Violent Video Games
Copyright Microsoft Clipart
In a world where there is so much to protect our children from is it worth a parentís time and energy to monitor and control the video games that children play? Or are these games simply entertaining diversions? Except for a few studies, the scientific research clearly shows that playing violent video games can make children more aggressive. Limiting your childís use of violent video games may help them behave in more positive ways and succeed socially and academically.
How Violent Games Encourage Aggression
Scientific research has shown time and again that children learn from what they see on a screen. If they see violence being rewarded, they are going to learn that being aggressive is a good way to get what they want. Believing this can have long term effects on childrenís behavior.
After seeing media violence, children are more likely to imitate that violence. But direct imitation is only a small part of the issue. Playing these games primes children to behave aggressively; it gets them ready to act out in the next situation, whatever it might be. After playing a violent video game, a child who can normally handle frustration may lash out when things donít go his or her way.
It is important to remember that it may not matter if the violence in the video game is graphic or real looking. There is some evidence that even cartoony violence without blood can make children more aggressive. Video games can teach children that violence brings rewards without showing guts and gore.
Currently, state and federal governments are attempting to pass laws that punish retailers for selling violent video games to minors. These laws are being challenged in court as unconstitutional by video game producers. The majority of the laws have been overthrown by the courts with judges deciding that the laws impinge unnecessarily on the freedom of speech of the video game creators.
What Parents Can Do
While retailers can restrict the sale of some video games to children (either on their own accord or under the charge of law), parents are truly the final bastion between their children and violent video games. It is up to them whether or not to allow the gaming systems and the games into their homes.
What can you as a parent do to protect your children from violent video games?