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The first video game was developed in the 1950’s. Since then, as computers revolutionized so did the video games. Lately, the video game industry has grown bigger and more sophisticated. With the advancement of technology, computer games have become more interesting, offering entertainment to all ages all over the world. The industry has gone commercial, resulting to competition and a lot of creativity on developing the best video games to meet the needs of the video players.
A research by Kutner & Warner has shown that children below the age of 18 years highly fancy these games. About a third plays video games daily with majority playing violent videos (Kutner & Warner, 2008). The growing concern among many parents is whether these violent videos can cause aggression in their children. Violent videos remain the most popular among both kids and adults. A number of researches done have confirmed that children’s behavior is mostly influenced by the environment they grow in and the activities they do. There has been a growing debate on whether aggression and bullying, associated with the youth, may be an influence of playing violent games. In my own opinion, consistent playing of violent videos negatively affects the behavior of children for a short-term, during the period of play. Signs of aggression may develop in kids below the age of 10 years, as they try to emulate what they see on videos.
Over the past few decades, many children have been unable to manage anger. There have been various incidences, where students, angered by either the school administration or their colleagues, have opted for suicide. Others even shoot their colleagues and, then, turn the gun on themselves. Most of these students have been found to enjoy playing violent videos such as Doom and war games (Bartholow, Sestir & Davis, 2005). According to a study, done by the Lowa State University, exposure to violent videos increases aggression and bad behavior among kids. The thoughts and behavior may prevail for a long time. Another research stipulates that such games can alter the brain of a child in less than a week. Scientists at the Indiana University found out that, the brain’s ability to accommodate concepts deteriorated when one took long hours, playing violent games daily. However, the brain returned to normal, once the person stopped playing the game for some time. As I was growing up, most of the time I was involved in fights with my neighboring kids, we were wrestling, using tactics, learnt from the videos and call each other abuse words also associated with videos. Though, we used to be punished by our parents, the behavior still persisted till we grew up. Unfortunately, some kids adopt such a behavior up to manhood and you may find them bullying their colleagues even at college level (Kutner, Baer, Beresin, Warner & Nicholi, 2008).
On the other hand, video marketers have argued that, though popular, violent videos do not cause aggressive behavior and thoughts in children. A kid killing his mates cannot be associated with playing videos but other external factors. I beg to differ with this because there are videos in the market similar to those, used by military, when training how to shoot on target. Such videos are possessed by kids who find them interesting to play, they learn the tactics and some at high school writes projects on them. With the alarming number of minors being treated for anger management, it raises questions as to the damage a kid will cause when in possession of a gun. The game industry blames parents for their negligence into allowing kids play violent games. Video games are normally labeled according to age bracket; those for kids being different from those for adults. But many parents believe the main market holders of video industry are the kids. The marketers use advertisements primarily encouraging the youth on buying their latest innovation. Though, this is not the case, as 65% of sales are bought by adults (Kutner, Baer, Beresin, Warner & Nicholi, 2008).
Most of us have grown up, playing computer games. We would almost spend the entire night with friends in front of the computer. One would often feel bad in case our parents prevented us from playing. Kids definitely love computer games. As parents, we cannot succeed in preventing kids from playing computer games but we can control what type of game should be played. Through parents involvement in the affairs of their kids, advice and counseling can be given to help kids understand what is right for their age. In addition, more research should be done to determine the connection between violent video games and aggression in kids. Most of us played these games, when we were young but did they affect us? I think the effect of playing violent games is short-term. It only influences the kids during that age, but as they develop they are able to differentiate reality from what they see on videos.
In conclusion, children should be discouraged from playing violent video games, they are likely to influence their present behavior, create aggression and criminal thoughts. Instead, kids should only be allowed to play puzzles and strategic games. This helps them in thinking as they try to out-smart the other. Such games are even educative and may help them improve in their English language. Depending on their age, other less violent games can be introduced to them. Parents should play a major role in monitoring what games their children play. Children should also be encouraged to participate in sports or social work, rather than sitting around the computer during their leisure time. The government should put strict rules to ensure kids don’t have access to violent videos. Labels should be well placed, indicating videos, meant for kids and those for adults. Though, it’s a challenge because some parents play these video games together with their kids in the evening. The games industry should work on developing games, suited for kids; the games ought to exercise the minds of the kids and help them in their school work.