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Very recently video games have become a great source of entertainment and social networking for adolescents.  Though certain forms of video games have been available for the past thirty years they really started to make their mark on society in the early 2000’s.  Gamers are forced to put all their attention into current video games because of the way the games grab at the gamers emotionally and physically.  Video games have also become popular in recent news headlines for multiple reasons, but the most popular reason is because violent video games may influence the behaviors of the kids that play them.

 Do violent video games change or influence the behavior of children or adolescents?  No.         In a majority of popular video games there is violence, a couple of these game titles may include “Call of Duty,” “Rainbow Six: Siege,” and “Grand Theft Auto.”  In these games the objective is to win violent battles or fights in order to level up or be able to upgrade the gamers main character’s skills and abilities.  The main weapons used in these games are things like machine guns, swords, explosives and many more.

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 Whenever someone logs into the game their end goal is to win, it makes that person feel good to be able to win even if it is just a game; however, the opposite can happen if the person loses, they will get angry, hateful, or even sad.  This is how games grab the gamers attention, gamers will often find themselves playing hours upon hours of the same game.         “A 2010 survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation found that youths ages eight to eighteen devote seven and a half hours of the day to entertainment media.

”  Entertainment media can include phone apps, television, and video games.  “Teens who averaged a total of five hours a day playing violent video games were found to be aggravated more easily.”  The quote states that the more time spent playing a violent video game will increase the chance of the behavior being negative.

The outcome of the behavior is ultimately decided by two factors, the type of game the person is playing, and if the person won or lost when they played.  In the game “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2” there is a mission in the campaign, or story mode, in which the main character is forced to either watch or take part in a mass shooting of civilians at an airport. The ultimate outcome of playing this mission was that most of the gamers that played through felt “disgusted.”         There has only been one game that has been blamed for a child or teens actions and behavior that was related to violence.

 “A six-year-old boy stole his own parents’ car and drove it into a utility pole and blamed it on Grand Theft Auto.”  In “Grand Theft Auto” your character can steal cars, beat people down, rob banks and stores, and attempt heists against big corporations.  In my opinion I believe the teens or children who stole a car did it because they wanted to know if they could or for fun. After the car was stolen it was easy for the teens to pin the blame on a game that focuses heavily on stealing cars.  Teens haven’t tried to rob a bank or beat down other civilians because that’s what their character does in “Grand Theft Auto.”         Many studies about violent video games have proven to be beneficial to whomever is playing the game.

 “A study published by Psychology of Popular Media Culture, John Colwell surveyed 304 teens from the United Kingdom with the survey topics being, Motives for playing violent games, Stress levels, antisocial behavior, bullying behavior, and civic activities, such as volunteering in the community.”  “The outcomes of the study showed that violent video games increased civic activities more than the other surveys with negative outcomes.”  The correlation between violent video games and civic activities is very small however.  “Another study done by the same two social psychologists indicated that youths often turn to action oriented games to releases stress and increase their mood especially when the game was one the youths played more often.”         Violent video games have a large effect on your brain, but in a better way than most would think.

 “In August, British researchers found that certain video games, particularly strategic games such as “StarCraft,” can increase a player’s “brains flexibility,” which the scientists described as a cornerstone for human intelligence.”   “The study, conducted at Queen Mary University of London and University College London, is based on psychological tests conducted before and after 72 volunteers played “StarCraft” or the life simulator, “The Sims” for 40 hours over six to eight weeks. They found that the participants that played “StarCraft” experienced gains in their performance on their psychological tests compared to those who played “The Sims.”         “People who play Activision’s “Call of Duty” are better able to multitask, perform cognitive tasks such as rotating objects in their minds and focus and retain information better than non-players, said Daphne Bavelier, a research professor in brain and cognitive sciences.”  “People who play fast paced video games have better vision, and those who play action video games get better at the games much faster, but not just faster in the games, their real-time reflexes increase too.

”  “Players who have been playing action games were better able to predict what was going to happen next on a test that had nothing to do with the game they were playing.”  “Not all video games can lead to this kind of improvement, games that are meant for leisure play such as “The Sims” led to little-to-no improvement compared to the improvements caused by “Call of Duty.”         Dr. Christopher Ferguson of Texas A, conducted studies about the effects that violent video games could have on younger players, and how those effects could be beneficial.  “Ferguson conducted an analysis trying to prove that violent video games were harmful, but he found that his results were inconsistent, and he in-fact found more beneficial findings than harmful.”  “The study goes on to say that violent video games are associated with improved visual and spatial cognition.

Even children that are shy on their real lives feel empowered when they can play such a multiplayer game as “Call of Duty.”  “After playing first person shooters and mystery games, gamers feel a greater ability to read maps, problem-solving skills, and the ability to focus their eyes better on targets that are much farther away.”         “A meta-study carried out by the American Psychological Association has claimed that playing video games has may positive effects on teens, and in some cases the more violent the game the more beneficial it can be.”  “The research found in the American Psychiatrist news article found that modern violent video games are much more socially oriented thanks to the growth of the online gaming environment, and certain types of games can help teens and even kids learn problem solving skills and creativity.”  “Multiplayer games that require players to work as a team, such as “Call of Duty,” are beneficial in building social skills and reducing stress and aggression, both during the game and after the game.

”  “If video games make people happier, this seems to be a fundamental emotional note to consider, said Granic, cognitive professor at Texas A.”         Millions of people play many violent video games, most of them first person shooters, so the opinion of gamers may be slightly biased in thinking that games are not bad.  In their experience with violent games they have felt no recurrence of anger or hatred. Gamers play the violent games because they are fun to play with friends, so they have become more socially oriented while playing these games.

 Studies show that gamers have greater reaction times than before they started playing video games.  Children and teens can really benefit socially and visually from playing violent video games.  In addition, games that encourage players to work as a team to achieve a task such as “World of Warcraft” or “Farmville” can be very beneficial in building up social skills and reduce aggression, both during the game and after play has finished.


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