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Violence in video game

During the last several decades, electronic interactive games have arose as one of the most popular forms of entertainment, especially among youth. In 1999, revenues totalled $6. 3 billion in the United States (Anderson 353). Ninety percent of U. S. households with children have rented or owned a video or computer game, and youth spend an average of 25 minutes per day playing video games (Quittner). Video games are the second most popular kind of entertainment after television.

Although research has pointed to the creative uses of video games in such fields as education and medicine, there are trends in game playing that some researchers consider disturbing. Really, the newer generation of interactive games has changed fundamentally in their sophistication, graphics, realism, interactivity and level of violence and gore, allowing players to partake in more realistic violent activity than ever. Interactive video game play differs from passive media consumption on perceptual, intellectual, and physiological levels.

So it should be assumed that video game violence will affect video game players in a different way than TV and other multimedia violence affects its viewers. Specifically, there is a sharp need for longitudinal research about the effects of systematic, long-term violent game play. The lack of a longitudinal video game research program is not surprising – video games only attracted significant academic attention within the last two decades. But now serious studies are needed to confirm or contradict the currently tenuous link between in-game violence and real-life aggression.

In this paper we will consider violence in video games and examine how it affects the viewers. Are the video games with violence harmful? You cannot reckon up video games without realizing how pernicious simple violent imagery is, the kind children are so receptive to. Teens become addicted to these games very fast. For example, they can spend a whole day playing a video game in which they shoot and kill some monsters or enemies. Sometimes they forget to do their homework and other things. These visual images have tremendous power.

For young children, television violence is real. Up until the age of six or seven they cannot tell the distinction between imagination and reality. They are engrossed by violent television, movies and video games. Studies measuring the physiological responses to playing violent video games (in comparison with physiological responses to non-violent games) have demonstrated that violent games intensify physiological arousal (Anderson 354). Heart rate, systolic blood pressure, and diastolic blood pressure all intensify when playing violent games.

Playing a violent game shown higher systolic blood pressure increases than playing a non-violent game. Studies by Lynch have shown that the effect may be even greater for children who are by nature more aggressive. Violent video games increase aggressive thoughts. These findings have been found for males and females, children and adults. Kirsh found that exposure to a violent video game enlarges hostile attribution bias in the short term, comparative to exposure to a non-violent video game (Anderson 353).

Children who tend to interpret ambiguous social cues as being of hostile bias are more aggressive. Furthermore, there is a firm relationship between hostile attribution bias and children’s social maladjustment, such as depression, negative self-sensations, and peer rejection. Also children who play more violent games are more likely to have a hostile attribution bias. Violent games increase aggressive emotions. Adolescents themselves often seem to realize this. When asked to name the “bad things” about computer games, many students said that they make people more moody and aggressive.

Students who were more “addicted” to video games were much more likely to be in a bad mood before, during, and after play than were non-addicted students (Quittner). The psychology of killing People have a powerful resistance to killing their own kind. At the moment they get angry, the forebrain (the advanced reasoning part of the mind) stops working, the midbrain (the instinctive part) takes over, and we slam head–on into a hard–wired resistance to killing our own kind. Trying to get people into the battle field to kill one another is rarely hard.

Until the Vietnam War, fewer than 20 percent of soldiers on the front lines would ever actually fire at the enemy. But with the same kind of conditioning caused by these games, the U. S. military raised that to 90 percent in Vietnam – we scientifically beat the soldier’s inherent resistance to killing (Quittner). Violent video games are the psychic equivalent of putting an assault rifle in the hands of every child in America. By sitting and foolishly killing countless thousands of fellow members of your own kinds without any ramification or results, children get a real weapon in their hand.

Effects of video game violence on antisocial behavior The majority of researchers see video games in a negative light, often considering that they are one of the factors to blame for violence among youths. For example, Anderson and Bushman associated “violent video games” with antisocial behaviors such as aggression. They reported that 4- to 6-year-olds’ aggression increased after violent video game play (Quittner). Antisocial behavior is defined as socially undesirable behavior, comprising antisocial verbalization and antisocial action with or without verbalization.

Prosocial behavior is defined as socially desirable behavior that combines positive interpersonal behaviors. The three subcategories for prosocial behavior are: behaviors that benefit others (positive interpersonal), assist the individual succeed academically (achievement-related), and encourage creativity (imagination). Accordingly to arousal theory, players of violent video games become physiologically aroused — intensified activity in brain waves, heart rate, blood pressure, and skin conductance.

After accustoming to that level, the players become desensitized — requiring higher levels of aggression to be aroused — from overexposure to aggression. Based on the principals of the arousal theory, Anderson and Bushman developed the “General Aggression Model,” which claims that people who play violent video games present aggressive beliefs and thoughts which predispose the gamers to future violent behavior in real-life (Quittner). Nevertheless many studies report that video games also have prosocial benefits.

Kestenbaum and Weinstein said that aggressive games calm players. Scott found proof of catharsis: students had fewer aggressive feelings after playing moderately aggressive games but had a growth in aggressive feelings after playing highly aggressive games (Anderson 353). This appears to resonate with the thought that violent games may have prosocial effects, such as providing a safe means of venting aggression. Incomplete research How the combination of violent content with interactive video game play affects those who experience it is not yet plain.

The quantity of research that exists on video game violence is limited in comparison with the firm body of work on TV violence. This probably depends on the video game’s recent appearance as a distinct medium, though the assumption that existing media violence literature could also cover video games may play a role. What research does exist on video games is not full – even reviews and meta-analyses of videogame violence literature draw very different reasoning about the relationship between game violence and aggression.

