By Stephanie Olson

I was curious to find out and research more about how video games might affect the development of young children. They are too often exposed to explicit and dangerous images through playing video games like Call of Duty, Grand Theft Auto, or Fortnite. There is way too much violence with different types of weapons that the character can use in the video game that allows them to kill other players. There are images of people being killed and blood splattering everywhere after being shot or stabbed that children should not be exposed to at such a young age. At the end of the day, they are video games and the children know that it is all fake, but in actuality, how is it truly affecting them?

According to a study from the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, “Studies of children exposed to violent media have shown that they may become numb to violence, imitate the violence, and show more aggressive behavior. Younger children and those with emotional, behavioral, or learning problems may be more influenced by violent images.” Violent video games in the long run do affect young children therefore, they shouldn’t be exposed to such violence at a young age. There are some video games that can be educational for children, but the violent ones should only be played by adults that are already fully developed.

Not only do some video games have violence that children shouldn’t be exposed to, but there is also another downside to playing them which is playing too much. When children play video games too much in one day over and over again, it could affect how much sleep they are getting at night, how much exercise they get in a day, their grades, and their social skills etc. There are many downsides to playing video games, even though there are games that help children learn or problem solve and help with the development of fine motor skills and coordination.

Violent video games can also make them more aggressive as they grow up. There was a study done in which they set punishments to be sent to another person that was a part of the study to see if the group of children that played violent video games would send higher punishments to another player versus children that didn’t play violent video games as much. They found that, “Participants who played one of violent video games would choose to punish their opponents with significantly more high-noise blasts than those who played nonviolent games.” This proves that children who play video games with violence more, are more aggressive than those who don’t. Overall, violent video games should not be played by children because it will affect their development and ultimately make them more aggressive than children who don’t play video games with violence.

Tips:

  • Children should play video games in moderation.
  • Children should mostly play video games that can help with their development versus hurt them in the long run with the exposure of violence.
  • Introduce children to other games they might be interested in or even other activities that could be fun for them.

Conversation Starters:

  1. How do you think video games might affect children with social interactions?
  2. How many hours do you think children should be playing video games a day?
  3. How would you try and deter your children from playing video games with violence?
  4. Do you think it is appropriate for children to play with random people online and speak with them in the lobby? Why?
  5. What are some ways parents could introduce new video games to their child if they only like games with violence?

Sources:


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