Synthesis Essay "Do Violent Video Games Cause Aggressive Behavior?"

1697 Words Nov 29th, 2010 7 Pages
Violent Video Games Made Me Do It

School shootings years ago in Paducah, Kentucky; Jonesboro, Arkansas; and Littleton Colorado, have raised the question time and time again. Do violent video games have an influence on children and their aggressive behavior? In all three of these brutal shootings, all the shooters were students who habitually played violent video games. The Columbine High School students who murdered thirteen and wounded twenty-three in Littleton before committing suicide after the shooting, enjoyed playing Doom, a bloody and violent video game. One of the shooters made a customized version of Doom: two shooters, unlimited ammunition, extra weapons, and victims who couldn’t fight back. This customized version of the game
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And as for the victims of bullies, Funk says “that because of the fantasy roles that they can take on in a violent video game, victims are appealed to this because they want to change their identity and build self-esteem” (Funk 110). Funk also believes that the age of the child playing the video game can be a reason why they are affected. She says that children that are below the age of 12 are most likely to be affected because that is the age when children begin to find what their morals are and compare their morals to others. She says that violent video games “short circuit” this process. Funk also states that children with impaired emotion regulation are more likely to become addicted to video games. She says that if these types of children are not able to play their games, they experience types of withdrawal, and she gives examples of experiments where children acted out aggressively at not being able to play their games. But none of these points prove that violent video games are directly linked to aggressive behavior.

In contrast, Goldstein focuses on the experiments of mainly children to prove that there is not enough evidence to show that violent video games cause aggressive behavior. Goldstein continues to argue that real aggression cannot be measured in a lab. He says that too many

experiments are inconsistent with their results to come to a conclusion that these games
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