Video games were introduced to society back in the 1970’s. A game called Pong was developed in the year of 1972 gaining a lot of popularity. Back then video games were played on arcades and people had to put in quarters to be able to play the game. Now there are many different consoles that people can play video games on without having to pay each time they want to play a certain game. There are more than one million video games that vary in genres. They go from innocent games to ones that are not so innocent in another’s point of view. These not so “innocent” video games are ones that are violent. Ones that involve shooting and killing that a lot of people find so entertaining. Games that contain violent content affect those who play it because of the graphic actions they partake in. Showing images that should not be shown to young children whose brains are still developing, even though they are cartoon-like they still represent the same things that unfortunately can happen in real life. People can experience a change in behavior, thoughts, and even the way they feel about reality. Violent video games lead to increased violence in the real world and influence violent behavior in a person which is why there should restrictions when it comes to these types of games.
Children are more vulnerable when it comes to violent video games because their brain is still developing and their persona is shaping with them as they get older. A child who at an early age is playing violent video games, sees it as just having fun, something that is just normal. According to Craig Anderson he states “ Children who see a lot of violence are more likely to view violence as an effective way of settling conflicts.” This goes to show that at an early age children who are exposed to violent content see violence as a way to solve any problems that they have. They find it to be behavior that is allowable and when they get older these violent habits may still be present. Children then can become violent towards their peers and towards their parents or even any adult. It also affects the way they think of the world. They can come to think of it as an unsafe and dangerous world as Daniel J. Flannery states. The social development of a child can also be affected negatively. Restrictions are a good way to prevent children from being impacted by violence in video games at such an early age.
Violent video games mostly don’t show good things to young people. They show violence towards others and show criminal-like actions. For example Grand Theft Auto (GTA), is a game where the character steals cars and tries to escape from the police. That could give them the wrong idea of how the real world works, mixing virtual gaming with reality. Wiliam Sears, the author of Violent Video Games are Harmful to Young People, states “By the time typical American children reach the age of eighteen, they have seen 200,000 acts of violence and 40,000 murders on some sort of screen.” A child may even lose empathy towards another person because when they are playing a video game they don’t process what they are actually doing. Not only are children just being affected so are adults. One study says that college students experienced aggressive behavior after playing violent video games for 20 minutes for three days consecutively. They then are more accepting to violence because of how many hours they sit seeing it on a tablet, phone, or a console. There are studies that find that there is a correlation between violence in video games and a child’s violent behavior.
Not only do video games that contain violent content cause violent behavior, teach children bad things, it can also affect their mental health. Teens stay up playing video games and then the more they play the more they can’t stop and won’t stop. There are more than 60% of kids who say that when they go to play video games they play longer than what they were supposed to play for. Children have side effects from playing these types of games which consist of fatigue, headaches, nightmares and they even stop eating. According to William Sears “Some studies have even related seizure activity to violent screen time.” The cardiovascular system gets worked up and blood pressure elevates. Another effect that a child experiences is a high amount of dopamine that is called the “hype hormone.” David Greenfield, a psychologist from Connecticut says “ About 6 percent of gamers are addicted, doing poorly in school and becoming withdrawn as a result.” Violence can cause many problems to a young person therefore there should be additional restrictions on violent games and parents should even monitor their kids on what they play.