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View Full Version : The effects of video game violence on children/teenagers


Eldritch
04-15-2003, 08:35 PM
Since I imagine the majority of us here are gamers, I was wondering what you all thought about this. Specifically, I wonder how much creedence is given to the people who claim that video games are to blame for increased acts of aggression/violence by people under 18. So what do you think? Think that video games have something to do with it?
Or do you think that movies/media/television/lack of parenting is more to blame?

There's evidence to go both ways, but I think that maybe a bit more official legislation to control the purchase of violent video games may be necessary.

C'jais
04-15-2003, 08:44 PM
Look, insane people do insanely stupid acts, and the media always find some way to blame it all on computer violence, movies, RPG's or what have you.

True, some games are incredibly immature (GTA3), and if all you do during the day is playing in such a world, your social life and mental health might very well get scarred.

Then again, so will listening to Johnny Cash all day.

Dagobahn Eagle
04-15-2003, 08:47 PM
Yes, that's been proven. Just one of the reasons, though.

Scientists did a survey on children, dividing them into two groups: One who played violent games and one that did not.

The one with the violent games became the most violent.

First of all, why do we have CHILDRENS' games with violence, however slight the violence is? Can't they play sports games or race games or puzzle games? Or better yet, not play games at all?

Parenting: Definetly. That's not to say, though, that lack of parenting is the reason for all violent acts.

Eldritch
04-15-2003, 08:53 PM
Originally posted by Dagobahn Eagle
Yes, that's been proven. Just one of the reasons, though.

Scientists did a survey on children, dividing them into two groups: One who played violent games and one that did not.

The one with the violent games became the most violent.

First of all, why do we have CHILDRENS' games with violence, however slight the violence is? Can't they play sports games or race games or puzzle games? Or better yet, not play games at all?

Parenting: Definetly. That's not to say, though, that lack of parenting is the reason for all violent acts.
Yet another reason for more strict legislation - the ESRB puts out ratings, but most retailers will not enforce the age policy, putting violent video games into the hands of younger children.
However, such scientific surveys are not a good representation (especially with children) because you cannot control the variables. Some children may live in a home with domestic violence or abusers, others may not have proper parenting, etc. Without more control, field surveys like that can't be very accurate. There were some other studies done similar to that, and 90% of the boys were more aggressive as opposed to 10% of the girls who had played the same games, so perhaps there's a difference between the sexes as far as how violence is perceived and handled?

C'jais
04-15-2003, 08:54 PM
Originally posted by Dagobahn Eagle
Yes, that's been proven. Just one of the reasons, though.

Scientists did a survey on children, dividing them into two groups: One who played violent games and one that did not.

The one with the violent games became the most violent.

Sounds a bit fishy to me. What is a "violent game" then? Over how long a period did they observe these kids?

Needless to say, almost any boy in the States and Europe is playing "violent games" as of now. We'll all become lunatic sociopaths in the future fer sure...

First of all, why do we have CHILDRENS' games with violence, however slight the violence is? Can't they play sports games or race games or puzzle games? Or better yet, not play games at all?

Because violence is thrilling. Violence, danger and excitement, no matter if it's in the form of movies, games or music is appealing to people. Human males are still hiding the "hunter instinct" in them - they get off on sports activities, competition and violent acts, I guess. Really, I think computergaming is no different than playing soccer in real life.

El Sitherino
04-15-2003, 10:51 PM
i think of it like attraction.
violent kids are more attracted to violent games.
less violent kids are attracted to less violent games.

in the end. its the kid not the game. its the kid not the parent ( after the parents tell the kid right from wrong) its all up to the kid to decide what they want to do.

the kids that do this stuff make an active choice in becoming violent. the games don't tell the kids to go and shoot up the school they tell themselves to do it.

Thrackan Solo
04-15-2003, 11:02 PM
Good thinking, Insane.:)

El Sitherino
04-15-2003, 11:11 PM
i chose to do a report on this and got sent to In school suspension on the accusation that i might be likely to shoot up the school. i also gave a report on the statistics of objects common in school that were responsible for deaths in classrooms.

in the US over 13 students have died in school from being stabbed with a pencil. i found it in a book my mom brought me.

