Violent Video Games and Real-World Violence: What Science Says About It

Video games are another media product

Almost simultaneously with the advent of the video game, and

numerous controversies about whether they affectthe level of violence in society. In response, scientists have conducted a lot of scientific research in an attempt to find a clear connection between the two concepts. Nevertheless, despite all this work, the debate about whether the world of shooters is transferred to real life still remains in the information field. The earliest mention of computer games dates back to 1940-1970, and their heyday began in the era of personal computers in the 2000s. However, science still does not have a simple answer, but there is enough information to make several (relatively) convincing statements.

But before diving into this topic, it's important to recognize that video games are mistakenly distinguished as being different from other cultural artifacts such as books or films.

Yes, it's true that there is more violence in video gamesthan other media products. Many computer games involve some form of violence, content and rules that are considered socially unacceptable in the real world. It is important to note, however, that whether games contain more violence or not, they should not be viewed as different from movies, books, or any other media that broadcasts violence.

What Science Says About Violence in Video Games

There have been manystudies, but the results and conclusions are mixed. However, by all accounts, there is a very weak correlation between violence in video games and violence in real life. And so weak that most scientists argue that violence in video games does not lead to violence in real life.

For example, according to a statement by the media psychology departmentAmerican Psychological Association, no clear connection. The statement reads, in part: "There is scant evidence establishing any causal or correlation link between playing violent video games and actual violent behavior."

However, for young children,computer games affect more than adolescents or adults. But this influence is not large enough to argue that video games are or should be of concern to parents. In fact, the Supreme Court even rejected the idea. When they overturned California's law that prohibited the sale of violent video games to children in 2011, the court fully challenged the evidence the state was able to gather in support of the bill.

“All studies cited were rejected by eachcourt for their consideration, and for good reason: they do not prove that violent video games cause minors to act aggressively, "Antonin Gregory Scalia, an American conservative lawyer and former member of the US Supreme Court, said publicly at the time. He added that, at best, children behaved a little more aggressively for a short amount of time after violent video games than after neutral ones.

And what we see in the real world confirmsthis point of view. If video games were truly violent, then the situation in Japan or South Korea would be dire. These countries' per capita spending on video games is higher than in the United States. However, South Korea and Japan have some of the lowest crime rates in the world.

People don't live in a vacuum

Although science shows that violentthe media does not encourage people to go out and commit violence, it is important to note that our thoughts, beliefs and actions do not spring from a vacuum. They are the result of all our experiences, interactions and influences - whether it is reading opinions on news sites, listening to podcasts from scientific experts, talking in real life or consuming books, films, social media. messages and other media with which we regularly interact.

In this sense, to say that video games are not at allinfluencing us is the same as saying that Eddie Adams' photo of the Vietnam War, known as “The Photo That Ends the War, But Ruined Life,” did not activate the anti-war movement in the United States (in fact, it changed a lot) ...

Murder of a Viet Cong by Saigon Police Chief - Eddie Adams, 1968

So, video games contribute to our ideas and values, but they are only a very small part of our entire experience.

Ultimately, science shows thatantisocial behavior is most likely a consequence of the personal preferences of each person, congenital or acquired. And in this sense, accusing certain media, such as computer games, of someone's real actions can mean "putting the cart in front of the horse."

If, for example, someone already has a tendency toviolence is more likely to be attracted to overly violent content for entertainment as well, rather than the other way around. And crucially, they probably would have used violence in their lives, even if the particular game didn't exist.

In most cases, consumers of fundsmass media (for example, computer games) can easily distinguish fact from fiction and are able to self-reflect and self-regulate their behavior in accordance with social norms. After all, this is part of the very foundation of our psyche as social animals.

However, it is important to note that, like everything in life,play computer games in moderation. Excessive addiction to video games leads to serious mental and physical problems, as well as addiction. But not being able to control how much you play is very different from simulating a video game in real life or changing your mindset.

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