The new age has been greatly influenced by the advent of new technology that is constantly upgraded with every passing day. Children are now spending most of their waking hours staring blankly at their televisions or their game pads, playing video games. Every level is more challenging than the former, but it is creating a generation of people who are not active and have no time to be children. Of great significance is the fact that, the games are now more violent that the original Nintendo and Smurfs that had childhood themes that children could easily consume. Violent games are now in the market and the negative effects linger long after childhood manifesting in the form of aggressive behavior in adulthood. Research has been conducted extensively to substantiate this claim with test subjects being studied over long periods of exposure to this game. The psychological impact of these new technologies may not be evident in children playing comfortably at home, but will at one point manifest and create the most unfortunate circumstances for the addicts. In addition is the increase in violent tendencies among the high school going students is a clear indication that there is a clear problem and something needs to be done to remedy the situation. Society and the leadership of the country has to come up with mechanisms and systems to regulate the entertainment industry.
The current trend of violent behavior among the youth where teenagers carry out heinous acts on other students can clearly be associated with violent video games. This excessive reliance on entertainment aids by children makes them antisocial as they only learn the negative behavior they see. They are not able to change this bad behavior and become withdrawn and prone to psychological imbalances leading to suicide and violent acts like school shootings. The violent video games create a dystopia in their minds, in which everything is wrong and violence is the only key to survival. For this reason they are prone to all forms of manipulation because they are cut off from positive role models and end up being deviants in society. This paper seeks to clarify these arguments by looking at these questions:
Anderson, C.A., & Bushman, B.J. (2002). Human Aggression. Annual Review of Psychology.
This article highlights the problem of increased aggressive behavior in the youth based on prolonged exposure to video games. It clearly portrays the connection between violent tendencies and consequent aggressive behavior. The writers carried out extensive research on the problem of aggressive behavior seeking to find the link in violent video game content and violent tendencies. This research was important to my paper because it gave me an understanding of the causal link existing between aggressive behavior changes and personal growth. Anderson and Bushman observed that, “personality is conceptualized as a set of stable knowledge structures that individuals use to interpret events in their social world and to guide their behavior, (Anderson & Bushman, 2002, p. 27). The research further goes to the root of the problem, here being aggressive behavior and draws out the relevant personality traits that are developed over time. It clearly shows that the continuous exposure to this violent game, had a negative effect on their psychological behavior and nature and changes how they act.
Anderson, A.C., and Bushman, B.J. (2001). Effects of Violent Video Games on Aggressive Behavior, Aggressive Cognition, Aggressive Affect, Psychological Arousal and Prosocial Behavior: A Meta-Analytic Review of the Scientific Literature. Psychological Science.
The writers focus their attention on the various entertainment companies and their contribution to this deviant behavior affecting the youth. It is not enough to produce entertainment for children and youth, there must be some form of accountability in caring for the lives of these impression less young souls. These images planted in the children’s minds grow into real ideas created in their minds and the resultant dystopias created make them want to fight in order to defend themselves. This article is important to my paper because it places a heavy responsibility on the entertainment industry in creating violent youth due to the content they offer. It is not enough to produce games and place them in the market, there has to be a limit as to content and what contributes to negative psychological effects in children. Anderson and Bushman state that, “research on exposure to television and movie violence suggests that playing violent video games will increase aggressive behavior”, (Anderson & Bushman, 2001, p. 353).
Carnagey, N.L., and Anderson, C.A. (2005). The Effects of Reward and Punishment in Violent Video Games on Aggressive Affect, Cognition and Behavior. American Psychology Association.
In this article, the writers draw inference on the various experiments conducted on the negative effects of video games on the children and the youth. This research goes to the heart of the problem as it seeks to assess the effects of rewarding and punishing deviant and violent behavior brought on by video games. This article is relevant to my study because the researchers selected a sample of the population of children who were accustomed to playing video games and watching violent movies. In doing this they ensured that the results would be accurate and credible only to deal with those affected. Carnegie and Anderson observed that they were given three different versions, “a version in which all violence was rewarded, a version in which all violence was punished and finally a non-violent version”, (Carnagey & Anderson, 2005, p. 882). From the results there is a clear difference between rewarding violent behavior and punishing it, and these should be the standard applied worldwide.
Ewoldsen, D.R., Eno, C.A., Okdie, B.M., Velez, J.A., Guadagno, R.E., & DeCoster, D. (2012). Effect of Playing Violent Video Games Cooperatively or Competitively on Subsequent Cooperative Behavior, Cyber Psychology, Behavior and Social Networking.
