Violent Video Games and Behaviour
The other day, I was asked this question in my special education class: "Which perspective do you align yourself with? Are violent video games a way of releasing tension or are they the source of increased violence in our schools?" I wasn't quite sure where I stood on this question. I definitely have mixed feelings about this topic. I think it really depends on the amount of time a child spends playing violent video games as well as the type of video game. For example, some could argue that Super Mario Smash Bros. is a very violent video game, since the idea is to kill your opponent. However, I believe a game such as Call Of Duty, another violent video game, would be more detrimental, since the violence experienced in that game is more realistic. I have a nephew who is 9 years old and he was diagnosed with ADHD and Aspergers Disease a few months ago. Based on my observations, he is obsessed with video games, especially violent ones. I find that these games are both a way of releasing tension and a way to escape his reality. He is having a really hard life; he's bullied at school, he doesn't have many friends, his teachers treat him poorly and his parents are going through a very disastrous divorce. His video games act as his "security blanket"--they comfort him and bring stability/security during times of change, unsteadiness and confusion. Fortunately, he is not violent, but he is also still young. The problem with these video games is that they have caused him to be even more socially awkward than he already was. He doesn't know how to properly communicate with his peers. When he is given the opportunity to socialize, the only thing he talks about are his video games. He describes his video games scene by scene and can be very descriptive, but children his age are not always interested in hearing about it. Though he is not violent, he is very defiant and does not understand the concept of "consequences for your actions". In his video games, when you kill someone, you are not penalized...instead you are rewarded with extra points. In the same way, when my nephew gives "attitude" or "disobeys", he does not understand why he is being punished and I believe his video games are partly to blame for this confusion.