Do Violent Games Create Violent Children?
Does violence in games incite violence in children? The short answer is...probably mostly no. Oh? You expected something less ambiguous, okay here we go.
You know the old adage everything happens for a reason? Well, yes, it’s true and no, it’s not the work of God. Before all you bible bumpers start stoning me, hear me out. I’m not talking religion here, I’m talking psychology. Humans like references. It’s the reason for doing things.
Mostly it happens on a subconscious level and unless you are very insightful into yourself you don’t even notice it. People like connecting dots mentally but it takes more than that to inspire action.
All humans have breaking points (or stressors if you like) and when the bough breaks. When people commit violence then they usually have bio-psycho-social and perhaps even economical reasons as the driving force behind it. Sexual molesters are often victims in their own right, having been molested at a young age. Violence begets violence.
First the biological, this usually takes the form of a genetic predisposition towards mental disorders. Many mental disorders are unfortunately hereditary. Physical changes occur in the brain’s electro chemical behaviour causing mental disorders such as Bipolar Mood Disorder, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Attention Deficit Disorder, Depression, Anxiety, Hyperactivity and so on. Psychopharmacological medication can change this back to a pre morbid state (before the blitz). But regular checkups and psychological therapy is still needed to maintain control.
Second up we have the psychological aspect. This is where all those barriers the mind set up to protect itself gets stressed and in some cases break. So now we have an already fragile mind stressed beyond its limit and a breakdown ensues.
Thirdly is the social situation. The dynamics at home, school, work and everyday life. Bullying, unfairness, difficult home life, abuse, neglect. All these factors can contribute the final result which is a mind incapable of distinguishing between right and wrong. The biological is the gun, the psychological the aim and the sociological the trigger.
So those children who become violent uses what they know as reference points for their future actions and in certain cases they’ll mimic the violence in videogames.
On the flip side video games have been proven to enhance fine motor control, increase perceptual awareness, engage in lateral thinking and problem solving, timing, coordination, spatial reasoning, analytical and creative thinking stimulation.
Still...none of that should be used as an excuse to become a couch potato.