Kuuki
04-16-2003, 12:43 AM
(other)

becuase of events in the child's life, can and will be precieved differently on the developing mind.

the child sees violence like a puppet 'boinking' another in the head with a obviously fake bat.
the child will attempt to copy it. it goes hand in hand if the parent is also able to tell the child wheither the situation if serious or not, that violence was going on, or just fun and games.

its maturity and putting 2 and 2 together, nothing else.

Cosmos Jack
04-16-2003, 12:55 AM
I work with mental Pts in 2 psychiatric hospitals. One Hospital has a forensic unit. One of only 2 in the state... Forensic units are for the people who chop up there family and burn up there baby sisters and crap. All the Hannibal Lector wannabes. They wore all crazy long before Computer games had any hold on anything.

If a kids violent it's, because that's who they are. They can get a lot of ideas just from watching the nightly news. Ever notice when there is a school shooting. One week or 2 weeks later there is another and another and another... Maybe they saw it plastered on the news for 4 days and said "that's how I will get them bastards at school back.." Maybe the nightly news should be censored too?

"InsaneSith" Stop saying things I have to agree with....:mad:

munik
04-16-2003, 01:10 AM
I'm not gonna say that it's the parents fault, but if there isn't some sort of guidance then I would say that violent games are not good for children. In fact, any sort of exposure to violence that isn't put into a context is not good for children.

If unsupervised I believe that violent games would make a child violent. I'm talking Lord of the Flies unsupervised. But in general, day to day life, I do not believe that violent games affect children very much. Most, and I repeat most, children have been taught well enough to understand that it is only a video game.

It's sort of like this: Does anyone here think zombies, dead bodies, etc. are scary? Does anyone here think they would be frightened of the dead if they never saw a movie depicting the dead as scary? It's a learned fear, as there is nothing inherently scary with dead bodies, they are as natural as can be. So, these images of the dead on T.V. or in movies may have affected us as a child, but did anyone take some real time to educate us on the reality of it? Most likely just a quick comment, "It's not real, just a movie" type of blowoff. So, while now you know that there is nothing wrong with the dead, I know my heart starts to race a little at the sight of dead stuff (on t.v. of course). So, my point being is that while I was never properly educated concerning this fear, what if I was never educated concerning violence on t.v.? What if all anyone ever told me was "It's just a game, it's not real"?

I think that special attention needs to be taken to educate a child in the reality of the violence they see. It needs to be put into perspective. I plan on this way of teaching for my children, and I also plan on preventing a fear of the dead, or even a fear of the dark, in my children. If children aren't taught proper, then they may grow up with this warped sense of violence that they may never be able to change.

Eldritch
04-16-2003, 01:12 AM
Originally posted by Cosmos Jack
I work with mental Pts in 2 psychiatric hospitals. One Hospital has a forensic unit. One of only 2 in the state... Forensic units are for the people who chop up there family and burn up there baby sisters and crap. All the Hannibal Lector wannabes. They wore all crazy long before Computer games had any hold on anything.
You sure it's Forensic? Forensic refers to the use of science or technology in the investigation and establishment of facts or evidence in a court of law (i.e. a forensic labratory). Police use forensics/forensic scientists to ascertain what happened in a crime, particularly the violent ones.

Just the same, general arousal theory implies that children when aroused most likely will behave in a manner most recently observed. One could argue that the arousing nature of video games may increase aggressiveness regardless of content. Same goes for violent movies, television shows, and cartoons.
Yet some research shows that playing video games relieves the urge to be aggressive, and therefore lessens the amount of actual aggressive behavior. There's data to support either side.

I, however, believe that it's not just videogames. Observed violence anywhere has an effect - at home, in the movies, on tv, etc.

