Investigation of Whether Video Games Cause Violence in Children

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About this sample


Words: 1266 |

Pages: 3|

7 min read

Published: Mar 18, 2021

Words: 1266|Pages: 3|7 min read

Published: Mar 18, 2021

Video games have become widely used ever since they first became available on a worldwide market. A good video game can challenge and help a child explore a different realm of creativity and fantasy. They can bring a sense of satisfaction due to the numerous achievements required for completion. Or they can just be a way to pass some time. In a different perspective, video games can also affect children in a negative way. In some cases, a child who overindulges in gaming activity could start to regress with their physical activity level which can lead to other health issues. A child could start to mesh or confuse the differences between fiction and fantasy. Or they can place too much focus in the gaming area that other sectors in their lives can start to suffer. The type of games being played by the child might have the biggest effect on them of all. Children who play video games with violence aren’t more aggressive than children who don’t partake in the same type of behavior. Violent tendencies can be picked up in any household and the child's desire to perform these violent acts while playing a game does not link them to perform those same practices in the real world. This essay will cover how video games cause violence in children.

'Why Violent Video Games Shouldn't Be Banned'?

Throughout history, public statements have been made about the negative effects violent video games can promote to children. It has been a known scapegoat for the negative behavior a child might exhibit. Hillary Clinton even went to the extent to compare violent video games to being as addictive as smoking tobacco (DeCamp & Ferguson 2017). Her husband President Clinton shared a similar outlook of violent video games. He mentions there are 300 studies that show there is a thing line video games and violence in reality and that vulnerable children might not be able to differentiate between the two. Kids steeped in the culture of violence do become desensitized to it and are more capable of committing it themselves'.

The question is what data has been used to scientifically back up these statements. Despite numerous test and studies, there has not been many solidified links between violent games and violent actions. “Given the lack of significance for most of the tested causal relationships, these findings suggest that assumptions made by the popular media and by policymakers may be exaggerated at best and erroneous at worst”. So, what does the data show? It shows that violent video games aren’t the main or primary contribution to aggression in children. The data points more towards if the child experiences this type of treatment in or around their home environment. Such as witnessing physical violence or being on the physical end of abuse. This tends to have a bigger impact on a child's development to become violent. The connection between video games and violence among youth is one that relates to the general connection between exposure to violence and violent behavior. “It is empirically supported, for example, that being the victim of violence and engaging in violent behavior are related” (Lauritsen & Laub 2007). Additionally, a different study was performed among children who clinically shared either elevated depression or attention deficit symptoms. 377 children were used during this study to determine if “vulnerable” children would be more likely to pick up any special type of behavior. Ferguson & Olson go on to report that their results “did not provide support for the hypotheses that exposure to violent video games would be associated with increased delinquency or bullying behaviors in children with elevated mental health symptoms” (2014). The data presented in this study brings forward questions such as if children with predisposed issues are not prone to developing additionally reactions because of this type of gameplay. What does?

Therefore, there must be some of the effects of children playing violent video games. Since some data cannot directly link the two together, there must be some sort of correlation. A conflicting study done by Christopher Ferguson in 2014 can contrast the above study. He goes on to say “individuals already at risk for violent behavior may respond more negatively to violent games than the majority of individuals. Although violent games are not likely a cause of violent behavior in such individuals, it may be possible that violent games may moderate existing violence predilections”. With this new information, it does bring a concern if a child already has these destructive tendencies and can no longer find fulfillment through video games. Will these lead the child to experience these emotions in real life?

Due to the normal occurrence of gore and killing in these types of video games. Coyne & Stockdale note that “higher amounts of playing violent video games were related to lower levels of empathic concern and benevolence 2 years later (2018). Based on that study, it does show a negative effect of a high amount of violent video games. Therefore, while it is a nonviolent effect, continuous exposure to these types of video games can desensitize children. Another laboratory study found that “playing violent video games has a physiological desensitizing effect, with those who had played a violent video game being less physiologically aroused when shown a videotape of real violence”.

However, there are also positive effects such as being able to perform certain violent acts in a fictional world can help eliminate the need to do the same thing in the real world. Games can be some sort of mental escape or a way to execute these built-up desires or thoughts that they usually hear or see from all sorts of different media. “First, as it has already been observed, youth often eagerly seek out violent fictional narratives, from fairy tales to video games, but rarely seek out direct exposure to violence in real life” (DeCamp & Ferguson 2017). Another beneficial discovery can relate to the improvement of social skills and hand-eye coordination. “When it comes to video games and children, it is also a way to help their hand-eye coordination. Playing with friends, even if on a violent game can help create a sense of teamwork and unity. It can increase social skills as well. Video games teach hand-eye coordination, attention to detail, and, depending on their design, may promote creativity”.

Regardless, parents and guardians should limit the amount of time a child is exposed to these types of games, especially if unsupervised. Whatever the parent allows a child to play, that is what the child will believe is acceptable. Parents and others need to be aware of the messages they are sending children regarding video game playing. “Many implicitly endorse violent video games as being acceptable when they purchase these highly desired gifts or underwrite trips to the local arcade”.

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So do video games cause violence in children? With all the discussion on how violent video games are the direct cause of why children exhibit violent behavior, there hasn’t been a lot of data to prove it. A recent article in The Criminologist summed the research by stating that ‘‘the research linking violent video games with youth violence is weak, inconsistent and beset with methodological problems’’. While playing violent video games can lead to some nonviolent effects. There are still more prevalent factors that come into play when considering why a child is physically violent. More test and studies need to be accomplished to tie the theory of video game and violence together as a concrete link. Children need a way to be free to express themselves inside a fantasy world without repercussions. This is where video games can shine with appropriate adult supervision.

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Investigation Of Whether Video Games Cause Violence In Children. (2021, March 18). GradesFixer. Retrieved May 28, 2024, from
“Investigation Of Whether Video Games Cause Violence In Children.” GradesFixer, 18 Mar. 2021,
Investigation Of Whether Video Games Cause Violence In Children. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 28 May 2024].
Investigation Of Whether Video Games Cause Violence In Children [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2021 Mar 18 [cited 2024 May 28]. Available from:
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