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RWS Community Problem Report

RWS Community Problem Report


Nikita I. Jimenez
UTEP

RWS Community Problem Report

There has been a controversial issue that continuously attempts to convince people that
violent video games, increases aggressive behaviors and is the cause of criminal acts. There
have been arguments about which effects of these games are fact and which are fiction. Humans
have a tendency of placing the blame on something less conspicuous, as there is the fear of being
judged by their peers or by a higher power. In this particular report, people tend to place the
blame on violent video games for the aggressive behavior or acts violence of other individuals.
This is simply placing the blame on a single detail rather than focusing on the big picture, which
is the overall behavioral state of the individuals. In order to truly understand the problem, one
must think about the basic human emotions/instincts. Naturally, people become aggressive when
provoked or when in a hostile environment. Violent video games do increase aggressive
behavior, but this occurs differently with each individual. As these games do have negative
outcomes, there are also positive ones that result from playing, such as enhanced reflexes and
reaction timing. The issue of violent video games causing aggression is an issue within the
community because these games are being falsely accused of increasing aggressive behavior and
violent actions within individuals.
In order to come to the conclusion of why people believe that there is a link between
violent video games and aggressive behavior, we must first understand basic human instincts and
behaviors. Humans have always been violent, even in the most innocent way, such as when a
child finds humor in another's physical pain. The violence and aggression have always been
present, since the dawn of time, pre-programmed into our brains, as this can be seen by the
human races colorful history. Now, this being said, just because we are born with this natural
instinct, does not necessarily mean that everyone will express it in the exact same way. There are

RWS Community Problem Report

certain people that are able to suppress this aggression and have control over their ability to not
act out on that emotion.
When it comes to the behavior of aggression, each person has a certain reaction when
provoked, whether if it be from hostility, irritation or unresolved issues being brought upon in a
mocking matter; there will always be that tick that will make a person externalize their anger or
more severely, go into a complete rage. Aggression can be expressed through anger, which in
turn be expressed verbally or physically. One of the main goals is to provide answers to whether
or not these aggressive behaviors were present before the individual began playing violent video
games. In many cases the individual will internalize anger, leaving it to become dormant until
the unfortunate time where the anger will be released in a rage. Many people will overlook what
behaviors were present before the individuals were playing the game, and will automatically
blame the games intense content, for the individual's sudden aggressive outburst.
According to Arsene Kwizeras Aggression And Violence Among Young People, a
study was conducted to gain a closer look as to what are the causes/triggering forces that can
contribute to the instigation of aggression among young people. In an accustomed day, people
usually tend to watch the news on the t.v or read the news through the newspaper, usually
reading about some form of violent act on another individual or somewhere in the community.
He argues that before seeing aggression as an acquired and learned response due to the influence
of environmental factors, it is necessary to take into consideration the conception of an innate
biological determined instinctual drive. Arsene Kwizera believes that the study that was
conducted, may not be the final answer to this problem, but carries additional information for
educators since it deals with a problem which is of self-importance, a problem that has become
unstoppable and which affects mainly the youth.

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When adolescents and young children are exposed to violent behaviors or violent media,
they tend to pick up on these behaviors, believing that it is ok to express themselves in this
matter. Young people are susceptible to peer pressure or persuasion from popular images. When
they view violent images/videos or play violent video games, they tend to develop behaviors
similar to those they have seen, a version of mimicry. When children exhibit these types of
behaviors, they tend to worsen as time progresses, making their behavioral pattern unstable.
The game producers put suggested age limits on the video games to make sure their
games are played by the appropriate audience, a small attempt to stop the increase of aggressive
behaviors. There has been the suggestion about raising the age limit on purchasing any game
rated M for mature, the execution of the suggestion never happened. There was also a
suggestion about completely banning violent video games, but like with the other suggestion,
this plan was never carried out. If rational thinking comes into play, and an educated guess of
the outcome is made then the outcome would have been very negative, many consumers would
be very angry, the game industry and those who made the ban would easily be targeted by the
gaming customers.
According to Bruce D. Bartholow and his colleagues in the Correlates and
Consequences of Exposure to Video Game Violence: Hostile Personality, Empathy, and
Aggressive Behavior article, violent video games do have quite a few harmful consequences
against those who play them. Short-term exposure to these types of games can cause an increase
in aggressive behavior and can cause a decrease in prosocial behaviors and attitudes. During a
meta-analysis confirmed in 2004, a significant effect of violent video game play on all of these
outcomes. In addition to the short-term consequences, the long-term consequences have been
shown to correlate with aggressive behavior and delinquency. During a lab experiment, the

