Do Video Games Lead To Violence? Research Paper Examples
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Video games have emerged a very sensitive medium from the last few decades. Their importance can be observed through the demand throughout the globe. However, there are in-built pros and cons associated with these games, which could influence the minds of the users either positively or negatively. Video games have psychological controversies associated with them. The supporters of the video games advocate video games as expressive medium, which can help in developing the cognitive aspects of individuals. Such advocates always argue for protection of these movies in context to Freedom of Speech and expression, and also, these games could be approved for the educational purposes. On the other hand, the detractors have always proposed that video games evoke destructive tendencies among the players, becoming threat for the whole society by inducing aggression, and sexual violence etcetera. Supported by many studies, most of the critics also argued that the video games have portrayed negative aspirations that penetrate through the human mind and affects them negatively.
Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) constructed better opportunities for human survival. Societies transform. Cultures enrich. New avenues came into existence that expedited human motto both in positive as well as negative sense. Computers situate at socio-economic centre of human civilization. Technological innovations along with sustainable social, political and economic structure developed the notion of ‘other world,’ which operates virtually, lets people to live their fantasies. The virtual environment can be best understood by the conception of online platforms specifically video games – either online or offline. Every media product comes with a prominent potential to affect human psychology. But the question is - Do the video games affect the cognitive development of its users? Or do these shape the behaviour of the video accordingly? Also, who construct such installations, and how do they influence our outlook towards the [real] society we live in? Various studies have shown that even a brief exposure to video games does have its impact on children and youths, including college-age individuals. On the other hand, there are certain experts who argue that video games do have very less impact on the human behaviour.
The year of 1970 marked the inception of video games came appeared during 1990’s including Mortal Kombat, Street Fighter, and Wolfenstein 3D etcetera. The introduction of games culture witnessed a vital change within the youth culture from around the world. However, at first the urban youth, of developed countries, were exposed to the video games culture. It was quite evident that such technological intervention evoked a sense of modernism, slowly absorbed even by the developing countries. It has been observed that youth were mostly attracted to violent video games, and it became their way of passing time. There is definitely a very vast conception of video games affecting the minds of the users. Violent content provoke violence besides fulfilling the gratifications of the users. The video games impact the behaviour. For instance, according to Gee (2003), introduction of multimedia eases the learning performance and engagement of children; enabling them to grasp vitalities related to various fields like mathematics, arts, and science, etcetera. Applying thesis formula to video games, what would one expect from the user’s part who plays the violent video games? It is, therefore, evident that media content have had its effect on the cognitive aspects of the children or the youth.
Going back to renowned social psychologists, they argue that most of the media content can influence the cognitive scenario of the individuals. For example, Grand Theft Auto (GTA) Vice City represents one of the important 3D games, developed by Rockstar North and distributed by Rockstar Games, Capcom, SCEA and ak tronic. The game was released 27 October, 2002 with 3-dimensional specifications. The location of the game is made similar to Miami and Florida cities in 3D with huge building, clear roads, and the famous beaches that adds an aesthetic value to the setting of the game. The narrative aspect of the game reveals corruption, brutal killings, bloodshed, exploitation, increased violence etcetera that constructed a violent image of the city. The game offers a wide space for the users to rumble.
Douglas A. Gentile, 2011, puts forward five dimensions that can substantiate the impact of video games on the players, these include: the sum total of play, the content of play, the game context, the structure of the game, and the mechanics of game play. In his article, The Multiple Dimensions of Video Game Effects, Douglas A. Gentile mentions (2011) mentions five dimensions on which video games can affect players: the amount of play, the content of play, the game framework, the construction of the game, and the mechanism of game play (Gentile, 2011). The video game content is directly affects the functioning of the mind of the users. The fierce aspect of a video game directly envisages destructive behaviour among children and youth (Anderson, Gentile, & Buckley, 2007; Gentile, Lynch, Linder, & Walsh, 2004). Similarly, there are other aspects that can predict the emergence of hostile behaviour of the users include the time spend in playing the game. According to various researchers, the amount of time spent on the screen to play video games and other interactive media evokes cognitive as well as health issues like aggression, and childhood obesity etcetera (Gee, 2003). Likewise, such arguments validate the violence present in certain videos games like GTA Vice City, which affects the also affects the aggressive component and general health of the player.
The Video Game playing in context to the engagement that the players confer fulfils the demands of theory of uses and gratification. The theory shares sincere conception of video game setting where a user attempts to release his / her strain and tension (although the video game playing has its own pros and cons attached in context to stress). Many studies reveal that video games can help to manage stress and relieve the players from their daily pressures and release their anger (Science 20, 2015). Also, there is a quite possibility of developing aggression in the subconscious of an individual but, at some levels it is also beneficial. Researchers reveal various aspects which are beneficial for the users like playing video games would develop better body-mind coordination, enhanced visuo-motor skills, and better cognitive perceptions etcetera as compared non-players. It is also evident that most of the people think that lazy people play video games but, many studies have shown that these video games benefit people with advanced reasoning, thinking, analytical, memory and perception (Nauert, 2015).
The social context of a video game represents the acceptance of the game within the social structure that either directly or indirectly affects the societal values and aspirations of the individuals concerned. Broadly speaking, the games act as the evoking conceptions which dominate the minds of the users at certain levels. Social norms and values confer much attention and are influenced by the content, context and time etcetera of the video games. However, there are certain positive (and also negative) aspects that define the visible impact of the video games on the development of the individuals and in turn on the progression of the society in a broader sense.
Despite their harmful impact, it is also necessary to account that the video games influence social etiquettes of the users. Video games can change the social perception of the individuals in a positive way but, there are certain possibilities of negative tendencies and results on structuring their essential characteristics reflect their own understanding of the humanity. Strictly speaking, video games evoke negativity (violence) as compared to positivity that can have harmful effects on the personality of the users.
Anderson, C. A., Gentile, D. A., & Buckley, K. E. Violent video game effects on children and adolescents: Theory, research, and public policy. New York: Oxford University Press. 2007.
Freedman J. "Media violence and its effect on aggression: assessing the scientific evidence." University of Toronto Press, Toronto 2002 ISBN 0-8020-8425-7.
Gee, J. P. What video games have to teach us about learning and literacy (1st Ed.), New York: Palgrave Macmillan. 2003
Gentile, D. A. Pathological video game use among youth 8 to 18: A national study. Psychological Science, 20, 594–602. 2009.
Nauert, Rick. "Video Games can help Boost Social, Memory & Cognitive Skills".PsychCenteral. John M. Grohol. Retrieved 17 April, 2015.
"Violent video games help kids manage stress." Science 20 website Accessed 17 April 2015.
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