Being desensitized to violence can show children that violent murder is not a “big deal”, but repeating the things they see in video games becomes an automatic way of thinking for the players. Research has shown that, “Repetition increases learning any typeof skill or way of thinking, to the point where that skill or way becomes fairly automatic. Repetition effects include learning how to aggress,” (Anderson 446). If a child repeats a skill over and over again, the skill will become an automatic and natural response for them. Anderson explains how video games require players to constantly repeat the same techniques constantly, so much so that the skill becomes an automatic response to the player. What if children are repeatedly playing a video game that forced them to kill, will they go out into the real world and kill somebody if there was a disagreement? Repeating a skill so many times can be dangerous for a child that is still learning because these skills will become automatic and natural. In games like Call of Duty and Grand Theft Auto, gamers have multiple chances to complete the mission. In examples like these, the teenagers will most likely be repeating the same types of things over and over again, like throwing grenades or stabbing someone. After playing these games for certain periods of time, the gamer starts to think this way; the thought of killing whoever you see first becomes an automatic response. This can be disastrous if a child cannot tell the difference between the game and reality. If a child finishes playing the game, and the first person they see does something they are not fond of, how are they going to respond? Are they going to calmly tell the person they do not like that, or are they going to respond how they did in the
5video game moments ago and injure or kill the person? By playing the game for long periods of time, one could assume that the player will respond in real life the way they responded in the video game. Video games are teaching children how to create violence and be criminals, whichshows why there is an increase in youth violence. Although, opposing researchers have stated that violent video games are not creating violence in the youth, but instead, they are just showing who the children are with mental disabilities or who are emotionally disturbed. In, “Reality Bytes: Eight Myths about Video Games Debunked”, by Henry Jenkins, the author explains, “Yet, a child who responds to a video game the same way heor she responds to a real-world tragedy could be showing symptoms of being severely emotionally disturbed,” (Jenkins 452). The opposing research states that violent video games are portraying the signs and symptoms of children who are emotionally disturbed. He is explicitly saying that video games do not create an emotionally unstable person, butbring out the children who already are. One could assume Jenkins statement is correct, but studies have shown that children who play violent video games over time will develop more aggressive behavior. Opposing arguments have certain points that one could believe, however, in a different article, “Shooting in the Dark”, Benedict Carey
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- Fall '11
- theft, Call of Duty, Craig A. Anderson