Do Video Games Make You Violent? An In-Depth Analysis

By Jos
Jan 17, 2013
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  1. I agree with other posters that children playing adult rated games under age might be an issue (mainly due to the exposure of older players). Other than that, the whole issue is blatantly a highly subjective one and any attempt to perform a such study with the aim of reaching a definative conclusion/solution (clearly likely given source) is doomed to fail in the long term.
  2. treetops

    treetops TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 1,570   +41

    All I know is that level where you shoot civilians at a airport in modern ware 2 aint right, it gives crazy people bad ideas.
  3. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 2,192   +511

    If I play violent video games & feel violent tendencies coming on I simply go & watch a few episodes of Pinkie & the Brain to deduce where they went wrong in their quest to take over the world then modify my own plan for taking over the world.

    This subject has been discussed to death numerous times and I feel it's all to do with with the individuals themselves.
    It's a touchy subject I know & we all have our personal feeling about it but there is no conclusive evidence that violent games & movies are the real culprits. The real culprit is the offenders weak state of mind at the time of the offence but bear in mind I'm just the average layman with no qualifications to diagnose the problem, It's just my view.
  4. The most innocent title can cause an adverse situation.

    That is why we need good parenting to act as a counter balance. Far too many gaming titles have dodgy morals and that is a big no no. ME3 & GTA are fine examples.

    Games (as yet) does not spew the same amount of filth as Hollywood but I fear things are changing for the worse.
  5. Arsh_505

    Arsh_505 Newcomer, in training

    Been playing games since I was 12 and in last 14 years it has not made me any violent, as a matter of fact I can not even see extreme violence in movies. I still love games. We humans always have to blame something or someone but never our selves.
  6. Does violent video games desensitize a child? Yes, but as a parent you should keep tabs on them to make sure that it is not real and look for odd behavior.

    Really, I think that playing video games doesn't make you violent but you tend to let off some steam if you get pwned repeatedly if you're a noob to a game or if the child's mom and dad says, no more games for the day, "Johnny".
  7. Wizwill

    Wizwill Newcomer, in training

    I suggest reading the SiFi novel "Ender's Game". It is a few years old but tells a chilling tale quite apropos to the article's premise.
    I also think a close examination of the links between 1st person shooter game makers and military sniper recruiters might be in order.
  8. misor

    misor TechSpot Addict Posts: 754   +114

    No, it does not.

    we already had brutal wars (world and race/ethnic/religion/beliefs) even before the advent of "violent video games".

    however, I believe that "violence-prone" people have greater tendencies to like violent video games.
  9. Jcanno0759

    Jcanno0759 Newcomer, in training

    Won't be able to play madden any more because it causes head injuries
  10. gamoniac

    gamoniac TechSpot Enthusiast Posts: 194   +45

    Well said.
  11. LukeDJ

    LukeDJ TechSpot Addict Posts: 413   +111

    I once played a game of Battlefield 3, and I killed a guy, so I went and killed a guy in real life cos' the game made me," said no one ever.
  12. We all are capable of violence and we are all capable of love. Games, Movies, Media, etc. can't make us act one way or another this is a choice we make within ourselves however these things can and do influence us. I find if I play some violent games here and there it's no big deal however if I overdo it, I do get more irritable. I guess some of these questions become a chicken and egg type of question, which comes first violence or violent tendencies? As far as the recent shootings, I believe the answer is to have a more supportive mental health plan rather than eliminate all “bad” things.
  13. Does Cartoons make Americans violent?? Hhhmmm...! Anyways, Video Games are the scape goat of sick indolent american kids who lacks proper parental guidance and role models.

    If video games make one belligerent... then so does being swindled an inch from my "Foot Long" by Sub-way.
    jcarr11 likes this.
     
