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Do Violent Video Games Really Make Kids Violent? Why One Author Says No

By: Krystle Crossman

Author Greg Toppo has been trying to set the record straight about a hot-button topic. When children turn violent, such as during a school shooting, people are quick to blame violent video games. They say that the first person shooting games such as Halo and Call of Duty is showing kids how to kill other people and that is the reason that they became violent. Toppo states that this is not the case at all and there are many different factors that go into a child becoming violent.

Violent video games can certainly have an impact on a child but not if they are played for a limited amount of time. The ones who develop violent tendencies are the ones who play these games for hours and hours on end. This is not the only factor that comes into play though. A lack of adult supervision or nurturing is what can start the disturbing behavior. If they come from a home where violence is prevalent they are more prone to committing acts of violence themselves as that is how they are raised and what they think they are supposed to do. The video games are not the sole culprit. There are also children who have mental illnesses such as depression or bipolar disorder. When these go untreated they can lead the child down a bad path in life.

Kids are faced with violent images in the media every day. There are rarely happy stories on the news. They see people shooting other people in malls and theaters. They see people killing each other in the streets. They are faced with a violent culture and they can watch it all from their living room. Statistics have shown that even though more children are playing violent video games than ever before, juvenile crime rates have gone down. There is no data that shows a direct correlation between the two yet but someday there could be studies that show that violent video games are not the cause of crime.

Research has shown us that video games are actually a great source of stress relief. If a child is feeling angry or hurt by something all they have to do is pick up a controller and vent their frustrations into the game as opposed to on another person. Hospitals have iPads and video game consoles for sick children to take their minds off of the fact that they are stuck in a hospital. Granted those video games most often are not violent ones, but nonetheless they are a great therapeutic asset.

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