While there is a clear argument that violent video games are the main cause of aggressive violent behavior, this article looks at the various ways these tendencies can be controlled. The writers base their research on the idea that, violent video games may not exhibit violent behavior in their recipients if they cooperate with each other. They carry out research on a group of college students who meet and play games in unity testing the idea that lone playing affects psychological behavior. This article is important to my research because it creates a new angle of discussion, by bringing in controlled environments to reduce violent tendencies. Ewoldsen et al state that, “clearly, research has established there are links between playing violent video games and aggression, but that’s an incomplete picture”, (Ewoldsen et al, 2012, p. 6). What the research does not clarify is the resultant behavior once the youth are on their own and have to deal with their thoughts and emotions. There will be violent tendencies brought about by what they see and experience earlier in the day which will consequently create aggression later on.
Huesmann, L.R., Anderson, C.A., Berkowitsz, L., Donnerstein, E., Johnson, J.D., Linz, D., Malamuth, N.M., & Wartella, E. (2000). Media Violence Influences on Youth: Expert Panel Report to the U.S. Surgeon General.
This article is based on an expert report conducted by pediatricians on the negative effects of violent video games and media content on children basing their argument on constant exposure at a young age, it is clear to see that an imbalance that children cannot control by themselves. This article is important to my research because it brings to the forefront the true nature of violence in young children and goes on to show the effects as they mature into adulthood. The constant reliance on these movies, music, graphical drawings and paintings in the entertainment industry leads to a person accustomed to violence and who feel the need to fight for survival. It is therefore clear from the article that there is a clear link between violent tendencies in the youth and the negative content they consume from the entertainment industry. Huesmann et al state that, “pediatricians should assess their patient’s level of media exposure and intervene on media related health risks”, (Huesmann et al, 2000, p. 1495). Entertainment industry heads must be held accountable to ensure that their content is not harmful.
Ihori, N., Sakamoto, A., Shibuya, S., & Yukawa, S. (2007). Effect of Video Games on Children’s Aggressive Behavior and pro-social Behavior: A Panel Study with Elementary School Students. Digital Games Research Association.
This article gives a firsthand account of children at elementary school exposed to violent video games and the resultant effects that are then measured to produce credible results. The study exposes these children to violent video games and through observation they are able to determine the effect of exposure on their behavior, feelings and mood changes. This article is important to my research because it goes to the core of these behaviors and tries to identify the various stages in boys and girls. Ihori et al state that, “ the result of a cross-lagged effect model analysis suggested that for boys pro-social behavior was suppressed more as they use video games”, ( Ihori et al, 2007, p.7). It is clear that, boys tend to consume violent behavior more than girls leading to the registered high levels of aggression in them. The violent tendencies were registered mainly in the boys who had the inclination of behaving in the same way as their heroes in the movies and video games.
Jerabek, J.M., and Fergusson, C.M. (2013). The Influence of Solitary and Cooperative Violent Video Game Play on Aggressive and Prosocial Behavior. Computers in Human Behavior.
This article takes the research paper on a different angle seeking to look at the long-term psychological effects of violence on children. There is an increase in violence, bullying and new forms of deviance perpetrated through media networks and that is not well regulated. Social media platforms are avenues for deviance and abuse where the affected children become withdrawn and aggressive. This article is important to my research because it looks at the various ways in which lack of media regulation creates psychological problems that normally go undetected. It seeks to look at the resultant psychological tendencies causing anti-social behavior like reclusiveness that ends up creating a violent criminal. Jerabek et al state that, “results indicated that violent content in video games had no influence on prosocial behavior, or self-perceptions of empathy”, (Jerabek at al, 2013, p. 2573). These are a clear indication that the children create their own worlds in which the violent scenes are played and at one point bring them out of society leading to drastic results.
Lim, S., and Lee, J.R. (2009). When Playing Together Feels Different: Effects of Task Types and Social Contexts on Psychological Arousal in Multiplayer Online Gaming Contexts. Cyber Psychology and Behavior.
There is a clear relationship between the content in violent video games and the behavior seen in children and youth in society. The creation in the mind is more powerful than what is simply observed and discarded immediately. This article contributes a different angle to my research by seeking an answer to the causes of withdrawal and reclusive behavior in children who are addicted to video games. It seeks to define the various links while at the same time looking at the changes experienced by the children all to the point of deviance and the resulting acts of violence they carry out. It also looks into the idea that allowing children to play in a group is safer than having them alone in their rooms where their imaginations go wild. Lim and Lee state that, “when compared to solo play, collaborative play led to a significant decrease in arousal in response to violent tasks, while leading to a slight increase for non-violent tasks”, (Lim & Lee, 2009, p. 59).
Lee, M.S., and Barr, A.R. (2004). The Effects of Video Game Violence on Prosocial and Antisocial Behaviors. Psychological and Social Sciences Journal.
