The Effects of Violent Video Games on Society Essay

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On December 1, 1997, fourteen-year-old Michael Carneal entered school property in West Paducah, Kentucky and began shooting a pistol at a group of students participating in a youth prayer group, killing three students and injuring five others. On March 24, 1998, Mitchell Johnson (13) and Andrew Golden (11) opened fire on students at a high school in Craighead County, Arkansas as they exited the building for a fire alarm set off by the pair, killing five and wounding ten others. On April 20, 1999, Eric Harris (18) and Dylan Klebold (17) entered Columbine High School in Jefferson County, Colorado and began a shooting rampage that left 13 dead and 21 others wounded. On April 16, 2007, Seung-Hui Cho (23) began a siege on the
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For the average adolescent male, this equates to witnessing approximately 5,400 acts of violence per month (Smith, Lachlan, Tamborini, 2003). Although these numbers seem impressive, it still only represents the violence depicted in video games and does not include the violence children are exposed to in other forms of media. Studies suggest that by 12 years of age, the average child has witnessed over 100,000 acts of violence just on television alone (Bartholow, Anderson, 2001). Lt. Col. Dave Grossman, author of the book On Killing and Director of the Killology Group, compares video game violence to the desensitizing process the United States military uses to mentally prepare soldiers for combat. Grossman argues that steady and repeated exposure to violent acts can cause the human mind to rationalize and accept the behavior; a person becomes conditioned to the violence and associates it to normal conduct (Grossman, Christensen, 2004). Grossman suggests that this operant conditioning is made more dangerous in the fact that it is administered without discipline and character development, which are the safeguards used in the military setting (Grossman, Christensen, 2004). From a psychology standpoint, there are three basic explanations that theorists use when attempting to correlate violent video
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