“Do Violent Video Games Cause Behavior Problems” Looking at society today, it is very apparent that certain technologies have had a major impact on it, in both negative and positive ways. One of the biggest technologies is video games. There has been extensive research done on the impact of video games on society. The question that everyone is trying to answer is do violent video games cause behavior problems in youths mainly and are they contributing to higher crime rates and school shootings. Or are people just looking to place the blame somewhere. It’s hard to narrow this topic down into a simple yes or no.
Some studies prove that numerous factors need to be taken into consideration. The Pew Research Center reported that boys are more likely to play violent video games with 90% overall playing some type of video game and 2/3 being action adventure game, with 60% of the content containing violence. Now, only 40% of girls play video games, with only maybe 1/3 of them playing games containing violent content. One particular video game series “Grand Theft Auto. ” has an extremely high rating, per Entertainment Software Rating Board(ESRB). Their description of the series’ content is blood, gore, intense violence, strong sexual content, and drug use.
The interesting thing is 90% of games containing violent content are rated for children ten years of age and older by ESRB. There also have been scientific studies on the brain by gamers and known gamers at the Life and Brain Center at the University of Bonn. The psychologist, epileptologists, and neurologist did a research study. They showed photos of images from violent video games and emotionally disturbing images to heavy gamers playing violent video games and known gamers. Both group’s amygdalas responded similar to emotions. The part of the that control emotion is called the amygdalas.
But the violent gamers’ medial frontal lobe, which controls fear and aggression were clearing not as active. While this research tells us that violent video games cause behavior problems. Other research tells us that there are almost always underlining behavioral issues or mental disorders with the individual to start with it’s not solely caused by playing violent, but the games may enhance these problems. The 2001 Surgeon General Report states that through observation they have found an association between video games and increased aggressive behaviors in youth.
They have observed higher levels of aggression in youths that have a behavior problem to begin with. According to the federal crime statistics, youth offenders who have committed a crime, such as a school shooting are avid gamers. The U. S Department of Justice founded a research center for mental health and Media at Massachusetts General Hospital with the goal being trying to find buffer harmful effects on youths. They are conducting studies with the hope of being able to identify what types of children playing certain games are at risk of harm. Overall, most youths are gamers, not all commit a crime or act out over playing video games.
A lot of video game playing is done with family, siblings, and friends. So much of it is healthy social interaction. Play allows people, especially small children and youths to express themselves. Sheltering and, or shielding children from any and all types of violence can be dangerous. They need to be exposed to it on some level, so they can cope with real life violence. By reading over this extensive research it is very apparent that to me that violent video games can help cause behavior problems mainly in youth males with existing mental and behavior problems.
I believe it would be less of a problem if parents are aware of what the content of the game is and how often they are playing. I am a mother myself and my daughter Rayne, who is nine years old, has a Wii. She mainly plays sport and adventure games. On occasion she will play a so- called “violent video game” with her uncle, my little brother Sean. I can instantly tell the difference, while she’s playing the game. She becomes impatient, does want to wait her turn to play. Also becomes more aggressive, like she will want to wrestle and play fight.
I can see how over exposure to violent video games can have a profound effect on children and teens, especially if they have mental or behavior issues. Moreover, I believe playing games will do benefit people in general. It can help to teach problem solving, use critical thinking, and help with memory. While having fun at the same time. No matter how much many studies are done with negative outcomes about violent video gaming causing bad behaviors, they are here to stay. Society as a whole needs to step up, take responsibility instead of passing blame.