This disagreement is obvious in five recent analyses of video game violence research listed on the PsycInfo and Ingentia journal databases. All five overlap emphatically in the studies they review, but reach widely varying conclusions. One presents a firm link between violent video games and aggressive behavior; two consider a weaker link between violent games and real-world aggression; two conclude that present research doesn’t support a general causative link, but depict separate concern about young children.

Anderson and Bushman’s review is the only one of the five to reach an assertive conclusion: high video game violence was for certain connected with heightened aggression (Lynch 152). The effect of violent video games on aggression is as strong as the effect of condom use on risk of HIV infection. Violent video games enlarged aggression in males and females, in children and adults, and in experimental and non-experimental settings.

Aggressive behavior is explained in terms of cognitive priming and violent script learning and is related to the General Aggression Model (GAM). These results clearly substantiate the hypothesis that exposure to violent video games poses a public-health threat. In brief, every theoretical prediction got from prior research and the GAM was supported. Sherry also presents statistical meta-analysis, calculates a correlation between video game violence and real-world aggression, but interprets this reasoning much differently than Anderson and Bushman.

Where Anderson and Bushman feature the positive interdependence, Sherry depicts it as relatively small, and notes that the correlation between TV violence and aggression is about twice as large (Lynch 152). Sherry also reported that playing games with realistic, graphic violence increased the correlation with aggressive behavior, but that aggression was invertedly correlated with playing time –the longer test subjects played Mortal Kombat ,the less likely they were to show hostile behavior afterwards.

Sherry reports that this evidence is supportive of general arousal theory, or potentially catharsis theory. If arousal does drop after long periods of game play, arousal theory would foretell that the aggressive reaction would also be reduced. Ultimately, it is also possible that players may be using the games to balance their arousal levels. This means a drive-reduction or catharsis hypothesis. Sherry depicts that parents intuitive response to limit playing time may be counterproductive, pulling the child away from the game at a time when the largest aggressive influences are likely (Subramanyam 14).

Dill and Dill present a narrative review rather than statistical meta-analysis, but reach a conclusion similar to Sherry’s (Lynch 152). They claim that the literature tends to support a link between violent video games and real-life aggression, but have concern about the strength of existing literature. The superiority of the evidence from the higher quality experimental studies suggests that short-term exposure to video game and virtual reality violence engenders increases in aggressive behavior, affect, and cognitions and lessening in prosocial behavior.

Precious few true experiments have been done to evaluate the effects of playing violent video games on aggression- related outcomes; there is no real programmatic line of research yet in this area. Griffith’s narrative review of the literature was printed one year later in the same journal as Dill and Dill’s (Subramanyam 25). He shared their concern about methodology: all the published studies on video game violence have methodological problems and they only combine possible short-term measures of aggressive results.

Griffiths presents problems with a common experimental technique: measuring subjects aggression in fantasy scenarios, such as seeing if subjects in a “teacher/learner” scenario reprimand the learners more after playing violent video games (Lynch 152). He depicts that increased aggression in fantasy and role-play measures, far from corroborating the hypothesis that games cause aggression, are completely consistent with the catharsis hypothesis; that is, it might be precisely the fantasy aggression that discharges the aggression that would otherwise be expressed as aggressive behavior.

Or, fantasy aggression might be a release for arousal built up during game play, which would be consistent with Sherry’s general arousal interpretation. Griffiths claims that the one steadfast finding is that the majority of the studies on very young children – as opposed to those in their teens upwards –conduce to show that children do become more aggressive after playing or watching a violent video game. However it could well be the case that violent video games have a more distinct effect in young children but less of an effect once they have achieved their teenage years.

He reports that whether video games promote aggressiveness cannot be answered at present because the available literature is comparatively scanty and conflicting, and there are many different types of video games which probably have different effects. Bensley and Van Eenwyk make a difference between violent video games effects on young children. Among young children (about aged 4-8 years), playing an aggressive video game aggression or aggressive play increased during free-play directly after the video game in 3 of the 4 studies (Lynch 152).

For youth, because of the non-experimental designs and mixed results of these studies, it was not possible to conclude whether video game violence affects aggressive behavior. In direct contrast to Anderson and Bushman’s description of video game violence as a “public-health threat,” Bensley and Van Eenwyk state that at present, it may be concluded that the research evidence is not supportive of a major public health concern that violent video games lead to real-life violence (Subramanyam 14).

Conclusion One firm finding is that video game violence, whether or not it stimulates real-life violence in general, does seem to intensify short-term aggressive behavior in very young players. This magnification of any aggressive effects probably stems from the inability of young children to distinguish interactive play from real life, which increases the likelihood of their incorporating game violence into real-world behavior. Young children live in a world where fantasy and reality intermingle.

They are unable, through at least the age of three or four, to distinguish fact from fantasy. I think that video games comprise too much violence. Children who watch and play these games can be impacted by very aggressive content. Even though they like to play games where they calculate how to kill someone, they don’t realize that they are becoming aggressive. Those video games create the wrong values and sometimes very evil results. Before video games were created some years ago, teens watched movies, played some sports, and read books.

Now instead of taking part in those activities, they play violence games. They enter a new unreal world in which they may enjoy cruel reality. Actions viewed, taken, and suggested affect children more than anything else. Emotions are our psychological window to the outside would. If that window is crushed, for example a father abusing a child, the victim will be more likely to become what broke the window. Video and computer games will continue to be an exciting and growing part of children’s media diets.

With so many good games available for children and youth, it is regrettable that so much attention has to be paid to games which are inappropriate for all youth and bad to some. As long as children have easy access to these games, then policy debates will go on. Perhaps those debates will be disputable in the near future as both the industry and parents make sure that the children and youth of America are sold games that entertain and benefit them.

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