Violence Amongst Children

Violent video games have rose to be a hot topic discussed in the media. The subject has dwindled down from public headlines compared to years ago, however, it is still a sensitive subject. Some argue that violent video games are negatively impacting developing children’s minds, whereas others say they have no effect. There is also great debate as to whether or not they should be permanently banned. I have the belief that these video games are not the sole case in effecting the young gamers mind. There are more factors that go into it rather than just the video games, which is very important to consider when trying to create a reliable correlation between the two. Such factors would be how the child is raised at home, how educated they are about the violence that goes on within the game, what other violence they are exposed to (home life, movies, songs, etc.), how old the child is, and how the parents/guardian(s) of the child go about when discussing the violent nature of video games and other sources of violence. Because of all of the other possible variables that go around the development of children, I do not think that violent video games are to blame. I do believe, however, that the games should stay restricted to certain ages. I also believe that parents and other sources should educate their children about the violence that goes on within the world we live in. I do believe it is good to expose children to some sort of violence (to an extent) in order to prepare them to not be too naive for the real world.


Violence in Video Games

I think violent video games can definitely have a effect on children’s and adult’s personality and behavior, but only if they are not being stimulated by other things in the world. From a young age, we are taught the difference between right and wrong. So if you are playing a video game where you have to kill someone or something, most people still know that killing is wrong even if they choose to do it in a video game. But if people get consumed in the games that they are playing, then it is much easier for it to influence their behavior. I think that if people are being consumed by their actions in video games then there is a larger problem at hand than the video game itself. Banning all violent video games isn’t a bad idea per se but I think it is unnecessary.


First Impression: Violence in video games

In the last couple decades, video gaming has advanced rapidly with the development of new technology. With these technological changes, there has also been a shift towards more violent video games. Many are concerned about children playing these violent video games, and it seems to me that this concern is justified in some situations. There is a system of rating video games similar to the ratings on movies, for example M rated video games can only be purchased by those 17 years and up. This means that a parent must be present to buy a violent game for their child, which makes it hard for kids to get video games that are deemed too graphic/violent for them. This obviously doesn’t stop kids from getting these games if their parents are unaware or simply don’t care about the content of the games. In circumstances such as these, it is up to the parents to teach their kids the difference between games and reality. It may be okay to point a gun at someone in a game, but that is not okay in reality. I think for the most part this is not emphasized enough today. When I was growing up in a household full of hunting rifles, I was never allowed to even make my hand into a gun and point it at my friends. My dad always told me that the only time you should point a gun at someone is if you are ready to kill them, a principle that I adamantly believe in. I think this is much more important for young children than for teenagers or adults, for example I am not opposed to playing paintball if you fully understand that it is only okay in the context of the game. I do not think violent video games should be banned, but I do believe there is a responsibility to the parent (as there should be) to instruct their child how to distinguish between a game and reality. It is also important for parents to emphasize the implications of pointing a gun at someone in real life, and how big a deal it really is. This being said, I do not believe that violent video games make children more violent, I think that, when not instructed properly, kids can lose sight of what is acceptable in every day life due to their ventures in virtual reality.

One thing I would like to briefly discuss is the role of online interactions kids can have with people through video games. Every game has some attempt at censorship for online interactions, whether there be a capability to report a user or a censor in the in game chat that doesn’t allow profanity. Even with these methods of censorship, there is no way to completely stop potentially profane or graphic interactions with older users. I bring this up only because I have been disturbed by hearing a child no more than 10 years old playing call of duty who swore more than my south Dakota born father. This is in part because it is over the internet and people are much braver over the internet than they would be if speaking directly to someone, similar to social media. I think again this ties back into the responsibility of the parent to teach the child what is acceptable, because exposure does not in itself cause behavior, it is the lack of understanding of those interactions that causes it. I do not consider myself a violent person, nor do I consider myself vulgar or profane, and yet I played graphic video games in middle school and was around swearing since I was born. It seems that lack of understanding of both the difference between games and reality, and what is acceptable are the factors that will cause violence not the game itself.





Video game violence

Video games don’t cause violence, lag does. This statement is one I always held to be true ever since I started playing video games. Everyone has seen the argument that violence in video games causes children to become more violent individuals, but I believe that the wrong stimulus is being blamed. Anyone who has played video games can tell you that people can get angry when playing video games, but it is not the violent nature of the video games that is at fault. Whenever people get frustrated or angry while playing video games , it is usually more about the competitive nature of the game and less about the actual content. People get pissed about video games because they feel that they lost for unfair reasons, and this same feeling of frustration can occur in other games that are not violent in nature such as board games like monopoly. There are also other forms of media that are just as violent, if not more violent than video games, such as movies and books, yet most people target video games due to their popularity rather than any scientific evidence. The argument that children are becoming more violent because of the graphic nature of video games is nothing more than children relieving pent frustrations at what they believe is an unfair loss.

