Violent Video Games and Teenagers

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Everyone has access to violent video games on the market. Many of these violent videos focus on substance addiction and human murder. They also facilitate illegal activity that is disrespectful to authority and the law. Playing these videos has become a common pastime among many teenagers. The impact of violent video games on adolescents will be examined in this article.

Negative Effects

When coping with problems, teens who play violent video games are more violent. In reality, they are more likely to use violent means to resolve family conflicts in the future. When coping with such problems, most teens who are easily enraged over trivial matters can be brutal. In fact, they tend to have a low tolerance for anyone who offends them. They have less time to socialize with friends since most of their time is spent playing the violent video games (Breuer, Vogelgesang, Quandt, & Festl, 2015). Therefore, they fail to know more about the teenage life. Addiction to violent video games may lead to reduced grades in school. In fact, teens who are always playing violent video games put aside less time for their studies. Also, they have less time to spend with the family member or even do their school work. Additionally, they have less or no time to exercise their hobbies. Besides, these hobbies would later form the basis of their careers. Instead, they choose to play the games and forget about things they can do best.

Most of the teenagers spend more time playing these violent videos games as compared to that spent in doing their exercise. Thereby, their bodies become overweight and such weight can cause some disease. Lack of training for teenagers is not suitable for their health. The players may decide to exercise the crimes in the videos like theft in real life. Thereby, the tendency of committing such crimes like theft and shootings in violent video games make them vulnerable to break the laws. As a result, they are dealt with by the criminal systems, and they may be jailed for such actions (Gabbiadini, Riva, Andrighetto, Volpato, & Bushman, 2014). Therefore, the videos increase the criminal act by the teenage group.

Teenagers are required to become less aggressive as they grow. Instead, the players tend to use more violent actions when dealing with other people owing to the influence they acquire from the violent games they play. In fact, the only way they can deal with conflicts or their rivals is by using violent means. They cannot solve any conflict as adults as they are likely to react the same way as the characters in the games do. The more they play the violent video games the more they become aggressive and hostile. These violent videos teach the wrong teen values (Gentile, Li, Khoo, Prot, & Anderson, 2014). For instance, video games which show violence against women make the teens have the perception that women are helpless and abusing them may not an issue. Therefore, male teenage tend to use violent means to solve any conflict between them and females. Also, they are likely to behave violently toward their wife when they marry since to them the videos taught them that violence is the only way to deal with their conflicts. In fact, these violent video games showing women been abused by men also makes female teenagers develop hatred against the male. They view them as their enemy, and they fear to have them as friends.

The violent video games make the teenage players socially isolated. Teens who are addictive to these games find less or no time to play other games outside the field which may be of help to their health and development. The players learn how violent acts are associated with rewards. For instance, the violent play games show people receiving awards for criminal acts like shooting another person. Thereby, this video is against moral values in real life setting as people acquire rewards for helping others (Granic, Lobel, & Engels, 2014). A teenager playing a video where one gets rewarded for hurting the other gives them the perception that inflicting pain on other people is right. Therefore, they are more likely to keep injuring other people rather than helping them.

The player tends to practice the violent actions in these violent videos they play. As a result, these practices become an automatic response to issues in their adulthood. In fact, the players learn how to be a criminal by practicing criminal acts that they have seen in the play which for that matter are rewarded (Greitemeyer & Mügge, 2014). The videos which have more emphases on drug abuse and alcohol use make the teens addictive to such behavior. Thus, they find it fun to take those drugs which later affect them in the decision making on how to improve their life. The teens may get expelled from school due to drug taking activities. As a result, their education is impaired, and due to these frustrations, they join criminal groups.

Positive Effects

Nevertheless, these games have some positive impacts on the teenagers. The player can improve on the technological performance. Consequently, they can learn to coordinate their eyes and hands while playing. In fact, the player has to match the brains reaction and interpret it with his hands' movement. The player learns how to think fast and to be accurate. Indeed, the activities in the video require the player make quick decisions. The violent video games which need people to work as a group encourage teamwork among the teenagers. Despite the videos causing people to commit crimes, it can also help in reducing them. The time which they might have used to do criminal activities is spent playing these videos.

Teen’s Role to Avoid Negative Effects from Violent Video Games

For teens to avoid adverse influence by the violent videos, they have to avoid using long hours playing. They should find an alternative way of spending their leisure. Also, they should balance their time by using more time on essential activities like reading and doing their homework. They should play videos which help to improve their moral behavior and how they relate to other people of their age (Greitemeyer & Mügge, 2014). They should not at any point try to practice whatever violent act played in the video. Notably, they should have an understanding of what’s to pick and apply in real life. Also, they should avoid playing the videos in the presence of their younger sibling because children can hardly control their feelings.

Parent’s Role to Ensure that their Teen Children do not Play for Long Hours

Parents have a role to play in preventing their teen children from getting addicted to the videos. In fact, they should monitor the time they take to play and ensure they do not partake of them for long hours. Parents should strictly set specific hour when the teen can play and for how long they should play. Also, parents should not keep the playing instruments in their children’s room so that they can carefully watch the game they play (Gentile et al., 2014). Additionally, parents should have a close relationship with the teen to ensure that they monitor any criminal activity that the teen could engage. Closeness between the two parties will help the parent note any changes and try to rectify if it’s an adverse change.

In conclusion, these violent video games have more negative impacts on the teenage development than other form entertainment like playing football with friends of the same age. Also, the violent activities played tend to negatively affect the teenage lives when they become adults. Therefore, it is advisable that they play the games for a shorter time if at all they must do that. Also, they should try other games without violent acts or even consider engaging themselves in other activities which will improve their behaviors.

References

Breuer, J., Vogelgesang, J., Quandt, T., & Festl, R. (2015). Violent video games and physical aggression: Evidence for a selection effect among adolescents. Psychology of Popular Media Culture, 4(4), 305-328.

Gabbiadini, A., Riva, P., Andrighetto, L., Volpato, C., & Bushman, B. J. (2014). Interactive effect of moral disengagement and violent video games on self-control, cheating, and aggression. Social Psychological and Personality Science, 5(4), 451-458.

Gentile, D. A., Li, D., Khoo, A., Prot, S., & Anderson, C. A. (2014). Mediators and moderators of long-term effects of violent video games on aggressive behavior: Practice, thinking, and action. JAMA Pediatrics, 168(5), 450-457.

Granic, I., Lobel, A., & Engels, R. C. (2014). The benefits of playing video games. American Psychologist, 69(1), 66-78.

Greitemeyer, T., & Mügge, D. O. (2014). Video games do affect social outcomes: A meta-analytic review of the effects of violent and prosocial video game play. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 40(5), 578-589

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