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How Violent Video Games Cause Violence

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Abstract

My theory is that violent video games by itself don’t cause violent tendencies, which means that if a person is not in a violent environment, to begin with, the video games most likely won’t cause ideas for the person to act upon, but if the person is in a violent environment, for example, there is a lot of fighting around the neighborhood, this can affect the person when they do play violent video games, which the games will give them ideas on what they can do. I hypothesize that violent video games on its own will not cause the person to have violent tendencies, because the games are meant to be a stress relief for people not adding onto stress. The independent variable is violent video games, where the experimental group will play violent video games, while the controlled group will play no games at all. The dependent variable is the violent behavior that may or may not happen during the experiment, this will show if violent video games will cause violent tendencies. The confounding variable would be the environment the person is currently in. When they are in an environment that has violence already, that may cause the person to already have violent tendencies, to begin with, violent video games may cause the person to act on those violent thoughts, and violent video games may give the person ideas on violent acts. The people who would benefit and/or be interested in this would be people who do play violent video games or people who play video games in general. Parents would also be interested in this because they want to make sure their children are not having violent tendencies, causing violence when they somewhere outside of the home and/or at home. Also, schools would be interested because they do not want students to be causing violence at the school, especially to the staff and other students, they want schools to be a safe environment for everyone at the school.

Violent Video Games

This was the first article ‘Violent Video Games Don’t Increase Hostility in Teens, but They Do Stress Girls Out.’ This article agrees that violent video games don’t cause violence. The impact of violent videogames on youth remains unclear given inconsistent results in past literature. Most previous experimental studies have been done with college students, not youth. The current study examined the impact of VVGs in an experimental study of teens. Participants were randomized to play either a violent or non-violent video game. Teens also reported their levels of stress and hostility both before and after video gameplay. Hostility levels neither decreased nor increased following violent gameplay, and Bayesian analysis confirmed that results are supportive of the null hypothesis. The stress level in boys decreased after playing violent video games. By contrast, VVG exposure increased stress, but only for girls. The impact of VVGs on teen hostility is minimal. However, players unfamiliar with such games may find them unpleasant. These results are put into the context of Uses and Gratifications Theory with suggestions for how medical professionals should address the issue of VVG play with concerned parents. This article shows that violent video games don’t cause people to be violent, and since this was a study on teens, it shows that even teens won’t be affected by VVG’s either. Violent video games cause stress on females only in this study because of all the gory things that happen in the game. Parents should keep an eye on what types of games their children should be playing, because the games can be very gory, and not safe for children at a young age, to see all the graphic scenes. In conclusion, violent video games don’t cause violence but increase stress in females

This is the second article which is called, ‘The lone gamer: Social exclusion predicts violent video game preferences and fuels aggressive inclinations in adolescent players.’ This article is against that violent video games don’t cause violence, but causes violence instead. Violent video game playing has been linked to a wide range of negative outcomes, especially in adolescents. In Study 1, 121 adolescents were randomly assigned to manipulation of social exclusion. No such effect was found for included participants. In Study 2, both inclusionary status and video game content were manipulated. After manipulation of inclusionary status, 113 adolescents were randomly assigned to play either a violent or nonviolent video game. Then, they were allowed to express their aggressive inclinations toward the excluders. Overall, these findings suggest that exclusion increases preferences for violent games and that the combination of exclusion and violent game playing fuels aggressive inclinations. Though this article shows that kids and teens show aggressive behaviors, they do not gain violent tendencies. They may show aggressive behavior such as cursing, and slamming the table, but that is because video games in general cause stress depending on the game, and it also causes ‘rage’ which is the part with cursing and slamming. That doesn’t mean that kids or teens will suddenly go cause some type of violence outside the video game world. Though video games, not just violent video games, do cause some form of stress or anger issues, but not violence.

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This is the third article, ‘Video games and health: Sorting science from popular beliefs: Many believe games cause gun violence.’ This article is saying that violent video games don’t cause violence. What is less agreed upon is whether video games are an overall benefit or hindrance to players and society. Many Americans continue to believe that video games cause gun violence, with the issue raised again after recent U.S. mass shootings. The 2017 Pew study found that 65% of adults believed video games contribute a great deal or a fair amount to gun violence (Warnick, 2019). The belief was even higher among people 65 and older, with 82% of seniors making the connection (Warnick, 2019). But what people think does not always line up with what science finds. Harvard University researchers recently examined three meta-analyses that make conflicting claims of video game and aggression research. Their resulting study, published in June in Perspectives on Psychological Science, found that while conclusions from researchers may vary, the available data are essentially in agreement–video games may be associated with a small but potentially negligible increase in aggressive behavior. But research on video games, as a whole, says almost nothing on video games and mass violence, according to Maya Mathur, Ph.D., co-author of the analysis. Beyond aggression, there are also growing concerns about video game addiction. The problem is widespread enough that the World Health Organization included internet gaming disorder in its 11th revision of the International Classification of Diseases, which goes into effect in January 2022. ‘Usually, the drive to excessive gaming comes from something outside of games, not the game itself,’ he said (Warnick, 2019). The positive effects of video games have also been documented by science. Some games that require motion by users provide more intense exercise than unstructured outdoor play, according to a 2015 study in Games for Health Journal that tracked players with accelerometers. Sports video games such as bowling and golf call for users to emulate moves of real players and dance games require users to perform vigorous activity. Video games can also provide meaningful activity for people with disabilities, according to Able Gamers, a nonprofit organization that provides specialized gaming equipment. A third of the respondents said that video games helped with pain management. ‘If you enjoy video games, they’re effective at reducing stress,’ Ferguson said (Wanrick, 2019). Other studies on video games have studied cognitive effects. They found that video game players scored higher in tests of attention, perception, cognitive flexibility and spatial cognition. Eighty percent of children ages 2 to 10 play video games, averaging 14 hours a week, according to an August report from EEDAR. ‘Our children would be much worse off without games,’ Gray said (Wanrick, 2019). A 2014 study in Pediatrics found that an hour of video game play per day is ideal for children. However, benefits disappear if game time extends to three hours or more. This is telling us that games have benefits to them, but if played for a long period then it starts losing its benefits, but it still does not cause kids to be more violent.

