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Video Game Violence - Essay Example

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Video games were first introduced in 1970's, and had become a preferred childhood leisure activity. The very realistic and exciting nature of video games has helped to make them enormously popular with children and youth. Now 79% of American children (the ages of seven and 17) play computer or video games on a regular basis - for an average of eight hours a week…
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Video Game Violence
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Download file to see previous pages Such organizations as the American Medical Association, the American Psychological Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics have concluded that video games provoke violence and aggression among the children and youth who play them. Besides this, many social scientists prove an even greater impact of video games due to the following four reasons: 1. children are more likely to imitate the actions of a character with whom they identify. In violent games the player is often a shooter or perpetrator; 2. video games by their nature require active participation rather than passive observation; 3. repetition increases learning. If the game is violent, the great deal of repetition has the effect for violent activity; 4. rewards increase learning, thus video games are based on reward system. [Calvert, 1999]
There seem to be two main reasons for the inclusion of violent content in video games. First is that for the designer all that has to be done is to create the situation in which to put the hero, in many cases it is already known as 'it is kill or be killed'. Another reason is market demand, where boys tend to prefer violent video games. [Crick, 1995]
Anderson and Bushman have conducted a meta-analysis of 35 different studies of violent video games (2001), and have discovered that violent video games increase physiological arousal: heart rate...
There is also a corresponding correlation between hostile attribution bias and children's depression, peer rejection and negative self-perception patterns (Crick, 1995). Violent games were shown to increase aggressive emotions: students, more "addicted" to video games, were significantly more likely to be in a bad mood before, during and after play than non-addicted ones. [Griffiths & Hunt, 1998]. Violent video games are also tend to increase aggressive actions and decrease positive prosocial actions; this appears to be true for both boys and girls, and also for children who are not naturally aggressive.
The researches show that even catroonish and fantasy violence, which is often perceived by parents and public policy makers as safe even for children, are counted for significant increases in aggression. It has also been proved that repeated media violence exposure increases aggression because it creates more positive attitudes, beliefs, and expectations regarding use of aggressive solutions, creates aggressive behavioral scripts and makes them more cognitively acceptable; it decreases the accessibility of non-violent scripts and decreases the normal emotional reactions to conflict, aggression and violence. [Funk, 1993]
According to the arousal theory, violent games players become physiologically aroused (they showed increased activity in brain waves, heart rate, blood pressure, and skin conductance) through exposure to the level of violence presented. After habituating to that level they required higher level of aggression to be aroused - from overexposure to aggression [Calvert, 1999], that presupposes the gamers' ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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