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Negative Effects of Violence in Video Games

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The popularity of video games rises day after day, especially among the children and young adults. Many of these games are suitable for children. It may include different learning lessons, or educating aspects, or any positive cartoon characters. However, there are many games that are produced for adults only, but there is no age limit mentioned on it. Such games may cause negative effect on a child’s mental state. This problem was discovered by scientists and parents long time ago. Great amount of money and forces were used to manage it. The research on the effects of media violence was carried out for over 40 years. The first serious observations on the effects of violent video games on children appeared only in the 1980s. Today's complex video games make gamers concentrate on the game, instead of watching an entertaining movie. One of the main thoughts about violence in video games is that these games are characterized by themes of violence (Gunter 19).

Children spend a lot of time playing video games which include violence, instead of learning healthy ways to communicate with other people. If video games are such good teachers, it is indispensable to help parents, educators and policy makers comprehend how to maximize their profits while minimizing possible harms. Scientists and psychologists were studying the process of games bad influence on children’s behavior for several years. A 2001 study showed that aggression which children cannot control with time, because it becomes stronger and stronger, was caused by cruel video games. Some care about the common benefit and opinions of others may be mentioned as well. Another analysis which used the same methods and special studies was concentrated on the aggressive conduct. It deduced that violence of the cruel video games is not related to serious belligerent actions in the real world.

The statistics information

25% of boys playing video games are 16 years old, and the mean age of males playing games is 34. It is about 1,150 teenagers aged 13 to 18, 95% of them confessed that they play such games regularly. It should be mentioned, that about 70% of the respondents confessed that they play computer games every day. Two-quarters of inquired parents noticed that they control the quality of games. The fact is that about a quarter of the asked boys named a game including the great level of murders and violence as the best one for them. 

Mentioning that 35% of players are women, the scientists with their own research of 1998 conducted nearly 35 games instances, 44% do not recognize female pattern, 27% pictured women as sexual entity, 23% imaged violence against them, and 29% did not recognize women at all. Moreover, women’s characterizations switched over to be old.

Although, this statement was banned because it did not represent a wide games spectrum, especially those which were chosen, the state of modern video games industry was not represented as well. The smart and violent female patterns are increasingly more widespread.

Thinks of scientists

Some scientists have a thought that playing cruel video games can be the result of rude actions, and some biological effects that influence a choice of a person. Sean P. Neubert from Rochester Institute of Technology says that people, who are biologically conducive to aggression, are more influenced by cruel episodes and they have a larger risk for performing actions of negative and destructive character. For instance, if the player with antisocial personality disorder plays hours of Grand Theft Auto or a game of the same nature, they have a greater risk of going out and shoot someone.

Other aggression and violence biological theories have particularly ruled out media effects of video games. For example Ferguson and Beaver had proposed the Catalyst Model which excludes violence in media as a violence contributor, explaining that research vindications have not been strong enough for these effects, and media violence is outlying a fact of having a big impact.

One of the most popular reasons of belligerent behavior is connected with time children spend playing video games. Following one study, a huge number of teens find conceivable

that parents do not set a time limitation, they are not prohibited playing games which include violence. It should be mentioned that a lot of parents are uninformed about the content rating of the video games their children choose. One of the studies carried out in 2004, informs that "girls play  games for 4 hours every week, and boys play for 12 hours". The authors of this study also mentioned that teenagers who like to play video games which include violence for a long time:

 a) Can start the fights with their mates;

 b) Are more inclined to collation with their teachers;

 c) Tend to be more aggressive;

 d) Tend to be disobedient;

 e) Using a lot of obscene words at home and public places;

 f)  Have mutilated perception of reality.

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Some scientists make sure that aggressive behavior may be increased by playing video games on the violent base because violent acts are repeated during the video game. Such way of instant replay has been considered as an effective teaching method intensifying learning patterns (Gentile, & Anderson  113).  Video games make players set coincidence with and role play their favorite characters. This is directed as a "first-person" video game because players have an ability to make decisions affecting the actions of the character they are imitating. After a limited period of time playing a violent video game, a player can "automatically prime aggressive thoughts". According to the researchers’ conclusion, players with prior experience of playing violent video games are responded with an enormous level of aggression when they meet confrontation.

Following the researches of the American Psychological Association, violent video games increase the level of children’s aggression. The scientists explain, “The main reverse effect is that they tend to unsuitably determine uneasiness by embodying it. Having an anxiety, kids tend to externalize it, instead of smutting themselves, quelling themselves, mentioning about it, expressing it to someone, or even to show it emotionally by crying. They can hit the things, they can kick furniture, they can be mean to animals”. Unfortunately, there is a huge rate of violent answers from children playing such kinds of games. The scientists also emphasize that violent video games do not show kids moral ethics. "You do not go to jail in case if you kill somebody in one of these games, you do not get a fine because you get a huge number of points! But you should not think that your child will go out in the street and kill someone. They use aggressive language and aggressive pictures more frequently, they are not able to control their aggression and make things real in different violent ways. It is definitely bad", the scientists say (Bushman, & Anderson 84). Moreover, the American Psychological Association declares that violent games are related to children who are not interested in communication with their peers. Children spend a lot of time playing violent video games instead of learning their classes or even playing with their peers outside, helping their parents around the house.

The National Institute on Media and the Family concluded that it is not just a lookout coming up to young children. Teenage dynamics is at the high level of growth, making them very impressionable. At that moment when teens are wiring the areas for self-control, amenability and interrelations that they will carry with them during the period of adulthood, violent games actuate their anger system while soften the brain "freedom of conscience". What measures must be taken by parents to minimize any possible damages? Scientists figured out that if parents use a time limitation for games played by their kids, children became less aggressive. Another research considers that active involvement of parents in media interests of  their children, including the discussing of violent decisions in the real conflicts of life, abating time which is spent playing violent video games, and inducing alternative nonviolent decisions for problems - all these may reduce the influence of violence in games. Dr. Phil suggests the alternative activities to playing video games with your child. They are playing sport games together or going for a picnic. These activities will give you a possibility to have more intercommunication with your child.

Parents should also control video games which their children play. Studying the influence of the video games on children, scientists decided to create a system which can help to minimize caused damages. Such recommendations can help parents to prevent the negative consequences caused by games.

The scientists developed useful instructions for parents

  1. Do not install video game equipment in your child's bedroom.
  2. Set limits on how often and how long your child is allowed to play video games.
  3. Monitor all of your child's media consumption - video games, television, movies and Internet.

Control your child's Internet use - there are a lot of "video games" available for playing.

       4. Find the time to discuss with your children the games they play or other media they are 

           watching.

      5. Try to give your child some complementary tasks which can interest him/her and be useful.

      6. Spend more time with your kid teaching him something new.

      7. Do not encourage your child with the video games, if he had done his homework or something else right.

If parents use these instructions, there is a big possibility that children will be less aggressive and the influence of violent video games will be reduced.

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