The Connection of Video Games to Violence and Crime Essay

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  3
Wordcount:  795 Words
Date:  2022-07-01

The popularity of the video games (VGs) among the youth today is indisputable. The Entertainment Software Association reports that VGs are played in every four out five family houses in America. 42 per cent of the total American population play VGs frequently, and it is the most popular recreational activity (The American Academy of Pedriatics). VGs, just like the mobile phones and the internet, have multiple short-term and long-term adverse effects on its users. Aggression, heightened impulsivity, withdrawal and unstable cognition are among these effects, but the mental aspect is the most pronounced (Youssef Hasan 224). Researches show that VGs are responsible for increased crime and violence amongst its users.

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According to a study conducted in north Italy to examine the connection between violent VGs and aggression in adolescent teens, it was found out that there is an interlink between aggression, delinquency, coping weakness and addiction to VGs (Luca Milani 4). The statistical report from the study indicates poor inter-personality relationships, parental stress and coping abilities among the children accustomed to VGs.

The design of most VGs is to target and hit or 'kill' a moving object. Precision is rewarded with scores and attainment of these set standards allows the player to proceed to the next stage. This type of orientation may sound like a benevolent way of instilling accuracy in the user, but the psychological underpinnings that follow the conditioning are potentially dangerous (Scott Cunningham 1247). Most of the people, especially the youth, who play such violent-oriented games end up replicating the events of the games in real life-especially when angry at someone.

Besides violence, the cross-sectional and the longitudinal researches carried out to assess the influence of the destructive attitude of the VGs posit that it encourages delinquency amongst users (Youssef Hasan 225). Vandalism is made to appear admirable among the users, and most of them develop then propensity to recreate these events in day to day activities (La Torre 3). Breaking of window panes, liquid glass bottles and kicking things around are some adopted behaviours of the people are accustomed to playing VGs frequently.

The submissions of Milani et al in their evaluation of the Cognitive Association Theory and the General Aggression Model illustrates connection between the use of violent media where VGs fall and the extreme aggression seen in both adults and children. In these theoretical models, violent VGs are classified as the proximal factors that influence behaviour in the short term (Luca Milani 7). Individual dispositional variables like personality, physiological variables and environmental variables are assessed. The results converge at a common focal point that the short-term effects of exposure to the VGs on the proximal factors will eventually evolve and metamorphose into long term anti-social characters such as violence and crime in VGs users.

In July 2016, the American Academy of Pediatrics issued a guideline on how to reduce media violence. The suggestion was that the software developers of the VGs should be restrained from jamming the contents of the VGs with violence aimed at humans (The American Academy of Pedriatics). The positive effect of this restructuring would reduce the impression that there is pleasure in causing pain to others. This wise idea was reached at a conclusion drawn from the evidence from over 400 evidentiary proofs that there was a close link between violent crimes among VGs addicts.

Objective researches, however different the methodologies used are, tend to converge at a common focal point in the unanimity of agreement that exposure to violent VGs is a major contributing factor to increased aggression and crime among its users. Owing to its legality and popularity, we must accept that VGs are here to stay. To solve this problem, we must work on a sound risk and resilience framework for VGs use. Public awareness campaigns must be introduced and maintained to educate the masses on the effects of VGs. Parental guidance on the moderation of playing VGs at homes is equally necessary as a protective factor.

Works Cited

Hollingdale, Jack, and Tobias Greitemeyer. "The Effect of Online Violent Video Games on Levels of Aggression." PLoS ONE 9.11 (2014).

La Torre, G., Fiore, M., Milani, L. "Internet Gaming Addiction in Adolescence: Risk Factors and Maladjustment Correlates." International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction (2017): 1-17.

Luca Milani, Elena Camisasca, Simona Caravita, Chiara Ionio, Sarah Miragoli, Paola Di Blasio. "Violent Video Games and Children's Aggressive Behaviors." SAGE Open 5.3 (2015): 1-22.

Scott Cunningham, Benjamin Echelstatter, Michael R. Ward. "Violent Video Games and Violent Crime." Southern Economic Journal 82.4 (2016): 1247-1265. Document. 15 July 2018.

The American Academy of Pedriatics. 20 July 2016. 15 July 2018. <>.

Youssef Hasan, Laurent Begue, Michael Scharkow, Brad J. Bushman. "The more you play, the more aggressive you become: A long-term experimental study of cumulative violent video game effects on hostile expectations and aggressive behavior." Journal of Experimental Psychology (2013): 224-227. Document.

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