The Impact of Violence in Video Games

Empathy, the ability to understand and enter into another's feelings is believed to inhibit aggressive behavior. In a study of 150 fourth and fifth graders by Jeanne Funk, PhD, Distinguished University Professor of Psychology at the University of Toledo, violent video games were the only type of media associated with lower empathy. A study published in the American Psychological Association's found that exposure to violent video games led to a lack of empathy and prosocial behavior (positive actions that benefit others). Eight independent tests measuring the impact of violent video games on prosocial behavior found a significant negative effect, leading to the conclusion that "exposure to violent video games is negatively correlated with helping in the real world." Several studies have found that children with high exposure to violent media display lower moral reasoning skills than their peers without that exposure. A meta-analysis of 130 international studies with over 130,000 participants concluded that violent video games "increase aggressive thoughts, angry feelings, and aggressive behaviors, and decrease empathic feelings and prosocial behaviors."

Educational experts are watching closely the impact of violent video games on a generation of school children, particularly boys.

The potential impact of violent video games on increasing players’ aggression is a highly controversial issue in public debate and has been examined thoroughly in the scholarly literature. This chapter reviews the current state of knowledge about the empirical evidence and theoretical explanations concerning the relationship between exposure to video game violence and aggressive affect, cognitions, and behavior. It starts by presenting results from content analyses on the extent to which violence features in video games before looking at usage intensity and the appeal of violent games. The main part of the chapter provides a review of meta-analytic, experimental, and longitudinal studies addressing the strength of the link between the use of violent video games and aggression, followed by a discussion of the psychological processes underlying short-term effects and long-term consequences of playing violent video games. The final section summarizes interventions directed at reducing the effects of media violence on aggression.

impact of violent video games on children and adolescents

VIA MEDIA Shoot to Kill: The Real Impact of Violent Video Games I think this is a fair assessment of the impact of violent video games. Biologically speaking, adolescents are much more aggressive than other age demographics because their bodies are undergoing some intense hormonal changes. That being said, I think this article presents an interesting take on the susceptibility of certain adolescents to the violent messages of video games. Young preteens who identify themselves as social outcasts or who are labeled as social outcasts are much more drawn to the violent video games. While this does not necessarily imply a problem, I think that it is something of note. If adolescents in this age demographic tend to be much more aggressive, shouldn’t we attempt to find a more constructive way for these preteens to burn of some steam that does not necessarily involve the violent ideologies suggested in video games?

There is also little research on the impact of violent video games

Bushman has been studying the impact of media violence on behavior for almost 30 years; he looks at the causes, consequences, and solutions to the problem of human aggression and violence. He has published more than 140 articles in peer-reviewed journals, including top scientific journals, such as Science and Nature, and has conducted more than 50 studies on violent media effects. He is especially interested in the impact of violent video games on aggression.

The impact of violent video games: An overview - Iastate