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Video Game Essay

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Essay title: Video Game Essay

Have you ever wondered how games impact children? or why kids love to play them? Well your about to find out and the answer may be surprising. Video games were first introduced in the 1970s. By the end of that decade they had become a preferred childhood leisure activity, and adults responded with concern about the possible ill effects of the games on children. Early research on these effects was inconclusive. However, a resurgence in video game sales that began in the late 1980s after the introduction of the Nintendo system has renewed interest in examining the effects of video games. The increasingly realistic and exciting nature of electronic games has helped to make them enormously popular with children and youth. 79% of American children now play computer or video games on a regular basis. Children between the ages of 7 and 17 play for an average of eight hours a week. Most of the games on the market are appropriate for these young players, and the best of them can bring a lot of benefits. Besides being fun, some of the games provide practice in problem solving and logic as well as strategizing. The subset of games that feature violence, gore, and antisocial behavior has raised concern among parents, educators, child advocates, medical professionals, and policy makers. The implication of games in high profile school shootings has led to congressional hearings, government investigations, and legislative proposals. The intense concern about video and computer games is based on the belief that the ultra violent games are inappropriate for all children and harmful to some. Exposure to violent games increases aggressive actions. Studies measuring aggressive behaviors after playing violent video games (compared with behaviors displayed after playing non-violent games) have shown that violent games increase aggression. In one study of college students, students played either a violent or non-violent game. After playing this game, they were given a competitive reaction time task in which they played against another student. If they beat the other student, they got to deliver a loud "noise blast," and were able to control how loud and how long the noise blast would be. Students who had previously played the violent video game delivered longer noise blasts to their opponents (Anderson & Dill, 2000). In a study of 8th and 9th graders, students who played more violent video games were also more likely to see the world as a hostile place, to get into frequent arguments with teachers, and to be involved in physical fights It has often been suggested that violent video games are not the culprit for these types of behaviors; instead, the cause is underlying hostility. The argument goes, "Hostile kids get into more arguments and more fights. They also like to play more violent games." While this is true, it is not the whole story. This study measured children’s trait hostility, and found that exposure to video game violence is a significant predictor of physical fights, even when students’ sex, hostility level, and amount of video game playing are controlled statistically. If hostility were the whole story, then in general, only hostile children would tend to get into fights, and children with the lowest hostility scores would not get into physical fights regardless of their video game habits. Figure 1 shows

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