Nowadays, children are born into a world controlled by technology. Where there are many different types of electronics to choose from. One huge electronic trend that has been evolving mainly over the past 30 or so years is the introduction of the video game. There has been a huge spike in the mass-market appeal for these games, leading to a greater number of gamers and huge advances in the graphics and dynamics of the games. Over the past couple of years it can be seen that video games have been getting more and more violent. With these violent games gaining so much popularity, it has led to a good amount of concern surrounding the games and how they could affect children and adolescents in the real world. An article by Steven F. Gruel explains the reasons why violent video games do cause children to be more aggressive in real life. On the other side, Patricia A. Millet has an article that shows how violent video games cause no aggressive effects on children.
The argument of whether playing violent video games can cause more aggression or real-life violence, is a complicated issue that can be disputed with evidence from both sides of the issue. Steven F. Gruel is a strong advocate for the side saying that violent video games really do make a huge impact on children’s behavior in real life. Looking at some of Stevens research it can be seen that children who are exposed to larger amounts of video game violence were more likely to get involved in physical fights. They also frequently got into arguments with teachers, acted more hostile and performed more poorly in school. Patricia A. Millett’s research shows that she definitely doesn’t believe in the studies showing a correlation between violent video games and violent or aggressive behavior of minors. She attributes the violence to other issues including: antisocial personality traits, family violence and association with delinquent peers. I believe that violent video games can cause children to have a more aggressive mindset and make it more likely for them to be violent. I think that there has to be a previous variable causing them to be already inclined towards aggression but video games could be that last factor to push them over the edge.
Elaborate content analyses showed that the favorite video game narrative is a “human perpetrator engaging in repeated acts of justified violence involving weapons that results in some bloodshed to the victim.” Said Steven F. Gruel. Gruel said in a book he read researchers have concluded that “active participation” causes there to be a huge difference between violent movies and violent video games. The book Gruel was referring to also had an experimental part to it, and the results showed that violent games contribute to violent behavior. Patricia has included a couple of different studies in her article to back up her point. One important study she included was of 1,254 seventh and eighth-grade students where they looked to see if violent video games had any effect on delinquency and bullying. The study revealed that there is an insignificant effect between exposure to violent video games and delinquency or bullying. I think that Steven is incorrect in his thought process that people are more aggressive if they have played violent video games. This is mainly because when I was growing up, I started playing violent video games at the young age of around 12-13. I was very interested in them, and in turn, they took up much of my free time. I have never been a violent person in my life thus far, and I am almost certain video games haven’t changed any aspect of my aggression. This leads me to believe that violent video games will only make people more aggressive in real life when they already have trouble controlling their aggression. Given the two perspectives, I would have to side with Patricia in saying there is no correlation between children playing violent video games and their aggressive behavior
Steven F. Gruel’s article gave many reasons as to why video games do cause more real-life violence in Adolescents. Some of the main findings in Steven’s article were “ playing violent video games causes an increase in the likelihood of physically aggressive behavior, aggressive thinking, aggressive affect, physiological arousal, and desensitization/low empathy.” Patricia A. Millett is on the opposite side of the spectrum and believes there is no connection between aggressive behavior and playing violent video games. There was a study done between 213 participants that had half of them play a violent video for at least five hours over a month. They then completed a questionnaire and compared it to the Normative Beliefs in Aggression general scale, and the results showed that there were no effects associated with aggression caused by playing video games.