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Youth and Video Game Violence

            Video games have become more refined, more realistic, and more gruesome than ever. A large amount of developmental and psychological research has focused on the relationship between violent video games and the negative outcomes among children and adolescents, such as aggression, hostility, anti-social behavior, delinquency, decreased empathy, and video game addiction (Adachi and Willoughby). Several hundred studies have been conducted focusing on these issues and many results have been produced, showing that violent video games do have a negative affect on the psyche of the youth players. Though the opposing side to this argument is important to consider, I believe I will cover those areas of doubt. It is true that video games are not a reality. However, what is not true is that video games do not attempt to represent reality. Video games represent reality in a way that is distorted and misconfigured. If there happens to be too much perception of this false reality, there are negative psychological outcomes. There have been real world killings committed by dedicated gamers. On March 21, 2005, sixteen-year-old Jeff Weise, an avid gamer, shot 9 people dead at his high school, all before killing himself (De). There are a multitude of stories just like this one. Violent video games are not one hundred percent to blame, but they are one of the places that today's youth gets ideas like these. I will go on to prove that negative psychological outcomes and aggression are effects of violent video games.
             Video games like "Call of Duty," "Halo," "Counterstrike," and "Assassin's Creed" have been some of the most popular first-person-shooter games (Hartmann, Krakowajak, and Tsay-Vogel). These games involve incredibly graphic violence, aggressive behavior, and foul language. "Halo" and "Call of Duty" are rated "T" for teen; the games include content that is generally suitable for players ages 13 and up ("ESRB").

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