The Effects of Violent Video Games on Children By: Name, College affiliation
Comparative Analysis • Researchers had kids play Medal of Honor or Need for Speed and then used brain imaging (fMRI) to study brain function • The causal link between viewing violence and behaving aggressively • The kids who played the violent game has less activity in the parts of the brain which control inhibition, concentration, self-control and emotional arousal. The kids who played the non violent game had normal brain function.
Continuation In total, the research on exposure to video and television violence suggests that playing violent video games will increase aggressive behavior in children and young adults. This finding is supported by experimental and field studies among both males and females. Research indicates also that exposure to video violence increases psychological arousal and aggression-related thoughts and feelings.
Statistics • A study was conducted by the National Institute on Media and the Family using children between the ages of 7-14 to see how difficult it is for minors to purchase video games rated M. • Adolescents were successful 100% of the time in stores that didn’t have a policy but in retailers with a policy, the teens were only able to buy the games 30% of the time. • 79% of the stores surveyed report that they have a policy prohibiting the sale of M-rated games to youth under 17. • Only 55% of stores educate the public about ratings and 49% formally train their personnel in the ratings.
Surveys • Surveyed high school students • Those who had more exposure to violent video games: • held more pro-violent attitudes • had more hostile personalities • were less forgiving • believed violence to be more typical • behaved more aggressively in their everyday lives • there was no difference in video game effect between boys and girls • exposure to violent video games was a better predictor of violent behavior than their gender or own beliefs about violence.
Results • Increases Physiological Arousal • Heart rate and blood pressure • Increases Aggressive Thoughts • Hostile Attribution Bias (Kirsh, 1998) • Increases Aggressive Emotions • Students who were more “addicted” to video games were significantly more likely to be in a bad mood before, during, and after playing than were non-addicted students (Griffiths & Hunt, 1998).
Use of Video Games • 67% of households with children own video game systems. • At least half of U.S. children are now using the Internet for homework, games, and entertainment. • Violent themes compose 60% – 90% of the most popular video games. • 90% of 4th graders and 75% of 8th graders report playing 1 or more hours per week either at home or arcades.
Those who played prosocial games: were more likely to help others were more willing to help in further experiments intervened more often when someone was being harassed Note: playing violent video games increased antisocial behaviour and decreased prosocial behaviour
Video Game Statistics On average, youths between the ages of 8-18 spend 40 hours per week using some type of media, not counting school or homework assignments. Television is viewed most often, but the popularity of other video media is rising. Approximately 10% of youths ages 2-18 play console and computer video games more than 1 hour per day.
Video Game Rating System Early Everyone Teen Mature Adults Ratings Childhood Only Pending Animated Blood - Discolored and/or unrealistic depictions of blood Blood - Depictions of blood Blood and Gore - Depictions of blood or the mutilation of body parts Cartoon Violence - Violent actions involving cartoon-like situations and characters. May include violence where a character is unharmed after the action has been inflicted Fantasy Violence - Violent actions of a fantasy nature, involving human or non-human characters in situations easily distinguishable from real life Intense Violence - Graphic and realistic-looking depictions of physical conflict. May involve extreme and/or realistic blood, gore, weapons, and depictions of human injury and death Mild Violence - Mild scenes depicting characters in unsafe and/or violent situations Sexual Violence - Depictions of rape or other sexual acts Strong Lyrics - Explicit and/or frequent references to profanity, sex, violence, alcohol, or drug use in music Violence - Scenes involving aggressive conflict
Video Game Statistics Approximately 15% of men entering college played at least 6 hours per week of video games as high school seniors (1999). Violent video games increased in popularity during the 1990’s. In games such as Mortal Kombat, Street Fighter, and Wolfenstein 3D, the object is to maim, wound, or kill opponents. The violence is graphic visually and in its sound effects.
Video Games are classified into the following groups: *Early Childhood *Everyone ages 6 and older *Everyone ages 10 and older *Teen ages 13 and older *Mature 17years +
Theoretical Rationale Children are more likely to imitate the actions of a character with whom they identify. In violent video games the player is often required to take the point of view of the shooter or perpetrator. Video games by their very nature require active participation rather than passive observation.
