Professor Brian T. Murphy
In 1997 the total cost of handheld and console video games was 5.1 billion dollars, in late 2006 it more than doubled to 12.5 billion dollars, making video games a fast growing pastime over the last decade(Game sale charts1). According to the “Journal of Adolescence” by Douglas A. Gentile “as many as 89% of games contain some violent content” (7), and are being linked more and more to a growing number of physiological and violent tendencies in adolescents. Adolescents influenced by violent video games, cannot differentiate fantasy world from real world and think violence is the way to express their feelings. Violent video games lead to aggressive, social and emotional behavior amongst adolescents.
There are a few possible moderators of effects caused by playing violent video games such as parental monitoring, trait hostility, the amount of time played, and level of content. When a child or adolescent has aggressive tendencies or trait hostility prior to playing violent video games, the effect is more harmful on he or she rather than a child who does not have this trait. “Hostility refers to a constellation of […] affective and behavioral features including interpersonal mistrust and suspiciousness […] about human nature, along with tendencies to experience anger and resentment and to behave uncooperatively and aggressively (Kiecolt-Glaser & Newton). This contributes to interactions in school such as arguments with teachers and fights with fellow students. A research conducted by C.A. Anderson and his colleagues concluded that adolescents with high levels of hostility are more likely to be involved in fights in school and arguments with teachers than low hostile adolescents.
Trait hostility may also have different effects on an adolescent who plays violent video games as a “short term” player vs. a “long term player” (Gentile 9). GAM, which stands for General Aggression Model...