RWS Community Problem Report

results concluded that individuals who have a low VVE, tend to develop aggressive behavior
after playing violent video games than playing nonviolent video games. Although another result
from this experiment was that people who already had high VVE, had high levels of aggression
regardless of the type of game they were playing.
When children play violent video games, as with doing any other recreational activity, the
are negative consequences and positive outcomes that follow through with the activity. The
outcomes all depend on the individual's mindset or behavioral patterns as certain characteristics
are already present in the brain. With the way video games work, you have to multitask, you
have to watch the screen, and move the character according to how you want them to, with
different sets of buttons, each with its own function. With that being said, because of the
continuous multi-tasking depending on the amount time spent playing the video games, the
person has now developed better reflexes. This allows the mind to think and process at a higher
speed , and still be able to think ahead and plan the next strategy or the next move to beat the
game.
According to M.W.G. Dye, C.S. Green, and D. Bravely, The Development of Attention
Skills in Action Video Game Players, it has been showing that playing action video games alters
some of the fundamental aspects of visual attention. Gamers who are proficient in this genre of
gaming were found to outperform non-gamer controls on tasks measuring the spatial distribution
and resolution of visual attention, the efficiency of visual attention, the efficiency of visual
attention over time and the number of objects that can be attended simultaneously.
The results from training studies result in the gamers that play action video games, have
enhanced attentional resource, just from playing the games for entertainment purposes. It has
been suggested that the Attentional Network Test (ANT), provides a reliable measure of three

RWS Community Problem Report

fundamental component processes of visual attention within one procedure: alerting, orienting
and executive control. In many young adults, there have been studies conducted that show that
playing video games enhances attentional resources leading to better performance on a
demanding task that requires a well-developed attention span. (M.W.G. Dye, C.S. Green, D.
Bravelier. (2009)).
Ultimately, during the process of researching, many elements were found to prove that
video games do cause aggressive behavior, but at the same time can enhance our reflexes and our
reaction time drastically. Basic human nature suggests that aggression is a natural behavior, that
humans are born with. Granted there are factors that can add to this behavior such as,
provocative behavior, irritation, and even internalized anger. This type of anger is difficult to
contain, as it piles on to the previous pent up emotions. This can be enhanced when playing
violent video games depending on the person and how well there are able to control their
emotions. People also tend to mimic the type of behavior displayed in the media, whether it be
innocent or violent, simply because of the images and the wanting to be apart of the popular
crowd. The positive effects that result from playing violent video games, seem to have a
stronger effect than the negative outcomes, such as better reflexes, tend to allow the brain to
think and process information at higher speeds. Violent video games have an overall equal
advantage and disadvantage, depending on the person who is playing and how well they respond
to the situation.

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References
Anthony, I. (2014). HUMAN NATURE AND VIOLENCE: IS THERE RELATIONSHIP? A
THEORETICAL EXPLORATION.

Boxer, P., Groves, C. L., & Docherty, M. (2015). Video Games Do Indeed Influence Children
and Adolescents Aggression, Prosocial Behavior, and Academic Performance A Clearer Reading
of Ferguson (2015). Perspectives on Psychological Science, 10(5), 671-673

Bartholow, B. D., Sestir, M. A., & Davis, E. B. (2005). Correlates and consequences of exposure
to video game violence: Hostile personality, empathy, and aggressive behavior. Personality and
Social Psychology Bulletin, 31(11), 1573-1586.

Dye, M. W., Green, C. S., & Bavelier, D. (2009). The development of attention skills in action
video game players. Neuropsychologia, 47(8), 1780-1789.

Greitemeyer, T., & Mgge, D. O. (2014). Video games do affect social outcomes a meta-analytic
review of the effects of violent and prosocial video game play. Personality and Social
Psychology Bulletin, 0146167213520459.

RWS Community Problem Report

Kwizera, A. (2014). Aggression and Violence Among Young People-The causes and triggering
forces of violence and aggressive behaviors among young people.