Effects of Violent Video Games on Children Essay

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Effects of Violent Video Games on Children

The use of video games has become tremendously popular among children and adolescents in the past decade. In fact, “Sixty-eight percent of U.S. households play computer or video games.” (David Jenkins, 2009) This statistic reveals how important it is to understand the effects that these games can have on individuals and more specifically, children. Over the years, numerous studies have been conducted investigating whether video games have positive or negative impacts. An increase in popularity has raised concern with the negative effects that may or may not be occurring. Video games exploit three fundamental learning strategies and therefore are easily able to influence children and
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Children exposed to high amounts of violence in video games tend to be less sensitive to real life violent situations. (Anderson & Dill, 2000, p. 782; Gentile & Anderson, 2003, p. 134) The use of cross-sectional research rather than longitudinal research affected the results of these studies. In order to obtain accurate conclusions, on the long-term effects of violent video games, the researchers should have observed the same cohort as it ages. Also, the participants in both studies, conducted by Anderson and Dill, were predominantly female. Although, the researchers used random selection, a population of mainly females is an unrepresentative sample. Minimal research on the long-term effects of video games has been made due to a lack of funding for a longitudinal design study. (Gentile & Anderson, 2003, p. 150)

On the contrary, a substantial amount of studies have been performed on the short-term impacts that violent games can have on a child’s aggression levels. “In the short term, playing a violent video game appears to affect aggression by priming aggressive thoughts.” (Anderson & Dill, 2000, p. 788) Children begin to use aggression outside of the video game as either an imitation or to solve conflict. In a study conducted by A. Irwin and Alan Gross, children’s aggression is observed during playtime and during a frustrating situation after playing either a violent or nonviolent video game. Results indicated that children