Free Essay: Article Analysis on Video Games

Published: 2023-01-03
Free Essay: Article Analysis on Video Games
Type of paper:  Research paper
Categories: Video games Violence Child development Human behavior
Pages: 7
Wordcount: 1861 words
16 min read

Video games have become a trend among young children, teenagers, and young adults. These games have become so addictive such that players spent most of the time playing them either online or with their peers. There are different types of video games which target specific audiences. Violent games are on the rise, and there has been a public uproar on the effects of these games on the behavior of the players. Some researchers have presented arguments blaming violent video games and media for promoting aggressive and delinquent behaviors among children and teenagers. The other divide has opposed this assertion by presenting arguments that defend violent video games when it comes to promoting aggressive behavior. The discussion on the impact of violent video games has gained momentum creating a public debate that has influenced policy development. There is some truth that video games promote aggressive behavior, but there is also the truth that these games do not change aggressive behavior. The article "Violent Video Games, Catharsis Seeking, Bullying, and Delinquency: A Multivariate Analysis of Effects" by Ferguson et al., (2014) examines the influence of exposure to violent games on bullying behavior and delinquency among school going children. The authors of the article review various literature on this topic to expand research and demystify misconceptions associated with violent video games. Besides, the authors critique the different research approaches used in past studies which have led to misleading conclusions regarding the impact of violent games on the aggressive behavior of children.

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The authors of this article agree with the growing concern by parents and other stakeholders on the effect of violent games. In the article, the author draws their analysis to the release of Grand Theft Auto IV (GTA) video in 2008 which saw politicians, journalists, and scholars expressing their fears on the impact the video would have on the youth (Ferguson 3). The concern of the public on violent game shows that there is a link in the society that associates violent media such as video games to promote delinquent behavior. The example provided in the article showed that the public had already made up their mind on the impact of a violent game. It is evident that there is a misconception on violent games which is not backed by any scientific evidence. The analysis of the authors created the need to further expand research on the relationship between violent video games and aggressive behavior. The hypothesized harmful effects of violent video games on the behavior of youths have seen numerous states coming up with legislation to curb access of these games among the youth (Ferguson 4). The courts have however stopped any such law from being implemented since there is insufficient literature to support the assertion that these games have an impact on violent behavior. The current research is biased which means that conclusions from such findings might not be implemented as they are misleading. Even though some states or counties have managed to enforce such laws, there is tension among the policymakers that the same rules will be overturned. Psychologists have further come in defense of violent video games with arguments that different factors influence behavior. Besides, aggressive behavior and delinquency among children are caused by various factors casting into doubt the role played by violent video games.

The research by these authors further reviews the views by the American Psychological Association that admits that there is a link between exposure to violent games on aggressive behavior. The admission by such an association could easily send panic to the public owing to the credibility of the association when it comes to matters psychology. There must have been a reason that forced the association to make such a statement. Behavior is influenced by the environment and environmental factors such as access to violent materials (Ferguson 5). The claim of this kind of relationship is misleading as there is no data or scientific evidence to support such an argument. Even if such a relationship exists, the association fails back its claim with evidence or estimates on how these video games influence aggressive behavior. There must be estimates that give information on what extent do video games push children to develop aggressive behavior. Besides, the assertion does not categorize games on a scale of violence to identify those that can be considered to have a more significant impact on developing aggressive behavior.

There have been attempts to link criminal activities in American society to playing violent video games. In part of the literature reviewed by the authors in this article, the claim that violent video games influenced the criminal behind Virginia Tech murders in 2007 was defeated by investigations which revealed that the perpetrator was in no way a lover of video games. The desire by society to link violent activities and criminal behavior in society to video games should be guided by evidence. The move to make claims that could damage the reputation of video games as a source of entertainment should be dismissed with research. The numerous attempts by scholars such as Busching have served to acquit violent video games from being directly linked to aggressive criminal behavior (15). The analysis of the literature of violent video games prompted the authors into making conclusions on the need to review current research and give direction on further research to determine the extent to which violent video games could promote aggressive behavior among children. The review of past literature to identify loopholes that had led to misleading conclusions can help provide direction and rectify the misconception. The research should focus on children who are vulnerable to video games, gender and other measures that can be used in the study. The focus on this kind of approach will help in identifying the risk factors to violent video games and interventions that should be put in place to prevent these games from influencing the behavior of children. This kind of approach to research will establish more factual information on the effects of violent video games.

