Video Games and Violence Research Paper

Excerpt from Research Paper :

Behavioral and Cognitive Consciousness and Cognitive Behavior Treatment


In this modern era, technology has made us its slave. Life has never been this flexible and convenient bringing efficiency and speed too. The technology has certainly altered our methods of communication, socializing, entertainment and maybe the way we behave. In this research paper, both popular sources and scholarly sources will be employed to discuss the possible effects of video gaming on youth. The evidence is irrefutable while the popular opinion is different and favors gaming. Video games are alleged to cause violent behavior while society believes that different factors are at play.

Video games appeared in the entertainment industry 65 years ago. It was a simple 'Cathode ray tube amusement device' completely changed the way gamers play games today. There are multiple gaming platforms. These platforms are diverse ranging from computers, video game consoles, smart phones and arcade games which host these video games. These days, the video games have combined with the technology, providing high definition graphics and sound to the gamers delivering real life experience in a virtual gaming environment.

But, now there is an elephant in the room apparently. It's becoming a controversial issue. Video games are alleged to spark violent behavior in the young generation. This issue has elevated during the past many decades. The prime concern here is that gaming sparks violence and aggression in the youth which will become visible in the society soon enough.

However, the exponents of gamers voiced that games elevate competitiveness in humans, which can cause such irrational behaviors. Gaming is not the one to blame. The results of their hypothesis were not concrete, as violence due to video games was more accepted.

Video games sparked a new interest in the government ranks, policy makers and researchers, not to mention general population. This being said, video gaming is a two way street. On the bright side, the educational video games certainly raise IQ level and teach a gamer new tricks and tips whilst providing a greater learning edge. On the dark side, the violent video gamers are bound to show more aggressive tendencies in comparison to TV and cinema. All of this started way back in the 1990's when such violent and aggressive games were introduced. Since then the children and youth took interest in such games participating actively of their own accord. This unprecedented independence wasn't available to them before. Popular games (not named) gives money for killing innocent pedestrians, hijacking police and public cars and killing whores on the streets at random by using a variety of weapons such as baseball bat, swords, flamethrowers, knives, hands and not to mention a plethora of guns. Every controversial subject has its merits and demerits. The supporters propose that gaming vents out the anger of young generation and averts them from using violence in real life. The naysayers propose that video games spark violence and feelings of anger in real life visible to society. They think that they learn a lot of violence as brain as a tendency to learn.

In this research paper, one scholarly article and three mainstream sources will be shown which voices video games as hazardous to young generation. Then, one scholarly article and three mainstream sources will refute the claim as dismissive.

Literature Review

In the words of Tiffany Kaiser of Daily Tech, 'Those who hadn't played violent video games didn't show active brain activity to violent picture (Kaiser, 2011)'. There isn't any explanation as to why there is a violent streak in video gamers. Researchers working in University of Missouri's Department of Psychology have discovered that brain less and less respondent to violence subsequent to sustained exposure to it. The researchers made use of 70 adult participants who played violent and nonviolent video games for half an hour. After the gaming session, they were asked to view pictures with relative violence level to measure their brain response. All the participants were permitted to select their own voice level while killing an enemy. The noise level decided their level of aggression. This means that players who indulge in violent games were prone to be more hostile than those who played nonviolent games (Kaiser, 2011).

Mike Ferlazzo from Futurity News writes that, 'playing violent video games develops a violent streak in children making them more violent and angry, irrespective of their race, caste, creed, age and nationality' (Ferlazzo, 2012). One research team made use of 'meta-analytic procedures' to work out and derive conclusions from relative literature to connect the dots with video games to violent tendencies, anger issues and feelings of a gamer. They studied 130 reports which comprised of 130,000 participants all over the world; they drew the conclusion that video games did spark violence in gamers. This aggressive attitude though not that extreme should be watched by parents at the same time (Ferlazzo, 2012).

