Video Game Violence

Essay by Nudge83College, UndergraduateA+, March 2006

download word file, 5 pages 4.6

When video games were created some thirty years ago, they added another dimension to entertainment. As technology advanced so did the possibilities of an infant video game industry. Now a billion dollar industry thanks to the 79% of American children playing video games on an average of 8 hours a week, eyebrows have been raised as well as questions about the affects playing games might have on children. Similar to the attacks on violent movies and television shows, some parents and concerned adults have pointed the finger at this growing industry for contributing or encouraging violent behavior amongst kids. Overall, violent video games encourage violent behavior especially in adolescents, whom haven't had full exposure to ethics and morals.

With technology so advanced, videogames are now borderline military simulations. Games such as Tom Clancey's Ghost Recon and Halflife's popular hit Counter Strike teach the player to become specialized killers. The weapons require everything from aiming at targets through scopes, to predicting the enemies movements as well as reloading, making the experience very realistic.

The graphics in video games now include blood and gore, which many believe desensitizes children, possibly being the deciding factor between pursuing confrontation instead of avoiding it. After all, repeated exposure to almost anything diminishes the impact on the viewer.

The study of Ballard & Weist (1996) determined a "correlation between the arousal one experiences when playing a violent game and that of engaging in a fight." According to the study, both groups show "increased heart rates, systolic blood pressure, and diastolic blood pressure." The correlation is even higher for children with previously diagnosed aggressive behavior. Griffiths & Hunt (1998) found that "students who were more "addicted" to video games were significantly more likely to be in a bad mood before, during, and after play than were non-addicted...