Violent Video Games and Behavior Problems

Subject: Sociology
Pages: 4
Words: 844
Reading time:
4 min
Study level: Master


The astounding nature of violence available in many video games is capable of encouraging players to develop aggressive behaviors and eventually engage in criminal activities. Unfortunately, many researchers have failed to present definitive conclusions due to the complexity of this topic and the fact that only children are the primary consumers of video games. A balanced analysis of this topic can present evidence-based ideas for learning more about such games and addressing challenges that might emerge. Despite the counterarguments some scholars present, the available statistics support the fact violent video games are to blame for the violent behaviors children and adults exhibit.

Supportive Arguments

Individuals who are exposed to a wide range of violent games will have higher chances of exhibiting different forms of aggression. A report by the Pew Research Center revealed that around 97 percent of children aged between 12 and 17 were playing different types of games (de Medeiros et al., 2020). Most such video games contain abusive language and violent content. Yao et al. (2019) believe that half of these individuals will at some point in their lives exhibit violent behaviors and acts of aggression. While these facts explain the nature of this predicament, rating agencies indicate that some of these games are usually appropriate for individuals who are aged 10 years or more. Some good examples of such games include The Honor and Dead by Daylight (Haynes, 2017). (Counterargument): While this argument exists, some experts still believe that the available data is inconclusive and incapable of explaining fully how such games impact child behavior (Przybylski & Weinstein, 2019). This gap explains why some professionals believe that additional studies would be necessary.

The killings and injuries recorded in different towns or learning institutions explain why stakeholders should be keen to question the dangers of video games. Specifically, the gunman responsible for shooting and killing 22 people in El Paso, Texas, described how he had been influenced by video games. He indicated how he had become violent and understood how soldiers pursue their missions. This occurrence created room for additional analyses to learn more about the dangers of video games and how they were influencing people negatively and compelling them to exhibit a wide range of behavior problems (Yao et al., 2019). (Counterargument): However, the argument for the correlation between video games could be challenged since not all such products encourage unwanted behavior.


Most of the research studies conducted on video games remain questionable since they do not consider the views of the key stakeholders. Przybylski and Weinstein (2019) add by indicating that aggression depicted in video games could not correlate with the developments observed in the real world. Most of the completed research tends to be observational, thereby failing to offer comprehensive findings that could help all partners to find timely solutions. Some experts address this issue by encouraging children to monitor the manner in which their children play such games to support and promote positive behavior.


Some analysts have been keen to explain how it could be hard to conduct studies on video games and establish how they increase the chances of unwanted behavior. For instance, any scholar who intends to present meaningful findings would have to include many children and observe them for more than 5 years (Przybylski & Weinstein, 2019). The current argument that such games will trigger negative behavior appears to be biased since it lacks statistical backing. Most of the partners against such games tend to focus on the actions and decisions the characters in such video games make to dictate the kind of behavioral addiction that might emerge. This assertion explains why Przybylski and Weinstein (2019) believe that the available evidence is inadequate and incapable of linking violent video games to aggressiveness or negative behavior. Przybylski and Weinstein (2019) also observe that even children who never played such games had chances of developing aggressive behaviors. (Counterargument): Despite these views, Yao et al. (2019) observed that children who interacted with violent video games had increased chances of becoming aggressive and less respectful to their guardians, parents, or teachers. These findings explain there is a need for parents to be involved and monitor their children’s behaviors and the kind of games they play (Haynes, 2017). The provision of better and nonviolent games could help address the existing gray areas and ensure that the beneficiaries do not develop and exhibit unwanted behavior.


The debate revolving around the possible impacts of violent video games on people’s behavior is still ongoing. Those in support of the topic consider such resources inappropriate and capable of encouraging young children to become aggressive and nonresponsive. The United States has encountered several cases and findings that are in favor of this argument. On the other, there are those who strongly believe that such violent games could not be the primary cause of chaotic tendencies or behavior. Nonetheless, additional studies would be needed to address this debate with finality. Parents, guardians, and teachers should also consider the presented facts and ensure that young individuals are unable to access violent games.


de Medeiros, B. G., Pimentel, C. E., Sarmet, M. M., & Mariano, T. E. (2020). “Brutal kill!” Violent video games as a predictor of aggression. Psico-USF, Bragança Paulista, 25(2), 261-271. Web.

Haynes, J. (2017). 10 most violent video games of 2017 (And what to play instead). Common Sense Media. Web.

Przybylski, A. K., & Weinstein, N. (2019). Violent video game engagement is not associated with adolescents’ aggressive behaviour: Evidence from a registered report. Royal Society Open Science, 6(2), Article 171474. Web.

Yao, M., Zhou, Y., Li, J., & Gao, X. (2019). Violent video games exposure and aggression: The role of moral disengagement, anger, hostility, and disinhibition. Aggressive Behavior, 45(6), 662-670. Web.