  14. davislane1

    davislane1 TechSpot Maniac Posts: 863   +279

    Video games are not, nor have they ever been, the problem. The problem is the culture and (poor) parenting that creates violent, aggressive individuals who are completely devoid of empathy and self-control. The sooner people figure this out the sooner we will be able to devise meaningful solutions that have a real impact. Until then, expect the typical knee-jerk reactions by voters/politicians/academics/etc. to accomplish exactly what they've always accomplished: not much of anything.
    TS-56336 likes this.
  15. rculver9056

    rculver9056 Newcomer, in training Posts: 28   +7

    The US government is just avoiding the massive outrage that a ban on certain types of guns would cause because of whichever of your Amendments it is (I forget, sorry) that covers the "right to take up arms".
    When it was written (and in the context in which it is was written - I.e. after a war), wasn't it possibly meant as "the right to take up arms _against a common enemy_" anyway...?

    They are just seriously skating around the real issues here - no grubby politician who wants to keep their position will want to get in on THAT debate!

    Perhaps they should also take care of parents who (as others have already stated) allow their under-age kids to play this stuff, and then complain that their kids are playing this stuff.

    I also agree with the comments that the games don't make you violent - you need the tendency to want to hurt / maim / kill to play them.
    I have played GTA4, but have so far managed to resist the urge to drive a vehicle into a load of people in the street, or go on a gun rampage (though the kids in the cities over here seem to prefer stabbing each other anyway...).

    People are the problem. It's just that when either they get faced with the consequences, or their parents feel the need to defend their actions, it is a reason: "The video game made me him it! He was as gentle as a lamb before that!"

    I'll leave it at that, but just end with saying that the first comment I made here is no way meant as anti-American. Very anti-government though. Including our own lying, cheating, thieving bastard government who skate around issues in exactly the same manner...
  16. Im sure this has already been said but little kids dont need to be playing M rated games. This is a rating there for a reason. Do video games make someone "violent?" IMO, no. Maybe for children who don't know any better who lack actual parenting. I mean, you might get pissed and throw the controller or punch your tv, but that does not cause someone to go shoot people. If the question is "Do video games INSPIRE people to become violent?" I would say hardly... but movies are much much more effective as an "inspiration" than any video game these days. What I mean by inspiration, if you haven't already guessed is this: A mentally ill child/teenager/ or even "adult" watches...say...The Dark Knight (2nd batman movie with the Joker) then they might be "inspired" by what Heath Ledger's character, the Joker, does. I can't tell you how many times I've heard the Joker's "it's all part of the plan" philosophy. That same philosophy a mentally ill person could easily take too far. In video games, the characters hardly have any reasoning or thoughts for what they do... their either obviously good or bad and there's no question about it. With that being said, IMO, the anti-violence hammer needs to be slammed down on movies, not video games.
  17. Oops

    that*** lack actual parenting.
  18. The reality behind the subject matter is all tied into politics, scaretactics and diversion. Never mind the fact that these crazy kids are able to aquire guns because they're littered around the country, no.. let's blame video games. Yes, we (the gamers) are (as you say) sick and tired of hearing about all these *****s that are trying to make games the new devil. Articles like these are just made to troll for debates. :p
  19. davislane1

    davislane1 TechSpot Maniac Posts: 863   +279

    2nd Amendment, the right to keep and bear arms. The amendment is intended to restrict the government's powers by forbidding them from seizing weapons from citizens. It's based not on the right to "take up arms against a common enemy," but on the right to defend one's self from an agressor (be this a home invader, mugger, etc., or even the gov't itself).

    As this relates to the government not banning certain types of guns... It is not their place to do so (as established by the Second Amendment and the fact that it would end political careers). Although I agree that they need to take meaningful action instead of playing politics, none of the proposals from so-called "serious" gun-control leaders would do anything but create a false sense of security (see: wouldn't meaningfully impact net gun crime).
  20. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TechSpot Paladin Posts: 5,067   +1,180

    I really do get tired of hearing these types of comments. Has anyone ever considered the possibility that if its not safe for kids, then it may not be safe for adults either? If there is anything you want a kids to strive toward possessing, tell them they can't have it until they turn of age. Restricting kids from anything is one sure fire way of making sure they strive toward a goal of no longer having the restriction.

