Violent Video Games And Aggressive Behavior In Adolescents



Thereexists a large and extensive variety of video games in the markettoday. Their supply is sure to increase even in days to come, owingto the rapid growth of technology, scientific knowledge and the easyaccess to electronic devices such as computers, i-pads, mobile phonesand game player devices. Additionally, the exposure to these videogames is also very high in the society today has accommodated them.More specifically, the adolescent youth have manifested a lot ofinterest and even addiction in these video games. In U.S.A forinstance the rates of engaging in playing video games is remarkablyhigh as compared to other states.

Itis notable that a good fraction of these video games is violent innature. In a more real sense, they involve characters who bear a lotof violence and murder-orientation. Others arouse (in the player) thesense of horror, theft, harming the innocent and crime in its purestform (including sexual crimes). Some of these violent games include:Saints Row: The Third, Dead Space 3, Gears of War and many others.The question that stands out is: could these violent video gamesaffect the behaviour of the players?

Researchresults from the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Children’sDigital Media Centers (Rideout, Vandewater, &amp Wartella, 2003)found that children in the United States are growing up with mediaand are spending hours a day watching television and videos, usingcomputers, and playing video games. According to the findings,today’s children are starting to be exposed to technologies andmedia at a much younger age than previously thought. (Tsung-YenChuang and Wei Fan Cheng, 2009). On the same note, multiple shootingswere experienced in three towns namely: Paducah, Kentucky. Jonesboro,Arkansas. Littleton, Colorado. The shooters were students whohabitually played violent video games. Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold,the Columbine High School students who murdered 13 people and wounded23 in Littleton, before killing themselves, enjoyed playing thebloody video game Doom. Harris created a customized version of Doomwith two shooters, extra weapons, unlimited ammunition, and victimswho could not fight back—features that are eerily similar toaspects of the actual shootings. (Craig A. Anderson and Brad J.Bushman, 2001).

Theeffect of media on children and the youth is an issue that hasbrought forth many discrepancies. A good portion is well convincedthat they are aimed at stimulating insinuations that consequentlydrive their thinking domain and character at last. “Mediarepresentations are not simply a mirror of society but rather thatthey are highly selective and constructed portrayals. It is thecapacity of these portrayals to shape and frame our perception of theworld which is under consideration here.” (Ann Sanson, Julie Duck,Glen Cupit, Judy Ungerer, Carl Scuderi and Jeanna Sutton, 2000).

Thisresearch will make use of both qualitative and quantitative methodsof research. The rationale for this idea lies on the fact that thetask at hand is not only related with behavior, i.e. the aggressivebehavior in adolescents as a consequence of video games but also howvast or by what fraction, percentage or even portion of theadolescent has essentially been affected. Research on exposure totelevision and movie violence suggests that playing violent videogames will increase aggressive behavior. A meta-analytic review ofthe video-game research literature reveals that violent video gamesincrease aggressive behavior in children and young adults. (Craig A.Anderson &amp Brad J. Bushman, 2001). Therefore, qualitativeresearch will aid in answering questions that are hard to present innumerical realms while quantitative will explicit the figure-relatedcomponents of the research.

Theresearch will employ the use of questionnaire. This will see to itthat they express by way of pen-and-paper their views as well astheir feelings about violent video games. Additionally, the use ofinterviews will be incorporated in conducting the research whichturns out very useful since the interviewer and interviewee arebrought to a common forum where one on one approach is exercised inasking questions, rectifying ideas and airing views.


Theresearch will apply the aforesaid methodology to the youth,specifically adolescents whose age range is 8 to 23 years which isinclusive of the teenagers. Craig A. Anderson et al, (2003) “Manychildren and youth spend an inordinate amount of time consumingviolent media”. Precisely, individuals falling in these categoriesof age will be involved regardless of other factors taking forms ofemployed as opposed to unemployed, male in contrast to females,historical backgrounds, race, social status or even creed. Youths whomight have not been involved in video games will also be part of theparticipants.

Therespondents are desired to be 400 in number from a desired town ofresidence better preferred of a metropolitan or cosmopolitan domain,where the involvement and exposure to violent video games is quiteconspicuous.

Inthis study, nonprobability sampling will be used. It will provide amore scientific and authentic image of the entire general populationin specific terms the youth. In addition, the context of the study isoriented to more precise sub-group who are the adolescents. Theirbehavior as a contingent factor on playing violent video games willbe our major concern.

Inthis category of nonprobability sampling, purposive sampling will beused where a desired 400 number of respondents will be involved. 300respondents will be adolescents (between 8 and 18 years as researchhas shown that youths between the ages of 8 and 18 dedicate anaverage of 8 hours per day to entertainment media and specificallyvideo games. (Netzley, 2013)) And 100 are youths between 18 and 23years, in respect to information given in an earlier paragraph, abouttheir individual demographics. In purposive sampling technique, thesampler has a purpose in mind and there exists one or more predefinedgroup he/she seeks. Moreover, it involves spotting the respondents inthe streets, schools or colleges and requesting them to participate.Therefore, by the virtue of seeing them, the researcher will verifywhether they fall in the criteria he/she wants.


Thereare both dependent and independent variables manifest in this study.First the independent variable is the concept of violent video games.Here, we are more focused on the types of games a respondent plays,the regularity and the period of time he/she has been playing them.Secondly, the dependent variable is aggression developed out ofplaying violent video games.


Thequestionnaire administered will be aimed at acquiring qualitative andquantitative data about respondent’s violent game-playing and howhe/she responds to situations that require decision making. Forinstance, it can take the following shape:

STATEMENT (tick as appropriate)



I play video games

The games I play involve murder or theft or are rude in nature

Further,the questionnaire should have a space left where the respondent canlist the video games he/she has played. Also, whether they would liketo emulate the characters they see in those games. In terms ofaggression, questions like how the respondent feels about people whowrong them, what kind of revenge should be taken against them shouldbe made. This would be done in the interview.


Afterthe data is collected, the researcher will examine the response andnote the: number of respondents who play violent games, theconsistency (how often), and the period played. These should now becompared with the responses given about the feelings of therespondents in terms of revenge, (as made in the questionnaire). Aconclusion should therefore be made about the co-relation between theplaying of violent video games and aggressive behavior.


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