ET Warrior
04-16-2003, 01:28 AM
It's not video games......it's kids. Kids that end up violent, were going to be violent whether or not they had video games, it's just that the video games might give them new ideas or inspiration. Regardless, they could have just as easily gotten their violent inspiration from watching the news.

munik
04-16-2003, 01:51 AM
Originally posted by ET Warrior
Regardless, they could have just as easily gotten their violent inspiration from watching the news. Exactly! It can come from anywhere, video games are not solely to blame. This is just some stigma that has been attached to video games as a way to make them negative. Even though this argument can be applied to many things, video games get singled out, or music, or other things that some righteous person thinks children should not have access to.

Cosmos Jack
04-16-2003, 06:00 AM
Originally posted by Eldritch
You sure it's Forensic? Forensic refers to the use of science or technology in the investigation and establishment of facts or evidence in a court of law (i.e. a forensic labratory). Police use forensics/forensic scientists to ascertain what happened in a crime, particularly the violent ones. Trying to make me look stupid oh how much harder you will need to try :lol: All you did is make yourself look stupid. Only a idiot would through a rock and a rubber wall and expect it not to bounce back.... :D

For (1). you should have excepted what I said, because I freaking work there... :lol: (2). you should have looked it up a little bit before making your little comment... :lol:

Here are some random sites for you to educate yourself smart a@@

http://www.psychiatry.uc.edu/education/forensic/inpatient.asp

http://www.hsush.utah.gov/forensic_unit.htm

Reborn Outcast
04-16-2003, 07:38 AM
Well trying to get off the flaming... :rolleyes:

Games may have some effect on the aggression/mood of teenagers but there is one more thing that affects that. Hormones.

But in adults, like some people have said, it is the mental instability that causes them to act that way. When games are allowed to affect their brain in that manner, you know that somehting might be wrong.

Eldritch
04-16-2003, 12:20 PM
Originally posted by Cosmos Jack
Trying to make me look stupid oh how much harder you will need to try :lol: All you did is make yourself look stupid. Only a idiot would through a rock and a rubber wall and expect it not to bounce back.... :D
I wasn't trying to make you look stupid, nor did I make myself look stupid. What I stated is the textbook definition of forensic. I'd never heard of a forensic unit in a mental hospital, that's all... but my definition should still stand because they're still using science and technology to ascertain what's wrong with those patients in order to reinstitute them into society.
For (1). you should have excepted what I said, because I freaking work there... :lol: (2). you should have looked it up a little bit before making your little comment... :lol:
Excuse me if I don't accept what you said without question, "Cosmos Jack," but the multiple spelling and gramatical errors led me to believe that you were either extremely lazy, or just uneducated. That, to me, looks stupid.
For example:
"Only a idiot would through a rock and a rubber wall..."

If one were to believe what you wrote there, an idiot would be going through a rock and a rubber wall somehow. What I think you meant to say was: "Only an idiot would throw a rock at a rubber wall..." Totally different meanings.

Also you said 'excepted' when you mean accepted. And finally, don't assume that the Forensic unit you supposedly work in is the only type of Forensics to exist. I don't know why you had to start insulting me and ripping apart what I said because you thought my definition is wrong.
According to this (http://www.forensicpsychiatrist.com/information.html) website, they stated: "[...] forensic psychiatry has developed from the fact that certain civil and criminal law cases require information about the mental states of parties involved. Through clinical interviews, record analysis and testing, the specialist in forensic psychiatry evaluates mental and emotional factors that may be relevant to a particular legal contest."
Seems pretty damn close to what I said.

Now, can we get back to the topic, please? People have been stating some good points.

Cosmos Jack
04-16-2003, 06:46 PM
Sorry Professor Smart A@@.... Didn't know I would get caught by the grammar Gestapo... :lol:


Originally posted by Eldritch
I wasn't trying to make you look stupid Right sure ok whatever you say...

The whole post was one big attempt to discredit me as well as this one and save your self... If you want to get saved go to church boy there arenít any preachers here...
After taking a college English class and having an English Professor that has PhD and even from England. Make numerous mistakes in front of class I can be as lazy with my typing and grammar as I want.

