Is violent behavior caused by violent video games?

photo credit: Will Lion via photopin cc

photo credit: Will Lion via photopin cc

As America lunges into the future, technology becomes increasingly abundant and sophisticated. Along with this substantial increase in technology, more Americans, especially young adults, find themselves associated with video games. While some games have educational content, many of the most popular games emphasize negative themes and promote violence. In addition, young adults and teenagers often lean towards violent video games.

The question is, however, do violent video games affect people’s behavior in real-life situations? The American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry states, “studies of children exposed to violence have shown that they can become: “immune” or numb to the horror of violence, imitate the violence they see, and show more aggressive behavior with greater exposure to violence.”

With that being said, what does technology have to do with video games? As the intelligence of technically grows, video games are becoming more realistic. For example, the Nintendo Wii games are all stimulated by the movements of your body.

Furthermore, President Barack Obama’s newly unveiled plan to reduce gun violence recommends more research into the links between video games, media images, and violence. He also wants Congress to devote $10 million more to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention to conduct further research, which would focus in part on the impact of video games and other media.

Although, there isn’t substantial evidence that violent video games affect behavior, there are some cases that can prove that it does. The most recent and tragic event, the Newtown shooting, is one such case. According to, “Before the killings, Lanza smashed his computer hard drive, making his online trail and habits nearly impossible to disseminate, but police have reportedly cracked some of the criminal’s cyber forensics finding thousands of dollars worth of violent video games.”

“As The ENQUIRER first reported Lanza played the games for hours on end including the militaristic one-person-shooter ‘Call of Duty” series,” stated

There have been more cases about teenagers committing crime with a high influence from violent video games. Another example is the Virginia Tech shooting. Dr. Phil McGraw appeared on CNN’s Larry King Live to discuss the rampage.

“You cannot tell me – common sense tells you that if these kids are playing video games, where they’re on a mass killing spree in a video game, it’s glamorized on the big screen, it’s become part of the fiber of our society. You take that and mix it with a psychopath, a sociopath or someone suffering from mental illness and add in a dose of rage, the suggestibility is too high,” said McGraw.

Although the use of some video games is said to have positive effects, other video games, such as violent games, can at times have a negative impact on one’s behavior. Will these violent video games become more realistic? Only time will tell.


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