Violent Video Games Linked to Behavior Problems?

Tylor Sellers, Staff Writer

Video games are very popular among people worldwide, with more than 1.2 people playing annually, according to VentureBeat. Among the most popular games being played are Call of Duty, Battlefield, and Grand Theft Auto. This raises the question of do violent video games cause behavior problems?

The reason for the increase in aggressive behavior was that children who played a lot of violent video games had an increase in aggressive thoughts: for instance, they were more likely to interpret an ambiguous act, like someone bumping into them, as hostile.

— Craig Anderson

A study  in Singapore found that children ages 8 to 17 who played an excessive amount of violent video games showed an increase in aggressive behavior three years later, compared to the behavior at the start of the study. Craig Anderson, professor and psychologist at Iowa State University, said, “The reason for the increase in aggressive behavior was that children who played a lot of violent video games had an increase in aggressive thoughts: for instance, they were more likely to interpret an ambiguous act, like someone bumping into them, as hostile.”

Others might argue that violent video games don’t cause behavior problems. On debate.org, a poll was done to see if people thought that videos games caused behavior problems, 27% of participants said “yes”, it does cause behavior problems, while 73% said “no”, it doesn’t. The University of Oxford in the U.K. conducted a study on the relation of violent video games and behavioral problems. Their study found that players showed greater amounts of aggression after twenty minutes, based on their ability to master the controls, regardless if the game was violent or not.

Whether or not violent video games cause behavior problems depends on the type of person. If a person is aggressive and plays violent video games, chances are they’ll still be aggressive.