APA issued the results of long review of studies in the past decade that emphasized on the effect of violent media sources in inducing violence among children and teenagers.
A special Committee on Violence in Video Games and Interactive Media is made. Media Psychology Division of APA committee reviewed hundreds of studies and papers. These studies and papers published between 2005 and 2013.
These studies were all concerning the research available on the effects of violent material in media sources.
Their role in inducing violent and aggressive behavior among youngsters was reviewed. Based on the examination by the committee, a research has been done. The research shows the negative influences of violence in interactive media on youth.
The American Psychological Association adopted a resolution. It recommends that all violence should be reduced in video games. And also in interactive media marketed to children and youth.
The review added that 73 percent of the perpetrators of violence are acquitted. This instills the learning that violence goes unpunished. The youth thus are encouraged to engage in violent behavior.
"Showing violent acts without consequences teach youth that violence is an effective means of resolving conflict. Whereas, seeing pain and suffering as a consequence can inhibit aggressive behavior", says psychologist Elizabeth Carll, PhD, co-chair of the Committee on Violence in Video Games and Interactive Media.
"Violence in video games appear to have similar negative effects as viewing violence on TV, but may be more harmful because of the interactive nature of video games," says Dr. Elizabeth Carll, who is a private practitioner in New York and a past president of the Media Division of APA.
"Playing video games involves practice, repetition, and being rewarded for numerous acts of violence, which may intensify the learning. This may also result in more realistic experiences which may potentially increase aggressive behavior," added Carll.
It was also found that the visual impact of violent acts are much more effective in video games. The interactive medium used in video games is much more effective compared to the violence they might witness on TV. The study also revealed that the violence in media impacts the helpful behavior among the youngsters.
APA highlighted that children should be taught and briefed about what they ought to engage in. The video games should be checked by parents. Children should also be taught to differentiate between reality and fantasy. The committee however emphasized that the violent material itself should be withheld in the video games.
The studies have been met with skepticism. The British psychological body claims that the research that was reviewed was not very conclusive. It has been studied with peer review.
"Teaching critical viewing, also referred to as media literacy, can be helpful in reducing the negative effects of interactive media as well," says Dr. Dorothy Singer, co-chair of the Committee on Violence in Video Games and Interactive media, and a Senior Research Scientist at Yale University and Co-Director of the Yale Family Television Research and Consultation Center.
"Media literacy programs have been successful in teaching children how to better understand what happens when someone gets hurt or killed on TV. Children end up not feeling as frightened and sad after witnessing these violent events", explained Singer.
The impact of violence in video games cannot be held as a primary cause in inducing violence among children. Researchers added that violence in the present is at a 40 percent low. While more children are engaging in video games each day.
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May be they let out their aggressive behavior in the video games. They are much more agitated if they do not play the game. There is no evidence that children who play video games that are violent would go out and mug someone. They do feel pumped after playing the games but no criminal behavior is noted among the gamers.