Do video games cause bad behavior in Children?
Debate Rounds (3)
As I am pro video games causing bad behavior in children, let me define a few terms:
VIDEO GAME: Any set of machine-readable instructions and associated data that is designed exclusively or almost exclusively for interactive entertainment.
BAD BEHAVIOR: Levels of violence - not just criminal violence.
CHILDREN: People under the age of 13.
It is my contention that video games DO cause bad behavior in children. Note that I know that not all children will react in the same way to the same video game. What I need to prove is that some children will react more violently.
What I suspect my opponent will argue is that most children do not respond more violently to most video games. That may very well be true (depending on the game in question). However, the motion isn't about those children. It's about whether any children at all will behave badly because of video games. I am arguing that children who behave badly because of video games exist. It is as noted researcher Dr Craig Anderson testified before the US Senate: "Some studies have yielded non-significant video game effects, just as some smoking studies failed to find a significant link to lung cancer. But when one combines all relevant empirical studies using meta-analytic techniques it shows that violent video games are significantly associated with: increased aggressive behavior, thoughts, and affect; increased physiological arousal; and decreased pro-social (helping) behavior."
The evidence for there being some encouraging effect of bad behavior in many children who are exposed to violent video games is astounding. One study has found boys exposed to violent video games were much more physically and verbally aggressive than boys who were exposed to non-violent video games . The study was a carefully controlled experiment, so one can draw valid conclusions from it. A later study found that children exposed to violent video games were also more likely to have violent thoughts . A year ago, a meta-study of 130 previous studies concluded that there was strong evidence of a link between violent video games and violence in children . The American Psychological Association summarizes: "Psychological research confirms that violent video games can increase children's aggression." 
So I guess the rating system will solve the problem, right? I mean, surely games rated E ("Everyone") aren't violent? Wrong. Dr Craig Anderson again: "The rating itself does not tell you whether it is a healthy or unhealthy game. Any game that involves killing or harming another character in order to advance is likely to be teaching inappropriate lessons to whoever is playing it." Right from the earliest days, violence has been a common feature of all video game design . I grew up playing Caesar III, an "E" rated game, and smashing invading armies into oblivion. I've seen kids playing Hearts of Iron, a world war 2 simulation game, also "E" rated. The real problem, however, is that more violent games are easily accessible for kids. Parents rarely read the warning signs and illegal software downloads are within easy reach of children. M-rated games are actively promoted to children: LittleBigPlanet, for instance, is an E-rated game containing content which promotes Metal Gear Solid 4, an M-rated game .
What typically happens to these violent kids? Well, parents keep them under control for a while. Then, when they are able to act on their violent impulses, they do. Xiao Yi. Damori Miles. These are extreme examples, and usually the violence does not extend beyond schoolyard bullying. But that's not to say it doesn't happen. There are kids who are violent because of video games. As video games become more violent, we can expect increasing levels of bad behavior in children.
Well, that concludes my argument for round one. I'd like to thank my opponent for this debate and wish him luck in round two.
1 - http://en.wikipedia.org...
2 - Irwin, A. Roland, & Gross, Alan M. (1995). Cognitive tempo, violent video games, and aggressive behavior in young boys. Journal of Family Violence, 10(3), 337-350.
3 - Kirsh, Steven J. (1997, April). Seeing the world through "Mortal Kombat" colored glasses: Violent video games and hostile attribution bias. Poster presented at the biennial meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development, Washington, DC.
4 - http://www.usatoday.com...
5 - Crawford, Chris. (1984) The Art of Computer Game Design. California: Osborne/McGraw-Hill.
6 - http://www.media-awareness.ca...
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