My Perspective On Video Games

I know it’s not certainly helpful to give a single experience from someone who played violent video games or has watched horror movies from a young age, but I personally didn’t have any behavioral issues from playing mature video games, mostly because I wasn’t allowed much time playing them at all.  I wouldn’t put this result on any kind of child since they all differ in experiences and how they handle said experiences.  The main issue I see with young children, around the age of about 6 or 8, is that they’ll start to form habits that will eventually stick with them, especially if they play it again and again on a video game.  Not there’s anything wrong with shooter games and most can be without blood and gore, but a lot of children could develop a certain attitude that comes along with playing multiple violent video games.  Maybe they could start using more vulgar language, not focus on their schoolwork as much, act out without thinking about the consequences and become desensitized over time to accidents and environments that are similar to the video game’s environment.  I would rather my child be sticking to entertainment that would help develop problem-solving skills and dealing with emotions in a more healthy manner, rather than sitting in dark room mashing controller buttons all day.  I don’t want to put the blame fully on the video game industry since the parents can influence their child’s tastes, so it would be a good idea for parents to monitor what kind of games their child plays and how often they play them, and then observe if there are any slight mood changes.



I disagree with the majority when discussing the effects that violent video games have on children. I believe violent video games can serve as an outlet for children and adults. As humans, we need stimulation, excitement, and also an outlet to help release tension that builds up over time. Violent video games are not making children more violent, they are revealing our true human nature and what it is that we find exciting.

Video games can be seen as a healthy mechanism when coping with anger and frustration. Rather than destroying the source of your pain, you can turn to a video game and release your anger out on a fictional being. Video games are not introducing children to violence– they are ridding them of their potential violent attacks. Children and adults are well aware of the violence and misfortunes that life presents. So a video game should not be blamed for the introduction of crime. We know life is crappy and video gaming has provided a way to cope with it.

According to Obama, there has been “huge drops in the murder rates” in major crime cities such as Dallas, New York, and Los Angeles. What does violent video gaming have to do with the declining long-term crime trend?  Well gaming has become one of the many activities that humans can turn to to release stress or frustration. Other activities that are useful would be practicing the art of boxing, karate, football, and etc. Contact sports and violent video games all involve the interaction with a “human” form that allows us to relieve ourselves by being physical.

Source: Robertson, Lori. “Dueling Claims on Crime Trend.” The Wire, 13 July 2016. Web. 19 Mar. 2017.

Week 8 First Impression Prompt – Learning

Hand writing on a notebook

Regardless of which prompt you choose, please use the Tag “Learning” on your post.

Option 1:

BF Skinner passionately believed in the power of operant conditioning. He thought it was such a powerful influence that it proved free will is an illusion. See Skinner make this claim here. You can read more about “radical behaviorism” at this link. After reading these sources, respond to Skinner’s assertion that there is no such thing as free will. Do you agree or disagree? Why?

Option 2:

Violence in the media has been controversial for decades, but over the last 20 years there has been increasing attention to the amount of violence in video games. The rise of first-person shooters and games with graphic displays of blood and gore has led to criticisms of the video game industry and claims that children are becoming more violent as a result. What is your perspective on violent video games? What do you think about calls to have them permanently banned?

I look forward to seeing what you write!

Header image: CC by Flickr user Caitlinator
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How to Teach Myself

The first test I took was the Felder & Solomon Learning Styles Scale. It placed you on a number line, and the more polarized you are, the stronger your leaning towards the learning style is. I scored pretty evenly throughout, only showing a mild/moderate preference on a few occasions.

For instance, when it comes to reflective or active learning, I am ambivalent. If you tell me to solve a problem, I am apt to talk out loud about it for a while and then rush to solving it. I am not a quiet thinker as reflective learners tend to be. I also rarely go into situations prematurely; if anything, I’ll be late in the game because I took too much time planning. I’m okay with group work, however. To cater to this learning style, the website suggests write summaries while I study and teach other students the lesson afterwards. From personal experience, these both work pretty well.

I scored slightly higher on sensing. This one’s fairly accurate. I do dislike complications in problem solving and prefer to have a tried and true method of producing an answer. I’m pretty decent at lab work, and I prefer learning things which are applicable to the real world. Sensing doesn’t fit me, however, since I’m a messy worker despite my outlining. The website suggests I study more efficiently by connecting and applying the materialI have gone over.

