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Video Games Cause Violence And Behavior Problems Psychology Essay

One of the major concerns is that they increase the nature of violence among the youth. The Harvard medical school or the Journal of adolescent health, as well as the British medical journal have concluded that “there is a huge link between video game and violence.” Studies have pointed towards a typical pattern between video game and negative behavioral/attitude problems associated with them. A research by the University of Indiana in the US, involving a brain scanning of some those who were involved in playing violent video games positively indicates a correlation between the violent behavior and the game they played. The research confirmed a substantial increase in the negative emotions of those who played some violent game as compared to those who either did not play any games or those who played a non-violent game. According to author Vince Mathews, “parents should look more closely at the types of games their children are playing.”

Third paragraph Second argument

Video games cause addiction and induce children to remain glued to the console for substantially longer period of time which often results in their giving up other activities. Perhaps excess of anything is bad and video games are no exception. In his article Video Games Addiction, Media literacy specialist, Dr. Charles Ungerleider states that “if a youngster becomes addicted to video games it can be a problem”. According to him practicing or making effort to achieve excellence in playing might not be an issue by itself, but it certainly becomes worrying if video games create hindrance in youngsters other tasks. He recommends parents’ or guardians’ intervention to create a balance in all their wards’ activities. According to Mary Schlimme in a 2002 article titled: Do We Need a Video Gamers Anonymous? “Video game addicts are often described by clinicians in the field as displaying many symptoms characteristic of other addictions.” According to her article, “Addiction includes such behavior as failure to stop playing games, difficulties in work or school, telling lies to loved ones, decreased attention to personal hygiene, decreased attention to family and friends, and disturbances in the sleep cycle.” Schlimme quotes Dr Orzack that “many game addicts have struggled with finding their place in society and as a result play video games in order to become part of a crowd.” She emphatically states “excessive video game playing may not only cause behavioral and social changes in a person, but it may also result in neurological changes.”

Fourth paragraph third argument

Even if video games and videos do not directly create killers and murderers out of the young people they may tend to contribute towards insensitivity and indifference towards violence. This is worrying because it may change the profile of the society in the longer run. In an article published in the Time Magazine on 10th May 1999 author and editors Joshua Quittner, Maryanne Buechner and Jay Ehrlich say “The question isn't whether games make children kill, because it isn't that simple. The concerns are subtler yet no less worrisome. Do graphically violent games desensitize children to violence? Do such games teach kids to take pleasure in the suffering and death of others?” Nicholas Carnagey, an Iowa State psychology instructor and Iowa State University Professor of Psychology Craig Anderson and Brad Bushman published an article “The Effects of Video Game Violence on Physiological Desensitization to Real-Life Violence” in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology. In this paper, the authors explain the state of insensitivity towards violence “a reduction in emotion-related physiological reactivity to real violence.” Their latest study involves testing of college students. According to the study “The results demonstrate that playing violent video games, even for just 20 minutes, can cause people to become less physiologically aroused by real violence.” According to the article “It appears that individuals who play violent video games habituate or ‘get used to’ all the violence and eventually become physiologically numb to it.”

Fifth paragraph Transition Paragraph

Supporter of the video games do not seem to take the issues seriously. Despite this overwhelming evidence that video game causes violence and problems in many children and among the youth, there are supporters who believe that there are advantages to video games in today’s society. Key finding states in a research titled Internet Fantasy Violence: A Test of Aggression in an Online Games carried out in 2005 by Williams, D. & Skoric, M “there was no effect on levels of aggressiveness or in belief and behaviors of the gamers who were engaged in a violent massive multiplayer online role-playing game.” Cheryl K. Olson, professor of Psychiatry at the Harvard Medical School's Center for Mental Health and Media, in her 2004 article in the Journal Academic Psychiatry “Media Violence Research and Youth Violence Data: Why Do TheyConflict?" e carries out a comparison about between violence contained in various modern-day video games and in day to day real-life. She states "...there is no evidence that targeted violence has increased in America's schools. While such attacks have occurred in the past, they were and are extremely rare events." She goes on to write that, "There's no indication that violence rose in lockstep with the spread of violent games." In 2002 Dr. Van Eeenwyk of the Washington State Department of Health presented information indicating that "after controlling for psychosocial factors, association between aggression and playing video games was not statistically significant." Massachusetts Institute of Techonology professor Hennery Jenkins says, “90 percent of boys and 40 percent of girls play video games. The overwhelming majority of kids who play do NOT commit antisocial acts.” And, “… the strongest risk factor for school shootings centered on mental stability and quality of home life, not media exposure.” Critics claim that video games are addictive has also been refuted by some supporters of the video games. In a response to a proposal in 2007 to brand video game addiction as a mental health issue similar to the addiction to alcohol, doctors and supporters of video games opposed the proposal. The supporters say that there is no evidence to indicate a proper basis for any such theory. These same supporters of video games argue that video game, computer and television are not only an excellent medium of imparting knowledge to and education to children, but also they assist the pupils with their studies at home as well as in the educational institutions. According to psychologists video games are a good means of mental exercise for the children who play these games. In many video games, in order to win, the player needs to have a good strategic thinking.  This is something that is generally not available at the school in the form of an academic subject.  Some of the mental exercise and knowledge obtained through using video games include the art of coordination between a child’s eye and his/her hand. Some supporters of video games say that video games teach children to plan and build their strategic thinking. Steven Johnson, author of Everything Bad is Good For You: How Today's Popular Culture is Actually Making Us Smarter, calls this "telescoping." Gamers must deal with immediate problems while keeping their long-term goals on their horizon.

Sixth paragraph Refutation of opponent’s counter- argument

While there are researchers and supporters who claim that the video games do not have an effect on the increase in aggression and violence in the behavior of the gamers, yet those researches and studies are not based on modern scientific lines. Those studies are not as comprehensive and as scientific as those carried out by Craig Anderson, David Grossman or others. The supporters’ studies are generalized and are based more on hypothetical basis rather than actual scientific methodology. As proved by the various researches quoted above, their findings are flawed.

Seventh paragraph Refutation of opponent’s counter- argument

Supporters of the video games say that video games are healthy and educational. They claim video games provide children with quality mental exercise.  In several games, in order to win, the player must possess good strategic thinking and be swift with his skills. However, the fact is that addiction to video games causes not only health and other problems, including social ones, but also results in poor school results and grades, lack of concentration to academics and class activities. The critics have always disputed this claim about video games contributing to health and education. Dr. Louis Kraus of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and a psychiatrist at Rush University Medical Center, has stated "The more time kids spend on video games, the less time they will have socializing, the less time they will have with their families, the less time they will have exercising." "They can make up academic deficits, but they can't make up the social ones," he said. “As a result of this, one in ten youths, may be suffering from family, social, school or psychological damage.” In several studies it has been clearly proved that the youth under examination had problems concentrating on academics and their school routine, as a result of which not only they lost grades at the school but also were subject to some severe health issues including depression.

Final paragraph Conclusion. Based on the above research it is clearly evident that violent video games contribute to the aggressive and violent behavior and addiction to video games. However, considering some of the advantages of the video games, their use must not be prohibited. Parents and guardians should do the following to reduce the effect of violence.

Monitor video game play the same way one needs to monitor television and other media.

Parents are responsible to be kind, loving but at the same time attentive and firm to properly discipline their wards. An aggressive child is more a product of dysfunctional parenting than anything else, including violent games and TV. 

To avoid possibilities of addiction, parents should attempt to provide a variety of entertainment to their children. It would be a good idea to make sure that children read quality books, involve themselves in sports and interact with other children and their friends.

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