Are students made 'more violent' due to video games?

Are students made 'more violent' due to video games?

Summary: Are parents paying enough attention to what video games their children are playing?

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How much visual stimuli and activities that include violent or adult themes may effect child behaviour is an issue that comes to the forefront of discussion more often as video games are played more frequently.

Some teachers and educational groups have voiced concern that children are developing more 'violent' tendencies due to parents leaving them unsupervised while they play games with high age ratings, or those that are deemed 'inappropriate' for young children.

At the ATL annual conference in Manchester, UK, the BBC reports that the Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL) will be hearing teacher perspectives on just how far computer games may be influencing child behaviour.

There are concerns that students as young as four are acting out 'graphic scenes' from games with age-inappropriate ratings in both class and during break times. Not only this, but there is a worry that by not supervising and monitoring gaming activity, children are also losing the ability to separate 'fantasy worlds from reality'.

One teacher from Bradford, Alison Sherratt, spoke about the issues she sees in class:

"The inspiration for this motion was when I watched my class out on the playground throwing themselves out of the window of the play car in slow motion and acting out blood spurting from their bodies. I followed it up in circle time and talked about what they knew about playing games on the computer.

Out of 27, four or five-year-olds, most have TVs and laptops in their bedrooms, most have sight of or actually own Nintendos, PlayStation, Xboxes and Wii and many said they watched older brothers, sisters and cousins playing games."

Sherratt believes she has seen a surge in aggressive behaviour in recent years; and video games may be one of the factors attributed to it. Due to this, many teachers have questioned whether children are being left unsupervised by parents in their rooms in order to access and play inappropriate games.

She adds that the problem is compounded due to young age, impressionability and the "addictive quality of these games meaning that many children are already hooked into these fantasy worlds, separating themselves from reality".

However, it may only be a small number of titles that are being played 'inappropriately' by young children, and to judge computer games by a violence-inducing stereotype is not necessarily correct.

Playing games on consoles including the Wii and XBox 360 is very common in the West, and if we judge all games based on age-restricted titles, then surely the issue of 'violent' children would be more widespread and difficult to control.

(via BBC)

Image credit: Visibly Damaged

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Topic: Mobility

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30 comments
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  • Yes

    Yes. Listen to the media - more youth violence all the time. Certainly the entire issue is not just games - but I believe it to be a very large factor.
    Practical Use
    • Thousands years of known human history

      are filled with violence. Now we know why - because of video games.
      polarcat
      • Heh

        Yup. Our forefathers and ancestors loved playing "Rambo III: The Video Game" in 1542... :D
        HypnoToad72
  • Again with the video games...

    Listen, I play Battlefield 3 like there is no tomorrow, I grew up playing Medal of Honor and Call of Duty. I also shoot airsoft and paintball, and I have yet to harm another human being. Enought with the blame. Parents who can't take the time to be with their kids really need to stop point fingers.
    The one and only, Cylon Centurion
    • Exactly!

      n/t
      NonFanboy
      • So who did you kill today, fanboy?

        ;)
        ScorpioBlack
  • Many problems here....

    First of all try and make a game that will sell that does not have some sort of "violence". Go ahead I dare ya:P Second what I wonder is this another case of idealism? When I was growing up I was told time and again that the truth is the better option to lying. What I found as I grew up is every single time I actually told the truth I was punished but when I lied I skated and often time actually rewarded. The TRUTH of the matter is this lying is the better option by far than the truth. Don't believe me... When your employer passes out these company reviews that you are suppose to fill out be HONEST completely honest and see what happens:) Tell your boss what you really honestly think of him/her:) Too funny. I was raised to believe that violence was bad what I found is that often it is a very effective tool. A tool not to be used exclusively but rarely when actually needed. Still violence when used correctly does work as does lying.

    Pagan jim
    James Quinn
  • its destiny

    i'm a firm (FIRM) believer that people are born with a predisposition to evil-ness, lying, cheating, killing, raping, etc...., even when their upbringing is on a silver platter.

    however, at the same time, people are born with a predisposition of goodness, sharing, empathy, sound mind, ... etc, even when their upbringing was pitiful and tragic.

    computer games, if anything, keep bad kids out of trouble - while they are playing them. but eventually, the games end and both bad and good kids will resume what they are destined to do.

    what teachers need to do, is to find those good kids that have been touched by evil, and bring back into the light.

    computer games are not evil. it is people that are evil.
    databaseben
    • Interesting if one is BORN to be bad then isn't HELL a bit

      of a problem? If one simply chooses to be bad that is one thing but if one is born to be so then such a punishment (Way over the top when one considers eternal suffering anyway) for simply being what you were made to be is way out of line.

