Are Video Games Making Children More Aggressive?

PC gamer playing Fortnite on desktop
Photo by Alex Haney on Unsplash

A game is a series of interesting choices.

Sid Meier

I had no idea what I was doing in university. My undergrad was a long five-year stint. I felt like every university student meme out there, especially when it came to taking the required courses. All first-year students had no choice but to take an academic writing course. It’s a course that teaches university students, well, how to be university students. From MLA, APA to Chicago Style, we learned how to write it all in under four months. I lived and breathed academic writing. 

Our semester-end assignment was a combination of everything we learned and how to argue for or against a topic. Our professor gave us free rein to choose any topic we wanted, just as long as we presented an argument. I was an avid gamer, even in 2011, so naturally, I chose something gaming related. The topic I chose was “The Effects of Violent Video Games on Adolescent’s Aggressive Behaviour: A Short Review.” I realized it was a huge undertaking, but I was interested in the subject matter. 

What I learned didn’t surprise me. 

Through my research on the topic, I learned violent video games can contribute to aggressive behaviour in adolescents – emphasis on can. A child’s temperament, upbringing, socioeconomic status and signs of pre-existing behavioural problems are also important factors that can effect aggressive behaviour. Violent video games alone are not a sole contributor to the makings of an aggressive child. 

What about sex? 

I’m glad you asked. Females and males react to violent video games differently. Females and males react to violence differently, in general. Males are biologically more aggressive than females and tend to be influenced by games more. Even a child’s age can change the way they react to violent games. 

But if this is the case, why are violent video games still considered the problem? 

Once again, there are many factors. Video games, I think, are still a very new form of entertainment. How video games affect our everyday actions is still under a large question mark.

Have you ever played a video game and completely forgot about everyone else? Have you ever spoken to an NPC (non-playable character) as if they were in front of you? Yeah, me too. Video games today are so advance and life-like that people can forget the difference between what is real and imagined. If an adult gamer has moments like this, imagine how difficult it would be for a child. 

There is no perfect answer to this. The video gaming industry is a business. The industry knows what sells and life-like virtual experiences sell, especially violent video games.

Playing video games, nowadays it is considered cool. Gone are the days when sitting in front of a computer or a TV screen for hours was lame. 

Today, we are dealing with a new wave of technologically-savvy young people. We have a bunch of research on how it negatively affects them. Somehow, we have to teach them healthy technological consumption; the earlier we start, the better. 

If you’re curious, I linked a copy of my university paper, “The Effects of Violent Video Games on Adolescent’s Aggressive Behaviour: A Short Review,” for you.

What do you think about the violent video games debate? Should there be more regulation in the types of video games children can play? Should we get rid of video games altogether? Let me know in the comments below.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s