Are video games causing aggression?

                Many say there is no link between video games and real-life aggression, but there is plenty of evidence to suggest otherwise. Two meta-analyses, based on aggregated data of over 134,000 people, show a link between the consumption of violent media and more aggressive behavior in real-life. These studies examined both correlational and experimental studies. Correlational analysis only shows that aggressive, violent people play violent video games, but this could simply mean that these games attract more naturally aggressive people. By randomly selecting participants to play violent and non-violent video games then measuring levels of aggression, the experimental analysis, however, allowed the researchers to claim that playing violent video games was responsible for increased violence. These studies found that exposure to violent media caused what most psychologists would consider a “small to medium” increase in levels of aggression. Even this seemingly slight increase “causes a doubling or tripling of the number of people who are highly aggressive. after playing a violent video game.”

                Despite the existence of evidence that suggests violent video games cause players to become more violent, many researchers still discount their role in emboldening the worst of parts of human behavior. Many publications and media outlets are reluctant to share this finding because the evidence is not completely indisputable yet, but it seems to be getting more and more reliable. Video game companies dispute the dangers of their products because selling goods that seem to turn innocent kids into monsters is obviously not a very good marketing strategy. The article points out that these skeptics often cite the declining violent crime rate that coincided with the rise in video game popularity as proof that violent videos games do not cause aggression. This argument ignores the research that strongly makes the case for the link, and it does not consider that video games may contribute an increasing portion to the declining violent crime rate. It is certainly possible for violent crime to decrease while video games bear an increasing burden of responsibility for the remaining incidents.

                 As studies like the one cited in this writing show that violent games can make some players more aggressive, we must come up with a solution to make sure the exceptions to the rule do not become the rule itself. There really is not a good political solution to this problem because we cannot prohibit people from playing these games or control the content of them. Therefore, I think that this is a matter of personal and parental responsibility. Parents and friends of active violent video game users should try to monitor the behavior of the players to ensure that they do not become unusually aggressive. Of course, not every video game player becomes violent or aggressive, but given the statistics we should be especially cautious of people who become consumed with this type of entertainment. In return, we should expect that players who notice their behavior is changing because of the games express their emotions and concerns. Violent video games are here to stay, but that does not have to have any negative implications for our society if we have an open forum to discuss the potential side effects of these games.

One thought on “Are video games causing aggression?”

  1. Video games leading to violence is definitely a hard thing to prove, because it’s different for everybody! I agree that it is a matter of personal and parental responsibility. If a parent knows their child has violent tendencies, maybe they should get them violet games.
    Nicely done!

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