If you want to insult and correct somebodyís grammar isn't there hundreds of people on this forum including yourself you could start with? I pick on people all the time, but never on there typing skills and they donít pick on mine no matter how much they hate me. Thatís just a cheep shot. Why not next time you just come up and kick me in the nuts and run away?
Originally posted by Eldritch
don't assume that the Forensic unit you supposedly work in is the only type of Forensics to exist
I never assumed that the forensic unit I work on is the only type. I know what forensics is. The only assumption is that you had no idea what I was talking about and thatís still a pretty good assumption.."Supposedly work in" Well gee do I have to photo copy my security badge and post it here....
Originally posted by Eldritch
I don't know why you had to start insulting me and ripping apart what I said because you thought my definition is wrong.
Do you mean....
I don't know why you had to start insulting me and ripping apart what I said, because you thought my definition was wrong.
OR" what I'm saying, because you think my definition is wrong"

No coma before "because" :tsk: "Said" is the past tins of say yet you used "is" before wrong when you should have used "was":tsk: No spelling errors good use of spell check; however, you still get a (F) for F@@K OFF :lol:

I chose to quote this, because you started insulating me 1st. I don't care about the people I insult insulting me. Last time I checked your attack was unprovoked. Mine are unprovoked too :lol: but I don't cry about it when people insult me back.. Well maybe sometimes anyway.....G E T O V E R I T !!!!!!!!!!

Breton
04-16-2003, 08:04 PM
Why has this discussion turned into a gramma flame war?

Cosmos, get a grip on yourself. The debates here are supposed to be objective. Coming with accusions and insults because someone pointed out something in your post won't get you anywhere.

Anyway, back to the topic (and I hope certain *cough* others here will follow my example):


A person is determined by three things:

1. The genetic material
2. The way the person has grown up
3. The enviroment aroud the person.

So as you see, the parents of a person is responsible for much of how a person becomes, at least before the person is 18.

However, it's not always the parents' fault if a kid turns out really bad. But still, nearly all kids who are any mature knows the difference between fiction and reality. Playing GTA3 isn't really much worse than reading a book about gangsters. If a kid cannot separate between fiction and reality, and does not learn from his/her parents that kicking down old ladies is bad, then his/her parents should never had allowed the kid to play the game, since he obviously isn't mentally capable of dealing with it. It's not the makers of the computer games who has the responsability for making sure that children who cannot separate between fiction and reality doesn't play their games. The responsability lies at their parents.

Eldritch
04-16-2003, 10:03 PM
*quietly reports offensive posts*

Originally posted by Breton

A person is determined by three things:

1. The genetic material
2. The way the person has grown up
3. The enviroment aroud the person.
Numbers 2 and 3 can be combined into one catchall, I think... but otherwise, I agree with this.
So as you see, the parents of a person is responsible for much of how a person becomes, at least before the person is 18.
That seems true on the surface, but there are other factors that get involved once the child leaves the house. Socialization occurs not only in the home, but also with friends and peers at school and elsewhere.
However, it's not always the parents' fault if a kid turns out really bad. But still, nearly all kids who are any mature knows the difference between fiction and reality.
I think you can be mature on some levels, but if you've never been taught how to discern between fantasy and reality, how would you know what's right and wrong?
Playing GTA3 isn't really much worse than reading a book about gangsters. If a kid cannot separate between fiction and reality, and does not learn from his/her parents that kicking down old ladies is bad, then his/her parents should never had allowed the kid to play the game, since he obviously isn't mentally capable of dealing with it.
I agree, but one could argue that because you are taking an active role in creating the violence by playing the game, it's effects are a bit stronger than just reading about it in a book or watching it on a television or movie screen.
It's not the makers of the computer games who has the responsability for making sure that children who cannot separate between fiction and reality doesn't play their games. The responsability lies at their parents.
I agree with that. If parents are concerned about what types of games their children are playing, just take a look at the ESRB ratings that come on nearly every game.

Reborn Outcast
04-16-2003, 10:23 PM
Originally posted by Breton
Playing GTA3 isn't really much worse than reading a book about gangsters.