Method

To start the experiment that will be conducted, there should be participants, and the participants should be carefully picked out. The experiment needs people who usually don’t play video games at all, especially non-violent ones. The observers randomly select 80 adults who work typically work for long hours. The participants are then explained what is going to happen in the experiment that they will be participating in. The observers explain that there will be one group playing video games, specifically in the violent category, and there will be another group who will be playing no games at all. These groups will be called the experimental group and the control group. Then the observers added that the experimental group will play games for at least 1-2 hours a day, for a month. The games will be free of choice, but it has to be in the category of violence. Before the experiment there will be questions to get an understanding of how you are now, then after the experiment, there will be questions again to see how you are then. After the experiment is done there will be a debrief telling you how the experiment went. The participants may leave if they do not want to participate, and if they wish to continue, then they will have to sign some papers saying they understand the experiment and wish to proceed. There were 80 participants at the beginning, 30 people left because they didn’t want to be a part of this experiment, now that leaves 50 people for the experiment. The participants are then asked questions separately, in a private room. They are asked questions about how they are feeling, how life at home is, how work is, how old they are, and what kind of neighborhood they live in. To get a sense of how they live and how they feel because the observers don’t want people who are already in a violent state of mind. Most participants are mostly stressed instead of having any violent thoughts while being questioned, and the participants are around the ages of 30-40. Most live in a decent neighborhood, where there aren’t high crime rates. There are 30 males and 20 females, and they will be randomly put into the experimental group and control group. There will be more people in the experimental group than the control group. There will be 20 males and 10 females in the experimental group and 10 males and 10 females in the control group. Once the people are in their groups, they are told that the experiment will be starting. The experimental group is provided consoles to be able to play violent video games, they are also provided violent video games such as Grand Theft Auto, Call of Duty, etc. While the control group won’t be allowed to play any games at all, not even non-violent games. The experimental group is allowed to play any game, they can switch between different games, the only thing they have to do is play the games at least 1-2 hours a day. After a month, the observers gather the participants to ask them questions individually. The experimental group said that they experience some anger, like yelling and cursing, but only the games that are competitive, such as PvP games (PvP means Player vs Player). The games helped with stress levels only for the males, it reduced their stress level by 40% and that some participants played more than others, some played for 5-7 hours a day because it helped with stress, and no participants in the experimental group experienced any violent thoughts at all. Females, on the other hand, experienced a little more stress instead of reducing stress. At first, the violent video games were hard and confusing, since they never experienced these games before, also some of the games that were provided were uncomfortable to play because of the graphic scenes that were introduced, so they added that teens shouldn’t be playing those types of games. The control group experienced the same stress they had or more stress than before, but none had violent thoughts, but this may lead to violent thoughts if more and more stress is added to them.

In conclusion of the experiment, violent video games do not cause the individual to have violent thoughts and act upon them, but it can cause stress. It can also cause anger only for a short period, usually during the time they played games, but after there was no anger. All types of video games may release some stress off of the individual, but it is not guaranteed, violent video games are graphic, so that may also cause discomfort to the individual. Overall, violent video games do not cause violence. This was also explained to the participants, so they can see how the study went, and see how video games can affect them, in a good way and bad way. They got to hear the results of the study.

References

  1. Ferguson, C., Trigani, B., Pilato, S., Miller, S., Foley, K., & Barr, H. (2016). Violent Video Games Don’t Increase Hostility in Teens, but They Do Stress Girls Out. Psychiatric Quarterly, 87(1), 49–56. https://doi-org.ezproxy.aclin.org:2443/10.1007/s11126-015-9361-7
  2. Gabbiadini, A., & Riva, P. (2018). The lone gamer: Social exclusion predicts violent video game preferences and fuels aggressive inclinations in adolescent players. Aggressive Behavior, 44(2), 113–124. https://doi-org.ezproxy.aclin.org:2443/10.1002/ab.21735
  3. Warnick, A. (2019, October). Video games and health: Sorting science from popular beliefs: Many believe games cause gun violence. The Nation’s Health, 49(8), 1+. Retrieved from https://link-gale-com.ezproxy.aclin.org:2443/apps/doc/A603632157/HRCA?u=auro06185&sid=HRCA&xid=94f01196

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How Violent Video Games Cause Violence. (2022, Jun 29). Edubirdie. Retrieved November 27, 2022, from https://edubirdie.com/examples/how-violent-video-games-cause-violence/
“How Violent Video Games Cause Violence.” Edubirdie, 29 Jun. 2022, edubirdie.com/examples/how-violent-video-games-cause-violence/
How Violent Video Games Cause Violence. [online]. Available at: <https://edubirdie.com/examples/how-violent-video-games-cause-violence/> [Accessed 27 Nov. 2022].
How Violent Video Games Cause Violence [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2022 Jun 29 [cited 2022 Nov 27]. Available from: https://edubirdie.com/examples/how-violent-video-games-cause-violence/
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