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The effect of video gaming on children - Essay Example

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As video games are becoming increasingly more explicit and brutal plus more prevalent, continued studies are needed concerning the effects on the young impressionable minds to the risks these games pose.This paper examines the many effects violent video games have on children including the specific differences between boys and girls. …
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The effect of video gaming on children
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Download file to see previous pages Various studies in both laboratory and home environments have confirmed that when children play violent video games such as Thrill Kill, Grand Theft Auto or Manhunt it can increase violent behaviors and thoughts. Furthermore, playing violent video games is likely more detrimental for children than watching violent television shows or movies because interactive video games are particularly engrossing and require the player to develop a personal association with the violent characters of the game.
Children playing violent video games, at least in the short run, appear to affect hostile behaviors by promoting aggressive thoughts. Long-term effects are likely to be long lasting too because the player is repeatedly and intensely trained then practices violent acts. It becomes progressively easier to access this negative behavior on a sub-conscious level for use when faced with future aggravating circumstances. Children who are repeatedly exposed to violent video games take the risk of altering their basic personality structure. The resulting changes in everyday social relationships may lead to a steady increase in aggressive actions. The interactive environment of the video game suggests its influence is more dominant than the more extensively researched movie and television media. With improved realism and the trend of including increasing amounts of explicit violence in games, those who play (and those who buy) violent video games should be aware of the potential negative consequences.
Infamous consequences have caused far-reaching discussions regarding the effects of video gaming on children. For instance, a national conversation resulted regarding what relationship video games had to the Columbine High School killings where two students massacred 13 and wounded 23 before committing suicide. While several motivations could have played a part in their reasoning, no one has been able to identify specifically what provoked these students to fire repeatedly at their schoolmates and teachers but violent video games have been highlighted as one potentially contributing dynamic. The two teens had played Doom often; a bloody, brutal firearms game that is utilized by the military to instruct the U.S. military forces on how to kill more proficiently. To what extent this video game influenced the actions of these two students has been debated since the 1999 incident. The Entertainment medium, it is widely acknowledged, is a tremendously influential aspect for all people. It is logical to believe video games, especially the ones that depict violence, will have an effect on the violent behavior of impressionable children. Currently, little research exists which has thoroughly examined the connection between violent actions and violent video games. “Although the belief that the media are causing a harmful effect is wide-spread in the public, knowledge about the nature of the negative effects and how they work seems to be lacking. A good illustration of misinformed nature of the topic among well-meaning people occurred just after the shooting at Columbine High School” (Potter, 2002 P. 3). Because too few studies exist, parents lack needed knowledge regarding the effects video games have on their children. However, this absence of reliable information doesn’t prevent amateur psychologists, parents mostly, from accusing anything and everything except their precious kids or themselves for the violent acts their children commit. A similar example might be a parent that blames their child’s violent tendencies, drug use or suicide on a line in a certain song. If a child unfortunately tends their life, the lyrics of a song may have been the last straw but the underlying bale of emotions producing their feelings of hopelessness and depression was much more to blame for the act. Parents too frequently look for the most convenient target to place blame instead of placing responsibility on their kids’ or their own weak parenting skills. “We are a country full of finger pointers. When tragedy occurs, we blame the media, the movie industry, the video game industry; the list goes on and on. However, no one bothers to look in the most obvious place, the mirror” (Potter, 2002 P. 3). Usually, it is the parents who purchase violent video games then have the game, in conjunction with the television, babysit their children. If these parents were worried about a relationship between video violence and their children committing violent acts then why did they buy the game to start with and why do they permit their kids to watch violent cartoons repeatedly or ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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