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Violent video games and their effects

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It’s a highly debated subject by politicians, doctors, and parents to ban violent video games. There have been a number of accounts where adolescents cause mass murder. Police Officers and doctors concluded that they were influenced by violent video games. The game “Doom” was played by Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold before they went on a shooting and bombing spree at their high school, Columbine High School, in 1999. They killed 13 people and injured 24 people. Since that first mass murder at a high school, there have been several copy cats shootings, mainly occurring in American high school. For example, the Adam Lanza, a 20-year-old, fatally shot 20 children and 6 adult staff members after he was influenced by Angers Breivik’s massacre that took the lives of 77 people. Both Lanza and Breivik we a fan of violent video games. Hasan, Begue, and Bushman (2012) examine for the first time cardiac coherence a measurement to link aggression as the effect of violent video games. Cardiac Coherence is the smoothness synchronization of the heart and breathing rhythm (Hasan, Begue & Bushman, 2013).

When there is an emotional or physical stimulation imbalance it is picked up out by Cardiac Coherence (Childre & Cryer, 2004). Cardiac Cohernece is more directly related to negative affect such as stress than other physiological measurements making it a highly useful for aggression research (Childre & Cryer, 2004). Also numerous studies pervious have shown that Cardiac Coherence is a well-accepted physiological measure of stress (Hasan, Begue & Bushman, 2012).Cardiac Coherence is preferred because it is only measured using a comfortable clip that is attached to the earlobe (Hasan, Beque, Bushman, 2012). Measuring equipment is more comfortable to wear, inexpensive compared to other physiological equipment, and very easy for researchers to use (Hasan, Begue & Bushman, 2012).

Participants in Hasan, Begue, and Bushman (2012) research were randomly assigned to play a violent or nonviolent game for 20 minutes whist Cardiac Coherence equipment recorded. Violent video games should directly prime aggressive thoughts and stimulate frustration and aggressive structures (Anderson & Bushman 2001; Harvard Mental Health Letter, 2010). Aggression a forceful, hostile or attaching behavior that is intended to harm an individual (Anderson & Bushman 2001). Hassa, Begue, and Bushman (2012) found in their research that people who played a violent video game we more aggressive than were the participants who played a nonviolent game. Therefore, stress made the participants cranky and frustrated (Hasan, Beque, Bushman, 2012).

Anderson and Bushman (2001) found that long-term exposure of violent media to children increases aggressiveness as adolescents, and short-term exposure to violent video games causes a temporary increase in aggression. Overtime people who play violent video games may experience numbing their emotions, nightmares and sleep problems, impair school performance. Violent video games have a higher rate of being the cause of bullying (Harvard Mental Health Letter, 2010). Boys participate more often than girls do. Children learn by observing and mimicking (Harvard Mental Health Letter, 2010).

Similarly Saleem, Anderson, and Gentile (2012) conducted a research observing children behavior during and after playing a violent and nonviolent games. Participants were recruited through a call out for child participants ages 9 to 14. They were rewarded with 20 dollars when they complete the study (Saleem, Anderson,& Gentile 2012). Prior to the experimental procedure participants had to complete the Buss-Perry aggression questionnaire to scale a person trait aggression. To evaluate a participants helping or hurting behavior they used the tangram procedure (Saleem, Anderson,& Gentile 2012).

Participates played they assigned game for 30 minutes and they chose 11 tangrams for their partner (there was no actual partner).There were there different type of video games type prosocial, neutral, or violent. Depending on way kind of tangram puzzles the participant gives to their partner, they will be label as helping or violent. If their partner complete 10 of the 11 grams within 10 minutes, their partner who receive a 10 dollar gift certificate (Saleem, Anderson,& Gentile 2012). Then they were told they would receive 11 tangrams from their partner and although their performance would be scored they were not eligible to win a gift certificate. It was an intention move to make it unfair for them to win a reward. The goal was to observer the participant’s behavior and how a violent, neutral, prosocial influences their behavior (Saleem, Anderson,& Gentile 2012).

It was concludes by Saleem, Anderson, and Gentile (2012) participants did more hurtful behavior to the partner when they played a violent video game than a prosocial game (Saleem, Anderson,& Gentile 2012). Saleem, Anderson, and Gentile (2012) reveal that video games with procosial content increased helpful and decreased hurtful behaviors in a short-term experiment In addition nonviolent games can decrease aggression despite having no prosocial content (Sestir & Bartholow 2010). In contrast, children’s games with violent content increased hurtful and decreased helpful behavior (Saleem, Anderson,& Gentile 2012).

In order to stop all the horrible crimes made by adolescents we will have to eliminate the causes of influence. Through the information shown we can start debating if we should restrict the use of violent video games. We should motivate the use of prosocail game content.

Anderson, A. A., & Bushman B. J. (2001). Effects of violent video games on Aggressive Behavior, Aggressive Cognition, Aggressive Affect, Physiological Arousal, and Prosoial Behavior: A meta-analyic Review of the Scientific Literature. American Psychological Society, (6),353-359. Arriaga, P., Esteves, F., Carneiro P. & Monteiro, M. B., (2006). Violent Computer Games and their Effects on State Hositity and Physiological Arousal. Aggressive Behavior (13),358-371. Barlett C. P., & Rodeheffer C. (2009). Effects of Realism on Extended Violent and Nonviolent Video Game Play on Aggressive Thoughts, Feeling, and Physiological Arousal. Aggressive Behavior.(11), 213-224. Muniba, S., Anderson C. A., & Gentile D. A. (2012). Effects of
Prosocial, Neutral, and Violent Video Games on Children’s Helpful and Hurtful Behaviors. Aggressive Behavior, (6), 281-287. Hasan, Y., Begue, L., & Bushman B. J., (2013). Violent Video Games Stress People Out and Make Them More Aggressive. Aggressive Behavior. (6), 64-70. “Violent Video Games and Young People.” Harvard Mental Health Letter 27 (Oct. 2010): 1-3. Starcevic, V., & Porter, G. (2007) Are violent video games harmful? Australasian Psychiatry,(4), 422-426.

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