Violent Video Games Are Bad For Kids?

Violent video games are bad for kids. This isn’t new information, but we think it’s worth repeating.

Are there more young people who lack a true understanding of how final and profound death really is?

Are there many who lack concern for the value of human life? Are you noticing more who seem de-sensitized to violence? Do many lack empathy? Are many amused when someone is hurt, more concerned with recording video than helping the person in need?

Of course, we can’t lay the blame for societal violence solely at the feet of violent video games. But they do play a role.

“Not so!” many cry. “Most people who play video games don’t turn into killers.”

True. But… are these games really necessary? What benefit is there in making a game out of shedding blood? Do we really want such “games” going on in our homes?

The video game industry has found a way around this… at least in their own minds. “The objects being destroyed are not people,” they argue. “They are aliens, zombies, droids, and other non-human things.”

Most have eyes, ears, legs, arms, hands, heads, and other human attributes. Could it be that this killing of human-like, non-human things contributes to the mindset that nothing is truly human? This could be a stretch, or maybe not. For a game… a simple plaything… is it really worth taking the risk with our children’s impressionable minds?

Do you know any kids who argue when it’s time to get off the game? Any kids who insist they are completely unaffected (as their pulses race and their blood pressure rises)?

When young brains repeatedly practice and celebrate the violent destruction of life there are consequences. Those brains are affected in real and negative ways.

You may want to read a research paper for yourself:

Anderson CA, Shibuya A, Ihori N, Swing EL, Bushman BJ, Sakamoto A, Rothstein HR, Muniba. (2010) Violent Video Game Effects on Aggression, Empathy, and Prosocial Behavior in Eastern and Western Countries: A Meta-Analytic Review. Psychological Bulletin.

Do we want our children’s brains rewarded for violence and destruction? Do we want them rewarded for this with points, scores, progress along levels, and accolades from others? Might it be better if our kids experienced the good feelings associated with generosity and kindness?

“How naïve!” some will argue. “What’s wrong with having a little fun?”

We’d rather see our kids having fun engaged in healthier activities.

– Thanks for reading! Our goal is to help as many families as possible. If this is a benefit, forward it to a friend.

Charles Fay, Ph.D.
Dr. Charles Fay & Jedd Hafer