Does Virtual World Violence Create Real-World Violence?
Adolescent Psychology and Delinquent Behaviour.
Video games have become increasingly more violent than ever before in their entire existence. This has become a cause for concern about the emotional, psychological, and behavioural effects of these games on children and adolescents, especially since the special effects and animated graphics are extremely realistic. A lot has changed since the days of Pac-Man and Super Mario - now gruesome scenes of violence and exploitation (drive-by shootings, hacking limbs, decapitation, killing prostitutes, etc.) seems to be the norm, which has captivated an entirely new generation of gamers (Inderscience Publishers, 2008). Since concern surrounding video games is relatively new, a lot of questions have be raised as to whether or not these games can inhibit aggression and violence, especially in the male adolescent youth culture. A lot of research has already been done in the realm of violent television and movies, but violent video games are relatively new on the scope of violent media, and it seems as though with each new game, the violence threshold is pushed, and they are much more violent and volatile with each new release. Because video games encompass a completely different type of interactive and imaginatory behaviours as compared to “listening” to music, and “watching” television and movies, it has raised much debate among authority figures and researchers. Since the prime audience of video games is boys between the ages of 7 and 14 (“The Concerns,” 2008), and the video games have an extremely interactive nature (wherein the adolescent uses types of the imagination which practically places them in the center of the action), it is no wonder the concern. Video games have been assumed to provide “an easily accessible ‘practice range’ where children can perfect their aim and sharpen their ‘killer...