Video Games Impact Adolescent Aggression Essay

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Thee children, when socializing with their friends, invariably mimicked those violent characters they saw in the video games. While concluding, these researchers, pointed out that if children continued to play these kinds of violent and aggressive video games, then it is highly likely that negative and anti-social behavior becomes a norm for them (Nicoll and Kieffer, 2005).

In one study carried out by Williams and Skoric (2005) revealed that gamers who spent an approximately fifty six hours every month playing a special type of game called "Asheron's Call 2" had not been statistically any different from those gamers who did not play any game during the same time period. The results indicated that video games are not linked with adolescent aggressive behavior. This study was considered to be the first of its kind, since it studied a particular game over a month long period.

It is noteworthy here that the video game that this study chose was not as graphic and contained only some acts of violence. It is an online game that can allows multiple players to play at the same time. These kinds of games are quite different from offline games such as doom, which are not only graphic but also contain extreme acts of repeated violence (Williams and Skoric, 2005). As Derrick and Myna (2008) noted, "In these games when characters get shot there is a large spray of blood that covers the walls and floor near the character, also on the occasions in which explosives are used characters burst into small but recognizable body parts. Now ask the same question about their being a high degree of violence in video games and almost every one would agree that yes there is. Even thought the level of realism and gore have increased it is harder to say that video games have become more violent over time, since the basic goal behind most games from any time is the kill everything and anything which get in your way."

Similarly, Dill and Dill (1998) in their study illustrated these same dilemmas. They made their case that gamers have got to take aggressive actions and are subsequently toughened for this kind of aggression behavior. They write, "In violent video games, aggression is often the main goal, and killing adversaries means winning the game and reaping the benefits. While in real life, murder is a crime, in a violent video game, murder is the most reinforced behavior.... The violent video game player is an active aggressor and the players' behavioral repertoire is expanded to include new and varied aggressive alternatives." In addition, they argue "...If violent videogame play indeed depicts victims as deserving attacks, and if these video games tend to portray other humans as 'targets,' then reduced empathy is likely to be a consequence of violent videogame play, thus putting the player at risk for becoming a more violent individual."

Bushman and Anderson (2002) in their study established that those gamers who were highly exposed to violent content anticipated and assumed that others will act and behave violently to a greater extent than those gamers who were not as exposed to violent content (Bushman and Anderson, 2002). Similarly, Anderson et al.'s (2004) found that those gamers who played video games displaying higher levels of violence associated their feelings and thoughts with words and phrases that were aggression-oriented (Anderson et al.'s, 2004).

Similarly, Anderson and Bushman's (2001) study established that video games increased recurrent aggressive cognitive behavior. Similarly, they also found that neither player age, nor sex, nor study type had any impact on this affect (Anderson and Bushman, 2001). Other research studies carried out by Anderson along with his colleagues have yielded similar results as well. For case in point, in one of their recent studies (2004), which included not only adolescents but also adults as subjects as well, concluded that playing video games increased aggressive cognition and behavior (Anderson et al., 2004). In another study (2003a), they included only children as participants and found results to be more or less similar (Anderson et al., 2003a). Finally Experimental researches carried out by the same group revealed that subjects who were exposed to violent video games disciplined their peers and friends with extreme levels of white noise explosions. On the other hand, participants who were not exposed to violent video games did not carry out such acts (Anderson et al., 2004; Anderson & Murphy, 2003; Bartholow & Anderson, 2002).


It is clear that video games have some connection with violent and aggressive acts displayed by adolescents. However, it is important to also take into consideration that video games have become a major part of today's world. Children receive entertainment at the comfort of their homes where they are proactively engaged instead of sitting passively in front of television. While aggression and violent behavior may have other indicators as well, one cannot be certain about who will exhibit acts of violence just be exploring their video game tendencies. Nonetheless, it is safe to say that those individuals who have already been exposed to violent material, whether witnessing it through television, films, video games, homes or neighborhood are more likely to engage in violent and aggressive acts then those who are not exposed to it.


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