“Video games are becoming increasingly violent and this has a direct effect on children and their behavior toward each other.” There is no doubt you will have heard this mentioned more than once, especially if you have children and they enjoy playing video games.
However, video games are now part of growing up, and to deny your child access to them is effectively denying them access to a number of their peers. The world is changing and children need to adapt to it. You’ll even find many reputable child care establishments are using educational video games to help the children they look after.
With this in mind, it’s essential to look at whether video games, particularly violent ones, have an effect on children or whether this is all a myth.
Table of Contents
Violent Video Games Cause Violent Behavior
Research shows that more than 1.6 million people die every year as a direct result of violence. Violence against other people has been increasing steadily, which leads people to question why.
The proliferation of violence in video games and on television seem to offer an easy answer. Indeed, there are several studies that appear to confirm this.
However, this research into violence and video games suggests a different story. The study acknowledges that violent video games do increase aggression in players. However, the research suggests that this lasts for just fifteen minutes after playing the game. That’s the hyperactive period when players gradually revert to normal behavior.
What is most interesting about this is that it looks at other studies and shows how they have selectively chosen their results in order to get the desired outcome. In short, many studies have proclaimed a link between video games and violence despite there not being one.
Girls Don’t Play Video Games
The increase in violence is often associated with boys and the assumption that girls don’t play video games. However, this is a myth and an outdated concept. The truth is that the percentage of girls playing video games has increased and actually outnumber boys in web-based games.
Children Play the Most Video Games
This is a myth. While the original video games were designed for children, times have changed and manufacturers have realized the potential in the adult market. Hence, more adults now play video games than children and this is where the majority of games are marketed.
Add to this the fact that all games are marked with an age rating and it is easy to restrict the games that your children play.
Video Games Reduce Social Skills
This is another myth as an increasing number of video games are online and require a team effort between players. Although children may be sat by themselves, they are playing a game and interacting with people from a variety of places. That can bolster social skills.
Naturally, this should be alongside physical contact with other children to ensure their social skills develop normally.
That’s the bottom line. A lot of myths have been stated about video games. But, when age-appropriate games are played they can be a valuable part of a child’s educational and maturing experience.