The Hitman Study: Violent Video Game Exposure Effects On Aggressive Behavior
The debate whether or not violent video games cultivate violent behavior has been an issue since there has been a rise in school shootings in North America. This article will be providing a summary of an empirical study conducted by Christopher J. Ferguson and Stephanie M. Rueda regarding developmental issues arisen from violent video games. The article The Hitman Study: Violent Video Game Exposure Effects of Aggressive focuses on the concept of the social learning theory and the catharsis in order to explain the result of this study. Throughout this article, it will also describe the study’s relevance to real life applications.
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With games like Grand Theft Auto and Call of Duty becoming some of the best selling series in the video game industry; selling around over 250 million copies, (McWhertor, 2016; United States Security and Exchange Commission, 2016) people wonder how much impact video games have on in our society and how much influence they have on our behavior. A controversial topic that arose in 2005 in the American Psychological Association is whether or not violent video games leads to increased and more severe violent behaviors (American Psychological Association, 2005). We understand that one form of developing behavior is by observing the consequences of people’s actions. (Bandura, 1963). People are also inclined to repeat the same action if those actions are positively reinforced (Stephen, 2004). Games such as Grand Theft Auto and Call of Duty reward and glorify players for committing criminal acts or killing people. The more severe and more numerous the crimes committed, or the more enemies the player kills, the better the reward that the players reap. The fear arises that video games are teaching people that it’s okay to commit crime and kill people. This topic flared in 2007 after violent video games received blame for the Virginia Tech Massacre (Benedetti, 2007). If such allegation was true, it would mean that video games were creating generations of criminals. On the other hand, it would also mean that proper maintenance and over-watch of the video games that are being released can significantly lower the crime rate. This is why understanding video games and how it affects us is a critical topic that requires attention. Thus, information from experiments such as The Hitman Study: Violent Video Game Exposure Effects on Aggressive Behavior, Hostile Feelings, and Depression is a great contribution to the violent video game