Video games and Internet Assignment Example

Video games and internet

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Entertainment today is central to leisure activities in many homes in the world with an amazing selection available to the preference of the buyer. The internet and video games are the most popular exposures among youth and children. A lot of content can be accessed through smaller gadgets like personal computers, cell phones; handheld systems like tablets. Their accessibility raises concern about their influence as most children are exposed to them for prolonged hours. Most of the content found online and in video games has raised concerns due to its populace and the unintended consequences of participation in networked violence. This paper evaluates the claim and the relationship, between violence and exposure to video games and the internet.

Researchers believe that continuous exposure to entertainment violence may alter behavioral processes. In children especially, this exposure may undermine their ability to develop emotions and how to regulate them. Lack of proper emotional processing may lead to decentralization thus a likelihood of violent behavior (Anderson 2006). The community also plays a principal role in modelling young people. Children are exposed to violent behavior every day thus reinforcing their response to problems, attitudes and behavior.

The internet and video games are the most prominent in media violence. The possible impact of violence in this media has been given special attention. This is because the players and content viewers must actualize their involvement in real life rather than just being recipients. To succeed in a violent game, for example, plays must engage in violent strategies. These choices continuously result in a patented cycle in the brain where it is depicted as justified and fun. Some researchers are of the view that it has been proven that engaging in violent media increases negative cognitions and behaviour (Anderson 2001).

A lot of attention has been focused on the use of video games and its effects on children, youth and young adults. The use of the internet is combined with the understanding of electronic media influence children. The internet has many benefits for the youth. It provides a platform for networking and the development of connections without physical contact. However, the majority of the materials relayed on the internet are mainly misleading and alter the view of real-life issues. Explosion of the communication tools in the twenty-first century has come with major risks of violence with reference to cyberbullying, internet harassment, and internet bullying being words that are used to describe electronic violence (Dowd, 2006).

Most video games reward players with the conception that more violence is conducive for learning thus triggering their response and behavior to reflect what they have conceptualized. The internet, on the other hand, tries to emulate an extreme world with no boundaries. The internet enhances creativity while more than one person is involved thus the use of extreme methods to defeat an opponent is advised (Bartholow, 2006).

Screen-based violence is said to be the most prevalent. Demonstration and reinforcement of violence is depicted in music videos, games and the internet. Desensitization to violence and real-world issues has been identified as undesirable consequence of consuming products from the internet and video games. Desensitization is the diminished emotional responsiveness to aversive energy even after continuous exposure to it. Desensitization to violence is a process which may occur due to continuous exposure to media violence (Bartholow, 2006).

The desensitization process can be manipulated to deliver negative or positive results, also known as systematic desensitization. While used by professionals to eliminate some emotional response, then it becomes purposeful, but when used to negatively impact behaviour, then its effectiveness is ill-advised. For example, desensitization to smell sights and sounds are necessary for medical practitioners to become effective or desensitization to battlefield horrors is necessary for soldiers in effecting combat (Dowd, 2006).

Emotional desensitization is evident when there are no emotional reactions to an event that elicits such a strong response. Cognitive desensitization is evident when the population is made to believe that violence is not uncommon but inevitable. Emotional numbness to violence eliminates the likeliness that violent behaviour will be censored in the future (Kutner, 2008).

The main public concern to violence is not that viewing media violence lowers responsiveness to other violence but that it lowers responsiveness to real-world violence. According to Anderson (2006), aggressive behaviour is depicted from the learning and application of violence-related structures stored in the brain. Learning occurs through contact with the physical world and observing real and fictional characters. Desensitization response to violent stimuli is reduced thus proving that present and subsequent behaviors are influenced too (Dowd, 2006).

Consumer demand over the last two to three decades has driven the production of violent content in video games and the internet to new levels. The interaction of the consumer with the video game or internet streaming requires constant attention as compared to watching television. The interaction with the content over long periods of time triggers the retainer ability of the aggressive behaviour and thoughts as portrayed in them (Kutner, 2008).

According to Dowd (2006), research indicates that exposure to violence on the internet and video games may increase anger and hostility while dealing with peers, adults and teachers. This also indicates that exposure to violence incapacitates compassionate feelings towards others. Over the past decade, the increase in violence by children against their peers has largely been publicized fuelling the debates and controversy over consumption of materials from electronic media.

A lot of research has been done to justify the negativity of the entertainment media, however, positive observations cannot be overlooked. The virtual reality associated with these games and the uses of the internet are potential learning aids and techniques that are slowly being used by researchers. Resistance to distraction, attention to detail, coordination and sensitivity to information have been shown as some positive effects of video games. Electronic entertainment media also develop the intelligence and social capabilities of the individual through association. The use of entertainment media has also been found to control anger by channelling negative energy towards it or to distract and reduce stress. When used in learning, children will be able to relate figures and puzzles and build collaborative skills through interaction on the internet. Many intellectual skills can be leant from interaction with these media elements (Kutner, 2008).

In response to concerns over the violence on the internet and video games, parents are advised to regulate their children’s involvement in electronic media. Violent behaviour is leant from a child’s early life as all children learn by observing behaviour from characters in movies, video games and people around them. Monitoring media consumption should be a priority for parents. Majority of the children use electronics also as a result of peer influence and the need to belong; to be identified.


Anderson, C. A., and Gentile, D. A. 2006. Violent Video Game Effects on Children and Adolescents : Theory, Research, and Public Policy: Theory, Research, and Public Policy. New York :Oxford University Press.

Dowd, E. N., Singer, G. D., and Wilson. R., F. 2006. Handbook of Children, Culture, and Violence. London: Sage Publication.

Kutner, L.,  Olson, C,.  2008. Grand Theft Childhood: The Surprising Truth About Violent Video Games and What Parents Can Do. New York: Simon and Schuster.

Anderson, C. A., Carnagey, N. ., Flanagan, M., Benjamin, A.J., Eubanks, J., Valentine, J. C. (2004). Violent Video Games: Specific Effects of Violent Content on Aggressive Thoughts and Behavior. Advances in Experimental Social Psychology, 36, p. 199-249.

Bartholow, B. D., Bushman, B. J., & Sestir, M. A. (2006). Chronic violent video game exposure and desensitization to violence: Behavioral and event-related brain potential data.  Journal of Experimental Social Psy-chology, 42 , 532–539.

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