Column: Playing violent video games can cause violent tendencies

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[media-credit name="Douglas Abrams" align="alignleft" width="300"][/media-credit]
A recent study from Indiana University concluded that playing violent video games can lead to violent tendencies.

by Connor Vasu

In 2010, 14,748 people were murdered in the United States, according to the Disaster Center, but a whole lot more were killed in violent video games.

Many students at this school play violent video games. However, according to the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Pediatry, playing violent video games leads to poor social skills, lower grades and aggressive thoughts and behaviors. Essentially, playing violent video games makes a person more violent.

According to a 2011 Indiana University study, the violence in video games makes the brain immune to violence. This desensitization can promote violent tendencies that manifest themselves throughout life, according to the same study.

In addition, when a person spends hours each week playing violent video games, it takes time away from studying, which lowers his grades. Sitting in front of a television for hours on end likely lowers social skills, as well.

There are some benefits to playing violent video games. Certainly, taking out one’s anger in a video game is much better than taking out anger in real life. Video games can be considered good stress relievers if used sparingly. But apart from that, there are not many positives to playing these video games.

Now, cutting out all video games is not very realistic to avid gamers. But, the average teenager spends 13 hours a week playing video games, according to CNN. That is almost two hours every day. It would not be too difficult to cut down a little. Playing these games in moderation could also limit the adverse affects violent video games have.

Before heading to the X-box, consider the negatives in doing so.

2 Responses

  1. Alex Potter

    This article is wrong.
    http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/15213261003799854 is the paper that the Indiana University School of Medicine article is referring to, and it states clearly, “playing a violent video game can modulate prefrontal activity during cognitive inhibition.”. This does not translate directly into causing violent activities, it merely states that playing violent videogames causes a bit less response to certain things that might otherwise disturb you. For instance, an average Call of Duty player will encounter a mass of profanity, bloodshed, and gunfire. This makes them less reactive to when they encounter these things in real life; if anything, that’s good.
    The above article mentions “adverse affects”, which, according to the report by Dr. Yang Wang, would happen over the course of many years. The playing of videogames increases certain cognitive functions, such as hand-eye coordination and reaction times.
    Videogames do not have negative affects upon human function, and when they do, there are external added factors to cause them.

    Reply

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