The American Psychological Association (APA) states that playing violent video games is connected to increased aggression in gamers. Nevertheless, the APA’s report does not prove whether this type of aggression is liked to criminal violence.
Mark Appelbaum, study leader, reported that scientists had been analyzing the effects of violent video games on players for a long while now, however, the research conducted in approximately two decades does not prove that these games could lead to criminal offenses from the people playing them.
On the other hand, the study, conducted in a longer timeframe (2005-2013), did reveal a coherent relation between violent video game use and increased aggressive behavior and a decline in pro-social behavior and in empathy. It is claimed that mental processes known as cognitions are negatively influenced by this category of video games, thus the cognitions acquire aggressive overtones.
In the report it was explained that an accumulation of risk factors leads to violent behavior, instead of merely a single factor. It was revealed in the report that such risk factors are induced by violent video games. It seems that the ratings system in games is similar to that of violent films.
The APA has urged the gaming industry to develop games that would contain increased parental control in correlation with the amount of violence the games are implemented with.
They said that game design ought to be connected to gamers’ age and, implicitly, psychological development. This means that a warning signal should be drawn especially concerning kids who regularly indulge in these particularly violent games, as their psyche could be influenced negatively.
So, the APA warned the video game industry that the nature and level of violence should be clearly specified.
Appelbaum finally pointed out that despite variation in the APA’s studies, a solid pattern was able to emerge as a result of research conducted for many years, which would enforce their overall conclusions.
Nevertheless, many scholars have voiced their opinion regarding Appelbaum’s report, stating that the connection between violence in video games and potential violent behavior in real life would be false.
It seems that the discussion would remain open to debate, and opinions from each side will continue to circulate.
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