Do violent video games lead to violence in real life? | The Tylt

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Do violent video games lead to violence in real life?
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For decades, pundits have tied violent video game use with violent behavior. According to the American Psychological Association, those who play violent video games are likely to experience an increase in aggressive behavior and a decrease in empathy. However, others argue that by blaming video games, the public fails to confront the true causes of real-world acts of violence. Video games should not be a scapegoat for other issues like hateful rhetoric and racism. What do you think?

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Do violent video games lead to violence in real life?
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According to the National Center for Health Research, violent video games can desensitize gamers to aggressive behavior, which can make them more inclined to aggression themselves. Violent video games can also decrease feelings of empathy. 

It is essential for parents to carefully consider any media their children consume. Just as you would not want your child to watch violent television, you might not want them to become immersed in violent video games, especially given that these games require active participation from the child–pulling the virtual trigger and sending the virtual punch. Plus, the National Center for Health Research points out: 

 The longer that individuals are exposed to violent video games, the more likely they are to have aggressive behaviors, thoughts, and feelings.
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Others argue the public's inclination to blame violent video games for real-world violence is nothing more than a scapegoat. Many have been highly critical of reporting that the man arrested for the Christchurch mosque shootings in New Zealand was bullied as a child and turned to violent video games as a result. These kinds of headlines only victimize the perpetrator and further the false narrative that violent video games are to blame for violent behavior.

Junkee's Rae Johnston explains why this kind of thinking is irresponsible: 

In 2017, researchers in Germany set out to prove their hypothesis that gamers have reduced empathy when compared to non-gamers. Using a brain mapping technology called functional magnetic resonance imaging, they studied the emotional responses of long-term players of violent video games to “provocative” images. They found that playing violent video games does not negatively impact on your empathy.

According to Johnston, the world is engaged in a "cyclical blaming of video games," which has distracted from the real issues and motivations behind such violent attacks, such as white supremacy and hateful language at large.

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According to the American Physiological Association, over 90 percent of children in the U.S. play video games, and more than 85 percent of video games on the market involve violence of some kind. 

With these kinds of numbers in mind, the possible consequences of violent video games are no small matter; as a result, the APA reports that "the link between violent video game exposure and aggressive behavior is one of the most studied and best established."

Quantitative reviews since APA's 2005 Resolution that have focused on the effects of violent video game use have found a direct association between violent video game use and aggressive outcomes (Anderson et al. 2010, Ferguson 2007a, Ferguson 2007b, Ferguson & Kilburn 2009).

The APA also expands on what can be defined as aggressive behavior, specifying that all violence is aggression, but not all aggression is violence:

Aggressive behavior examined in this research included experimental proxy paradigms, such as the administration of a noise blast to a confederate, and self-report questionnaires, peer nominations and teacher ratings of aggressiveness focused on behaviors including insults, threats, hitting, pushing, hair pulling, biting and other forms of verbal and physical aggression.

Finally, the APA concludes: 

WHEREAS scientific research has demonstrated an association between violent video game use and both increases in aggressive behavior, aggressive affect, aggressive cognitions and decreases in prosocial behavior, empathy, and moral engagement;
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In 2013, 230 media scholars, psychologists and criminologists wrote an open letter to the APA to ask that it change its stance on violent video games. According to this group: 

The open letter states that the scientific evidence is inconsistent and that the APA should adopt a neutral stance rather than maintaining policy statements.

Again, when commentators automatically blame violence from video games for violence in real life, they do a disservice to the actual motivations for violent behavior. It is essential that society battle these issues head-on, rather than become distracted by unsubstantiated claims. 

FINAL RESULTS
Do violent video games lead to violence in real life?
#VideoGamesAreToxic
A festive crown for the winner
#VideoGamesHarmNoOne
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