I agreed with pretty much everything you said but this is the only thing that caught my eye. Like Eldritch said, if a kid can see, hear and actively participate in the decapitating of an old lady with a chain saw, then he is more likely to lean towards violence that if he reads about gansters.
Although, I play GTA3: Vice City and it has no effect on me, maybe its just the type of person.

munik
04-16-2003, 11:01 PM
Originally posted by Reborn Outcast
Although, I play GTA3: Vice City and it has no effect on me, maybe its just the type of person. Yeah, I play it too. Because of all the violence. So it's in reverse, the video game didn't turn me on to the violence, I was already turned on and used the game as an outlet.

Reborn Outcast
04-16-2003, 11:04 PM
Ah yes very good point. Video games can actually be a way for people to channel their anger and let it out on the screen instead of in real life. But this might still be unhealthy.

El Sitherino
04-16-2003, 11:39 PM
Originally posted by Reborn Outcast
Ah yes very good point. Video games can actually be a way for people to channel their anger and let it out on the screen instead of in real life. But this might still be unhealthy. so can that thrill of the hunt that peoplel who hunt talk about. what happens if they get bored with hunting deer and decide to go with something more intelligent? say, a human? basically its the person and there mental state that determines if they do the crazy **** we see on tv. all the kids that shoot people at school did so because they had a mental disorder. many was they thought they were telekinetic or had some special powers and thought they were some guy in a superworl they had a delerium ( i think that's the word? :confused: )
either way they have disabilities with their mental state and that's what makes them the homocidal maniacs they are. just by seeing on the news about some guy shooting someone because he thought it was fun will trigger that into their mind and they will go into their little world that they become a "new" person or a "special" person. my mom is a nurse and once had a patient with this problem. it was about five years ago. he was fifteen then, now he is dead. he went into his own little world after seeing on the news about some guy shooting people and went into his parents room pulled out the dads gun picked the trigger lock and shot his neighbor and his father in the leg. the police came and he shot at them. they had to shoot him.

his parents raised another son same age same way and that son turned out just fine. because he did not have that mental disability.

ET Warrior
04-16-2003, 11:46 PM
Originally posted by Reborn Outcast
Ah yes very good point. Video games can actually be a way for people to channel their anger and let it out on the screen instead of in real life. But this might still be unhealthy.

Or it could be healthy.......I might be REALLY REALLY pissed off some day after school, for one reason or another, and so I pop in Halo and start shooting and flogging Covenant and it relieves my stress.....I get my anger out in a way that nobody else gets hurt.......

Crowy
04-17-2003, 12:33 AM
i didnt feel like reading everyone elses but i just wanted to say what i tihnk

videogame violence does and doesnt cause voilence in the world, it depends on the person... if children are overly violent more then likely isnt bad parenting ot blame?

and also id me more violent without video games... video games can be an anger release

thats about all i gotta say on this matter

Luc Solar
04-17-2003, 06:34 AM
This problem can be compared to the one of "do martial arts make people more violent?"

I've seen countless teens come into the dojo, learn the basics of a few 'cool' high kicks and quit. The next weekend I see them out on the streets picking up fights with total strangers, trying show everyone their mad kickin' skillz. :rolleyes:

Fact 1: without knowing how to kick, they probably wouldn't be out there trying to show off.

Fact 2: these people are total idiots.

Should you be allowed to sell scissors in a store even though someone might use 'em to stab another? Well...yeah.

Would the madman have stabbed a person without the scissors he had bought? Probaby not, at least not untill he finds something else to stab with.

It's simply a fact that tehre's a whole lot of retarded, crazy people out there. They will remain crazy with or without having guns, scissors, playing videogames or training deadly martial arts-techniques.

Guns don't kill people, bullets do!

..eh, uhmm... :o you know what I mean. ;)

It annoys me that people continuously seek for something to blame, instead of opening their eyes and seeing the real problem. The problem is not the store that sells scissors or video games, it's those freaking idiots who's parents don't seem to realize that their son/daughter is a freaking idiot who should be given a brain transplant ASAP. :mad:

Crowy
04-17-2003, 06:58 AM
they saying is guns dont kill people i kill people....
i as in a psychotic gun weilding person who has no morals and thinks its right to kill people

did THAT make sense?