The authors of the article point out the sufficiency of existing research in making conclusions on the long-term impact of such games in promoting aggressive behavior. The article presents various arguments relating to the issue with those in doubt raising matters relating to the quality, methodology and the conclusions made from the findings of this research (Ferguson 7). The question raised in the article is worth debating as it helps in improving research methodology and other biases that have put past research in a questionable state. The measures used to represent aggressive behavior in this research is aggressive. Aggressive behavior is debatable since it depends on the circumstances, culture and expected norms in a given society. The decision to terminate a given behavior to be aggressive might not provide the required standard that is accepted universally. Violent acts in real life tend to differ with aggressive behavior in violent video games. The difference in the representation of violent behavior in media content and real-life creates a debate that casts doubt on the findings of research on this issue. When these differences exist, the findings and conclusions of the study will not be accepted universally.

There are different sources of violent behavior among children. Genetic makeup, personality, and family influence play a role in the development of behavior. Besides, gender is the other determinant of behavior. In the analysis, the authors found out that boys are more likely to play video games compared to girls. Besides, children with personalities that promote violence are more likely to be aggressive than those who are reserved. The family also plays a role in the development of the behavior of children. When children live in an environment where their parents are constantly fighting, they are likely to develop aggressive behavior which could promote violence and delinquency (Fournis 13). The failure of the past research to address these issues when it comes to violent video games provides the basis of conducting further research to establish the link between aggressive behavior and video games. The overlapping variance in the causes of aggressive behavior creates a debate on why certain authors have pushed the idea that violent video games promote the same behavior among children. Unless more research is done on this topic, the relationship between exposure to violent media content, gender and personality trait of a person should be established to make accurate and valid conclusions about the issue.

The authors further provide the analysis of citation and publication bias that is present in past research. Every research work has some form of bias, but the research on the impact of the exposure of violent video game on bullying and delinquency among children has seen researcher ignoring negative findings from their research. Majority of the researchers focus on results that support their hypothesis. There is limited research where authors have looked to incorporate these negative results. However, the conclusions have not exhausted the issue of violent video games and aggressive behavior. Future research should include undesirable outcomes form the research to explain this issue and provide accurate information on the influence on the games on behavior (Fournis 13). The issue of publication bias of researched used for review promotes a common narrative among scholars. The author investigates the issue where research with statistically significant results is more likely to be published compared to those of null results (Ferguson 15). The bias in publishing means that future research will depend on past research which is biased and misleading. The evidence on this kind of bias indicates that the narrative that violent games promote aggressive behavior continues to be used as a basis of conducting future research.

The use of aggression measures where the researcher is allowed to choose measures of aggression could lead to misleading outcomes. In most of the research that has been conducted, researchers have used unstandardized measures to achieve their hypothesis. The approach of the study where researchers influence the outcome of their research methodologies means that most of them have turned out to be lazy and unwilling to come up with new findings on the same topic. The scenario where researchers use different aggression measures in various studies leads to higher effect sizes. Majority of the research is influenced by the author where they willingly express their intention of achieving certain outcomes by choosing aggression measures that suit their hypotheses (Ferguson 15). These issues sum up the challenges of trusting past research on this topic and confirming past findings to be valid. The loopholes that exist in this research work means that new research should seek to address the gaps and also set the direction for future research. Even though the current research of the orders might come up with findings that can be considered to be inadequate, it would, however, solve all the biases that make findings from other research untrustworthy.

There is a small correlation between video games and aggressive behavior. The authors further argue that in a situation where certain variables are controlled, this kind of correlation is likely to disappear. The small correlation that exists between the two variables in the research makes it harder to make changes to research methodology.

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