You are on page 1of 11

Mendez 1

Elizabeth Mendez
Mrs. Tyree
English III AP, Per. 5
28 March 2014
The Virtual World Turning Into Reality
“Violent video games have led to a culture of disrespect in which children get the
message that treating one another rudely and even aggressively is acceptable” (Anne Harding).
In society today, humans tend to focus on themselves and are careless as to whether or not his or
her words and actions affect others. The reason behind this situation is that technology is
dramatically increasing throughout the world and the graphics of video games are becoming
more realistic. Although technology is a good and beneficial source to society, technology can
also have a negative effect. Violent video games are an excellent example of why technology has
negatively affected the world. Children in general look up to older adults and imitate what they
have learned from the adults’ actions. This is also comparable to violent video games. Children
who play violent video games learn violent acts by imitating what he or she plays. With the help
of research, violent video games does in fact negatively influence children by bringing the
players’ virtual world into reality, ultimately leading to violent outbreaks and aggressive
behavior in life.
“Before 1950, books, comics, radio programs and other media were the only
entertainment available to children, making the situation rather easy for parents to control what
their child listened to or watched” (Jane E. Anderson and Elisa Hae-Jung Song). Nowadays
parents are not fully aware, nor are the parents paying close attention to the activities their
children are involved with. The expansion of technology has led to more advanced equipment
Mendez 2

allowing violent video games to become more graphic and appealing to younger children. More
children are drawn to these types of violent video games because with everyday violence the
world is secretly showing that violence is a common way to deal with any type of situation. Most
parents are not aware that violent video games can ruin a child’s innocence by turning his or her
soul into one full of violence. Research has proven that children who are more exposed to violent
video games have shown a great amount of aggressive behavior in his or her life. “The violent
content of those video games is growing the concern of families, schools, and policy makers”
(Cynthia G. Wagner). For example, Maria Lugo, a neighborhood mother agrees that violence in
video games does in fact alter a child’s mind into transforming his or her actions into become
more aggressive. Her own son who is four years old is already familiar with violent video games
due to all the television commercials on TV and the father who plays violent video games. The
mother stated that she has already witnessed an increase in aggressiveness in her own child’s
behavior. Although her child does not play any type of violent video games, he is still being
exposed to violence through television and his father. The child still grasps the concept that
violence is tolerable even though the child is only being exposed to the violence rather than
actually playing the games alone. “The reason for this is because, children do learn better when
he or she is constantly repeating any activity and will, in most cases, act upon what he or she was
taught” (Cynthia G. Wagner).
Another reason why children at such a young age may act upon the violence that is being
exposed to them is because the parents are allowing the violence into the children’s environment.
Every child loves to look up to his or her parents because the child admires them. The child
wants to become like his or her mom and dad when he or she grows up so they imitate what the
parents do. This is why the role of a parent is essential when it comes to teaching his or her child
Mendez 3

that violence is not acceptable. Linda Hill, a teacher at Kaffie Middle School, has testified that
violent video games do have an affect on children’s behavior. She has been working at Kaffie for
about 9 years and is aware that her current students talk a lot about video games. She also states
that when her student’s talk about certain situations they come up with solutions much similar to
the video games they play. Linda Lugo testified, “Children are becoming more aggressive
towards each other as years go by.” The reason for this may be because as technology increases,
graphics on violent video games become more realistic. The more realistic a video game may be
the more children believe that the virtual world he or she plays in is real. Violent video games
have become more realistic over the years and continue to become more real to the players’ eyes.
“Young children are now spending more time playing video games rather than going
outside to play or being with friends and family members” (Cynthia G. Wagner). “Children
brought up in an environment with violence tend to become desensitized to violence and are
more capable of committing violent acts themselves” (Joanne E. Lee and Judith A. Vessey). A
child whose parents are more involved with the activities their child participates in tends to grow
up to become more respectful and approach others with a friendly manner, this is due to the
guidance of his or her parents and the decreased exposure of violence. However, children whose
parents are not fully involved with any type of activities their child participates in, grows up
having a modicum amount of manners and approaches others with more aggressive behavior
since there was no support or guidance from the parents and high exposure to violence.
A child playing a violent video game acts as a focal person in the game alone. “Violent
video games enable the player to identify with a violent character, which rehearses violent acts
with much repetition” (Elizabeth K. Carll). “For instance, if the game is a first shooter, players
have the same visual perspective as the killer” (Brad J. Bushman). In other words, the child
Mendez 4

