These aggressions range from being aggressive against inanimate objects and/or peers or speaking or acting aggressively against others (Arriaga et al. 360). These studies underscore that by playing or watching different forms of violent media, children may be learning how to develop violent behaviours in real life. Playing violent video games, in particular, can have effects of violent behaviours because of the active participation in violence itself. Polman, de Castro, and van Aken conducted an experimental study to understand if active participation in playing a violent video game increases aggression more than the passive watching of a similar violent video game.
Fifty–six (56) respondents, ages 10 to 13 years old, were recruited from four classrooms in two schools at the Netherlands. They were randomly assigned to three groups: (1) active violent condition, where children played a violent video game, (2) passive violent condition, where they watched the violent video game, (3) or active non-violent condition, where they played a non-violent video game. After fifteen (15) minutes, all children in different game conditions were asked to stop what they were doing and to answer questions on gaming habits.
Two free play sessions were done subsequently. Real-life violence was measured through getting peer feedback. Findings showed that playing violent video games was a predictor of violent behaviours among boys than watching the same aggressive video game (Polman et al. 262). The study shows that active involvement may increase aggression in immediate terms in real life. To support the connection between active involvement and Saleem, Anderson, and Gentile studied the impacts of different kinds of video games on children’s positive and negative behaviours. These video games were divided into prosocial, neutral, or violent categories.
Participants had ages of 9 to 14 years old and they resided in Iowa. Findings showed that when children played violent media games (which pertains to children’s video games and not graphic violent video games that some adults usually play), it heightened hurtful behaviour and decreased prosocial actions, while prosocial games increased positive or helpful behaviours compared to violent and neutral video games. Saleem et al. argued that consistent exposure to violence can form knowledge structures that construct harmful behavioural scripts.
These mental scripts are translated as aggression or anti-social actions in real life. By acting violently through virtual play or active play, these kids are modelling aggressive constructs that can be seen in actual events in their lives too.
Anderson, Craig A., and Brad J. Bushman. “Aggressive Behavior, Aggressive Cognition, Aggressive Affect, Physiological Arousal, and Prosocial Behavior: A Meta-Analytic Review of the Scientific Literature.” Psychological Science 12.5 (2001): 353-359. Academic Search Premier. Web. 2 Apr. 2014.
Arriaga, Patrícia, Esteves, Francisco, Carneiro, Paula, and Maria Benedicta Monteiro. “Violent Computer Games and Their Effects on State Hostility and Physiological Arousal.” Aggressive Behavior 32.4 (2006): 358-371. Academic Search Premier. Web. 19 Apr. 2014.
Blumberg, Fran C., Bierwirth, Kristen P., and Allison J. Schwartz. “Does Cartoon Violence Beget Aggressive Behavior in Real Life? An Opposing View.” Early Childhood Education Journal 36.2 (2008): 101-104. ERIC. Web. 22 Mar. 2014.
Browne, Kevin D., and Catherine Hamilton-Giachritsis. “The Influence of Violent Media on Children and Adolescents: A Public-Health Approach.” Lancet 365.9460 (19 Feb. 2005): 702-710. Academic Search Premier. Web. 2 Apr. 2014.
Daly, Laura A., and Linda M. Perez. “Exposure to Media Violence and Other Correlates of Aggressive Behavior in Preschool Children.” Early Childhood Research & Practice 11.2 (2009): 1-13. ERIC. Web. 22 Mar. 2014.
Damar, Mustafa, Gülay, Hülya, and Serdal Seven. “Assessing the Relationship between Television Programme Choices and Aggression Tendencies in Children Going through Early Adolescence.” International Journal of Academic Research 3.4 (2011): 257-261. Academic Search Premier. Web. 2 Apr. 2014.
Polman, Hanneke; de Castro, Bram Orobio, and Marcel A.G. van Aken. “Experimental Study of the Differential Effects of Playing Versus Watching Violent Video Games on Childrens Aggressive Behavior.” Aggressive Behavior 34.3 (2008): 256-264. Academic Search Premier. Web. 19 Apr. 2014.
Pozios, Vasilis K., Kambam, Praveen R., and H. Eric Bender. “Does Media Violence Lead to the Real Thing?” The New York Times 23 Aug. 2013. Web. 22 Mar. 2014.
Saleem, Muniba, Anderson, Craig A., and Douglas A. Gentile. “Effects of Prosocial, Neutral, and Violent Video Games on Childrens Helpful and Hurtful Behaviors.” Aggressive Behavior 38.4 (2012): 281-287. Academic Search Premier. Web. 22 Mar. 2014.
Slotsve, Tiffany, del Carmen, Alex, Sarver, Mary, and Rita J. Villareal-Watkins. “Television Violence and Aggression: A Retrospective Study.” Southwest Journal of Criminal Justice 5.1 (20085): 22-49. Web. 22 Mar. 2014. <http://swacj.org/swjcj/archives/5.1/4%20Slotsve.pdf>.