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Video game violence?


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Violent Video Games can Increase Aggression
May be more harmful than violent television and movies because of the interactive nature of the games

WASHINGTON - Playing violent video games like Doom, Wolfenstein 3D or Mortal Kombat can increase a person's aggressive thoughts, feelings and behavior both in laboratory settings and in actual life, according to two studies appearing in the April issue of the American Psychological Association's (APA) Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. Furthermore, violent video games may be more harmful than violent television and movies because they are interactive, very engrossing and require the player to identify with the aggressor, say the researchers.

"One study reveals that young men who are habitually aggressive may be especially vulnerable to the aggression-enhancing effects of repeated exposure to violent games," said psychologists Craig A. Anderson, Ph.D., and Karen E. Dill, Ph.D. "The other study reveals that even a brief exposure to violent video games can temporarily increase aggressive behavior in all types of participants."

Read the journal article
Video Games and Aggressive Thoughts, Feelings, and Behavior in the Laboratory and in Life (PDF, 870KB)The first study involved 227 college students who completed a measure of trait aggressiveness and reported their actual aggressive behaviors (delinquency) in the recent past. They also reported their video game playing habits. "We found that students who reported playing more violent video games in junior and high school engaged in more aggressive behavior," said lead author Anderson, of Iowa State University. "We also found that amount of time spent playing video games in the past was associated with lower academic grades in college."

In the second study, 210 college students played either a violent (Wolfenstein 3D) or nonviolent video game (Myst). A short time later, the students who played the violent video game punished an opponent (received a noise blast with varying intensity) for a longer period of time than did students who had played the nonviolent video game.

"Violent video games provide a forum for learning and practicing aggressive solutions to conflict situations," said Dr. Anderson. "In the short run, playing a violent video game appears to affect aggression by priming aggressive thoughts. Longer-term effects are likely to be longer lasting as well, as the player learns and practices new aggression-related scripts that can become more and more accessible for use when real-life conflict situations arise."

"One major concern is the active nature of the learning environment of the video game," say the authors. "This medium is potentially more dangerous than exposure to violent television and movies, which are known to have substantial effects on aggression and violence."

Article: "Video Games and Aggressive Thoughts, Feelings, and Behavior in the Laboratory and in Life," Craig A. Anderson, Ph.D., Iowa State University of Science and Technology and Karen E. Dill, Ph.D., Lenoir-Rhyne College, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Vol. 78, No. 4.

Reporters: Karen E. Dill, Ph.D., can be reached by telephone at (828) 328-7209

The American Psychological Association (APA), in Washington, DC, is the largest scientific and professional organization representing psychology in the United States and is the world's largest association of psychologists. APA's membership includes more than 159,000 researchers, educators, clinicians, consultants and students. Through its divisions in 53 subfields of psychology and affiliations with 59 state, territorial and Canadian provincial associations, APA works to advance psychology as a science, as a profession and as a means of promoting human welfare.

shold violent video games be banned? discuss.


...so what do you suggest? pulling everything with violent or suggestive themes off the shelves?
you're only giving half a debate.
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Well-Known Member
I didn't read the whole first post (too much for me). However my take on it is this:

1. Ban games that have excessive violence (such as Mortal Kombat)
2. Enforce the age restrictions on video games (movies are enforced, so why shouldn't video games be), if not better enforce it even with games with mild violence
3. There should be more games released on certain systems besides just shooting and/or violence games (PS3 and XBOX360 in general)


Green Eyed Girl
*hugs her SMT games tightly*

I ain't ever letting good storytelling and characters go to waste!


Beginning Trainer
technically, Pokemon would be under this catagory. A cartoonish flamethrower burning another pokemon alive. That's "violent". Professional sports games are "violent". Bone crushing tackling in football, checking in hockey, injuries in basketball, etc. I'm just showing how silly it would be to ban video game violence. One thing is for sure. Parents need to be parents. Parents just let their 10 year old kid play extremely violent video games and even when it's showing problems, parents continue to let their kids play those video games and not enforcing rules. I play games other than pokemon and I'll be damned before it's against the law to play Call of Duty or gta.


c l a r i t y
In Australia we have been trying to bring in a R18+ classification for video games eventually meaning violent games currently rated MA15+ would be inaccessible to young children.

My brother has a tendency to play adult-oriented games (he's 13 and he likes playing GTA: San Andreas and he even once played Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance) and I often try to steer him to something appropriate for his age.


Swampert Trainer
Banning violent video games would not only be very stupid, it would also be wasteful if a good game is never played solely because it's violent. That's a waste of an artform.


Team Aero Leader
Where's the line with the banning of video game violence? Do they mean no more GTA? Do they mean no more COD? Do they believe kids shouldn't be learning animal abuse through Pokémon and Super Mario Bros? There's no cutoff point, and everytime the government gets involved in this sort of thing, restrictions tend to be extreme.


