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Dangers in Media: How Violence in Video Games Affects the Youth

Autor:   •  October 14, 2013  •  Essay  •  834 Words (4 Pages)  •  789 Views

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Call of Duty, Grand Theft Auto, Fallout, and Halo are some of the many mature-rated video game franchises where violence and other adult-content is prominent throughout the game. Rating systems have been implemented across the country that indicate the maturity level for the game and its intended audience. Despite the mature-ratings, many children and young adolescents acquire these games, whether through their parent, older sibling, or friends and spend hours indulging in the violent quests and plot line of these adult video games. Unfortunately, many parents and children are unaware of the negative affects these violent and mature video games are having on the youth. This essay aims to describe how children who play mature-rated videos games have less social skills, more aggression in real life situations, and have a decreased feeling of empathy and sensitivity toward those who have experienced violence and how more awareness of parents, schools, and gamers can help solve the problem.

Social skills are an imperative part of developing and growing. These skills teach us about interacting with others, how to properly behave in certain situations, confidence, communication, cooperation, and interaction. Social skills are built within social environments, and lack of social skills can lead to behavioral problems. Though some video games and gaming systems offer group sessions with interaction, for example, Xbox Live, those playing rarely use this tool for complex social interactions. When playing video games, gamers have little interaction between each other and during the long game session, players are primarily focused on the game rather than talking. Purdue University communications professor, Glenn Sparks has made a connection between the isolating effects of video games, television, and the Internet and the commonness of "disaffected, lonely criminals" including the 2007 Virginia Tech shooting where more than thirty people were murdered by the shooter. (Lee) Columbine shooters Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold were frequent players of the violent game "Doom," and that they had even written programs for it, according to other analysts. (Lee)

Studies show that violent videos game exposure to youth can be significantly more harmful than violent television and movies and lead to higher levels of aggression. The studies also showed that violent play and violent behavior was exhibited in children directly after playing video games. (Mazurak) The National Research Center for Women and Families argues:

Violent video games teach kids to practice aggressive solutions to conflict. In the short run, playing a violent video

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