English Comp II
21 November 2014
Where Does it Stop? “It’s just a video game...” Or is it? Video games have long been seen as just a game even if people have had their problems with them. Recently it has been thought that video games are causing heightened levels of aggression. With games becoming increasingly violent and graphic, along with parental influences, it is harder for players to distance themselves from the game leading to players experiencing increased levels of violence and aggression. Pong, created in the 1970s, was one of the first arcade/video games created. It instantly captured the attention of the public. Pong is what eventually led to the widespread gaming community, which today is over half a billion people. The game is completely violence free compared to today’s standards of media. Older studies have been conducted and found that games have no relation to violent behavior in the players. While back then the information might have been valid, it cannot be used to analyze today’s games. It used to be that boys were the majority of the population who played video games. Thus many studies have only focused on men and whether video gaming increases their violent behavior. This is not the case in today’s society. While it is true that men still have the majority, it is by a much smaller margin. Women today are more in touch with their gaming side than women were when video games first came available to the public. A study was done by the International Society for Research on Aggression in the early 2000s on the effects that video games have on aggressive behavior. The one thing that they have that no other researchers had at the time is that they were one of the first to study the effects of games and aggression on men and women separately. This is important because one of the biggest stereotypes in the gaming community is that men are the only ones to become violent after playing a violent video game. This study took a look at the difference in types of aggression that each person would show after playing the game for a certain period of time. The subject would play a video game for 15 minutes and afterward be assessed on their reactions to certain things.
Participants in the study were questioned about how often they played video games, how long they played, when they started playing, and how aggressive they were on average. This was done in order to help make the study as accurate as possible and avoid involving people in the study that would throw off the results from the start. This was an important part of the study because it helps to add to the validity of the test results, which were very surprising. It was found that both men and women are influenced towards aggression through the playing of video games. They were affected in different ways however. “Significant sex differences revealed that boys scored higher on Physical and Verbal Aggression, whereas girls had higher scores on Neuroticism, Hostility, and Anger” (Effects Of Playing). Based on this study, men and women are both lead to more aggressive behavior through the playing of video games. This helps push the conclusion that video games do indeed lead to higher levels of aggressive behavior in the gamers.
Video games today are more interactive and personal than games before. Players today can make their own avatar and basically put themselves into the game. This leads to all sorts of problems. By putting himself/herself into the game almost directly, the player is now not only playing a game, they are making the game more of a reality. If during the game the objective is to basically defeat every opponent physically because of something they said, the game becomes more personal because you are fighting for yourself and not just a random persona. This can lead to altercations when the player forgets that they are in the real world and not a character from a video game.