Poll results show that 58% of voters think that there is a correlation between teen violence and video games, while 31% said they don’t think so. These results are not that surprising and it probably means that there is in fact a relationship between video games and violence. But there are also a few questions that have to be asked before condemning video games.
The first question that I asked myself after seeing the results of the poll and reading the comments is, is the correlation between video games and violent teen behavior a positive or a negative one.
New research by Patrick Kierkegaard of the University of Essex, England suggests that there is no obvious link between real-world violence statistics and the advent of video games. If anything, the effect seems to be the exact opposite and one might argue that video game usage has reduced real violence. Despite several high profile incidents in US academic institutions, “Violent crime, particularly among the young, has decreased dramatically since the early 1990s,” says Kierkegaard, “while video games have steadily increased in popularity and use. For example, in 2005, there were 1,360,088 violent crimes reported in the USA compared with 1,423,677 the year before. “With millions of sales of violent games, the world should be seeing an epidemic of violence,” he says, “Instead, violence has declined.”
This research shows that the correlation between violent behavior and video games exists but it doesn’t necessarily mean that video games are the cause of violent teen behavior. The study also suggests that video games can be a factor that influences violent behavior much like any other media formats such as television shows, movies, music and books.
There is however one clear lesson that we can learn from the result of this research, that is, the media in general is only one part of the teenagers world and that it can affect his/her emotions, views, behaviors and attitudes but there are also other parts, such as their family ( particularly their parents ), friends even their genetic predispositions can also affect them.