Are Video Games Really the Villains in Our Violent Age?

By | Feb 15, 2013

Video games have gotten a lot of bad rep in today’s society. The latest tragedy at the Sandy Hook Primary School has reignited the debate as to whether violent video games play a part in influencing violent teens. However, it appears that some first person shooter games might actually be good for you.

How video games can be a positive in development

First person shooter games can actually help to boost a child’s development. Providing they are the right age for the game, the following can be improved upon by regularly playing them:

  • Better concentration
  • Enhanced visual skills
  • Encourage decision making
  • Develop quick reflexes

As you need to pay attention to the environment around you in order to stay alive, it helps to develop your concentration skills. You need to be able to zone everything else out and concentrate on the job at hand. Searching for the enemy and planning how to best combat them takes decision making skills.

You’ll also learn to have quicker reflexes. Often the enemy appears from nowhere and you have to react quickly if you want to survive. These skills can all really help in real life. That’s one thing that you don’t often hear about from the media. All video games can teach you something. However, they are often seen as mind numbing to parents and teachers.

Of course there’s such a thing as too much gaming! You have to ensure that your child has a godo balance of gaming and outdoor play. Naturally if you allow them to play video games all day without socialising, that can cause problems later on in life.

Scientific evidence has shown that these types of games do have some benefits. However, the media won’t show you the good points. They focus on sensationalising the negative aspects of video games as this sells more papers and gains more attention.

Why video games aren’t to blame

Millions of people play video games. They spend hours upon end in combat, shooting zombies and playing against their friends online. However, very few of them go on to be violent in real life. What more likely contributes towards violent behaviour in children is their background and home life.

However, scientists are researching whether there is any right to be worried. There has been some evidence to show that violent video games can cause short term aggression. The thing to note here is that it isn’t just violent video games which cause this reaction. It’s also violent TV programmes and even violence in the news too. It’s the long term effects that have yet to be studied.

Another important thing to note about the short term aggression is that it’s only thoughts. There’s a big gap between having violent thoughts and actually carrying them out. Exposure to video game violence may cause a minor amount of aggression. However it does tend to be peer pressure, substance abuse and other environmental factors that cause real aggression.

When looking into actual killers, you’ll see that there are some patterns there. Yes some of them did play violent games. However, they also all had an anti-social background. As mentioned earlier, millions of men who play these video games don’t turn out to be violent. However, those with an unstable, anti-social background are a lot more likely to.

Conclusion

Overall video games are often linked to real life shootings. The question is, are they getting an unfair reputation? Only research can determine whether they pose any real threat. However, if you look at other short term research and other statistics on those who actually do carry out violent acts; you’ll soon realise there’s a lot more to it than a simple video game habit.

Author Bio: The article is drawn by Jason Phillips. He has written many articles on mobile gaming and video gaming. Also he has a gaming site, go here to visit his site.

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