    And the parenting thing, some kids grow up to spite their parents regardless of how they were raised. Pointing a finger at parents is as absurd as pointing a finger at games.
  21. davislane1

    davislane1 TechSpot Maniac Posts: 863   +279

    Only if all of cognitive psychology is wrong. Video games are a consumer item...They expose children to ideas and concepts. Parents and the culture they choose to immerse their children in determine how that exposure is processed and and later applied. Statistical outliers who develop away from the mean are hardly a refutation of the general theory.
  22. TorturedChaos

    TorturedChaos TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 843   +11

    For those who are disusing the 2nd Amendment of the US Constitution here is the exact text:
    "A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed."

    To me that says I should have the right to own any weapon to defend my self and family from other individuals, outside threats, and even our own gov't.

    As for all this discussion of whether not violent video games lead to more aggressive behavior - I personally do not think it by itself does, and that their are too many variables in any experient to draw a definitive conclusion. To property test this you would have to bring in a group of children with the same age, race, moral and ethical background, home life, personalities, etc - ie: clones of each other. If "Timmy" shows more aggressive behavior after playing violent video games, then there must be a connection! Lets not take into account that Timmy is already a rather aggressive kid who's father is a **** and yells at him every night. Or that Bob doesn't show an increase in aggressive behavior, but it wasn't taken into account that both his parents are pacifist who are very polite and well manor, along with their son. Overall, their are too many variables to diffidently test this.

    And IMO I think it has to do more with the patently and the child's home life. I have been exposed to violent media a fair amount in my life, and probably some of it too young. I was bullied, I had/have plenty of access to firearms, but I never had the urge to shoot of my school. I am not considered an aggressive person my my friends and co-workers.

    Someone was arguing that more gun control would fix this. I disagree. The area I live in a semi-rural area. Just about every house hold has a firearm or six. Hunting is state-wide pass time, and is more or less a month long holiday here. Asking time off for hunting is perfectly normal, and most business slow way down during hunting season (except the sporting good stores :p). Everyone of my friend who was raised here owns a gun, and by the age of 10 knew how to shoot it and was instructed in proper gun safety. There has never been a school shooting in my state.
    davislane1 likes this.
  23. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TechSpot Paladin Posts: 5,067   +1,180

    Children expose children to ideas and concepts. Hardly something you can blame on a specific parent, when a completely different parent in the same school was the weak link. What makes matters worse is the thought of how many years these ideas and concepts have been circulating. You see it's not something any one parent can control.
  24. rculver9056

    rculver9056 Newcomer, in training Posts: 28   +7

    Ok, I sort of missed the whole point of the 2nd Amendment...It was some time ago that I read them and I'd forgotten those points (well, the whole point really!).
    My apologies for not researching first.

    And I agree that anyone should be able to defend their home, thier families and themselves. Over here, if someone breaks in the best you can do is watch them rob you....Or was that revised recently as well...? lol...Off to do some reading I think...
  25. TomSEA

    TomSEA TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,229   +314

    I laugh when I see all the studies showing "proof" of aggression being sweating, rising blood pressure, accelerated breathing, etc. Guess what? People get that way playing Monopoly, Chess, Checkers and Bridge.

    I had to get near the end of the article before I saw the definitive word on this - competition. It's competition that makes the game a game. People don't mow down other people in CoD because they get a hard-on looking at the blood splatters - it's because they're winning the competition.

    I have no doubt that adventure/action games and movies generates aggressiveness. After I saw the Matrix I wanted to jump into that world big-time and become a kung-fu, machine gunnin' fool. But that lasted about 5 minutes because I'm a normal, rational human being.

    Tens of millions play computer games each and every day. And at the end of their play session they don't grab some guns and head to the nearest school for a little blood-letting. The politicians - wanting to make themselves look like they're doing something - want an easy scapegoat, so they conveniently point fingers at games and movies. Because addressing the real problem, which is mental illness and gun security is too hard

    How about we not blame the 160 million people who play games and manage to get along just fine in life for the actions of 6 (who are coincidentally broken inside) that commit these heinous crimes against humanity?
    davislane1 and cliffordcooley like this.


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