There has been a lot of debate surrounding the effect of violence in video games on children. Some people believe that it can lead to aggressive behavior, while others argue that it has no impact at all. Regardless of what side you are on, it is important to understand the potential risks involved and how they can be mitigated.
Research has shown that exposure to violent video games can increase aggressive behavior and thoughts, including verbal and physical aggression. This is especially true in children who are already predisposed to aggressive behavior or have other risk factors, such as poor family functioning. Playing violent video games can also desensitize children to violence, making them more accepting of it in real life.
The American Psychological Association (APA) have published multiple studies on this topic. They found that playing violent video games can increase the likelihood of aggressive behavior and decreased empathy towards others. They also found that children who played violent video games were more likely to report feeling numb or detached from their emotions.
While some people argue that playing violent video games can actually be cathartic, allowing children to release their aggression in a safe and controlled environment, there is no strong evidence to support this claim. In fact, some studies have found that playing violent video games can actually increase feelings of anger and aggression.
To mitigate the potential risks of exposure to violent video games, it is essential that parents monitor their children’s gaming habits and ensure that games are age-appropriate. Even if a game is rated for a certain age group, parents should still research it thoroughly to determine if it is appropriate for their child. Additionally, parents should limit the amount of time their children spend playing video games and encourage them to engage in other activities, such as sports or board games.
It is also important for schools and other organizations that work with children to educate them about the potential risks associated with violent video games. This includes teaching children how to recognize violent behavior and providing them with safe and positive outlets for their emotions.
In conclusion, exposure to violent video games can have a negative impact on children and increase the likelihood of aggressive behavior. While it is important to recognize that not all children who play violent video games will become violent, it is still important to monitor gaming habits and ensure that games are age-appropriate. By working together, we can help to mitigate the potential risks and ensure that children are safe and healthy both on and off-screen.