This is a comparison between the violent tendencies portrayed in video games and the various forms of antisocial behavior seen in society today. The study seeks to make a comparison by having two groups of children play violent and non-violent games and then conduct tests on the effects of each group. This article is a great addition to my research because it finds that there is little to no difference in behavior of the two groups although the group watching violent content displayed some form of aggression. Lee and Barr state that, “there are three categories of prosocial behavior; behaviors that benefit others, those that help the individual succeed and those that promote creativity”, (Lee & Barr, 2004, p. 7). What should be of concern is overreliance on video games as opposed to other forms of entertainment and material like books and friends. There is a clear difference in the two groups and on the basis of the findings the researchers find the correlation with violent behavior that cannot be ignored.
Wiegman, O., and Schie, E.G.M. (1998). Video Game Playing and its Relations with Aggressive and Prosocial Behavior. British Journal of Social Psychology.
This article is based on a study of 278 children in the 7th and 8th grades in different elementary schools in the Netherlands. This article is important for my study as it seeks to establish whether the amount of time spent by children with video games has any effect on their behavior either in a positive or in a negative way. This brings in the study into the pro-social behavior of the children based on their age groups without taking into consideration their various backgrounds and home environments. Wiegman and Schie state that, “there is no significant relationship found between the video games use in general and aggressive behavior”, (Wiegman & Schie, 1998, p. 367). Although this research may be slightly contradictory to what other researchers have found, it forms a true basis of the idea that any form of addiction is dangerous and affects the brain. It also seeks to identify other causes of violent behavior which are not easy to prove seeing that violent video games act as a catalyst to violent behavior that has been lying dormant in their brains.
Anderson, C.A. and Bushman, B.J. (2002). Human Aggression. Annual Review of Psychology.
53(1). 27. Retrieved from: http://www.psychology.iastate.edu/faculty/caa/abstracts/2000-2004/02AB.pdf.
Anderson, A.C. and Bushman, B.J. (2001). Effects of Violent Video Games on Aggressive
Behavior, Aggressive Cognition, Aggressive Affect, Psychological Arousal and Prosocial behavior: A Meta Analytic Review of the Scientific Literature. Psychological Science. 12(5). Retrieved from: http://www.soc.iastate.edu/sapp/VideoGames1.pdf.
Carnagey, N.L. and Anderson, C.A. (2005). The Effects of Reward and Punishment in Violent
Video Games on Aggressive Affect, Cognition and Behavior. American Psychology Association. 12. Retrieved from: http://www.psychology.iastate.edu/faculty/caa/abstracts/2005-2009/05CA.pdf.
Ewoldsen, D.R., Eno, C.A., Okdie, B.M., Velez, J.A., Guaddagno, R.E., and DeCoster, D.
(2012). Effect of Playing Violent Video Games Cooperatively or Competitively on Subsequent Cooperative Behavior, Cybersychology, Behavior and Social Networking. 15(5). Retrieved from: http://www.osil.psy.ua.edu/pubs/halo_published.pdf.
Huesmann, L.R., Anderson, C.A., Berkowitz, L., Donnerstein, E., Johnson, J.D., Linz, D.,
Malamuth, N.M., and Wartella, E. (2000). Media Violence Influences on Youth: Expert Panel Report to the U.S. Surgeon General. Unpublished Manuscript, Institute for Social Research, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Retrieved from: http://www.psychology.iastate.edu/faculty/caa/abstracts/2005-2009/08AG.pdf.
Ihori, N., Sakamoto, A., Shibuya, S., and Yukawa, S. (2007). Effect of Video Games on
Children’s Aggressive Behavior and Pro-Social Behavior: A Panel Study with Elementary School Students. Digital Games Research Association. Retrieved from: http://www.digra.org/dl/db/07312.31554.pdf.
Jerabek, J.M., and Fergusson, C.M. (2013). The Influence of Solitary and Cooperative Violent
Video Game Play on Aggressive and Prosocial Behavior. Computers in Human Behavior. 29(2013). Retrieved from: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0747563213002264.
Lim, S. and Lee, J.R. (2009). When Playing Together Feels Different: Effects of Task Types and
Social Contexts on Psychological Arousal in Multiplayer Online Gaming Contexts. Cyber psychology and Behavior. 29(1). 59-61. Retrieved from: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19006459.
Lee, M.S. and Barr, A.R. (August, 2004). The Effects of Video Game Violence on Prosocial and
Antisocial Behaviors. Psychological and Social Sciences Journal. 5. Retrieved from: http://www.jyi.org/volumes/volume11/issue2/articles/lee.html.
Wiegman, O. and Schie, Van, E.G.M. (1998). Video Game Playing and its Relations With
Aggressive and Prosocial Behavior. British Journal of Social Psychology. 37. Retrieved from: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9738313.
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