Do Violent Video Games Cause Aggressive Behavior?

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Does playing video games cause aggressive behavior? Because children and teenagers spend an increased amount of time each day playing video games, they are shaping their values, attitudes, and behaviors. For people who do act out aggressively, the results can be deadly. Monthly, the news is filled with blood-chilling accounts of crimes committed due to a copy-cat obsession with violent video games. This paper will present a brief review of literature and reveal the difficulties in answering this question with certainty. For the past 40 years, since the first video games were created, the gaming industry has developed games that would surpass other games before it. Since the late 1970’s, when the first two games of “Pacman” and “Space Invaders” were created, video games have changed tremendously over time. The late 1970’s through the 1980’s video game makers used what was called an 8-bit graphic system, which limited many features they could put in video games (Porter & Starcevic, 2007). Violence was not realistic, blood was not red, and so violence in video games was not incorporated into the new games that appeared on the market. In the early 1990’s, video game makers began using a 16-bit graphic system which would enable them to incorporate much more detail of violence and blood into video games. This caused an increase in violent video game demand and an increase in realistic violent events incorporated into these games (Porter & Starcevic, 2007). With technology in video games enhanced, the productivity on violent videos games moved up as well. When a game called ‘Mortal Kombat’ was released in the early 1990’s with a gruesome death seen in the game, the US Congress had to intervene. They told the gaming industry they had to come up with an accurate grading system to rate the games on age-appropriateness and content-appropriateness. This brought on the “Entertainment Software Rating Board.” While rating each video game and posting that rate on them has improved access by small children, teens and young adults can still buy and view very violent scenes(Porter & Starcevic, 2007). In 2007, there was a tragic event at Virginia Tech University. A young man by the name of Seung Hui Cho went on a rampage on the campus and killed a total of “32 students and faculty” (Ferguson, 2007).

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