Does Gaming Lead To Violence?
Posted on September 26, 2012
It’s common belief in moms, wives and well almost every woman that playing violent video games can lead to violence outside of the virtual world. With all the shootings that happen in the world today, it’s easy to try to put the blame somewhere. It’s easy to answer some questions about video games, such as where did all the kids riding bikes and playing out side go but, is it really gaming that is causing violence? The 2 students involved in the Columbine shooting both played violent video games, but can you so easily connect the dots between video games and the shooting? It’s been seen before, comic books used to be the blame for violence back in the ’50s, but it’s a lot more than just finding a scapegoat, as violence has increased from teenagers over the past years. Since video games have only been around for about 20 years, it’s hard to find some empirical evidence to reach a complete conclusion. However, studies are constantly being undertaken to find out the truth. Games have come up on everything, from PCs such as a Dell and mobile devices and video game systems.
So what is the truth so far? Studies have made leaps and bounds in finding what playing violent video games leads to. For one thing children that play video games have an increase in physiological signs of aggression. Their blood pressure and heart rate increase, and they experience an influx of fight or flight hormones such as adrenaline. And the more realistic the game, the more the increase. Children who played more graphic games saw an even bigger increase in physical arousal.
Another study shows that children who play violent video games have an increase in aggressive behavior whether on a Dell PC or game console. The study took children and had half of them play non-violent video games, and half of them play violent video games, and then immediately following there would be a reaction test. Whoever won the reaction test got to send an audio blast to the opponent. The kids that won who played the violent video games sent louder and longer audio blasts to the opponent. Another study had half the kids play a racing game and the other play a first person shooter. They then scanned their brains and found that the kids who played the first person shooter had lower activity in the lobe that handles inhibition and self-control and an increase in the lobe that handles emotions.
Do these studies prove that violence and video games go hand in hand? Not exactly, which is why it’s still up in the air. However people are taking steps to keep the youth safe, like not sell video games rated M to people under 18.