Video Games’ Impact on Children and Adolescents

Subject: Entertainment & Media
Pages: 3
Words: 955
Reading time:
4 min
Study level: College

Video games have long been companions in developing various skills in children, teenagers, and adults. There are useful ones: strategic and critical thinking, reasoning, mathematical operations, wit. However, not all video games are helpful: violence and aggression increasingly accompany modern virtual worlds. Consequently, researchers are trying to link violence in video games and biological attacks from teenagers and children. I think this is a relevant issue in contemporary research on the brain and the influence of external aggressors on it. Violent games affect children and adolescents by changing their behavioral traits and provoking aggression.

Causes

  • The family environment influences the effect video games will have on a child, and caution should be exercised about their presence at an early age.

Some research papers show a disappointing correlation between marital status, social conditions, and violent video games (Shao & Wang, 2019). Adolescents who live in more conflicted families and are exposed to violence are likely to behave aggressively toward family and others. Family support significantly changes the vector of aggression, after which children are less likely to act violently. In the absence of mediation, adolescents, seeing an example of violence in the family and comparing it with exaggerated and maximized with violent plots in video games, begin to perceive reality inadequately.

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  • The violent effects of video games can lead to adverse behavior among children and adolescents.

Violent behavior in video games is associated with changes in adolescents’ attitudes toward concepts such as morality, empathy, and aggression. Children often become less empathic and violent if they play video games involving murder or other types of violence. Research paper discusses two more affected aspects of violent video games: interpersonal affective deficits and disinhibition (Kimmig, Andringa & Derntl, 2018). The first group is part of primary psychopathy and is characterized by significant deviations in the perception of external cues. In addition, the researchers noted that violent video games and their effects correlate with gender: such results make us think about changing the upbringing and attitudes of boys toward video games. The second group refers to secondary psychopathy associated with antisocial lifestyle tendencies. Deviations manifest the impact of disinhibition in behavioral routines, which do not fully recover after the cessation of play.

  • Violent games affect the players and the people in their inner circle.

Violent video games become the perpetrators of increased aggression in players who project it onto the immediate community. In the case of children, this is especially dangerous, as violence spreads throughout the entire social group in this way (Felemban et al., 2021). Children probably start with provocations and insults that lead to an increased risk of aggression in other children (Greitemeyer, 2018). Communicating among themselves, adolescents exhibit more and more aggressive traits, spreading them in the family, schools, and colleges. They stop controlling their behavior and increasingly resort to violent ways of solving problems.

Side Against

Counterargument: Video games, with or without violence, do not promote aggression among children and adolescents but instead help in socialization.

Various studies show that the effect of aggression from games is much less than can be claimed. This is because external influences have a more significant impact on the adolescent brain, as social conditions force one to act in a certain way. Games are guideposts for realizing boundaries and developing the right attitude toward violence: bullying and abusive behavior are unacceptable. There is no direct link between virtual and real violence because children are more dependent on the society they grow up in. Through virtual learning, in which violence is presented as something bad and extreme, children learn to assert their boundaries and socialize among their peers. The socializing function of games was especially evident during the lockdown experienced by various countries in 2020 and 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Counterargument: Violent and aggressive video games help to reduce stress and anxiety in adolescents.

Video games are guides for children and adolescents in socialization and the ability to prevent conflict and find a democratic way to solve a problem. Instead of turning to robbery, vandalism, or robbery, teens focus on online games and use virtual objects instead of real ones. Researchers point out that violent games have only a short-term effect, and the amount of adrenaline released after playing is not enough to form persistent aggression (Kühn et al., 2019). Instead, this effect reduces stress because the amount is enough to block the brain centers responsible for the formation of anxiety.

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Why the Protester Is Weak

The protestor’s counterarguments seem weak and insufficiently supported. Games help to socialize, but violent actions in virtual space are not consistent with healthy development. Instead, on the contrary, children develop the wrong attitude towards society and its behavior. If we accept that games are not harmful and contribute to stress reduction, then the protester cannot explain unhealthy patterns in children. Violence in games contributes to misconceptions about society, such as racism or sexism. In addition, stress should not be dealt with by depressing brain centers but by developing a tolerance for uncertainty and a healthy understanding of anxiety.

The Big Finish

Conflicting opinions about children’s and teens’ access to violent games pits opponents against each other in an unequal battle for truth. Nevertheless, it is important to remember that reasoning about socialization and stress tolerance is good, as long as your kids do not become violent by playing GTA or Hitman. Are you sure that your child’s living conditions are so perfect that a computer game will not affect their behavior? Would not violent actions in the virtual world catalyst for decisive action in reality? I think parents need to increase their social responsibility and understand the risks and be willing to change aggression on the part of the child.

References

Felemban, O. O., Al-Zahrani, A. E., Alhazmi, A. N., Alahmadi, R. F., Alsalhi, A. M. & Alahmadi, R. N. (2021). The effect on playing violent video games among school going children. International Journal of Clinical Skills, 15(9), 518-524.

Greitemeyer, T. (2018). The spreading impact of playing violent video games on aggression. Computers in Human Behavior, 80, 216-219. Web.

Kimmig, A. S., Andringa, G., & Derntl, B. (2018). Potential adverse effects of violent video gaming: Interpersonal- affective traits are rather impaired than disinhibition in young adults. Frontiers in psychology, 9, 736. Web.

Kühn, S., Kugler, D., Schmalen, K., Weichenberger, M., Witt, C. & Gallinat, J. (2019). Does playing violent video games cause aggression? A longitudinal intervention study. Molecular Psychiatry, 24, 1220–1234. Web.

Shao, R. & Wang, Y. (2019). The relation of violent video games to adolescent aggression: An examination of moderated mediation effect. Frontiers in Psychology, 10. Web.

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