      Pagan jim
      James Quinn
      • we all are...

        all people are born bad... of a sinful nature, and all deserve to go to Hell. No matter how good or bad you are, you cannot win your way out of hell on your own...
        doh123
      • Ah "faith"

        doh123
        I don't beleive cause I simply have no "reason" to. Not an emotional fellow so while I understand belief is a very emotional issue I can't grasp it because that is not my way of thinking/dealing with the world around me. When people say the "KNOW" there is a god what they actually mean is they really, really, really feel there is a god. A subtle but HUGE difference. They actually have no knowledge just a belief. Nothing wrong with faith by the way just I don't have it nor do I have a well thought out "reason" to adopt one. I've been told by the way by many a christian that the way I live my life and think I am more christian than many a proclaimed christian that they know. Once I was asked what a christian thought was a clever question about a terrorist situation. She told me what would I do if a muslim child was strapped with a bomb and walking towards myself and the people I loved. I said without skipping a beat that I would simply walk up to the child pick said child up and calmly walk away from my friends and family and in a calm voice talk with the child till it was over or BOOM! I saw no need to kill the child nor upset it and I could easily enough without causing harm to said child save my loved ones. The only problem is in the process I would of course die but hey we can't have our cake and eat it too. At least that's what i've been told:P Hate to think I'd take an express trip to Hell but like I said I do not "think" I would. Note I highlighted the words reason ahd think because they are key issues for me they explain why I am who I am. I never surrender my morals and or principles to fear (an emotion).

        Pagan jim
        James Quinn
    • Guns don't kill people, people do

      What else have we all heard before...

      You probably have a point, after all it's all about the "survival of the fittest in a competitive battlefield" or whatever the phrase is...
      HypnoToad72
      • Actually...

        ...people [b]with guns[/b] kill people, but don't that little factor get in the way.
        ScorpioBlack
      • People with the means kill people...

        ScorpioBlack
        I'm a knife man myself. Easy to conceal, very silent and very quick. People have killed one another with sticks, bricks, rocks, poison, rope, twine,wire, cars, boats, heck you name it and I'll find someone who was killed by another person using said and in each case on purpose not an accident.

        Pagan jim
        James Quinn
    • There are many flaws in your theory

      people are not born with a predisposition to evilness or goodness, and such notions have been discredited often enough that I would not even consider your statement a theory.

      All your children are born with the predisposition to fight to take what they want. Many a time I have witnessed your children screaming as they did not get what they want. They are disobediant when they do not wish to obey your rules; they will use objects as weapons to hurt others so as to take that which some other child posesses.

      It is how they are delt with that determines what path they chose later in life. If they are given all that they desire, then they will use what attributes they have later in life to continue to get that which they desire, whether through their physical strength or economic strength.

      All you humans harbor inside of you hate, jealousy, anger; thoughts of revenge are never far from your mind, that is something you can not deny. How you act on, or control those emotions is what determines whether you are "good or evil". I have noticed a euphoria in humans when they achive a victory, no matter what the cost to then or others is.

      Violent computer games can result in a lapse of control, allowing the less desirable emotions take control, as that feeling of euphoria is still there, and some may find that they enjoy it.

      Understand, I am not implying that only Video games, and video games alone are the catalyst for this, many other events or items can cause this too, but to claim that video games are incapable of this is illogical.

      :|
      Tim Cook
      • "All you humans"?

        You forget you're human yourself. That little green makeup you put on isn't going to change anything. Or are you really that delusional to think otherwise?
        ScorpioBlack
  • Violent Crime is down, Video Games are up

    Certainly, on the face of it, the statistics show no correllation much less causation.

    Before violent video games, Rap music was responsible for "youth violence". Before Rap it was rock and roll. Before Rock and Roll, it was Jaz... etc.

    I cannot answer why these little hellions are acting this way. But, looking for the easiest bromide is not the way to go about finding out why.
    Your Non Advocate
  • It might be better...

    it might be better to take the time to teach the kids right from wrong, other than worrying about pointing fingers and blame
    doh123
  • As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he

    Just as a person can be trained to achieve amazing things, such as advanced mathematic analysis, musical performance, acrobatic skill, etc, so may he/she be trained to wallow in the depths and depravity of humanity.
    sagec
  • It's an old debate on TV and videogame programming

    Both sides point to statistics and studies that "prove" their point of view. But an old ad-man said it best: "We spend millions on 30-second TV ads because we *know* that it influences behavior. You think 4 hours of this stuff every day drilled into kids' minds isn't as influential?"
    terry flores