To begin with it should be noted that nowadays, everybody knows what a video game is. As a fact, computers become an entire part of our lives and are almost in every family. As a result, children start to use computer before even know how to talk. Of course, computers are used for good purpose – to teach children read or solve math problems and so on. Unfortunately, the most of their time children spend if front of the computer monitors and devote their time to PC games. As a rule, arises the question: how does such situation is reflected on the psyche of the child? In my opinion this is a debate question and there are a lot of opinions concerning this issue. In this essay I would like to focus on video games violence and its effect on children.
Many experts consider that today the fascination of some people, especially children in violent video games reaches the level of dependency. As a rule, psychologists call this process gambling. According to Jill Adams (2010), it can be said that there is a psychological portrait of gamer: a teenager, that is immersed in the virtual world and ignoring all external events, very often such child has not been adapted to life in real world. The first stage of addiction is easily reversible disorder. At first, child is simply fascinated by the “new toy”; this stage is characterized by the detriment to education and other businesses. He gradually becomes estranged from family and friends. As a rule, children on this stage hide from their parents how much time they spend in front of the computer. The second stage is characterized by the following symptoms: if a child is prohibited to use the computer, he experiences a feeling akin to “breaking” of a drug addict. The child may steal money to pay for the time that he spends in the internet club. As a rule, the child feels decreased efficiency, impaired attention, the emergence of obsessive thoughts, headaches, cramps in the eyes, insomnia and so on. The third stage is called social disadaptation. As a fact, on this stage the child is completely lives in the virtual world and considers that this is his real life and the real world is a fiction.
Moreover, it should be noted that in their passion to video games, children prefer to play in violent video games with a lot of blood and aggression. So, why do children prefer not innocent logical games, but those in which there are uncovered violence, cruelty, murder and other activities related to the destruction and degradation? Answering this question it can be said that, as a fact, these games give the child opportunity to feel power. Violent video games can be characterized by feelings of superiority and omnipotence. As a rule, children do not have an opportunity to experience such feelings in the real world, where everyone is stronger than they are (parents, teachers, seniors and so on). In turn, violent video games give the child a possibility to immerse in the game, where he plays a role of powerful or almighty hero, and this is a chance to take revenge.
According to Andrea Norcia (2010), over the past 30 years, leading institutions and experts in the field of psychiatry conducted over 1000 studies that encountered that exists firm connection between violence on TV or computer and aggressive behavior of children. In other words, watching violent programs or playing violent video games can lead to the emergence of aggressive feelings, reactions and inappropriate behavior of children. Moreover, the child that reviewing abusing surveillance of violent scenes, as a rule, becomes numb to violence in real life.
It should be noted that scientists’ conclusions are confirmed by following facts. In 1997 three children were killed in a school in West Paducah. The attacker, Michael Kernel, was 14 years old. As it became known, a young man was fond of such violent games as DOOM, Quake and Mortal Combat. In 1999, in Littleton 12 students were murdered by two high school students Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris. As a fact, they were constantly playing DOOM, as well as Duke Nukem 3D.
It is believed that a particular problem has the role-playing computer games, i.e. games in which the player acts as prescribed by the story of a specific computer hero. According to Sumit Tathguru (2009), a study conducted by the Department of Psychology of Iowa State University found out that during the playing video game, children feel the process of “entering” in the game, and in clinical cases – the loss of individuality as a result of identification themselves with computer characters. Moreover, the survey has shown that violent video games cause a qualitatively different level of psychological dependence, in contrast to logical games or any kind of non-game computer activities. It should be noted that this dependency is the most powerful on the extent of its influence on the playing person.
However, not all scientists blame violent computer games in all teenagers’ problems. Of course, there are quite innocent and good video games that not cause harm to children. As a fact, there are different video games and some of them help children to review their potential and logical thinking. Many games are even beneficial, because children develop useful skills and learn to find effective solutions in difficult situations. In principle, any passing the game from the beginning to the end is the real victory, and without any doubts is essential for normal child development. And the fact that children are aggressive can be explained not only by violent video games influence but also such factors as dysfunctional family situation, peer influence, availability of firearms, etc., according to Teresa McEntire (2009). Although, the negative effects of such hobbies as playing violent video games is obviously stimulate aggressiveness and spread the cult of violence among teenagers. The children, who often play video games, which contain elements of violence, as a rule, consider that violence is the most effective way of conflicts resolving. It can be said that cruelty scenes view leads to reduced ability of appropriate emotional response to brutality in general. As a fact, cruelty in video games makes perceive the world as a place where there is evil. In addition, there is a fear of becoming a victim of violence, causing a lack of trust towards others.
Nevertheless, experts agree that adults can not simply deny children play video games. According to Anne Harding (2008), In the United States at the level of individual states have been numerous attempts to restrict the sale of violent video games that contain scenes of violence and sex. However, the producers of games have always been able to, through the courts, abolish restrictions as contrary to the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which guarantees freedom of speech.
To sum it up, it should be noted that nowadays violent video games contribute to the development of the less compliant, and short-tempered children’s hostility and aggression. Also, many studies encountered that exists firm connection between violence on video games and aggressive behavior of children. As a fact, violent video games contribute to feelings of superiority and omnipotence among children, because in the real world, children do not have an opportunity to experience such feelings. However, not all scientists blame in violent computer games in all teenagers’ problems. As a fact, there are different video games and some of them help children to review their potential and logical thinking. Many games are even beneficial, because the children develop useful skills and learn to find effective solutions in difficult situations.
It can be said that today we live in an era when it is difficult to imagine the implementation of any action without a PC. Computer is not a monster, but it is very useful assistant in your everyday life. Moreover, I would like to say that such specialties as computer programmers and web-designers are the most demanded and highly paid nowadays. In my opinion, to prevent further violence distribution among children parents should try to ensure that computer does not replace family and friends for the child. I am convinced that by paying attention to the child, by asking him about his life, by spending more time with him, by simple taking care parents offer to the child alternative solution to spending time by playing video games.
Andrea Norcia (2010). What impact does playing video games have on children or adolescents? Retrieved March 17, 2011 from http://www.education.com/reference/article/Ref_Impact_Video_Games/
Anne Harding (2008). Violent video games linked to child aggression. Retrieved March 17, 2011 from http://articles.cnn.com/2008-11-03/health/healthmag.violent.video.kids_1_violent-video-video-games-game-genres?_s=PM:HEALTH
Jill Adams (2010). Effects of violent video games. Retrieved March 17, 2011 from http://articles.latimes.com/2010/may/03/health/la-he-closer-20100503
Sumit Tathguru (2009). Violent Video Games Effect on Children. Retrieved March 17, 2011 from http://ezinearticles.com/?Violent-Video-Games-Effect-on-Children&id=5890929
Teresa McEntire (2009). Does Violence In Video Games Affect Children? Retrieved March 17, 2011 from http://parenting.families.com/blog/does-violence-in-video-games-affect-children