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Video Games, Violence, and Children

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 this paper 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.  They are primary played by males who are between the ages of eight and fourteen.  “Eighty percent of the games produced are violent”.  Video Games, Violence, and ChildrenIn 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.

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