Negative Effects of Violent Video Games on Children • Fosters social isolation • Women often portrayed as weaker characters that are helpless sex objects or portrayed in sexually provocative manner • Plots often based upon violence and aggression • Reinforces stereotypes of ethnic and gender groups • Can confuse reality and fantasy • Lowers children’s inhibitions • Increases desensitization • Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Clip
Who plays video games?* 88% of households have some form of video game* 70% of gamers are aged 18+* The average gamer is aged 24 – 35 years. Most gamers have been playing for approximately 11 years
The Solution: Video Games • The following statements that could come from a child have a common solution: • I’m bored and I need something to do. • I’m stressed out and I need some way to relax. • I don’t want to necessarily do my work right away. • I want to have some entertainment. • I need to waste some time. • When a child may feel these ways and more, a common thing it may turn to are video games, a source of various types of entertainment.
What’s The Big Deal About Video Games? • Many kids have these types of games, which is basically virtual entertainment with various kinds available from racing to adventure and such. • Some kinds of games are suited by age and as a result, these games are rated based on content and the age appropriate group for what is in store for the player. • Some games however, may not be ranked correctly in the case of violent video games which is a concern since it exposes many to trouble.
What’s Wrong With Violent Video Games? • Violent video games contain many kinds of scenes that should not be exposed to children whose minds are still developing. • These games encourage violence toward others, no matter who they are in terms of species from animals to humans. • These kinds of games tend to raise adrenaline which lead to stimulus addiction which may lead to a decline in schoolwork.
Do Violent Video Games Get Worse? • YES • Violent video games can become problematic for a person’s mind cause a player to have a more aggressive mindset. • Besides the images it possesses, it’s a way to practice being violent in several ways. • This also leads to some problems indirectly such as obesity and low performance in school.
So Why Are Violent Video Games So Bad? Violent skills are required and used by the player in order to achieve success. With repeated actions of this violence, people practice these horrible acts and eventually learn to cause harm efficiently. There are no rules to prohibit killing in most cases which give the player many opportunities to harm. With a person wanting to kill more and more, aggressive behavior tends to increase in a person.
Does It Get Worse? • People may get addicted to these games which lead to a person practicing this violence more and more. • Recent violent video games tend to have realistic graphics giving the player an experience in what seems like real life. • Overall, a person is desensitized to violence when playing which is not a good thing especially since children who are usually playing these games are developing and are incorporating this to their growth.
What’s The Big Deal About Desensitization • A child may become more aggressive in reality since they practice this in their games. • A child may have trouble during confrontations with educators and peers since in video games, they teach themselves to be violent. • A person may have trouble distinguishing what is right or wrong after constant exposure to this violence since what is approved in these games tend to be frowned upon in reality.
So Has “Desensitization” Led To Something Bad? • Despite a child’s belief that these games are nothing, they really do lead to a change in a person’s mind. • This desensitization is also able to lead to changes in everyday life by having trouble with focusing in school and leads to aggressive behavior within ones self and with others. • Desensitization has actually even led to something bad such as crimes and murders.
Columbine Incident • In 1999, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, students of a high school in Colorado, attacked several people at their school. • Thirteen people were shot and killed and twenty-three were wounded. Afterward, the two turned the guns on themselves. • The reason? There are many who say that it was the bloody, first-person shooter games that influenced them to do it. • When the case was investigated, it was found that Eric had rigged his already violent video games and made them his own customized shooting game, where the second player couldn't fight back against the first player. • More than a year after he had been playing these personalized games of violence, Eric and Dylan seemed to have brought this scenario very much to life.
“Manhunt” • Are some violent video games direct links to murder? • A video game called "Manhunt" was taken off the shelves after a fourteen year old boy was murdered by a seventeen year old who had played the game. • "Manhunt" was said to be what influenced the seventeen year old to kill the fourteen year old, because apparently the game was essentially "a video instruction on how to murder somebody" as claimed by the victim's father.
So What Was In Common? • Both games were heavily based on violent ideas. • All three teens were accused of murder under the influence of violent video gaming. • These violent video games show the effects of severe desensitization to the point where crimes and deaths occurred. • The games were violent enough to the point where the players were able to learn how to apply their skills in this virtual simulation into real life.
Some Things Parents Can Do Talk to your children about violent video games. Instead of violent video games, give your children educational, interactive games that are not violent and fun. Work to help outlaw the sale of violent video games to children in your community. Discuss values and concerns with other parents. Teach your children how to make responsible choices. Understand the risks of allowing your child to be exposed to violence in violent video games.