playing the violent video game changes his or her perspective by viewing the game in a way that
he or she is committing all the aggressive acts making it seem as though the child is a killer. This
not only influences the child’s physical actions but the emotions of the child as well. “If the
game is third person, the player controls the actions of the violent character from a more distant
visual perspective” (Brad J. Bushman). The child in this case still sees himself has the killer, but
through a virtual character. All the aggressive acts the child commands into his or her virtual
player is because he or she wants the virtual player to act that type of way. “The child playing a
video game in the third person may not have the perspective of a killer, but still the child is
playing a role and has thoughts of a killer through a virtual character in the video game” (Brad J.
Bushman). Any child who is constantly playing a video game begins to learn all the techniques
and secret passages that allow the child to proceed to the next level presenting them a reward for
using violence. “In a video game a player is typically rewarded by earning points for defeating
or killing as many of the opposing force” (Brad J. Bushman). This encourages the player to want
to become even better at the game and continue what he or she has been doing to get farther.
This type of reinforcement is awarding the child by doing negative acts making the child believe
that what he or she is doing is right. The child then misinterprets the message that violence is a
good thing because he or she is being rewarded when committing the act. Awarding a child
should be because the child has done something good rather than awarding a child for doing
something that is bad. Those children who are constantly stuck on playing violent video games
will become smarter when in comes to constructing different ways to kill and use violence which
then brings forth aggressiveness into their everyday lives. Again, children who are constantly
playing any type of violent video games will soak in these types of behaviors presented and will
Mendez 5

want to use what he or she has learned to solve real life problems. “It is clear that video game
play is active; people learn better when they are actively involved” (Brad J. Bushman).
“Researchers have discussed two different outcomes of repeated exposure to violent
video games, one associated with aggressive behavioral manifestations and the other with
desensitization to violence” (Karen L. Becket-Olsen, and Patricia A. Norberg). In other words a
child being exposed to any type of violence will show signs of aggressiveness through his or her
actions and act upon what he or she was taught through the violent video games. “There are two
ways violent media can spur to violent actions, first is imitation and second is when it is being
exposed” (Anne Harding). People in general learn better when any activity or lesson is being
taught visual. The human mind grasps a much more vivid thought by analyzing the lesson in a
much more consecutive way. “Therefore, children who watch any type of violence media can
internalize the message that the world is a hostile place, explaining that acting aggressively is
acceptable” (Anne Harding). A child’s mind is much younger compared to an adult, therefore the
child’s mind can easily learn and commit what the child has been taught without knowing if he
or she is doing something wrong. “When a child is exposed to violence day in and day out, the
child loses its emotional impact” (Anne Harding). This means that once a child is constantly
exposed to violence, the child will have a mindset of approaching others with an aggressive
behavior. The child will soon shut down his or hers feeling of humanity which means the child
will soon ignore the feeling of love, friendliness, and respect towards others. Instead, the child
will begin to feel hatred, despair, and disrespect towards others.
“Once a child is emotionally numb to violence, it is much easier to engage in violence”
(Anne Harding). Children who are constantly being exposed to violence learn from the
aggressive acts that violent video games contains. “The effects of violent video game playing
Mendez 6

increases physiological arousal and physical aggressive behavior, such as kicking, hitting, and
pulling clothes or hair” (Cynthia G. Wagner). “Learning and repeatedly practicing aggressive
situations may alter children’s basic personality structures leading to more hostile thoughts and
untoward changes in social interactions” (Joanne E. Lee, and Judith A. Vessey). This means the
child’s personality at birth will change over time in an aggressive manner when they become
more involved with violent video games and will soon isolate themselves from others. The
reason for this is violent video games will cause the child to think in a much more aggressive
way because of all the violent acts that are being done and learned in the game.
“Studies show that violent video games increase aggressive thoughts, angry feelings,
physiological arousal, and aggressive behavior” (Brad J. Bushman). The reason for this is the
video game that contains violence shows the players that what is being done in the video game is
absolutely acceptable to do in real life. For example, Grand Theft Auto is a violent video game
that contains violent material and is rated "M" for mature meaning that the game is only suitable
for ages 17 and older. Grand Theft Auto 5contains “blood and gore, intense violence, mature
humor, nudity, strong language, strong sexual content, use of drugs and alcohol” (Game stop).
This game is far from acceptable for younger children to play. This game teaches children that
all the acts shown in the game are acceptable. The more children continue to play violent video
games like Grand Theft Auto the more likely they are to reflect the image of the virtual
characters in the game. The child’s actions will soon have a similarity to the violent games he or
she may play. However, parents still either allow his or her child to continue to play these types
of games or the parents are not aware that his or her child is playing violent video games like
Grand Theft Auto. “Higher levels of aggressive thoughts and behavior have been observed
among individuals who play these types of games” (Chory-Assad, Rebecca M., and Vincent
Mendez 7