Stephanie Darral from DailyMail has written that 'violent video games can make gamers much more aggressive than they were before' (Darral, 2011). Research has shown that some segments of brain are rendered useless as the brain shapes up in a new way. This leads to antisocial and dysfunctional behavior. Scientists working in Indiana University School of Medicine performed a group test on 22 men along with MRI scans. Half of those 22 men were asked to play violent video games while other half remained put. The results were brought in as indications were clear as daylight. The gamers mind had altered completely. The results were disorientating. On the other hand, when gamers put an end to gaming, their brain became normal once again (Darall, 2011).

From a scholar's standpoint, they certainly agree on the negative repercussions of 'video gaming represses real life violence'. It means that after indulging in violent video gaming, they will certainly become less and less distant to real life violence. Experiments were done in this regard by measuring their pulse rate, heart rate as well as brain response to violence when they were shown a violent ten-minute video. The gamers who played violent video games as well as those who played nonviolent video games had different responses to that video. Violent video gamers showed no elevation or quick heart rate. Meanwhile, the nonviolent video gamers heart rate, pulse rate and brain activity shot through the roof (Marko, 2011).

There are a great many arguments that violent video games elevate the violent behavior and aggressive factor, but there are certainly some contradictions. As an article states from Science 2.0, that violent video games can actually vent out their stress of youth smoothly. The researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital have taken 1,254 gaming kids in perspective and found out how well and efficiently they were managing their anger, stress and irritations from daily life. The gaming kids were proud to say that their daily life angers, frustrations and stress was relieved due to long hours of gaming. In the end, the research pointed out the fact that the youth crime rate has fallen exponentially. The connection was made to video games obviously (as cited in Marko, 2011).

Cheryl Clock working for St. Catharine's Standard thinks that aggression elevates from playing vicious video games which raises the level of competitiveness, the difficulty level and speed of action. A Brock PhD student of psychology named Paul Adachi thinks that other aspects of gaming should also be taken in consideration. He thinks that research which linked aggressive behavior to violent behavior certainly didn't take level of competition in perspective at all. Paul Adachi then conducted research on video games which were violent and then played nonviolent games. The difficulty level, speed of gaming and level of competiveness was also taken perspective. He researched on 50 participants and had them play a violent video game for fifteen minutes and tested their level of aggression. The results turned the tables as both nonviolent video gamers and violent video gamers were having equal level of aggression within them. The research remains inconclusive as there are quite many video games which elevate aggression level (Clock, 2010).

Conclusions drawn

While doing this research, it was found out that differences exist between popular sources and that of scholars. Their opinions are diverse and depend on the author of the source. In case of the scholarly sources, the authors are experts in their field. They have their reputation with personal information well listed everywhere. But, in case of popular sources, the writers are often freelance writers, students and non-qualified individuals with articles not signed. The scholarly articles have their designated audience (thesis students, researchers and scholars); their job is to furnish evidence of their research. While the popular sources have their own niche which comprises of general audience reading current news, entertainment news and summarized viewpoints.

The difference lies in the presentation of scholarly and popular sources. They are poles apart for that matter. The scholarly articles are generally well furnished with graphs, tables, estimates and technical analysis on the subject at hand. The research done is on a…

Sources Used in Document:


Clock, Cheryl. Video games & violence . 25 Oct 2010.

Craig A. Anderson, Brad J. Bushman. Effects of Violent Video Games on Aggressive Behavior, Aggressive Cognition, Aggressive Affect, Physiological Arousal, and Prosocial Behavior: A Meta-Analytic Review of the Scientific Literature. 11 Dec 2011.

Craig A. Anderson, Nicholas L. Carnagey. Causal effects of violent sports video games on aggression: Is it competitiveness or violent content? 4 May 2009.

Darrall, Stephanie. Violent video games DO make people more aggressive. 27 Nov 2011. 2 Jan 2012.Christopher J. Ferguson, John Colwell, Boris Mlac-ic, Goran Milas. Personality and media influences on violence and depression in a cross-national. 1 Feb 2011.

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