Why Violent Video Games Is Not A Cause Of Aggression

Most video games released these days feature aggressive elements. As a result, there have been concerns raised against them in connection to aggression among young people. While debates about this issue have dragged on for the past 15 years according to Griffiths (1999), there has not been much research into the matter. However, recent research indicates that the effects of violent video games have been overstated. Dr. Cheryl Olson and Dr. Christopher Ferguson presented findings which indicated that violent games like “Halo”, and “Mortal Kombat” did not cause depressed teens or teens showing signs of attention deficit disorder to turn into aggressive delinquents or bullies. As a matter of fact, the findings showed that the games caused the teens to be calm individuals with reduced aggression symptoms. This claim is not restricted to teens and children with mental health illnesses.

According to Paul Adachi, a Ph.D candidate, in a paper published in the Journal of Youth and Adolescence, aggressive behavior stems from competition and not from videogames. He linked aggression and competition in a study done in 2011. His study involved 1771 students in high school. When studying the effects video games had on the students, a considerable number who played sports games and racing games that involved high levels of competitiveness showed tendencies of aggression than their counterparts who played direct combat games.

Aggression comprises hostile verbal behavior and hostile physical behavior. Keeping this claim in mind, it is prudent to note that most articles, written about video games and aggression, are based on incorrect conclusions. It is reported that a number of such researchers could have had participants play Mortal Kombat and similarly violent games which were also competitive and, therefore, the high competitiveness brewed aggressiveness. Elimination of the competitiveness shows reduced aggressiveness with participants cooperating with each other being the least aggressive participants.

In light of the above findings, Adachi, therefore, urges fellow researchers and psychology experts to engage each other in positive research to find out about the positive effects of video games as would be seen in cooperation and team work in such games. Cooperation breeds good values not only in games but also in real life experiences. Research along these lines will prove beyond reasonable doubt that video games do not cause aggression.

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