Effects of Video Games on Teenage Life

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Video games " are part of the lives of almost all teens in America," (Lenhart, Kahne, Middaugh, Macgill, Evans and Vitak). Therefore, it is important to understand what, if any, effects video games are having on teenage life. Because many video games contain violent content, imagery, and gameplay, much research on video games has focused on whether playing violent video games leads to violent or aggressive behavior in youth. There is a lot of conflicting evidence about the relationship between video games and teenage behavior. However, the general consensus seems to be that video games can have a negative impact on teenage behavior and mental health. Playing video games is linked to depression, anxiety, antisocial behavior, and aggression among teenagers. One of the richest areas of research is in the realm of the relationship between playing violent video games and the expression of violent behaviors. A considerable amount of research seems to reveal at least some connection between violent video games and violent behavior. Wiegman & van Schie found that "children, especially boys, who preferred aggressive video games were more aggressive and showed less prosocial behavior than those with a low preference for these games," (367). Prosocial behavior is defined as interacting in a positive way with peers. There does seem to be some consensus that violent video games can be harmful for young minds. Rabin notes that studies link video game playing with mental health issues
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