Don’t run the risk

Are violent video games making you more violent

Many of us have grown up in front of the television. Whether that be from watching movies, T.V. shows, or playing video games, we can spend hours at a time sitting in front of the screen. As technology advances day by day, so do our television activities. Our movies are better quality, our T.V. shows last longer, but more importantly, our video games get more realistic. 

With children playing video games everyday, are we running the risks of affecting their behavior? 

“Some of the most popular games include violent images of people or animals being killed. Sexual exploitation, drug use, and criminal behavior are also depicted frequently. While some parents claim video games have no effect on their child, many experts warn about the harmful effects violent games can have on kids,” Amy Morin, the Editor-in-Chief of Verywell Mind, writes.

The argument whether this affects children and their behavior goes back and forth. It seems to have the greatest effect on children with specific behaviors. 

“A 2010 study found that video games only lead to aggression in children with specific personalities. Children who were high in neuroticism and low in conscientiousness, for example, tended to become more aggressive after watching violent video games,” Morin stated.

While this affects some kids, this has no effects on others. They play the games simply because they enjoy them. 

Even though the argument still stands whether it’s affecting behavior or not, a research study has been done that shows that by children playing violent video games, it could possibly reduce crime. 

“A 2011 study by the Center for European Economic Research found that although violent video games may promote aggressive behavior, they could actually reduce crime. Researchers suggest that children who spend more time playing video games have less time to engage in antisocial activities,” Morin explained.

There are many pros and cons to this belief. However, if you believe your younger sibling, cousin, or child is being negatively affected by media violence, there are some limits that can help reduce your stress. 

You can monitor what your child is playing. If you’re there to see what games they buy or want to play, you can help set the agenda for their media intake. 

“Keep a close eye on the websites your child uses to access games online. Look for kid-friendly sites only. Know what type of games your child plays on his gaming systems as well,” Morin writes.

The ratings of video games are an important asset when it comes to picking a game for your young one to play. The rating lets you know exactly what to expect when you play a certain video game. 

“Don’t allow your child to play games that may be too graphic or violent for his age group,” Morin states.
Sit down and play with your child or sibling. If you’re there to play the actual content with them, then you will be able to see what they see. 

“Playing games together can give you insight into what types of games your child is playing. Talk about any unhealthy messages that a game may be sending and be a good role model,” Morin states.

Lastly, you can limit your child’s screen time. So, no matter what they are playing, they will only be taking in a limited amount of said game or media. 

“Spending countless hours in front of a computer monitor or gaming console can take a serious toll on your child’s physical and mental health. Set reasonable limits on screen time, even when the games are non-violent,” Morin writes.

Overall, don’t let the media consume you or the young ones around you. The harmful effects the media can have are not guaranteed, but are always a risk. It is better to be safe and take precaution than run the potential of something dangerous. 

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