Video games have come a long way since the first game invented back in 1958 called ‘Tennis for Two’. Now we have 4k graphic compatible games and multiple game consoles. There are many genres of games ranging from adventure to sports. One genre causes more discussion then the rest. That genre is violent video games like first person shooters and fighting games. Examples would include Call of Duty, Mortal Kombat, Gears of War, etc. Even Pokemon can be included because the monsters have to fight each other to determine a winner. So now to the main question, do video games cause violence or violent actions?

I came across an article on CNN titled “Do video games lead to violence?” About a year ago a teen killed nine people in Munich, Germany. This teen was a fan of first person shooter games, so naturally the discussion came up about if video games cause violence. The American Psychological Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics each agree that teens should not being playing violent video games. The American Psychological Association (APA) says that 90% of children play video games in the United States. 85% of games for sale contain violence of some sort. The APA says that “research demonstrated a link ‘between violent video game use and both increases in aggressive behavior … and decreases in prosocial behavior, empathy, and moral engagement.'” The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) says “that violent media set a poor example for kids” and “should not use human or other living targets or award points for killing, because this teaches children to associate pleasure and success with their ability to cause pain and suffering to others.” The academy conducted over 400 studies that show a link between violent video games and acts of violence or aggression in society. However not everyone is on the same page. Some scientists have some other thoughts and experiments.

Whitney DeCamp has discovered other evidence that opposes the APA and AAP. Whitney is “an associate professor of sociology at Western Michigan University.”  He concluded that evidence does not show a correlation between violence and violent video games. He says the studies have shown that the two correlate, however, he says that there is a chance that the kid or teen “may have a predisposition toward aggression.” In his own studies he asked 6,567 eighth graders if they had played violent video games within the past year. He concluded that violent video games do not predict violent behavior. Christopher Ferguson, associate professor and co-chairman of the Department of Psychology at Stetson University, not only agrees with this statement, but even goes as far to say that playing these games reduces societal violence. His reasoning behind that statement is that they stay off the street and do something they enjoy, hence causing less harm to society. During the week of the release of a popular new game, there is a general decrease in societal violence.  Recently a group of 238 scholars told the APA to retire its “outdated and problematic statements on video game violence.” To me it seems as if times are changing and these two professors and other scholars seem to think there should be an update in the studies. DeCamp said that almost young males play violent video games and the large majority do not commit crimes in society.

Personally I do not think video games and violence have a direct correlation. I have played violent video games since I was 12 and I have never once thought of committing a violent act in society. Obviously I can not speak for everyone who plays violent video games. There are studies that prove and disprove the correlation. I think there is a slight correlation but I think there are other factors besides just the violence of the video game. The best method which was pointed out in the article is that parents should monitor the games they play and their actions.


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