Violent Video Game Effects on Children and Adolescents: Theory, Research, and Public Policy
Violent video games are successfully marketed to and easily obtained by children and adolescents. Even the U.S. government distributes one such game, America's Army, through both the internet and its recruiting offices. Is there any scientific evidence to support the claims that violent games contribute to aggressive and violent behavior?
Anderson, Gentile, and Buckley first present an overview of empirical research on the effects of violent video games, and then add to this literature three new studies that fill the most important gaps. They update the traditional General Aggression Model to focus on both developmental processes and how media-violence exposure can increase the likelihood of aggressive and violent behavior in both short- and long-term contexts. Violent Video Game Effects on Children and Adolescents also reviews the history of these games' explosive growth, and explores the public policy options for controlling their distribution. Anderson et al. describe the reaction of the games industry to scientific findings that exposure to violent video games and other forms of media violence constitutes a significant risk factor for later aggressive and violent behavior. They argue that society should begin a more productive debate about whether to reduce the high rates of exposure to media violence, and delineate the public policy options that are likely be most effective.
As the first book to unite empirical research on and public policy options for violent video games, Violent Video Game Effects on Children and Adolescents will be an invaluable resource for student and professional researchers in social and developmental psychology and media studies.
The debate is over? Really?
By Chaz - June 13, 2008
I tend to suspect a bias when a researcher claims the debate is over. The authors of this book make this claim in their introduction: "Nevertheless, the scientific debate about whether exposure to media violence causes increases in aggressive behavior is over and should have been over 30 years ago."
After reading this book, one should also read "Grand Theft Childhood: The Surprising Truth About Violent Video Games and What Parents Can Do" by Lawrence Kutner and Cheryl Olson.
By A Customer - January 23, 2011
For the life of me, I cannot see why everybody is going so crazy about video game ratings all of a sudden. I am a casual game maker and an avid player, and almost everyone I ask is saying the same thing. parents should not need a book or "E" "E10+" etc. to be able to tell what their kids can play. I cant help but notice that there are no books that express the positives of gaming. It can help with problem solving, reflexes, or even creativity. All of these writers are unknowing adults who are taking random data to help them maintain a sense of athority, as if they actually know what they're talking about. People need to start to open up their eyes and see all the sides of the story.
Everyone's An Expert
By Andrew Raczkowski - May 23, 2007
It seems like everyone's an expert on this topic lately. And frankly, I, as both a gamer and a game developer, am sick of it. For every so-called study that concludes games and media are a direct influence on violent behavior, three more clinical studies conclude just the opposite. Read this book if you like, it's an interesting look at another person's view (I'm not using the word "opinion," since the authors try to remain fairly neutral while presenting as much material as possible). Quite a few studies are cited, although several of them were not in controlled environments.
The fact of the matter is, it's very difficult to rule one way or another. Violent behavior is a result of many factors; often genetics, parental attention, environmental stimulus, internal psychology and sometimes pathology, and an infinite number of other variables. The authors present this idea as well, and they do it better than some other politically minded "ban violent videgames" type... read more
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