Short on time?

Get essay writing help

Refutation of the Idea that Violent Games Lead to Aggressive Behavior

  • Words: 1985
  • |
  • Pages: 4
  • This essay sample was donated by a student to help the academic community. Papers provided by EduBirdie writers usually outdo students' samples.

Video games have increasingly become a favourite activity amongst a widespread of children and adolescents providing entertainment, social interaction and relaxation. The gaming industry has become a global phenomenon with an estimated worth last reported at $134.9 billion in 2018 (Batchelor, 2018). Video games are a programmed universe, which allows humans to interact with a user interface that produces a visual feedback on a two-or-three-dimensional scale. Since the launch of the first 2D video game (e.g. Pong), technology has rapidly evolved and brought consumers 3D video games with a multitude of different genres as well as a set of skills required to put forth. The most played videogame genre is action videogames, particularly first-person shooters (FPSs, e.g., Mortal Kombat, Battlefield, Call of Duty) (Nuyens, 2018). The purpose of FPS games is based on advancing from one mission to another without the game character dying whilst simultaneously engaging in brutal mass killings of the opposite opponent as the primary strategy for winning the game. Roy Morgan, an Australian market research company, reported eight million Australians aged 14 and over have a gaming device at home (Roy Morgan, 2018). As the number of gamers increase, ongoing debates have raised a concern about the underlying effects video games promote and whether they lead to aggravated aggression like behaviours.

Video games allow players a virtual playground to experience the cognitive, motivational, emotional, and social benefits of gaming (Granic, Lobel, & Engels, 2014). For instance, first-person shooter games can promote cognitive skills and therefore be applied into real-world contexts (Granic, Lobel, & Engels, 2014). It is said that the elements of gameplay include to “…work toward meaningful goals, persevere in the face of multiple failures, and celebrate in rare moments of triumph after successfully completing challenging tasks” (Cade & Gates, 2016). Violent video games exhibit those elements and as a result have become a popular and successful game of choice to consumers and game makers. The entertainment software rating board assigns age and content ratings to every game, “M” is denoted for mature audience viewing who are ages 17+ and associated with violent video games however video games seen as holding educational value have misleadingly assigned what they consider “appropriate” violent content for age groups. Furthermore, school shootings have strongly made deterministic connections between violent video games and aggression which has constructed a concern view to the public eye. Most of the literature proposes that violent video games do place an effect on aggression, physiological arousal and prosocial behaviour (Anderson, 2004). However, some findings have shown that is not the case.

The aim of this essay is to argue that violent video games do not lead to aggressive behaviour. As supporting evidence, empirical studies by Kuhn et al., (2018) investigates violent video games as having no effect on behaviour and Gentile, Lynch, Linder and Walsh (2004) to portray the effects of aggression. Both studies will be described and analysed with positive and negative effects explored. Following on, the findings of these studies will be integrated with evidence from wider literature to explore the issues of unstandardized measures of aggression, publication bias as well as methodological issues in previous studies. Finally, conclusions will be formed from the integration of evidence, real-world implications and future research will be considered.

Kuhn et al., (2018) investigated the effect of violent video games on aggression. Subjects were 90 college students or the general community aged 18-54 years (48 females). None of the participants had ever played the game Grand Theft Auto V or Sims 3. Participants were randomly assigned to play either a violent, non-violent or no video game (passive control group). The violent game group played Grand Theft Auto V on a PlayStation 3 console over a period of 8 weeks. The non-violent game group played Sims 3 on the same console. Both training groups were instructed to play the game for at least 30 min a day. The passive control group did not play any video games but underwent the same testing procedure. No significant changes were observed, neither when comparing the group playing a violent video game to a group playing a non-violent game, nor to a passive control group. No effects were observed between baseline and post-test directly after the intervention, nor between baseline and a follow-up assessment 2 months after the intervention period had ended. However, short-term effects saw aggressiveness lasted This study supports the argument that violent video games do not lead to aggressive behaviour and was able to make connections between contemporary video games as well as the short- and long-term effects on gaming. However, using participants that had no previous experience to gaming and the games chosen could be an inaccurate representation of results reporting there were no effects associated with violence and could merely be a result of trait hostility.

