Video Games and Violence

I have taken multiple psychology classes here at the University and have come across a few articles pertaining to video games and violence, especially in younger children.

The articles have centered around the idea that violent video games make younger children more violent in interactions with other peers.  I am not saying that all of these articles don’t have some good points but I don’t think that violent video games are the reason for violent behavior in younger children.  If we were able to somehow prevent violent video games from getting in the hands of children, I still think children would be exposed to violent behavior by other means.  Every once in a while there is a news story about an adolescent that acts out in a harmful way because of a violent video game.  Not to say that a violent video game isn’t the problem but I don’t think it is the result of the behavior.

I think the better approach is to make young children aware that violence on television and violence in video games is not an accurate portrayal of real life.  Violence in video games may be a problem, however, I think that there are deeper problems with violence that need to be resolved.   Of course, young children shouldn’t be playing violent video games in the first place but I don’t think thirteen and fourteen year olds are going to stop playing Grand Theft Auto or Call of Duty any time soon.

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Videogames in Schools

In class we have been talking a lot about bringing videogames into the classroom to make education and learning more enjoyable.  I think this is a great idea and would have liked to see this around when I was in school.  I remember being in elementary school and having to read a book and then go on the computer to answer questions about the book.  At the time it seemed like a cool way to answer questions rather than having a piece of paper and handing it in to the teacher.

I don’t have the solution to the problem or new video game ideas but rather I just wanted to get some thoughts out there and see what ideas and/or thoughts that people had.  I don’t know if a video game could be created for each subject in school so that every class could play a video game to learn but I think a video game can be more than just teaching children the material in a certain class.  Video games can have positive effects and teach children things that may not be taught in the classroom.  Video games can be a morale booster if nothing else and help student get through a tough day.  Ideally, they will help kids learn educationally but video games can also contribute to teamwork exercises that deal with collaborating with others and working towards a common goal.  These are important characteristics that are not necessarily taught in school.

I may be leaving other aspects out but that is all I can come up with right now.  I wanted to throw the idea out there that video game play in educational settings can be used for much more than learning math or science.

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