Violent Video Games Affect Young People’s Behavior
Nowadays in our society, it is a common occurrence to see young people playing violent video games which contain guns, drugs, disruptive behavior and slurs. Many of these games provide an age restriction but it is usually ignored by parents and this gives children the freedom of playing these destructive electronic games. The consequences that violent video games have over the younger population has been a controversial topic on whether or not violent video games contribute to the daily aggressive acts in today’s society. Video games shape the behavior in young people as they are exposed to these kinds of acts, mainly because younger audience tend to imitate their surroundings. Although some people might say that violent video games do not affect the behavior of a young person, they can still get influenced easily by things that they are constantly exposed to, like aggression.
The longer young people are exposed to violent acts, the more possibilities that these people will develop an aggressive behavior. In the article “Violent Video Games Can Desensitize Players and Increase Aggression.” written by George Drianka, a psychiatrist for children and adolescents, he explains that there was a study in which kids were exposed to violent games for 20 minutes a day, for 3 consecutive days, the results demonstrate that these kids had lowered their empathy and increased their aggression toward other children. Children become antisocial towards people as video games become a priority to them. This also often leads the kid to develop connections to the video games’ characters, therefore, they develop an apathy toward socializing with other kids. Another source of evidence study states “Violent video games are often more challenging, faster paced, and more competitive than nonviolent video games. These games predicted later aggressive behavior in their studies. Struggling with a game can lead to frustration and aggression, whether or not the game is violent.” (Eileen Kennedy-Moore). When a child starts being exposed to competitive games, his desire to win against other players grows. On most occasions, when this happens, people become addicted to the video game in order to improve their skills on the game and during the process of doing so, many of the players become frustrated and angry towards the game and starts acting in a very unruly way. However, this may not be the only reason why the child becomes frustrated and aggressive, there can be other factors that trigger these emotions as well. As my last source of evidence, according to a recent study published through USA Today, “Study confirms link between violent video games and physical aggression” by Mike Snider, 17,000 students ranging from ages between 9 and 19 were studied and found that playing violent video games led to increased physical aggression over time. This aggression could begin between 3 months to 4 years after the kids started playing these violent games. This behavior included hitting someone who is not a family member and fighting at school. As kids are constantly exposed to violent acts, they start acting and portraying these actions to their daily life because young audience are still on the process of development and if they are exposed to something constantly, they might adapt to these behaviors and through their eyes, these behaviors may be normal.
All Video Games, including violent ones, can create a huge addiction, which affects the behavior and health of the players in many ways, according to the article “The Effects of Sleep Deprivation on Your Body” written by Ann Pietrangelo and Stephanie Watson. People who play video games for long hours and having little to no sleep, can affect their physical and mental health and also their behavior. Some of these effects are: memory issues, developing a bad mood, which can affect their short and long term memory, and also their concentration and thinking. Additionally, lack of sleep contributes to people’s behavior as they become more sensitive and are easily bothered by objects in their environment; therefore, anything can provoke an aggressive act. As far-fetched as it might sound, having little to no sleep can literally kill. Another evidence found in CNN’s article, “Man dies in Taiwan after 3-day online gaming binge” by Katie Hun and Naomi Ng, claims that a man in Taiwan died while playing in a marathon for 3 days in a row. And that was the 2nd case in Taiwan, proceed by another one from January 1, who was playing for 5 days straight. If people are exposed to violent video games during a long period of time, they become extremely addictive and stop taking care of their health.
Many people think that there is no relationship between Violent Video Games and their behavior because young people should know how to differentiate good from bad. According to a CNN article, “Do video games lead to violence?” written by Susan Scutti, she claims that “By keeping young males busy with things they like — and this would include everything from playing sports and collecting stamps to playing first-person shooter video games — you keep them off the streets and out of trouble,” (Scutti). The American Psychological Association research demonstrated a link where violent video game increases in aggressive behavior and decreases in prosocial behavior, empathy, and moral engagement. Over 400 studies revealed that aggressive behavior and thoughts, and angry feelings are significantly linked to violent media. However, even though they are kept from the streets and out of trouble, there are more chances that the person playing violent video games might develop an aggressive behavior as they spend more time developing aiming skills when they play. What can probably stop them from making their violent video game experience into a real-life experience? Another evidence that people are in favor of violent video games is shown in Stephanie Lind’s article, “Why Violence in Video Games Isn’t Really a Problem” as she points out that violent video games are not a problem when it comes to affecting behavioral problems. She mentions how players are completely aware that video games are just based on a fictional world far from reality. In addition, it points out how this fiction can provide players the experience that they would not get in real life. The truth is, as stated before, young audience are still on the process of development and they are still learning what is right and what is wrong. Parents allow their children to play these video games knowing that these games have an 18+ age restriction because of its inappropriate content. As kids are exposed to these games, they start learning from them and there might be a point in where they confuse the violent game fictional world to the reality.
Young audience get influenced easily about things they are constantly exposed to, and they are swayed even more if they are exposed to things that grasp their attention and they tend to try and imitate their surroundings. There are many studies that have concluded that due to the long exposure to violent video games, people have adapted aggressive behavior unconsciously. In many cases, they become addicted and sometimes confuse what is supposed to be in the video games with the real world. The game industry is a multi-billion dollar one, and for sure it won’t be banned nor it will disappear. Parents of these kids must pay a close attention to them on their early stage of misbehaving attitude, so they can apply the necessary correction to them. The relationship between parents and kids is a must. If the family ties are strong, and kids have a good sense between right or wrong, chances are that these kids will not be as vulnerable as those who have a dysfunctional family. The more society can avoid these games, the better future the kids can have.