Deviance By Abbi Perrin, Lucy Wild, Rachel Locke, Rachel Harding and GauriThaker
Societal Issue The effect violent video games have on children and young people. Do violent video games cause violent behaviour?
BBC News articles Death of Stefan Pakeerah (2004) Killer was said to have been heavily influenced by the violent video game ‘Manhunt’
TV Jo Frost or ‘Supernanny’ as she is more commonly known as conducted research into the effects of violent video gaming. 40 boys were asked to play games for 20 minutes – half played a football sim, the other half "a first-person war game". They then had to view some violent news footage. Throughout, each participant had their heart rate monitored. At the end, the figures showed that the boys who played the violent game retained slower heart rates during the news footage. "Shockingly, just 20 minutes of violent gameplay was enough to densensitise the boys," So really, what does this all say about the long-term effects of exposure to violent video games? I would suggest very, very little. That's why, there is absolutely no conclusive data in this area, despite dozens of similar research undertakings around the world, and despite Dr Tanya Byron's exhaustive analysis for the government's Digital Britain report. Late in the same programme, the boys were interviewed by Dr Gentile who, during the course of each chat, knocked a jar full of pencils on to the floor, in order to test the subjects' capacity for empathy. Of those who played the violent game, only 40% helped to pick up the pencils, half the number of the other group. So should we understand that players of violent video games are less empathetic? http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/gamesblog/2010/feb/10/games-controversy
Analysis Media Coverage Media has a very negative portrayal on video games Video games have become one of the most dominant entertainment media for children Studies show that violent content showed a significant effect on aggressive behaviour which supports the argument put forward by the media
Research Humans natural inhibition of killing can be overcome by video games ‘Violent video games weaken players inhibition against aggressing towards others.’ (Grossman 1996) ‘Correlational studies of children and adolescents also suggest a link between video game violence and aggression. For example, compared with peers youngsters who have greater exposure to violent video games get into more physical fights with people.’ (Gentile et al, 2004)
Theories relating to violent gaming ‘Social Learning Theory’- Viewing violent video gaming may encourage violence as children may view that sort of behaviour as acceptable. ‘Operant Conditioning’- Violent behaviour in video game violence is often rewarded or rarely punished therefore encouraging violence. (Skinner, 1938;1953)
References Passer, M., Holt, N., Smith, R., et al. (2009) Psychology: the science of mind and behaviour (Chapter 14). Berkshire: McGraw-Hill. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/leicestershire/3659120.stm http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/3936237.stm