Essay on Do Violent Video Games Cause Behavior Problems?

Published: 2021/12/24
Number of words: 794

Whenever there is a mass shooting in the United States of America, it does not take long before pundits blame violent video games and movies. At the same time, some people often take an opposing side claiming that it is not viable to video games and movies for the increased rate of crime in the country, especially when a younger person is involved in shooting spree among his or her colleagues. In this sense, it is a case of a contentious issue drawing debates from either side of the divide. Each side notably has a point that can be used to justify the standpoint. As to whether video games cause behavior problems, this paper seeks to be on the yes side, supporting it. Children who spend a lot of time watching video games at home are more likely to express violent and obscene behaviors at school or anywhere.

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Video games such as those involving guns, teach people on how to shoot to kill. For example, the US military has resorted to using video game developers to accustom games that involve shooting to kill option that can be used to train soldiers. For example, Shoot Em Up game released by the army in some years back encouraged the public to get access to some gun techniques, which would otherwise not have existed (Etchells et al. 56). As a result, people get to know things that they would want to try out in real life. Notably, the net consequence is enormous as it not only prompts the urge of practicing killing option in reality but also deactivates the customary psychological irons that bar them from acting ins such a manner.

Surprisingly, some societies still do have negative perceptions of women in society. Studies based on sex and violence on women have denoted that games featuring women often foster violence toward the women with those playing it developing an attitude of rape hostility (Gabbiadini et al. 34). A practical example is the Grand Theft Auto V in which the developers allowed the gamer was given the ability to murder a prostitute to recover money (Gabbiadini et al. 23). In this case, the concern is that the user can be violent toward women in the game something, which they can replicate easily in real life. Notably, the exposure may encourage the rape attitude, which is more grievous.

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Violent video games often encourage a person to develop a little to no empathy in life. In this case, a child who spends most of his or her time playing a violent video game is more likely to show little compassion to colleagues, something, which then matures as he or she grows into adulthood (Adachi et al. 61). In this viewpoint, older people who play violent video games are less likely to aid others who may have a problem while children who indulge in violent gaming often are less moral to the peers who are not. The disparity between video game and any other violent media is that the user can participate in the events unfolding in real time. In this perspective, the gamer is not just a viewer but an active participant in what is coming forward and even making decisions based on the situation. At the same time, one can experience the effect of the decision made. A child is at a learning stage and is most likely to imitate things they see and use in life.

In sum, violent video games expand the behavior of violence among gamers. It fosters little empathy among the adults and low moral values in children. Also, it teaches the users some real skills such as shoot to kill without a second thought. In this case, someone may shoot people aimlessly without a feeling of having developed such an ability from playing video games. The worst outcome is those traits, which may foster violent behaviors toward women in a society such as encouraging rape activity. As a recommendation, unless some lessons and teaching plan is reinforced in schools to educate on ethics and values of playing video games, the impacts of violence in the streets of the US will remain a grievous thing.


Adachi, Paul JC, et al. “From outgroups to allied forces: Effect of intergroup cooperation in violent and nonviolent video games on boosting favorable outgroup attitudes.” Journal of experimental psychology: general 145.3 (2016): 259.

Etchells, Peter J., et al. “Prospective investigation of video game use in children and subsequent conduct disorder and depression using data from the Avon longitudinal study of parents and children.” PloS one 11.1 (2016): e0147732.

Gabbiadini, Alessandro, et al. “Grand Theft Auto is a “Sandbox” Game, but There are Weapons, Criminals, and Prostitutes in the Sandbox: Response to Ferguson and Donnellan (2017).” (2017): 2460-2466.

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