There has been a long-standing debate about whether or not video games should have violence. Even though it’s a virtual interface, many argue that violence influences the way many gamers act in real life.
Kevin McCarthy said that “video games that dehumanize individuals” are the problem. There is so many studied declining video games as the cause of violence in real life. Here is simple chart below which describes no of gun deaths vs video games revenue in countries.
Here is another Graph depicting Violent Crime Rates vs Video Game Sales from 1998 to 2015
Are Video Games Really Related To Gun Deaths
As a college student, you probably play video games during your free time. If not, you know a friend who does. On the surface, video games seem harmless, but further investigation proves that it might influence a person’s actions. When you’re not wondering, ‘who will write my essay today?’ Be sure to find out more about violence in video games.
Can violence in video games trigger real-world violence? That seems to be the million-dollar question, and it seems everyone has an opinion on the matter; gamer or not. Due to the mass shooting in recent years, many argue that violence in video games might have a contribution.
Many mass shooting situations have great similarities to video game violence, and because of this, many politicians were quick to blame video games with violence. Even though, for most situations, the shooters had clear motives that were unrelated to video game violence scenes.
Aside from politicians, the media is also questioning the role of video game violence plays in a shooter’s habit. Many psychological associations have voiced their stand, and they’re inclined to think violent video games are a risk factor. The violence tends to awaken aggression in gamers since it occupies their thoughts and emotions. As you know, what an individual thinks and feels, plays out in their actions.
Psychologists also say that violence tends to decrease empathy in players. However, thoughts on this issue are not conclusive.
Let’s discuss further and find out more about how much violent video games can influence the actions of gamers.
Do Violent Video Games Increase Aggression?
Many studies seem to support the hypothesis that video games can, in fact, increase aggressive thoughts, as well as behaviors. Even though most of these effects have been seen to be long-term, it does not mean we should bury our heads in the sand and assume it’s not an issue that requires addressing.
Since violent video game players get exposed to so much virtual violence, over time, they get desensitized. Because of this, most of them end up viewing violence and aggression as something normal. This, in the long run, decreases prosocial behaviors and feelings of empathy.
You’ll find such people are not quick to help when another person is in distress. You probably have had friends who made fun of situations you thought to be hurtful. We can dismiss it as dark humor, but it goes deeper than that. If you’re having a hard time relating to someone’s pain, it might be because you’ve spent a long time seem hurt as something normal.
The longer individuals are exposed to violence, the more likely they to sort to aggression. You find that situations that would have easily been sorted out through dialogue results in fights and injuries.
Even though more males play violent video games as compared to females, the effects of these games result in aggression for both sexes. Note that aggression begins with pushing and hitting even if it doesn’t cause injuries.
Anyone who finds themselves pushing others in cases of disagreement has aggression brewing under. Like any other acquired behavior, aggression starts as small, and over time, it gets worse.
A child who grows up playing violent video games is likely to grow up into an aggressive adult. After all, our cumulative experiences define who we are in the long run. Children are very impressionable, and the smallest of things impact who they grow up to be.
Do Violent Video Games Increase Violence?
Now, there is a big difference between aggression and violence, even though people tend to use them interchangeably. When someone shows aggression, it means they’re angry, and they won’t necessarily injure or hurt anyone.
Violence, on the other hand, is the use of physical force to make a point. A violent can destroy property or hurt another person. Anyone with issues of violence and aggression can always seek help from a mental health professional.
From the definition, it’s clear that violence is a form of aggression, even though not all aggressive behaviors are violent. Not many researchers have looked into the possibility of violent video games, causing violence.
There is no clear collection between violent video games and delinquency, lethal violence, or criminal behavior. This is because such studies are not easy to conduct because they require a large number of gamers.
However, it makes sense to conclude that the aggression that results from playing violent video games would eventually result in lethal violence. Note that this is just an assumption, and there is no substantial evidence to back it up.
Policymakers have a great impact on what the perimeters video gamers follow going forward. After the Parkland shooting in Florida that happened in 2018, policymakers have had to question the influence violent video games have on gamers’ behavior.
Even though the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) affirmed that their rating system was adequate, the rating system had to be revised to lower the levels of violence in videogames.
The APA Task Force on violence recommends that further research should be conducted to determine how much violent video games contribute to criminal behavior, delinquency, and violence.
These actions hope to improve the gaming experience for both children and adults. The content in video games is a big deal because people of all play them.
Gamers need to keep in mind that video games with violence impacts their behavior in the long run. Exposures to violent video games puts individuals at risk of being desensitized. That is why you see many gamers are unable to show empathy in situations that clearly require humanity and sensitivity. Since violent video game exposure puts individuals at risk of acquiring aggressive thoughts, emotions, and behaviors, regulatory boards have made a point on addressing the issue. Hopefully, a solution is found, that allows gamers to enjoy video games without long-term side effects.