.” British Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology 12(1973): 374-377.