Cicchirillo). “Individuals who play the violent video games have been reported to have more
aggressive thoughts and will engage in more aggressive behavior immediately after play than
will individuals who played the non-violent video games” (Chory-Assad, Rebecca M., and
Vincent Cicchirillo). Parents need to become more aware that the games that he or she is
allowing his or her child to play are harmful to the child. Research has proven that children who
play violent video games do become more aggressive as opposed to children who do not play
violent video games. “According to the learning theories developed by various psychologists, the
more realistic experiences provided by interactive media may be more conducive to learning
aggressive behavior” (Elizabeth K. Carll). In other words the more realistic the graphics appear
in violent video game the more the player believes the game is real. Once the players allow
themselves to believe that the game is real, he or she will use what they were taught in the game
in real life. This will cause the player to become more violent towards others, show disrespect,
and think disturbing thoughts in his or hers mind in the actual world. Not only do violent video
games cause the player to become more aggressive in life, it also affects the player’s health. The
charts below represent the health and behavior of a human that plays violent video games.
According to David Walsh, a psychologist, studies measuring the physiological responses to
playing violent video games have shown that violent games increase physiological arousal.
“Heart rate, systolic blood pressure, and diastolic blood pressure all increase when playing
violent games” (Walsh). Therefore, when a child is in the process of playing a violent video
game, his or her heart rate and blood pressure will increase as the child continues to play the
game. This is because the child is participating with the video game and tends to believe he or
she is actually in the virtual world, which causes the child to become more active in the video
game. The chart below shows an increase of hostility to those people who play violent video
Mendez 8

games as opposed to those who do not play violent video games. The chart clearly displays that
humans who do play violent video games have a higher hostility rate. Those who are not
involved in playing violent video games have a lower hostility rate. Therefore, research has
proven that violent video games do in fact have a negative influence on children.

It is no coincidence that the recent increase of violence in children correlates perfectly
with the latest developments of technology. “Researchers have validated that violent video
games negatively influence children by bringing the players’ virtual world into reality ultimately
leading to violent outbreaks and aggressive behavior in life” (Brad J. Bushman). Violent video
games have changed the younger generation into believing that violence is an acceptable
behavior to approach life. Yet children are naive to know that violence is a harmful way to
approach others and deal with problems in an aggressive manner. The production of violent
video games has manipulated the minds of young child in a destructive way. Now that children
are so used to coming up with violent solutions to problems from playing video games, they have
the urge to apply these solutions when dealing with a real world situation. “Playing video games
Mendez 9

not only has a negative influence on children but also keep children from pursuing more
worthwhile activities such as participating in family or school events, doing homework, being
with friends or engaging in sports or other physically active pursuits” (Jane E. Anderson and
Elisa Hae-Jung Song). If violent video games continue to progress and more children continue to
play these types of games, the increase of children becoming more aggressive can ultimately
become a very serious matter.

Mendez 10

Works Cited
Anderson, Jane E., and Elisa Hae-Jung Song. "How violent video games may violate children's
health." Contemporary Pediatrics May 2001: 102. Academic OneFile.Web. 15 Jan.
Becket-Olsen, Karen L., and Patricia A. Norberg. "Caution, animated violence: assessing the
efficacy of violent video game ratings." Journal of Advertising Winter 2010: 83+.
Academic OneFile.Web. 15 Jan. 2014.
Bushman, Brad J. "The Effects of Violent Video Games. Do They Affect Our Behavior?" The
Effects of Violent Video Games on Behavior.N.p., 2010. Web. 06 Feb. 2014.
Carll, Elizabeth K. "Violent Video Games: Rehearsing Aggression." The Chronicle of Higher
Education 53.45 (2007).Academic OneFile.Web. 15 Jan. 2014.
Chory-Assad, Rebecca M., and Vincent Cicchirillo. "Effects of affective orientation and video
game play on aggressive thoughts and behaviors." Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic
Media Dec. 2005: 435+. Academic OneFile.Web. 15 Jan. 2014.
Greenberg, Harvey Roy. "The media on my mind: adventures in pop culture: video games,
violence, and a false premise." Clinical Psychiatry News Feb. 2013: 1+. Academic
OneFile.Web. 15 Jan. 2014.
Harding, Anne. "Violent Video Games Linked to Child Aggression." CNN.Cable News
Network, 2013.Web. 06 Feb. 2014.
Lachlan, Kenneth A., Stacy L. Smith, and Ron Tamborini. "Models for aggressive behavior: the
attributes of violent characters in popular video games." Communication Studies 56.4
(2005): 313+. Academic OneFile.Web. 15 Jan. 2014.
Mendez 11

Lee, Joanne E., and Judith A. Vessey."Violent Video Games Affecting our Children."Pediatric
Nursing Nov. 2000: 607. Academic OneFile.Web. 15 Jan. 2014.
Muir, Hazel. "The-violent games people play; as computer games get to look more lifelike is
their violence also spilling over into real life?" New Scientist 184.2470 (2004): 26.
Academic OneFile.Web. 15 Jan. 2014.
Wagner, Cynthia G. "Aggression and violent media: playing video games may lead to more
violence than watching TV." The Futurist July-Aug. 2004: 16. Academic OneFile.Web.
15 Jan. 2014.
Wang, Chih-Chien, and Ming-Ju Yang. "Violent game acceptance: the influences of aggression
tendency, thrill seeking, and perceived risk." Journal of CyberTherapy and Rehabilitation
2.2 (2009): 151+. Academic OneFile.Web. 15 Jan. 2014.
Good content, but you need to work on grammar. NO it. You also need to work on
parenthetical citations – use only the author’s last names.

Content: 40/40; Organization: 29/30; Grammar: 12/20; MLA:8/10 Grade: 89