Gaming proves to be a large preference of entertainment sought after by teenagers around the world. With the increase in technology, there proves to be an increase in the amount of adolescents participating in video games as a source of entertainment, particularly violent games. Although there prove to be few benefits in playing video games, studies show that engaging in violent game play results in a growing amount of aggression among adolescents in forms of behaviors, thoughts, and desensitization. Although violence is not new to the world, the access that the younger generation proves able to engage in proves to have increased as technology increases. The research being conducted on the effects of video games proves to be a newer study that has onset itself with the growing number of crimes being committed by teenagers. First, a study proves to deem violent video games a risk factor in terms of promoting aggressive behavior (Kimmig).
Although these studies prove to be controversial, the information should not be taken lightly. However, one must note that aggressive behavior does not solely rely on the exposure to games, but their influence should not be ignored. Alongside this, these games are shown to promote violent behavior due to the ability to actively engage and identify with the acts committed by the onscreen character. For example, a first person shooter game is being actively commanded by the player, therefore allowing for a more intimate version of the game (Bushman). These studies show that although violent behavior does not solely base itself on violent games, there influence on one's behavior should not be eliminated. Alongside the ability for violent video game's ability to promote aggressive behavior, proves to be the thoughts that accompany them. Although many teenagers engage in thoughts that are deemed violent, many do not act on this rage. However, accompanying violent video games into this mix proves to be an issue.
For example, the average time a young adult spends playing video games weekly stands at approximately 15 hours a week (Kimmig). With this much screen time focused on things such as murder, the thoughts that accompany this prove to be outstanding. Next, studies are also deeming video games to possess the addictive qualities that lead many to commit violent crimes. For example, 0.5 percent of all gamers and 1.7 percent of ninth graders experience symptoms associated with excessive video game use (Vitelli). When something becomes addictive, the thoughts oftentimes consume the person on a large scale. Therefore, while video games in themselves are not deemed addictive on the same scale as drugs or alcohol, the addictive qualities are presenting themselves in young adults, leading to the increasing thoughts of violence.
Finally, alongside the aggressive thoughts and behaviors, the exposure to a multitude of violent acts on a large scale leads to the desensitization among many adolescents. Although many link violent games to aggressive behavior, there are studies to show that it also links itself to the desentization to real life violence. This proves to be a large scale issue to the inability for students to react appropriately in situations that deem themselves as violent or aggressive. Instead of appropriate reactions, those who engage in long hours of violent game play may either be nonreactive or react positively where the situation deems the opposite. The correlation between video games and their link to violent behavior may link strongly to one's large amounts of play causing them to no longer react grotesquely to sights involving blood and gore (Bushman). These changes are shown to be chronic changes in the brainwaves that may have long term effects if not caught soon enough.
Therefore, desensitization proves to be a dramatic effect that leads to a snowball effect in violence among young adults. In conclusion, although violent video games are not the only component in deciding a violent young adult, the effects of game play should not be ruled out. The accompanying thoughts and behaviors that may arise with long hours of gameplay associated with mental health issues prove to be a dangerous combination that should be addressed with caution. Therefore, limiting violent video games proves to be a necessary action to preserve the minds of the future generations.
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