Understand ESRB Ratings! EC means Early Childhood.These games are appropriate for ages3 and older. E means Everyone. These games are recommended for ages 6 and older. E10+ stands for Everyone 10 and older. T rated games are for Teens, 13 years and older. The M means Mature and are for ages 17 and older. AO stands for Adults Only. These games are meant forpeople ages 18 and older. RP, or Rating Pending means the game is waiting for a final rating.
Some Helpful Organizations • MAVAV (Mothers Against Videogame Addiction and Violence) warns parents of the dangers of video games. • CBS’s 60 minutes warns people of the consequences of violent video games, such as Grand Theft Auto when reporting about Devin Moore who killed several people after playing this game that involved killing and stealing. • Organizations such as GRB (Game Rating Board), VRC (Videogame Rating Council), RSAC (Recreational Software Advisory Council ), and ESRB (Entertaining Software Rating Board) give games ratings so that consumers can buy appropriate games.
Summary of What Can Be Done • Parents can help children avoid desensitization by talking to their children and encouraging other types of games such as educational ones. • Understanding ESBR ratings can help a parent understand the kind of game they are buying for their children and understand what games are appropriate for them to play. • There are also organizations and television shows promoting more restrictions on violent video games which could be supported to have legislation on the sale of video games which could protect a child from potential harm.
Overall • Violent video games are a bad influence since while children believe that they are being “entertained”, they are exposing themselves to violence that can seem realistic in some situations. • Supporting organizations seeking to control how these games are sold will help with supporting this point. • Parents to understand what they are letting their children see and practice so no tragedies occur. • Violent video games are a problem for a child’s developing mind since it exposes them to violence so it would be wise to not promote violent video games.
Myths and Facts Myth 8. Unrealistic video game violence is completely safe for adolescents and older youths. Facts: Cartoonish and fantasy violence is often perceived (incorrectly) by parents and public policy makers as safe even for children. However, experimental studies with college students have consistently found increased aggression after exposure to clearly unrealistic and fantasy violent video games.
Myths and Facts Myth 9. The effects of violent video games are trivially small. Facts: Meta-analyses reveal that violent video game effect sizes are larger than the effect of second hand tobacco smoke on lung cancer, the effect of lead exposure to I.Q. scores in children, and calcium intake on bone mass. Furthermore, the fact that so many youths are exposed to such high levels of video game violence further increases the societal costs of this risk factor.
Cases :First-person shooter Highest immersion factor “ see through the eyes of the character in the game” Virtual effects Columbine High School shooter mentioned in their own video
Influence on children • Increase aggressive behavior, desensitization toviolence, fear, depression, nightmares, and sleep disturbances • Interaction -> enforce learning • Video game: ideal tool when used to learn violent behavior • Vulnerable to learning and adopting violent behavior • Kids younger than 8 • cannot discriminate betweenfantasy and reality
Violence in children • Interpersonal violence • More prevalent than infectious, cancer, congenital disorder • the most prevalent cause of injury(33%) • Homicide, suicide, and trauma • leading causes of mortalityin the pediatric population, • cumulative death ratesof 22.8/100000in 5-14yo ,114.4/100000in 15-21yo
Current regulation • Entertainment Software Rating Board • game industry’s self-regulatory body • Game companies must follow ”Principles and Guidelines for Responsible Advertising Practices”
Current legislation Truth in Video Game Rating Act (Introduced in Senate) Video Game Rating Enforcement Act of 2008 (Introduced in Senate) Children Protection from Video Game Violence and Sexual Content Act (Introduced in House) An act to amend the general business law, in relation to prohibiting sale of certain video games to minors ( NY states)
Summary To check the effects, children should be helped to understand that: Real life violence hurts people. Real weapons hurt or kill people. If a show is scary or confusing, they can talk to an adult about it. Violent toys, shows, & games may seem exciting in “pretend”, but real–life violence is not fun.
References • · Hartmann, T., & Vorderer, P. (2010). It’s okay to shoot a character: moral disengagement in violent video games. Journal of Communication, 60, 94–119. doi: 10.1111/j.1460-2466.2009.01459.x · • Saleem, M., Anderson, C., & Gentile, D. (2012). Effects of prosocial, neutral, and violent video games on children’s helpful and hurtful behaviors. Aggressive Behavior, volume 38, 281-287. doi: 10.1002/ab.21428