Do Violent Video Games Cause Aggressive Behavior?

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In 1999 the country was horrified by the news of the Columbine High School Massacre, an event where 13 people were killed and nearly 30 more were injured. Once again in 2012 the nation stood aghast at the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School which killed 20 students and six teachers. What do Eric Harris, Dylan Klebold, and Adam Lanza, the perpetrators of these terrifying crimes, all share in common? They all loved to play violent video games. But these boys are not the only ones to play such games, and a study done by Healthline in 2014 concluded that over 90% of children in the United States have played video games of some sort and around 90% of video games portray some violence (Barclay). Though many people believe video games to …show more content…
“We did a comprehensive review of every experimental study, reviewing 381 effects from studies involving 130,000 people,” Bushman would go on to say, “and the results show that playing violent video games increases aggressive thoughts, angry feelings, and physiological arousal,” (Kiem). The various studies done on this issue have found alarming results. Violent video games are clearly proven to cause an increase in aggression, a factor potentially leading to violent actions. Given the relatively new development of video games, scientists have yet to research the long term effects of such games. If violent video games lead to an increase in aggression in short term studies, the long term effects of these games could be much more harmful and farther …show more content…
Research conducted by Dr. Christopher Ferguson, a professor of psychology at Texas A&M International University, analyzed the results of 24 studies documenting the effects of violent video games on the mind. After looking over the research, Dr. Ferguson claimed, “The results indicated no relationship between violent game playing and aggression, but did find that violent game playing was associated with higher scores on measures of visuospatial cognition,” (“TAMIU Study”). While more recent and extensive research has gone on to prove a link exists between aggressive behavior and violent video games, the link to improved visuospatial cognition, the ability to act with the world we see (Farran and Formby), remains. Video games may increase our decision making time and other cognitive abilities. However, sport and other non-violent action games have been shown to have the same effects, without the negative effects brought on by violent games

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