Lets start with the impact that
violence in video games has on people.
Violence in video games does not have the negative impact that the
general populous may believe. Though it
is shown to have some negative impacts like lack of physical activity and, in
some cases, addiction. An increase in
violence hasn’t been shown. Although some experiments have shown a small
increase in aggression after playing, it seems to only be temporary.
Let us begin with the effects on
child development. Children that play
violent video games tend to show some additional aggression as compared to
children that don’t play them. This is
only short-term aggression, though. After a short period of time, they return
to very near baseline levels. Kids that
spend too much time playing video games, rather than outside, are believed to
be missing out on some social development and physical activity.
Next, is the effects on mental
health. While the increase in aggression
is only temporary in most children, it may have long term effects on
neurodivergent children, especially those with high levels of neuroticism or
oppositional traits and low levels of social awareness. It is difficult to tell if these children
become more aggressive or violent because of video games or due to the natural
progression of their mental condition.
Even with this, the crime rate has been declining since violent video
games have become more popular.
The positive effects are
surprisingly numerous. Playing video games (violent or not) increases a person’s
ability to multitask. Hand-eye coordination, fine motor skills, spatial
reasoning and strategic thinking skills are also improved. Playing games online has been shown to
increase social activity.
As with all things, moderation is
key. The American Academy of Pediatrics
suggests two hours or less of total screen time per day. The lack of physical
activity caused by playing video games, instead of outside, can lead to
There is no conclusive evidence to
show that violent video games cause people to be more violent. To the contrary, there is a correlation
between the increased popularity in violent video games and the decrease in the
crime rate. The benefits of playing video games (violent or not) seem to
outweigh the drawbacks. There is still a
lot to be learned regarding long term effects of playing violent video games.