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Research Papers on Video Games, Violence, and Children

Research papers on video games, violence and children can be custom written from the writers at Paper Masters. Whether it is for a psychology, sociology or criminal justice class, our writers can research and write your project today.

Video games have experienced dramatic developments in the last twenty-five years of their existence. They have progressed from simple blips of light on the television screen to complicated role-playing scenarios that allow the players to control the action. In many of these current games, this provides the ability to perform acts of destruction and violence on the screen.  Thus, children are able to “kill” characters that are featured in the video game.  The purpose of a research paper on video games is to examine the impact of violent video games upon the behaviors of children. Video games have become one of the most popular pastimes for children around the world.  Video Games, Violence, and ChildrenThey are primary played by males who are between the ages of eight and fourteen.  “Eighty percent of the games produced are violent”.  In these games, blood, decapitation, guns, knives, mutilation and death are presented in color, sound and ever more realistic graphic. If imitation or modeling is a problem with television, as social learning research has shown extrapolate this to the more immersible media, where visually, auditorily [sic] and physically the audience becomes embedded in it’s context.

In one survey, children indicated that they preferred violent video games over nonviolent and educational video games that were available. Unfortunately, this means that video games have become a big business.  And most video companies are aware of the demand by children for many of these violent games, and they actively market these games to children.

Because of the concern of violence in television and video games in recent years, there has been a demand by parents for video rating guidelines According to the Entertainment Software Rating Board, a rating of “E” means that the video game is an item that can be enjoyed by children six years or older.  However, it does not mean that the video game has no violence.  In fact of fifty games reviewed, thirty-five of them had violent scenes for more than thirty percent of the time that they are played.

Additional research demonstrates that in a comparable study, children who participated in a program to reduce video game playing exhibited less aggression during playground activities than children who did not participate in the program.  What these studies indicate is that, most likely, just average amounts of video game playing increases aggressive behavior in children.

The value of these last two kinds of studies is two fold. The first is that they appear to tie violence and aggressive behavior in children who play video games. That implication is that playing such games does indeed cause violent and aggressive behavior.  The second value that these studies have is that they illustrate that a change or a solution is a simply one – restrict the time and amount that children engage in video game playing. Simply by encouraging other activities or making other activities appear more fun or valuable, aggression that is the result of playing violent video games can be reduced.

Lieutenant Colonel David Grossman has special concerns about children playing violent video games.  For twenty-five years, he studied “the psychology of killing for the Army”.  He believes that killing is not a natural behavior for humans, but instead, is a type of learned or acquired behavior.  This military man points out that there are many similarities in how violent video games are played by children and the way that military men are trained to kill.  In fact, the Army typically uses video games in their training of soldiers, such as “Quake” and “Doom.”  He “call[s] violent video games ‘murder simulators’”.   

Many national governments are concerned about the long-term impact that video game playing will have on their future citizens.  As a result, several countries have responded to this problem by banning certain video games that are especially aggressive.  Some of the video games include “Harvester” and “Soldier of Fortune.” In Canada, some provinces consider video games equal to movies. Thus, certain video games cannot be purchased by individuals under the age of seventeen, just as some movies cannot be seen by individuals under the age of seventeen. The United States has only recently attempted to establish legislation that could prevent children from buying excessively violent video games.

In conclusion, there are many pieces of evidence to suggest that playing violent video games can increases aggressive behavior in children.  Research shows that this form of game playing increases aggressive behavior, and when the amount of video game playing is reduced, then the aggressive behavior is reduced. There are many psychological principles that would explain the process by which playing violent video games can result in violent behavior, not only in children but also in adults.  Consequently, even though violent video game playing has been established as a problem in terms of increasing violent behavior, it is one that can be solved. However, it appears that to do so must involve a two-prong approach utilizing both parents and governmental action. Parents must be made aware of this problem so that they may exert their parental power to curb violent video game playing in their children.  Additionally, there must be legislation by the federal government in order to prevent the easy access that children have to violent video games.   

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