Video Game Violence

Christian Lyttle

Professor Frasier WRC 102.96 Professor Frasier April 15 2014

Lyttle With millions of copies sold and billions of dollars spent on video games, researchers often study the correlation between video game effects and the behavior of their players. The negative effects that come with playing a violent video game are greater than the positive. With the rise of video game based shootings and active violence in young adults, the concerns have increased in parents and fellow students. The issues that spark the topic of video game effects are usually school shootings and homicides. Many people tend to place the blame on the parents of the individuals as the reason why they have such high aggression. The way that parents raise their children often is the mold for their adult life. The lack of guidance from their parents as they grow up plays a vital role in,

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not only their development into an adult, but also of the intake of violence. Many people believe violent video games are not the reason children and young adults are violent. They think real reason they are violent is because they have no guidance and don‟t know the difference between right and wrong.1 If the parents are too lenient, the child might get away with purchasing and playing a rated M game. If the child does not have effective guidance, he/she might play a violent video game and act out scenes from the game without punishment or being told if it is acceptable behavior. For better guidance parents should teach their kids that what they see or hear in a video game or on television should not be repeated.2 Once kids are able to develop cognitive reasoning their past teachings will overshadow their decision making. A major factor to measure the effects of video games would be if the kid playing the game had an impressionable mind.3 According to Figure 1, the younger you are the more hours you play. The younger someone is the more they tend take lessons from things they are exposed to often. In more than some cases with younger children who play the games act out what they learn or see. If they continuously play violent video games they will, at some point, act violently

Lyttle just as the game taught them to. Long-term effects also involve learning processes, especially when playing these games.4Some see these games as a stress-reliever, such as 13 year old Erik Newman who said. “…if I get angry, I usually play video games.” Little do people such as Erik

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realize, “Each violent-media episode is essentially one more learning trial”.5 The more they play these realistic simulations the realer it may seem and they become more prone to acting out violence in the real world.

50 45 40 35 30 25 20 15 10 5 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 Hours age

Figure 1: Correlation between age and the amount of hours of video game use. One of the major issues with the violent effects of video games is differentiating reality and the cyber world. There are role-playing games which can take up so much time that some people lose their significant others or more.6 Games such as Everquest and World of Warcraft, where you can create your own alternative life, give reason to why most gamers enjoy many hours of video gaming.7 Some of the shooters were known for playing violent video games almost as „a lifestyle‟. One of the shooters from the Sandy shooting created a customized version of Doom with two shooters, extra weapons, unlimited ammunition, and victims who could not

Lyttle fight back- features that are eerily similar to aspects of the actual shootings.8 This is the main reason for the population to fear the effects of violent video games in young adults and kids.

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The stresses on the gamer‟s social lives have been researched to find several correlations. One correlational study is on Cardiac coherence. Cardiac coherence is, “a relatively new measure of autonomic nervous system. When Cardiac coherence occurs… the autonomic nervous system is balanced”.9 The levels of stress build when they interact in killing or harming someone else in the game although nobody dies, violent players may still experience stress. When people are experience happiness or love the fluctuations in heart rate are small which is when cardiac coherence occurs.10 With the aggression of the games and disconnect from the real world, researchers conclude that violent video games decreased cardiac coherence.11 When coherence goes down, stress raises which in turn causes people to act out aggressively. Young players tend to lean toward disconnecting with aggression in video games. Their cognition cannot link the two as a correlation. The arguments paired with this topic tend to relay on a person‟s morals. The basic reasoning is that it is no more than a game. The repercussions to violent actions are known to be great crime unlike in the cyber world. Most people generalize that if you shoot someone in a game, they will come back to life when you play the game the next day; but if you shoot someone in real life, they don‟t come back to life and you go to jail.12 This type of real life vs. cyber life comparison is common knowledge to some yet we still have shooting based off of games and other similar incidents. If the guidance of parents and the lack of pacing oneself with the intake of video games continue, we may continue to be witness to shootings and actively aggressive children. (Count:1,243).

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Bibliography Hunterdon County Democrat. “Kids Debate Video Game Violence.” Shibboleth Authentication Request. http://infoweb.newsban k.com.libweb.lib.utsa/search/we/InfoWeb?p_product=AWNB&p_theme=aggregated5& (accessed April 2014). The Bakersfield Californian. “Violent video games aren‟t what makes young adults violent.” Shibboleth

Lyttle Authentication Request. http://infoweb.newsbank.com.libweb.lib.utsa.edu/iw-

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search/we/InfoWeb?p_product=AWNB&p_theme=aggregated5&p_action=doc&p_docid =110005E326C0C2D8&p_docnum=5&p_queryname=3 (accessed April 8, 2014). Newman, Erik. “Video games: Killer trainer or harmless fun?” Shibboleth Authentication Request. http://info web.newsbank.com.libweb.lib.utsa.edu/iwsearch/we/InfoWeb?p_product=AWNB&p_theme=aggregated5&p_action=doc&p_docid =10A75EFDA3351B59&p_docnum=1&p_queryname=7 (accessed April 8, 2014). Anderson, Craig A., and Brad J. Bushman. "Effects of violent video games on aggressive behavior, aggressive cognition, aggressive affect, physiological arousal, and prosocial behavior: a metaanalytic review of the scientific literature." Psychological Science 12 (2001): 353-359. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1467-9280.00366 (accessed April 8, 2014). Hasan, Youssef, Laurent Bègue, and Brad J. Bushman. "Violent Video Games Stress People Out And Make Them More Aggressive." aggressive behavior 39, no. 1 (2013): 64-70. http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ab.21454 (accessed April 8, 2014).

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Notes 1. The Bakersfield Californian, Violent video games aren’t what makes young adults violent. Shibboleth Authentication Request. (accessed April 8, 2014). 2. The Bakersfield Californian, Violent video games aren’t what makes young adults violent. 3. Newman, Erik. Video games: Killer trainer or harmless fun? Shibboleth Authentication Request. (Accessed April 8, 2014).

Lyttle 4. Anderson, Craig A., and Brad J. Bushman, Effects of violent video games on aggressive behavior, aggressive cognition, aggressive affect, physiological arousal, and prosocial behavior: a meta-analytic review of the scientific literature. Psychological Science 12 (2001),355. 5. Anderson, Effects of violent video games on aggressive behavior, aggressive cognition,

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aggressive affect, physiological arousal, and prosocial behavior: a meta-analytic review of the scientific literature, 355. 6. Newman, Erik. Video games: Killer trainer or harmless fun? Shibboleth Authentication Request. (Accessed April 8, 2014). 7. Newman, Erik. Video games: Killer trainer or harmless fun? Shibboleth Authentication Request. (Accessed April 8, 2014). 8. Anderson, Effects of violent video games on aggressive behavior, aggressive cognition, aggressive affect, physiological arousal, and prosocial behavior: a meta-analytic review of the scientific literature, 353. 9. Hasan, Youssef, Laurent Bègue, and Brad J. Bushman. Violent Video Games Stress People Out And Make Them More Aggressive. aggressive behavior 39, no. 1 (2013): 6470. 10. Hasan, Violent Video Games Stress People Out And Make Them More Aggressive, 65. 11. Hasan, Violent Video Games Stress People Out And Make Them More Aggressive, 68. 12. Hunterdon County Democrat, Kids Debate Video Game Violence. Shibboleth Authentication Request. 13. Hunterdon County Democrat, Kids Debate Video Game Violence.

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