Video games have become quite popular among children in most households over the past 30 years. Signorelli (19) points out that many children start playing video games right around the age of 6 and practically play into early adult life. She also notes that boys play video games more than girls. In addition, older children play video games more than younger children. However, there have been concerns that playing such games that are violent harms the children involved. Recent studies have shown that there is a direct relation between video games and hostility coupled with aggression among children (Signiorelli, 21).
Cause of Violence in Video Games
Video games have over the years evolved from simple games such as riding motorcycles and racing cars to more violent natured games such as shooting and fighting the opponents in graphical manners. Recent games even allow individuals to scan individuals’ faces in real life and allow them to portray their victims as real life individuals. It is because of these developments and the high concentration a player needs in playing such games that makes video games have a violent connotation. Signiorelli (36-37) also singles out video games to have a more realistic effect than television programs of violent nature because of the high involvement the player experiences while playing, as compared to watching.
The tenth report on the House of Commons (171) reports that the overall risk lies with adults who must protect their children from such content. However, most adults are not game players and know little about such games, and they, therefore, harbor misinterpretations about video games. This leaves a major gap, whereby children are left to enjoy such games in the oblivion of how they impact negatively their development and this allows companies who develop such games to profit tremendously from sales.
Rahul (78) affirms that there is a cause-effect relationship between video games and violence. For example, college students who played Mortal combat (a video game of violent nature) in 1995 showed tendencies of aggressiveness than those who played non-violent games. The effects of video games are more severe among children below the age of sixteen according to Rahul (79). Children below this age and especially those below the age of ten are not in a position to demarcate between fiction and real-life explicitly. When children of this age play video games, they tend to mix these two different sections of life.
When this happens, the video game effects tend to modify the character of an individual. When playing aggressively violent games, the children tend to become hardy and may exhibit these characteristics in real life. However, the effects of video games are considered partially volatile and they tend to fade as one grows old. However, for some people, these effects do not completely fade and may be carried on to adult life. Beyond any doubt, these games make the participants develop hostile tendencies and are bound to be more aggressive individuals in the future.
Violent games are bound to hurt the child’s development and perception. More effort should be made in controlling such content from reaching young kids. This can be done through legislation when developing such content or even proper guidance and control from parents. This doesn’t call for a total ban on video games because there are positive arguments in support of some of the games. Proper control should be observed to curb the negative impacts.
House of Commons. Culture, Media and Sport Committee. Harmful Content on the Media and Video Games, 2008.
Rahul, Massey. The link between Video Games and Violence. Norderstedt: Druck und Bindung, 2007.
Signiorelli, Nancy. Violence in the Media. California: Library of Science Cataloging, 2005.