Similarly, I am slightly more visual. Generally speaking, I agree. As an artist, it does help me if I stimulate myself with pictures and illustrations, but charts do little in the ways of assisting me. I would rather read the results of data. It suggests I use concept maps (I do), color coding (I do), and seek out additional illustrations to aide in explaining. Sometimes I’ll make a comic out my study material, which helps tons whenever I find the time.

In the last category, I scored as a global learner. This means I should understand the big picture before the specifics, but it is usually the opposite for me. Hm. I do have trouble processing how I arrived at the end of a problem though. The study tips do seem to apply to me because it suggests  my tried and true methods of skimming a chapter before lecture and asking an instructor to provide connections.

I liked the simplicity of this test. It offered two different choices without narrowing the situationally applicable options.

The next test was the Learning Style Inventory. It labeled be a tactile learner. I like this term better than the other one, kinetic, because I’m a feeler not a builder. I consider it pretty accurate because I’m always fighting in some way or another. The website suggested I try tracing words with my finger, an interesting concept, but it seems pretty elementary school. I do rewrite my notes sometimes, however, and it helps me heaps. Keeping a piece of scratch paper with me is an old habit I’ve abandoned, but maybe I should start it back up.

This test seems less comprehensive than the last despite there being more options. Additionally, there’s less room for error if you’re only sticking a label on one attribute of a person rather than four.

As for how Austin College caters to my learning style, I’d say it fits the bill fairly well. A lot of these learning habits are better applied solo, I think. If I had any complaints, it’d be pictures since visual accompaniments in power points are not only aesthetically pleasing but help some of us remember the words around it.

Violence in Video Games?


According to the first article Psychologists conducted a decade of studies and concluded that exposure to violent video games was a risk factor for increased aggression. But, on the other hand games like Call of Duty and Grand Theft Auto have not led to any sufficient evidence that those games lead to increased aggressions. The findings these psychologists found have prompted a call for more parental control over over violent scenes in video games from the American Psychological Association. The research the psychologists found was a consistent relation between violent video game use and increases in aggressive behavior, and decreases in prosocial behavior, empathy and sensitivity to aggression. No single influence led a person to act aggressively or violently, rather an accumulation of many risk factors resulted in these behaviors. The research reviewed demonstrates that violent video game use is a huge risk factor.”Scientists have investigated the use of violent video games for more than two decades but to date, there is very limited research addressing whether violent video games cause people to commit acts of criminal violence” said Dr Mark Appelbaum. This source is a UK news source. Its trustworthy enough.

On the other hand, a study was published in Psychology of Popular Media Culture undermining this claim, suggesting that violent video games do not increase violent behavior. Instead, the researchers argued that duration of play is what mattered. Researchers interviewed about 200 10 and 11 year old kids about their video game playing habits. They also asked the children’s teachers about the classroom behavior, problem solving skills, and academic engagement. Children who played video games for less than an hour each day showed lower rates of aggression than children who did not play at all. Children who played longer than 3 hours a day had high levels of aggression and low levels of academic engagement.. Studies that authors argue is that daily video game is not linked to increased aggressions, but prolonged play may increase, though the study never really explained or defined why. Even though both of these studies were not really conducted well they are still reliable studies. I would personally conduct them differently with kids from all ages and a survey of how long they play a day and which games they play. I would finalize my results from a study similar to that.




Evil Video Games

The argument today is whether parents should be concerned for their children because the threat that violent video games supposedly serve. They have been criticized to increase children’s aggressive behavior. What follows are two articles, one will be agree to that statement while the other will be opposed to it. The first article discusses why parents should. It begins by stating that children who play violent games will “inappropriately resolve anxiety by externalizing it” instead of a more positive less harmful way of getting rid of anxiety such as calming oneself down or talking to another person about it. The article continues to state further negative effects on children like the less likely of peer interaction within a child as well as a lesser ability to control their anger. These statements are then supported by studies. Near the end, the article gives advice and tips for parents to effectively lessen the likeliness of their child or children ascending their aggressive behavior. The next article is an actual research study conducted on UK children ages five through seven. In this article they thoroughly explain how the experiment will take place. After the data is collected, a conclusion is given as well as an explanation of the data. A brief statement given is that when there was no significant correlation found between aggressive behavior of a child and video games, however one was found when a correlation was made between TV and a child aggressive behavior. The only consistently negative effect found in the study about violent video games were the peer interaction which decreased. To conclude the article it gave its limitations. After reading the limitations a lot of doubt rises on how correct the study actually represented the relation of children’s aggressive behavior and violent video games. While the first article repeatedly points out a negative effect, not once did it state that violent video games should not be allowed or permanently banned. Moreover if I trusted the second article it would only bolster my opinion. In all, I do not think violent video games should be banned or should not be allowed.