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Video Games Linked to Violence

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Video games linked to violence
Juan Gonzalez
South Plains College

“Video games are at the center of a debate over what is helpful or harmful to children and adolescents, and there is research to substantiate both sides. The existing research suggests that there are at least 5 dimensions on which video games can affect players: the amount of play, the content of play, the game context, the structure of the game, and the mechanics of game play.” (Gentile, et al., 2011, pg.75). Over the past few years, there have been many debates as to whether video games are the main cause for violence in children and teens. “An extensive body of research indicates that violent video games can increase aggressive behaviors, thoughts, and feelings.” (Anderson & Bushman, 2001; Anderson, Shibuya, Ihori et al., 2010; Ivory & Kaestle, et al., 2013, pg.224). But is it the type of game play, or just the video game itself? Video games have a rating system which ranges from kid games to more violent games which contain blood, gore, profanity and drug use; these games fall under the category rating for mature audiences.

Increasing the total amount of time played has various adverse effects on a person. Several factors including low school performance, risk of obesity, and several physical health problems can be related to the total amount of time played. (Gentile, et al., 2011) “Other health issues have also been linked to amount of game play. There are cases of children reporting repetitive stress injuries due to overuse of game controllers.” (Gentile, et al., 2011, pg.76)

But what exactly is affected, if anything, by video games? “An extensive body of research indicates that violent video games can increase aggressive behaviors, thoughts, and feelings.” (Anderson & Bushman, 2001; Anderson, Shibuya, Ihori et al., 2010; Ivory & Kaestle, et al., 2013,...

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