Luc Solar
04-17-2003, 07:48 AM
Originally posted by Crowy
they saying is guns dont kill people i kill people....


Yea, I knew that. t'was but a feeble attempt to be funneh... I guess I still need to work on that. :p

Wait a minute! "I kill people"? :confused:

...aaah.. whatever. Too tired. Need coffee.

BTW - I got a kid on the way and she/he will surely get to play computer games. I'll just monitor what games and when.

5 bucks sais he/she won't become a homocidal maniac. Anyone?

Eldritch
04-17-2003, 03:29 PM
Originally posted by Luc Solar
5 bucks sais he/she won't become a homocidal maniac. Anyone?
I won't take that bet, but I'll bet you 5 bucks that your future kid will be beating you at those video games in no time. :D

Crowy
04-17-2003, 07:55 PM
if you be a good father youll let him beat you sometimes :D

(i know thats off topic)

TheHobGoblin
04-18-2003, 09:50 AM
I blame the parents. They have to keep them off the road of viloence. I play violent games but nothing like (gta3) or those gorey games. I play something like THE THING or Max Payne or D2, something like that. I go for story not much action. If the Parents don't keep a watchful eye on the child he can just get or download one of those werid games. I started playing more mature games when I got much older. Yet not the too mature. If the parents fail then the child is done for. Parents do play a important roll. The parent shouldn't let the child play games but just by the rating like E or T if he is older. But a good game for everyone, thats fun and not violient (and I still love) is the MYST trilogy. You know, Myst then Riven Then Myst III: Exile. All those were one of my early games. I think thats a big help, leting the child think, enjoy, and still be away from the violence.

speck of dust
04-19-2003, 08:46 AM
lol, why doesn't it suprise me that not a single one of us voted "Yes" in the poll for 'do videogames make kids violent'?

Great thread, Eldritch. This issue has been on my mind for a while, especially with the spate of school shootings that started in the late 90's.

The one thing nobody pointed out here is that First Person Shooters, which are generally what we're referring to in regards to videogame violence (other than GTA 3) are just extensions of the same thing we all did as kids: running around our backyards with toy guns shooting at each other. I don't know about you guys, but my imagination was pretty sick when I was a kid. When I played in my backyard, it was REAL. I was shooting, punching, kicking, stabbing, choking my way through whole armies of imaginary enemies. I played with every ounce of drama as if I was it was real or at least a movie. That actually brings up another point: movies. I grew up in the 80's. Has anything of late been any more violent than the Stallone/ Rambo movies, or the Schwartzanegger movies, or Red Dawn, or any of those films I loved as a kid and re-enacted in my backyard? I can't even count how many Die Hard like scenarios I'd imagine myself in after I saw the movie....I took playing very seriously, as I'm sure you all did. All of my toy guns were black or silver, some were even metal, but they all looked very very real. (not this pink water gun stuff they have today)...I even had real grenades, dummy ones of course. And when i wasn't outside, I was inside doing the same thing with armies of G.I. Joe figures. Planning and executing an entire war from both sides. Did I or any of my friends ever cross the line and let this play violence get real? Occasionally. Was it ever anything serious? Never. I always knew deep down that when push came to shove, I didn't want to hurt anybody. My parents (who certainly hurt each other) taught me that. But they also let me use my imagination and creativity (probably because it kept me occupied...lol) Some kids just don't understand the fine line, or if they do, they don't care. Apathy is a bigger demon that stupidity, if you ask me. It's the kids who understand but don't have any regard for life and well being who are the worst. Those are the same kids who would act out in any situation, no matter what game or toy they play with.
Anyway, I see this evolution of drama and tension and action that we first get from our imaginations, then from movies and now (ever since the legend of Zelda got me immersed in a story and character driven video game back in '87) videogames.

We are no more violent now than we ever have been for the last few thousands of years. They used to watch public hangings and beheadings and gladiator matches all the time. Now we watch War and police chases and play GTA 3. It's in our genes and in our culture and in our imaginations because it scares, intrigues, and entertains us. So we can blame it on whatever we want, but the reason is simple: no matter how far foward we evolve, we'll never leave the animal kingdom we came from.