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Video Game Violence and Its Effects on Children's Behavior

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Michael Cote

Sociology 100 04

Critical Analysis

Video Game Violence

and it's

Effects on Children's Behavior

Video games have now become one of the favorite activities for children in

America. Video games have become a booming industry with sales exceeding those

of the movie industry, bringing in $20 billion a year. The average American child aged

between two and seventeen plays video games on average seven hours a week. Over

the years there have been a number of studies that have looked at the effects of video

games on children and adolescents. Most of these studies have looked at the link of

video game use and aggressive behavior, but there has also been interest in how

video games effect school performance.

Many studies show that there is a negative effect on school performance for

children and adolescents who play video games. High school students who have

reported a lot of video game use and have spent money on video games had much

poorer grades in English. The content of the videos games could also affect school

performance. If students played only educational games it would be less likely to

affect school performance. It has also been shown that children who use computers to

play video games do more poorly in school than children who use computers to only

do school work on. Regardless of the content of the game, the amount of game play

still affects performance by taking the place of studying and participating in social

activities. If the child plays seven hours of video games a week, those are seven hours

not spent reading, doing homework, or participating in some sort of creative activity.

Even though video games are meant to be entertaining, challenging, and

sometimes, educational, most include some amount of violent content. Recent studies

of video games have shown that as many as 89% of games have some kind of violent

content and about half include serious violence towards other game characters. So in

other words, the majority of the video games being purchased by children and

adolescents, contain violence. In 2001 an analysis was done with 4262 participants on

the effects of playing violent video games. The results shown that there are five



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