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Joined: 2007-05-03

This is what my PSY 111 textbook has to say on the subject of violent video games and their effect on the people who play them:

"Violent video games have also come under fire as causing violent acting-out in children, especially young adolescents. The tragic shootings at schools all over the United States have, at least in part, been blamed on violent video games that the students seemed to be imitating. This was especially a concern in the Littleton, Colorado, shootings because the adolescent boys involved in those incidents had not only played a violent video game in which two shooters killed people who could not fight back but also had made a video of themselves in trench coats, shooting schoool athletes. This occured less than a year before these same boys killed 13 of their fellow students at Columbine High School and wounded 23 others (Anderson & Dill, 2000). In one study, second-grade boys were allowed to play either an aggressive or a nonaggressive video game. After playing the game, the boys who had played the aggressive video game demonstrated more verbal and physical aggression both to objects around them and to their playmates while playing in a free period than boys who had played the nonaggressive video game (Irwin & Gross, 1995).

In a massive meta-analysis of research into the connection between violent media and aggressive behavior in children, social psychologist Craig Anderson and colleagues found clear and consistent evidence that even short-term exposure to violent media significantly increases the likelihood that children will engage in both physical and verbal aggression as well as aggressive thoughts and emotions (Anderson et al., 2003). Clearly, violent video games do correlate with increased aggression levels of the children who play them, both young children and adolescents (Anderson, 2003; Anderson & Bushman, 2001)."

What do you think? I think it -- though not necessarily intentionally -- leads the reader to believe that violent video games can, in fact, cause people to go on killing sprees. Also, don't all the studies done so far show only increases in short-term aggression and not long-term aggression?

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