Videogame violence: What studies are not telling us.

Long Term Aggression.



Over the last few weeks there have been reports of recent studies showing later age aggression linked with younger children playing violent video games. A three-year study has found that long-term participation in violent video games may increase violent thoughts and behavior in children. Craig Anderson, director of the Center for the Study of Violence at Iowa State University, the study examined 3034 students in Singapore, and found a negligible increase in the likelihood that children who play violent games display violent attitudes. Students aged eight to seventeen were monitored during the time frame and given annual surveys, which included details such as how long they play for, how much violence was in the game and the behavior of the children before and after a game session.

There have been many studies like this, ruling that videogames have a negative reinforcement on children, such as this one ruling that playing violent videogames can cause long term aggression. However, upon following this news, and other like it, for the past two weeks and reading article after article, statistics after statistics, the story became more stale and biased. These kinda surveys put pressure on the Videogame industry but how true is this study?

Audience Control.

Upon researching this story, and many like it in the past, there have been studies done by American researchers branching out to the wider world to conduct their survey, yet none of this touched on the idea of audience control and quality control. Whenever a major film is released, or before a mainstream song hits the radio waves, the product must be evaluated by systemic risk board or a broadcasting standards company in order to ensure that such product is rated for each target audience. In North America, it is the ESRB (The Entertainment Software Rating Board) that goes through such procedures daily, and even invest in numerous projects to ensure their quality control is met throughout the entire region. In New Zealand, The BSA (The Broadcasting Standards Authority) maintain a strict policy of fair television and radio.

Why does any of this matter? Because upon taking the liberty to research this story in depth, there was no mention in any study of barriers available to enforce children’s well being.

The Blame Game.

While reading five similar stories, my attention was drawn to another story. “Last week my store sold over a thousand copies of GTA V,” he writes. ‘At least a hundred of which were sold to parents for children who could barely even see over my counter.”

The game develpor, Rockstar Games, have a reputation for making such games and have addressed the issue themselves numerious times over the years. Most today see this game as violent and brutal, which it is, but for those who have played from start to finish will immiedatly notice a idea building throughout the course of the game. For those who consider themselves ‘gamers’, this game was a visionary concept to take a jab at modern United States, addressing and attacking on politics, domestic violence and even video game based violence. The game was made purely for a mature genre whom will realize these ideas.

The latest research done was conclusive on showing how much violence was shown throughout the game, but many began to ask where did these children get these kind of games from? The state University was only to monitor children’s gaming habits, however other sources say that parents admitted on buying their children such violent games. Nearly 70% of underage children purchase their video game with the aid of a parent. Retail stores are to ensure that these standards are met and customers are fully aware of that. Parents should be more cautious as to buying these kind of games for their children instead at a developing team for making it. You wouldn’t take your eight year own children to watch a R rated movie, so why allow them to play an R rated game?

Creative VS commercialism.




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