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Are Video Games Creating Violent Students? A Gamer's Take

The guest post was written by Bradley Ramirez, an eighth-grader at William F. Halloran School.

Do violent video games affect the mind of a child, yes or no? This question has been given a lot to think about with two sides. Some believe that these games affect the mind of children in immense ways, others believe it’s just in their heads. The Anti-gamers have studied the effects of these games for thirty years or so now with some evidence. Pro-gamers have also made some very good arguments themselves. With both sides going at each other it has become somewhat confusing to pick a side for children and parents alike.

The Anti-gamers have dug up some good evidence over the past couple of years making everyone think, Wow, could this possibly come to an end, violent games are actually bad? However, that just wasn’t enough. Their research showed that “Repeated exposure to violent video games causes desensitization which then leads to increased aggressive behavior.” Also as the TechAddiction site mentioned and I quote, “Boys who are naturally aggressive are attracted to violent video games. Lower educated boys play more violent video games than higher educated boys. The question of whether violent video games lead to violence in children was left open due to the correlation nature of the studies.” Also, some of the more understandable reasons are that games, in general, affect the mind of a child. Not to mention that there is a chance of addiction which would most likely cause a problem with the violent games and of course addiction.

“I think that if someone plays a video game, and then goes out and harms another human being, or themselves because of what they just saw in the video game, they were screwed up in the headlong before they got their hands on a controller,” said Tim Buckley in an interview to GameCore. This would probably be some most Pro-gamers like I would agree on. Since I’m a gamer at the age of thirteen (playing since I was around three or four years old.) I would believe I have some experience in the field of gaming and how it affects my mind.

A doctor might be able to tell what is going on inside, but what I can tell you is about the outside. As a younger child, I would imitate almost anything, including my video game of Spider-Man. Now, this game had some violence with hitting and punching, but was I going to be an aggressive person because of it? I have come to the conclusion that no, it wouldn’t make me violent. But because I was at such a young age I imitated everything not knowing the difference. Now that I am older I can tell the difference between right and wrong. The label on the game isn’t just there for decoration but to prevent such things like violent activity. If a parent believes that a child is not suitable for a game don’t get it! Then some parents will go off in a tangent blaming video games, when in reality, who bought that game for the child? The easiest targets would be the children of a younger age who can’t tell the real difference between right and wrong, reality, or gaming world. The cited research that has been done also states that "Boys aged 12-14 did not believe that they experienced any negative effects of violent video games, but believed that younger children might imitate violent games. They did not believe that video games cause violence.” Although I will not deny, or any Pro-gamer for that matter, that violent video games can affect everyone, not just children.

In conclusion, I hope that you may be able to pick a side with valid reasoning. Whether it’s the Pro-gamer side or the Anti-gamer side. This article was not created to influence any or either side but to inform and show everyone just what each side is talking about. Although I might be thirteen I do know quite a bit on this subject and believe that one day someone will come up with the evidence that shows which side is correct.

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