There is no reason to worry that your kid would turn into a sociopath or a serial killer when he or she gets hooked on video games, particularly those with extremely violent and gory content. However, psychologists suggest that parents be on their toes and observe any palpable changes in their kids behavior, and if they become impulsive, moody and anti-social, then they may have to take necessary action and reduce the time spent by their kids playing their favorite shooting game.
The psychological impact of video games is a complex issue, and there are simply a lot of misconceptions and confusion about the real effects of video games with violent themes on the psychological and mental disposition of growing kids and teenagers. We cannot simply label an ego shooting or first person shooting game as either good or bad. There are several variables that need to be taken into account when assessing the real impact of such violent-laden games on the personality and behavior of an individual. For instance, a person with a specific disposition may exhibit ill-effects when playing this type of games.
A team of psychologists recently noted a slight increase in the hostile tendencies of their study group and such hostile tendencies were linked to specific personality traits. The experiment showed that video players who tend to manifest hostile behavior were those who have abnormally high levels of neuroticism and excessively low levels of conscientiousness and agreeableness. The research divided the participants into 2 groups – one group played video games with violent theme and the other group played games with non-violent theme.
According to the proponents of the research, the hostile tendencies are largely influenced by the level of competition of the game and not by its violent content.
Irrespective of the theme of the game, highly competitive games tend to trigger aggressive responses from the players.
Video gaming has continually grown by leaps and bounds. Some sectors are raising the red flag and insisting on the potential link between aggression and the level of violent content of games. However, there are also studies that disprove this claim. Amid these conflicting positions, parents and advocacy groups should be more vigilant in monitoring and guiding kids about the potential ill-effects of video games with extremely violent content.
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