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Research 1: Aggressive Games Make People Violent vs Less Violent

This concept or though has been going back and forth within the virtual world.  Do individuals who play aggressive video games make them more violent or less violent?  Reading What Science Knows About Video Games and Violence by Brandon Keim, readers try to look at both sides.  A thought that Keim brought up was that Adam Lanza, who happened to be the Newtown Connecticut shooter at the small elemantary school, “was an avid Call of Duty player” however there could be a thought that the first shooter game didn’t in fact influence the Lanza at all.  Which this can then seem even more disturbing.  Later within the article, Keim finds an Ohio State University psychology, Brad Bushman, who is a specialist in the idea of first person shooter influence real world violence he states, ” We did a comprehensive review of every experimental study, reviewing 381 effects from studies involving 130,000 people, and results show that playing violent video games increases aggressive thoughts, angry feelings, and physiological arousal.”  But to Bushman these violent video games are not the source of violence however they are the “amplifier” or the start.  The there’s the thought of comic books or board games.  More specifically comic books.  What came before video games that kept individuals busy at the time for entertainment?  Comic books.  At this time young children or young adults would look at these crime fighting heroes and give them the thought to stop bad or even portray violence among them will be okay.  This thought is brought up by psychiatrist of University of Central Florida, Ryan Hall who states, “I don’t think we have enough science to suggest that playing video games causes violence in children any more than watching violence on TV.”  At first reading one of the books I thought it was a ridiculous thought to train Military’s using video games, but now I kind of want to take back that comment after reading this article.  Gary Slutkin, the founder of Cure Violence, which has been a successful organization that has reduced gun violence in Baltimore and Chicago, which have been noted to be recognized as one of the most dangerous cities within our country.  But something that he states is that our U.S. military  actually uses these games to train our soliders to be able to break down the instinctive repulsion of killing.  The argument can honestly go back and forth but for now, nothing is officially set in stone if video games do or don’t cause any violence at all within today’s society.  All we do know from this article is that it can lead towards aggressiveness and thoughts of aggression.  Not violence.



2 thoughts on “Research 1: Aggressive Games Make People Violent vs Less Violent

  1. This is clearly an important social issue which is evidenced by the fact that a significant amount of the research on video games focuses on this concern. I do think that it is important to put video games in the context of other factors. When I was in high school the focus was on violent themes in music (primarily rap music). However, certainly violence in television and other media is also a factor. I was reading an article the other day discussing the availability of internet porn, particularly the violent variety. There’s probably also some research on cross-cultural considerations, so one can look at the Pacific rim nations, Canada, Europe, etc. and see if there are correlations.

    Posted by Alex Reid | June 19, 2013, 8:56 am
    • That’s what I find so fascinating about this topic. It honestly can go either way. Just to bring up the Newtown, Connecticut shooting up and possibly link that up with Call of Duty which can lead to violent behavior is remarkable as it is. But honestly whether people have looked in all directions on where violent behavior comes from, has anyone really thought about media being a source of it too? Last semester I was taking a Journalism Class and this was a big dispute in the class. The thought that the class was having as a whole was if media influence people to display any violent behaviors or not? With serial killers seeing others like them on television or on the paper, one is trying to top the other. That was one of the main thoughts that was going on within the class. But no one knows for sure if that is why they portrayed these violent behaviors or not. Just like if violent video games influence negative or violent behaviors for their players/ gamers. It’s a toss up that can go either way.

      Posted by ecflyer91 | June 19, 2013, 3:50 pm

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