Growing up, I loved playing video games. Before I had a car to go places, I would play outside when it was warm or play video games inside when it was cold. Playing video games was an easy, fun way to pass the time for my friends and I when we were younger. We would play all types of games ranging from sports games, to arcade games, to action games. Playing video games was the thing to do back then. Now that I’m older, I don’t play as much, but I know a lot of people who do. This caused me to think about the effects of all the time I spent playing these games. I started to think about the types of games I played, many of which were violent. I played violent video games for years, and I wonder how it may have affected me over time.
There are two hypotheses in this situation: the null hypothesis and the alternative hypothesis. The null hypothesis is that violent video games have no effect on the player, and the alternative hypothesis is that the violent games do have an effect on the player. In my opinion, I do not think the games had much of an effect on me, but I could see how some say the violent games could affect them.
This article describes a study done to find the answer to the question if violent games affect the player. The results of this study surprised me a little bit. This particular study showed that playing violent video games has a short-term effect on the player. The effect shown was an increase in the aggression of the player. It also showed less emotion and attention from the player. The study did show that these effects were short term because after a week of not playing, the brain went back to the baseline levels before the gaming was done.
A separate study actually attempts to show long term effects of violent video games. The results of this study show increased aggression from the players of violent video games just like the previously mentioned study. However, this study shows that the aggression is increased after every session of playing a violent video game. The co-author of this study, Dr. Brad Bushman, believes that if the player continues to play the violent games daily, that the aggression levels would add on top of each other each day. He believes this could lead to a negative or hostile view of the world.
These studies show results that the brain undergoes changes after playing a violent video game. I was surprised to learn the effects of violent video games were so prevalent so quickly. My personal theory was that some young people’s view of a hostile world was derived from the media. I thought what they saw happening on the news and in the world would cause them to feel a certain way about the world. It turns out that violent video games can have this effect on people quite easily. These results make me think that a young person with a maturing brain could be negatively influenced by violent video games, and that the laws to get violent games at a young age should be much stricter.
Video games are very enjoyable, and the business is growing exponentially. People are not going to stop playing violent games so we need to make sure people understand the effects. I played them growing up, but I think I will monitor what games my future kids play starting at a young age.