On the contrary, Gentile, Lynch, Linder and Walsh (2004) investigated the effects of violent video game habits on adolescent hostility. Six hundred and seven 8th-grade and 9th-grade students (52% male) were recruited from four Midwestern schools; one urban private school, two suburban public schools, and one rural public school. The mean age was 14 years and 87% of the respondents were Caucasian. Each participant completed an anonymous survey that gathered descriptive data about how frequently they played a game measured on a 7-point Likert scale (1 = “rarely”, 7 = “often”), how much violence they preferred to have in their video games measured on a 5-point scale (1=‘‘a lot less’’, 5=‘‘a lot more’’), how often their parents checked the rating on a game measured on a 5 point scale (ranging from ‘‘always’’ to ‘‘never’’), how often they would engage in arguments with their teachers measured on a 4-point scale (ranging from ‘‘Almost daily’’ to ‘‘Less than monthly’’) as well as school performance and trait hostility. Results found that adolescents who were exposed to violent video games more were regarded as hostile, reported getting into arguments with teachers, were frequently involved in physical fights, and performed poorly in school.

The study focused on a large cohort of gender-balanced children which allowed an understanding of how younger ages perceive violent video games and the potential effects that could inhibit development as children get older. The use of standardised questionnaires and a Likert scale made it efficient and easy for children however the correlational nature of this study doesn’t allow for causal relationships between aggression and violent video games to be drawn. The nature of a survey means that results were heavily reliant on the participants response which may have been bias and neglected a real gaming experience to observe how children behave in those given scenarios.

Save your time!
We can take care of your essay
  • Proper editing and formatting
  • Free revision, title page, and bibliography
  • Flexible prices and money-back guarantee
Place Order

The results of the two studies combined support the argument that violent video games do not lead to aggressive behaviour although each design represented a weakness and lacked an overall definitive result. Kuhn et al., (2018) was an experimental design which generally needs a large sample size to acquire an accurate portrayal of an effect. Gentile, Lynch, Linder and Walsh (2004) was a correlational design which cannot draw any causation between variables. As a result, it cannot be claimed that neither relationship exists between violent video games and aggression but simply able to raise concerns. Due to this lack of clarity, a look into the misinterpretation of video games based on less standardised and reliable measures will be explored followed by publication bias.

Ferguson & Kilburn (2010) explored several meta-analyses that found little evidence for a relationship between violent video games and aggression by questioning the findings by C. A. Anderson et al., (2010) who claimed such a relationship between violent video games and aggression exists. C. A. Anderson et al., (2010) included many studies that did not relate to aggression, a biased sample of unpublished studies, and a “best practices” analysis that was unreliable and does not consider the impact of unstandardized aggression measures on effect size estimates. Some studies failed to report any correlation between play and behaviour, significant statistics and any variation in game violence content (Ferguson & Kilburn, 2010). Therefore, the studies present in C. A. Anderson et al., (2010) do not provide meaningful results to infer a relationship between violent video games and aggression.

Ferguson & Kilburn (2010) also went on to discuss publication bias commonly observed in violent video game research and expressed concern that these studies have become politicized, which increases the risk for bias. Ferguson & Kilburn (2010) found publication bias in previous meta-analysis by Anderson (2004). In reflection to Gentile, Lynch, Linder and Walsh (2004) study, the possibility of prosocial behaviour was not accounted for so overall the effects of violent video games have overwhelmingly been exaggerated and scrutinised in the public eye.

