Violent video games have been a hot topic for parents, teachers and members of the children’s community for years, as many express their concern about the impact of these games on children. And the recent school shooting in Parkland, Florida, has prompted some people to ask again: “Do violent video games lead to violent behavior in children?”
What experts say
A study published in 2014 in PLOS ONE, a peer-reviewed journal of Library Science, concludes that playing violent video games in both online and offline environments has increased athlete aggression compared to neutral sports results. In this study, participants played neutral or violent games for a given period. They then completed questionnaires and participated in an activity while observing. The researchers found that people who played violent games before the activity were more likely to be aggressive during the activity.
According to a policy statement from the American Psychological Association of August 2015, violent games not only lead to more aggressive behaviour. His research on the subject also shows a link between playing these games and “reducing social behaviour, empathy and moral commitment.” “Scientists are beginning to wonder if children who play such games, especially for a long time, cannot develop adequate social skills.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) also solves this problem, noting that violence spreads in all forms of media, not just video games. AAP estimates that in 2000, “every G-rated film had violence, as was 60% of prime-time television shows. “AAP reports that” a significant majority of media researchers in both Pediatrics and psychology believe that current data show a significant association between virtual violence and aggression.”
Effects of video games and screen time
Although aggressive — and sometimes violent-behaviour links are visible in violent video games, experts don’t think all video games are bad for children. More and more children are playing more hours more games every day and have many access points. Games can be played on console systems, computers, smartphones and tablets. And while parents have to worry that their child is doing well in other areas and is not used to sports, a child who plays more video games than his parents at this age is probably not a cause for concern.
On Irvine professor and president of the Higher Education Video Game Alliance Constance Steinkühler says that today the structure of children’s lives is completely different from what it was a few decades ago. Many children lead highly organized lives and can feel stressed; video games allow them to spend free time to relieve stress. In addition, many non-violent games are fun and provide educational value.
Of course, too much screen time is unhealthy. It applies to everyone, regardless of their age. And the general increase in ordinary video games does not lead to a significant increase in violent crime.
Take For Parents
Parents should be aware of the types of play their children have and the amount of violence they have — and make decisions about what suits their children. One of the best ways to keep track of what children are watching in video games while interacting with them is to play games with them. After all, even games that seem appropriate at first glance may not be the best choice for every child.