No, don't ban violent games. I've played many violent games and I have no aggressive thoughts or feelings, and I know it is just a game. This is why they have ratings, kids under 16 or so shouldn't be allowed to play violent games. I know the official rating is 17+, but I have been playing them before that and I have been perfectly fine.


I would not ban any games unless they were seriously twisted and were unbelievably violent. None of those kind of games exist at the moment as far as I know. Shooting and fighting games in my opinion are absolutely fine, it's all just a bit of fun. If parents have complaints against their kids playing these kinda games, then frankly they should monitor what their kids do, not try to ruin it for every other kid out there.


The Moral Aethiest
I don't know if the censors realize this but the world is violent, people are violent, and the rest of media is, you guessed it, violent. Humans have found violence entertaining for a long time, in Rome entertainment involved watching real human being kill each other gruesomely. Yeah there may be a few bad apples who do things like go shoot up a school and sure, they probably had an Xbox or Playstation in the house, but guess what else they had in that house; a television, computer, books, possibly a religious text of some kind. They blamed low grades and misbehaviour on rock and roll and comic books too, anything to take the blame off the parents who raise the kid.


Prince of Darkness
Ohh! My (old) thread has been born again!

The only things video games have made me do is save a princess or twelve, blow up Metroids, catch 'em all, stab Ganondorf in the chest, race to the finish, beat up zombies, re-enact the Normandy landing, level up, and copy my enemy's abilities. I seriously doubt I can even do any of this stuff in real life, so how do video games influence me to beat the crap out of people?

I understand it's only fiction. If video games can make people violent, then movies, books, comics, music, and all other forms of media can do it too. Because that's what it is. It's simply a form of entertainment media. I've been playing/buying T games since I was 11, and although I haven't owned any, I've been playing M games a while before that. (Although, now I do own a few M games) If someone is seriously deluded enough to actually think that video games are real, then that's not insanity, or murderous rage. That's just idiocy. The people who think that people will kill because a video game told them to are even bigger morons.

On another note... I blame the parents. Why the hell do you guys even spend your own money purchasing these rated M/T games for your own kids? Do you parents like, don't know any other way to shut your kids up? Does it really have to be this way? If you know your kid is irresponsible and you know that he might be totally influenced, then don't waste your money.
I absolutely hate it when the parents blame the producers, that's why we got a god damn rating that no one pays attention to anymore. We've got warnings dammit, the game producers are not trying to start a whole war between children and have them carry guns, they're just doing this for entertainment. Its the parent's fault, not the kids, not the producers.

Am I right?

Plus there are MANY more games that are actually SUITABLE for children. Not this COD stuff, not the Left 4 Dead, there's Kingdom Hearts, Spyro plus Crash Bandicoot and Pokemon!. Those aren't terribly influential.

lugia p

zekrom trainer
They have a rating just use it.


*** gladio et sale
I didn't read the whole first post (too much for me). However my take on it is this:

1. Ban games that have excessive violence (such as Mortal Kombat)
2. Enforce the age restrictions on video games (movies are enforced, so why shouldn't video games be), if not better enforce it even with games with mild violence
3. There should be more games released on certain systems besides just shooting and/or violence games (PS3 and XBOX360 in general)

1. Don't buy it
2. It's mostly "bad parenting"
3. No.

This is another one of those things where terrible parents just can't say no to their kids so they go to the government. If a child plays Mortal Kombat then brings knives to school cause he wants to be like Kano then the boy should be put in juvie(spelling?) and the parents should be punished also.


Well-Known Member
It really is the parent's fault for buying the kid the game in the first place.
You don't need to ban a game just because you think it's too violent.

And again, I always think it depends on the person's character. If they tend to be an aggressive immature kid, don't let them play Call of Duty.
And if they are more calm and mature, let them watch or play some Halo 3.
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I do not agree with removing violence from video games. You would have to remove violence from movies, children cartoons, and the News. It would also be preventing free speach/act. There are always problems with research. There could be issues with how the study was conducted (many problems here), and (possibly most important) is the bias of the study. Who is actually funding this research (this in itself could explain the results). Most of these research studies don't deserve to have people read them.


Swampert Trainer
What happened is that they completely reversed the causality. Violent games don't inspire violence, violence inspires violent games. The games wouldn't be made if there was no demand.

Forretress Fan

Let's Go
This whole ban violent video games is just a scapegoat from the government to explain why our country has turned out this way. Kids arent influenced by animated characters killing another to go out and be violent, they watch domestic violence at home or television shows that involve violence. I agree the age restriction is good, but I mean I wouldn't mind if the Rated M games go from 17 to 18, even though I'm 18. Most states like mine require an ID scanned to purchase Rated M games, TN btw. But by 18, these "kids" are adults then. And adults should probably be able to decide if they want to buy a game or not. The Rated T has only a few swear words and maybe a revealing shirt by a female, both of these admire to the 13-17 age group, it's just good marketing. Plus if they came up with this whole video game ideal, did they do a poll from serial killers if they played video games as children? No.