Computer games depicting violence have been receiving a lot of negative attention for decades. How do they affect the psychological state of kids? Is there a link between computer games and crime? Illinois state politicians would like to ban some computer games because they believe they are directly linked to the recent crimes in Chicago.
Old and Endless Discussions
This theme is as old as the computer games themselves. Research has found no link between cruelty and computer games. However, the computer game industry is large and rich, so politicians and some parents do not trust research. On the other hand, often this is simply a simple and easy explanation when one does not want to look for the real causes of crime.
The potential harm of computer games to child psychology has been talked about for more than a couple of decades. Some people believe that bright blood, wounds and the killing of virtual characters damage the psychological state of people, making them insensitive and even aggressive. The potential impact of computer games is also discussed after various crimes committed by extremely violent computer game enthusiasts.
However, previous research has received criticism for its low coverage. How can you tell in a few months if a player has become more aggressive? But a new study that lasted 10 years should make a point in this story. GTA is a series of games that have received a great deal of such criticism. Hours of hours in this game can be spent in a variety of ways, killing completely nonsensical people. Thus, the researchers observed adolescents from 13 years of age playing GTA and other games. The study included as many as 500 participants.
The researchers noted that study participants initially had more depressive symptoms, but less severe anxiety. Researchers believe that computer games were a way for these teens to deal with or escape the symptoms of depression. The researchers observed that computer game habits changed over time, and participants were divided into three groups accordingly. The first group consisted of players who had played for many hours before but forgot the games with age. In the second, players who spent about the same amount of time playing games throughout the study. In the third group, which, incidentally, was the largest – people who played more and more over time. The researchers did not find any difference between the participants in the first and third groups. The most brutal were the participants in the second group, but the difference was not large enough to draw any conclusions.
Marcus Evans, a member of the Illinois House of Representatives and Democrats, would like to ban the sale of some cruel games including GTA V. The politician defines a cruel game as every game where a player is controlling a character. The themes such as massacres, fights as well as thefts might be banned. Actually, this is the main real motivation of this politician. He believes that computer games are at least partly to blame for the increase in crime in Chicago. In other words, politicians are trying to claim that games not only incite crime, but they also teach techniques and give an inspiration.