Posted on January 27, 2008, William Video Games And Media Raise The Risk Of Aggressive Behavior?
We’ve had some interesting debates lately on the subject of video games and violence. Do games cause violence and deviant behavior? To date, I have been unable to find a single report PROVING that there’s any kind of causal relationship between video game playing and actual acts of violence. I have researched the subject extensively and continue to believe that the relationship between video games and violence is a link only proved to be a correlation at best and extremely casual when it comes to correlation.
I’m not saying that there aren’t negative effects on people when it comes to gaming, but it’s something that’s really far and few between. I also believe that most studies that claim to provide the link necessary to prove that gaming is bad also tend to lump in all media into one study. I certainly believe that television is a far worse influence on kids than video games have ever been. I’m not saying there’s any reason to be up in arms concerning television either. I believe that the true solution to the problem is educating the parents, not supporting forms of censorship. Like Potter Stewart once said, “censorship reflects society’s lack of confidence in itself. It is a hallmark of an authoritarian regime”.
A recent study done by L. Rowell Huesmann, Ph.D. titled ‘The Impact of Electronic Media Violence: Scientific Theory and Research’ was published in the Journal of Adolescent Health. The report finds that exposure to video games and media such as television raise the risk of violent behavior in children. Although I do not agree with the findings, it’s up to you to decide what you think. The report lists “media violence and aggression” as a bigger public health threat than things such as sexually transmitted diseases and breast cancer. While some people may side with the study, I certainly don’t. Many studies like this are incomplete and ignore the thousands of other factors that may play into violent behavior.
Since the early 1960s, research evidence has been accumulating that suggests that exposure to violence in television, movies, video games, cell phones, and on the Internet increases the risk of violent behavior on the viewer’s part, just as growing up in an environment filled with real violence increases the risk of them behaving violently. In the current review this research evidence is critically assessed and the psychological theory that explains why exposure to violence has detrimental effects for both the short and long-term is elaborated. Finally the size of the “media violence effect” is compared with some other well-known threats to society to estimate how important a threat it should be considered.
Click on the via link below to read the actual report: