Do you have children who like to play video games especially the violent ones? If your answer is a yes then you are probably worried about it instilling aggression in your children.

The concept of Video Games

The concept of video games began in 1971 when the first arcade video game by Nutting, an arcade game manufacturer, was released. The company produced over 1500 Computer Space machines packaged with a 13-inch black-and-white TV set in a futuristic looking cabinet. The game failed to launch as many people found it difficult to play. At that same year, the manufacturer released ‘Pong’ a simple table tennis game in pubs which became successful.

By 1976 the company released ‘Death Race’ which was an advanced version of Pong. This raised a heavy controversy as the game involved violence. Once the opponent got hit, the gravestone appeared which made the players distraught. So the manufacturer removed the console off the market shelf.

Another controversial game came out back in 1983. It was called ‘Custer’s Revenge’ which featured a woman who was tied to a pole and the player was supposed to attack her to earn points. This raised a heavy protest on 250 people as the game promoted domestic violence against women. The game failed to launch.

The aggression of Video Games

The main issue of violent video games targeted on youngsters is the behavior of aggression. Many people and parents assumed that aggressive behavior is caused by playing video games that have violence. There is a debate about this issue of aggression in children and pre-teens playing fierce video games. There were also some people who argued violent video games help to increase memory and improve focus.

The term aggression is defined as the feelings or emotions of anger which results in a confrontation, violent behavior or ready to attack a person. This kind of aggression turns into an aggressive behavior which is an emotional or physical harm to others which ranges from verbal to physical abuse.

When a child or a teenager is in an aggressive mood, they may feel restless and lose control of their behavior. They may act aggressively on purpose like taking revenge on someone or try to provoke people around them.

Impact of Violent Video Games

Violent video games have played a major role in the gaming industry. It is one of the most popular forms of entertainment in the gaming console. As the decade goes by, games are becoming more violent and bloodthirsty than ever. This raises ethical concerns for parents regarding targeting violent games for young kids. This would raise violent behavior towards other children which results in bullying, unhealthy family relations, and poor communication skills.

Violent video games have changed tremendously in terms of all ages. They vary from generation to generation. Scientists have been studying violent video games in the 1950s and the majority of the American boys like to play violent video games. Females don’t play such videos games as much as boys do.

Research has shown that playing violent games can stir up a mild aggressive behavior. Moreover, youngsters who develop a habit of playing violent games are always at a risk of becoming aggressive.

Violent Games Linked to Murder Rates

Gaming consoles spent billions of dollars every year on violent video games. A comparison of 10 largest video game markets showed that the USA has the highest murder rates in the developed world. Other countries such as the Netherlands, Canada, the UK, South Korea, and Australia have a similar pattern.

There is a little correlation between violent games and murder rates. However, there are some countries where video games are popular and are some of the safest countries at the same time. This is probably due to the stability of the economy, not because of violent video games. Another reason for this that gamers can afford expensive games which features less violence.
Few parents are worried about their children turning into serial killers. Not all children who play violent video games turn into murderers or rapists or criminals of any sort.

Link between Aggression and Violent Games

In 2015, the American Psychological Association (APA) released a report. Based on the results the studies mentioned:

“The research demonstrates a consistent relation between violent video game use and heightened aggressive behavior, aggressive cognitions, and aggressive affect and reduced pro-social behavior, empathy, and sensitivity to aggression.”

The report did state that there is a relation between aggression and violent video games. However, there are other factors that cause aggression such as child abuse, unhealthy family problems, school issues, peer rejection, poverty and having a short-tempered character.
All in all, video games are one of the most entertaining game consoles in the gaming industry. As you can see, there is a prominent relationship between playing violent games and aggression. However, not all children become aggressive due to playing violent video games. At the end of the day, not all kids who plays games that has violence will turn into murderers.

So parents, try to focus on your child’s behavior! You do not want your child to become aggressive! 

Avatar for Fatima Bhutta

Writer specializing in business, opinion pieces, and technology education. I’m also an avid reader with a degree in Business & Management from the University of Bolton.

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