The last point draws attention to methodological issues of previous studies. Gentile, Lynch, Linder and Walsh (2004) suggested some studies explored personality traits such as hostility may mediate the effects of violence. The General Aggression Model is designed to accommodate these variables. This is an issue of importance because potentially people who are affected by violent video games tend to naturally be more aggressive than those who are not hence when participants who have little to no gaming experience are recruited they are at a greater risk for increased aggression. Data has not been consistent with this hypothesis nor have many studies conducted to test it. The present research by Gentile, Lynch, Linder and Walsh (2004) found no interaction between trait hostility and exposure to video game violence. Another issue by Hind (1995) reported only the different kind of games their participants liked, not their reaction to playing these games or any correlation between play and behaviour which is the same flaw apparent in Gentile, Lynch, Linder and Walsh (2004) study which raises single respondent bias.

Violent video games have torn society as the ongoing debate about the positive and negative effects prevail. The aim of this essay is to argue that violent video games do not lead to aggressive behaviour with support by empirical studies of Kuhn et al., (2018) demonstrated in favour of violent video games not leading to aggression and Gentile, Lynch, Linder and Walsh (2004) believed a relationship between violent video games and aggression exists. Both studies were primarily analysed. Secondly, the findings of these studies were integrated with evidence from wider literature to explore the issues of unstandardized measures of aggression, publication bias as well as methodological issues from previous studies. Ferguson & Kilburn (2010) found little evidence for a relationship between violent video games and aggression and claimed that C. A. Anderson et al., (2010) included studies that used less standardised and reliable measures of aggression and found strong evidence for publication bias. Lastly, Gentile, Lynch, Linder and Walsh (2004) examined methodological issues from previous violent video game research which were poorly constructed measures, unable to control variables and single respondent bias. Overview of the evidence presented confidently concludes that violent video games do not lead to aggressive behaviour.

Video games are a source of entertainment and enable children to think creatively through several stimulating facets and to allow this to continue it is crucial to address the future research and the real-world implications regarded to this area of research. The first and most important being publication bias. It distrusts the core principle of science and reliable information that gets sourced to the public, so it is imperative that future research makes modifications to their methodology. Secondly, society should be informed of this new research through outlets of the media to increase awareness of the positives and decrease parental anxiety on violent video games. Thirdly, tracking violent content and making sure it is correctly appropriate for the right age groups as well as parents taking more initiative to check video game ratings before allowing their child to play and lastly to produce significant results, future research should turn their attention to longitudinal designs to observe more prolonged effects. As the current debate stands, violent video games do not cause violence, they are simply misunderstood.

Make sure you submit a unique essay

Our writers will provide you with an essay sample written from scratch: any topic, any deadline, any instructions.

Cite this Page

Refutation of the Idea that Violent Games Lead to Aggressive Behavior. (2022, August 25). Edubirdie. Retrieved January 30, 2023, from https://edubirdie.com/examples/refutation-of-the-idea-that-violent-games-lead-to-aggressive-behavior/
“Refutation of the Idea that Violent Games Lead to Aggressive Behavior.” Edubirdie, 25 Aug. 2022, edubirdie.com/examples/refutation-of-the-idea-that-violent-games-lead-to-aggressive-behavior/
Refutation of the Idea that Violent Games Lead to Aggressive Behavior. [online]. Available at: <https://edubirdie.com/examples/refutation-of-the-idea-that-violent-games-lead-to-aggressive-behavior/> [Accessed 30 Jan. 2023].
Refutation of the Idea that Violent Games Lead to Aggressive Behavior [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2022 Aug 25 [cited 2023 Jan 30]. Available from: https://edubirdie.com/examples/refutation-of-the-idea-that-violent-games-lead-to-aggressive-behavior/
copy
Join 100k satisfied students
  • Get original paper written according to your instructions
  • Save time for what matters most
hire writer

Fair Use Policy

EduBirdie considers academic integrity to be the essential part of the learning process and does not support any violation of the academic standards. Should you have any questions regarding our Fair Use Policy or become aware of any violations, please do not hesitate to contact us via support@edubirdie.com.

Check it out!
close
search Stuck on your essay?

We are here 24/7 to write your paper in as fast as 3 hours.