Video Games and Violence Essays

Submitted By chipproctor
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Pages: 3

Video Games and Violence
Video games vary in the type of entertainment they provide, from educational purposes to extremely violent. Inevitably, with the large variety of games available, parents are facing the task of protecting their children from the more violent games that could have a negative impact on them. The debate over the evidence supporting the connection between video games violence and real world violence among experts is ongoing, however; both sides agree the parents play a pivotal role in protecting their children from any harmful effects. In a recent policy statement released by the American Academy of Pediatrics on media violence, they included a study that suggests violent games are more harmful than other forms of media, since they encourage role-playing and are much more interactive ("Violent," 2010). Children, like adults have different learning styles, however, many are inclined to learn from watching others and imitating what they see. This behavior would definitely support that study, and with this constant flood of violent behavior, many argue that it desensitizes children emotionally ("Violent," 2010). By comparison, other organizations dispute these studies as being bias and cite studies of their own as proof. According to the Harvard Mental Health Letter Dr. Christopher Ferguson, a psychology professor at Texas A&M argued that studies that measure violence from media sources and the effects it has on aggression rely on measures that do not correlate with real-world violence ("Violent," 2010). Aggression is a natural part of competition and does not always translate to violence. The popularity of violent games has increased while violent crime rate have fallen (Ferguson & Kilburn, 2010). Since this is the case, why do so many studies suggest just the opposite? Some studies are victims of poor protocols or even worse, they are conducted with a predetermined outcome and only rely on facts that fit that outcome. It is obvious that depending on the child’s tendencies, some are more likely to act out and special care has to be taken to protect them, but this does not mean all will act out. This is why children should not be categorized into groups rather they should be dealt with on an individual basis. This leads to a point both sides agree on. Parents play an important part in the development of today’s youth. By adopting a common sense approach, especially if they feel their children are more open to the effects of violent content. Some strategies include checking the ESRB rating, set time limits, play games with children, move game console to a public area, or simply encourage other activities ("Violent," 2010). Other data suggests that by limiting other risk factors the effects of theses violent video games is almost zero (Ferguson & Kilburn, 2010). This is probably the bigger issue.