Do Violent Video Games Make you Violent?
How it works
A common myth about violent video games is the user is more prone to become violent along with a whole lot more issues like desensitization and many other things. Many think this because it has been a big bad wolf for the media blaming things like school shootings and other horrible things on violent video games. I personally play violent video games and have been asked frequently if i feel violent playing the games.
In a article by the washington post in december of 2016 they made the argument that violent video games don’t make you violent. One of the main arguments that this article shows states that violent video games might actually help users avoid violence by having it be almost like an outlet similar to working out when upset. It states that a study in 2014 conducted by Stetson University showed that playing video games full of violence and killing actually decreases violent behavior. It is also stated that studies have shown that action oriented video games can enhance motor skills. New York university in shanghai did a study and found that extensive playing of unreal tournament which is a first person shooter game or FPS resulted in quicker reactions in drivers when being tested. Also to seal the deal most people think that video games decrease social skills, but a study at Texas Tech University stated that violent video games actually increase social skills.
How it works
A lot of violent video games such as Halo or the famous Call Of Duty franchise have you play online with a team of people and mostly random people to achieve a number of different goals forcing you to work together to beat the other team increasing social skills. The next topic i’m going to address is if video games cause desensitization. This theory states that if you see it happen in video games then you will be used to it if it happens in real life for example if you play violent video games that have a lot of killing in it you would be almost used to it if you were to see it in real life. In 2016 a study was conducted by multiple scientist from the University of Buffalo, MIchigan State University, and University of California, Santa Barbara conducted a study to figure out if video games cause desensitization for both other play experiences and real-life this is important towards the end of the experiment.
The experiment consisted of the scientists having the subjects play different versions of the same violent video game for four days. Each day they had the role the subjects play switch every other day. So for two of the days they would play as an american soldier and the other two days they played as a terrorist. The point made is that one character was “”moral”” and the other was “”immoral”” testing to see how people would react playing as a character doing bad things. On the fifth day they had the subjects play a “”novel”” game as a terrorist they found the players felt less guilty doing bad things as the terrorist. So they came to the conclusion that playing violent video games may lead to a desensitization to other games they came to the conclusion and I quote “”The researchers conclude that this study provides causal, longitudinal evidence regarding the potential of repeated violent video game playing to lead to emotional desensitization with regard to future video game-play”” (https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-athletes-way/201604/violent-video-games-can-trigger-emotional-desensitization)
So basically they found that habituation occurs which is the psychological idea that when exposed to something long enough you will get used to that something, and they connected that to video games but earlier they stated that they were going to test it for both real life and other video games. I found it extremely funny that they set out to see if desensitization applies to both real life and games but when it came to their final conclusion they were only able to say that desensitization occurs when playing other video games. So based off of my research I Found that videogames are actually beneficial for you and don’t really cause you to be violent. Science seems to be always conflicting on this topic but i think it honestly isn’t as bad as it is made out to be. So if you are worried that after playing call of duty you are going to want to shoot up a school this is just not the case.