Video Games and Violence in Research Paper

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The second way is that individuals, specifically children can become desensitized to violence. This is because, daily exposure to violence may make one lose their emotional impact on them. Apparently, when one becomes emotionally numb, it becomes easier for them to engage in violence (Harding).

The General Aggression Model

This is a model that attempts to explain both the development of aggression an individual differences in susceptibility to the influence of video games that are violent, (Kooijmans). This model operates on the theory that both situational and person logical variables interact to affect a person's internal state that comprises of cognition or thoughts, affects or feelings and arousal or physical. These aspects influence each other and they all affect a person's interpretation of an act that is aggressive. Once the brain completes its interpretation, a process for making decisions starts taking place. This model states that violent video games have long-term and short-term effects on the users. Short-term effects have been observed while the long-term effects are just hypothetical (King, Delfabbro and Griffiths 103). The short-term effects include situational variable, causing an increase in aggressive cognitions, affects and arousal. The study on the long-term effects of video games are hypothetical as the research that is being carried out is ultimately new. Hypothesized effects of violent video games include promoting aggressive beliefs and attitudes thus creating an aggressive schema, aggressive behavioral scripts and aggressive expectations.

The formulation of this model shows how complicated an issue the relationship between violence, video games and aggression. Those who are high on factors like hostility are much more at risk to become more aggressive as a result of the influence of violent video games. People who have low hostility have been shown to have no change in their aggression levels when they are influenced by playing video games that are violent (Funk et al. 241). The formulation of the GAM helps greatly in understanding the complex relationship between aggression and violent games. The amounts of biological and physical changes that occur during puberty can affect the processes that occur within the GAM. The processes, which are already in place at adolescence, are usually at this time still influenced by their current environment. Adolescence is usually a stage that is characterized with an increase in aggression and this aggression combined with exposure to violent media reinforces and increases aggressive cognition, affects and arousal. This has a negative effect on the internal environment of the individual which leads to increased aggression, (Kooijmans). This exposure and at the stage of adolescence the individual is in determines the level of aggression they express. This means, the exposure at early adolescence exhibits higher levels of aggression as compared to the exposure during mid and late adolescence.

Intellectual ability and scholastic ability

According to Sakamoto, video games have many features that are attractive to children and can stimulate educational performance that is improved in learners as well as children (Sakamoto 2). Traits that can stimulate improvement in educational performance include attractiveness, motivation, active engagement, challenges, data handling capabilities and enabling learning by doing. If these characteristics were added to ordinary classroom teaching, students would be more enthusiastic to study. By introducing games to classes, learning would be made more effective. Conventional classes do not offer challenging, vivid and complex features as the circumstances and content that is offered in video games. On top of this, video games offer educational attributes like the functions for enhancing self-feedback, personalization and learning that are collaborative (Sakamoto, 2).

Videogames, according to Sakamoto, have various instructional functions that promote educational performance in learners. Some games show models for living and as a result they have a modeling function to the models who may imitate the behavior that is shown in the model. The games have attractive visualizing functions for complex phenomena. Performances in the game can be objectively observed and thus Meta cognition in learners can be observed. They offer intellectual and affective knowledge of results that correspond to the behavior of the learners. This is important in that it offers a kind of reward to reinforcement of appropriate behavioral components. With the rehearsal components of the games, repetition helps in the achievement of educational and training goals (Sakamoto 2). Due to video games having many aspects of educational functions, they should be able to achieve and enhance various kinds of abilities and competences such as skills, planning, creativity, problem solving, strategic thinking, knowledge, communication abilities, negotiation abilities and group decision making abilities (Sakamoto 3).

Friendship with others

With video gamers considered as "loners" for the longest time as is usually the case in any American medium, the Multi-User Dungeons have revolutionized the gaming industry. The MUDs online text based online environments where users can collaborate in groups so as to enable them to complete quests, solve puzzles or even slay villains (Squire 5). An example of such a game is Avatar whose difficulty and variables are manipulated so as to force gamers to collaborate quickly with fellow players and create bonds which will sustain their online gaming community. Characters are each given unique strengths and weaknesses and no character can survive without collaborating with other players. Avatar and games like it design challenges that foster community building which they can do from experience (Squire7).

The Future of Video Games

Kooijmans stated that with the majority of research focusing on the negative impact of video games, there was need for more research to be done so as to prove that video games do have a negative impact on the users especially in relation to violent content. This need to prove the exact impact that video games have on the players and those around them, has brought with it a hypothesis about the positive impact of video games. Therapy is one of the areas that have been seen to come out of using video games. With a majority of video games being violent in nature there have been emerging games that take on the intellectual point. Puzzle games like Tetris are thought to stimulate the mind by presenting challenges and puzzles to the player as opposed to enemies and worlds. Many play these games to keep their minds alert and active. This has in turn brought the idea that these games can be used as a therapy form. This is because, some of these games are relaxing and soothing and they can specifically altered to meet a patient's needs, as an individual, (Kooijmans). Video games can be used, for instance, to help a patient connect certain memory cells in their brains or help in the general stimulation of the brain.

The other area that video games have been believed to be helpful is in eye-hand coordination. When it comes to playing modern video games, one needs to have sufficient skill. A player is expected to do a lot so as to ensure that they win as there are usually a lot of things going on at once. A character that a player is playing may be required to be doing a lot of actions where they are running and shooting at the same time, for instance. One is required to keep track of the character's position, where they are headed, their speed, where their weapon is pointed and where exactly their weapon is supposed to injure or destroy their enemy. These factors need to be taken into account and the player is required to coordinate their brain's interpretation and the reaction with their hand and fingertip movements. A great deal of eye and hand coordination as well as visual-spatial ability is required in order to be successful. An increase in video game playing has been closely associated with improvement in eye hand coordination as well as manual dexterity and reaction time, (Ballard and Weist 729).

Video games are just mere simulations, basically, interactive multimedia that is used to try to simulate some phenomenon in the real world, (Kooijmans). Due to their close relationships, research that is used in the research of video games could be applied to simulations. Flight simulators are the most known simulations that attempt to mimic the actual real situation of flying a plane. All controls like airspeed, wing angles, altimeter, among other instruments are displayed for the player and also included are visual representations of the world which are updated to the real time. Simulations have been used by large corporations to train and make their employees better. With promise of a wider range of uses, the United States government released a game called 'America's Army' that simulates the experience of real time war. This simulation is hoped to be used in the training of the next generation of army recruits (Kooijmans).

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Sandstrom says that a new research at the University of Zaragoza in Spain showed that every hour spent by teenagers on virtual play…[continue]

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