Video Game Violence and its Implications (University Conference paper)

•June 17, 2013 • 2 Comments

An analysis on the socio- psychological effects

1.   Abstract

With the continuous advancement of gaming technologies in modern age inevitable societal changes have occurred. Previous scientific research has highlighted various connections between negative behavioural modification on a microcosmic level and the recent rise in Violent Video Games (VVGs). However, there appears to be a lack of distinction between actual causes of the issues and their implications on mass scale. This paper attempts to draw links as well as establish clarity between negative societal ramifications and prolonged exposure to violent content within games. It also tries to show that fundamental change (the manifestation of perceived visual stimuli through individual or group action) with respect to sociological context requires more external influence, perversity, and imposed susceptibility on a subject than that exalted by the content of violent games. This is however not exempting the substance itself from partial influence over an extended period of time, particularly on the young and adolescent. In analysing the evidence and data gathered within this paper, it is hoped that there will be established an understanding of the behavioural and attitudinal changes associated with the individual subjected to the aforementioned visual stimuli and how it can perhaps be linked to the multitudes of contemporary society’s malignant traits.

Keywords: Video Games & violence; Behaviour modification; Violence in general media; Video Games & politics; psychological aspects of gaming.

2.   Introduction

As with the garnered popularity, a multiplicity of concerns has also been rising against games due to a possibility of unintended consequences as a result of participation in interactive violence. The desensitization of an individual to real violence has been cited by many (N. L. Carnagey et al., 2006) as one possible undesirable outcome of VVGs, but there still appears to be inconclusive ends on the matter. Some research (Michele L. Ybarra et al., 2008) on the development of aggression and violence indicates that seriously violent behaviour occurs through a confluence of factors; including individual, family, school, peer, community characteristics etc. However, other studies (Media Violence Commission, 2012; N. L. Carnagey et al., 2006) also continue to insist that the damage that is inflicted on subjects by violent game content is perhaps more influential today.

Previous research (C. J. Ferguson et al., 2008; Gentile & Anderson, 2003) has indicated that when subjected to violent materials for prolonged periods of time, there is a possibility that individuals may be altered by such; with each affected to a varying degree. After an exhaustive review of available literature, N.L. Carnagey et al (2006) came to conclude that “violent game players were less physiologically aroused by real-life violence than were non-violent game players…It appears that individuals who play violent games habituate… all the violence and physiologically become numb to it” (p. 495).

Although a majority of research has examined associations between video game use and aggressive behaviour (C. J. Ferguson et al., 2007), it is also of equal importance to take into account other factors relative to the individual(s) being studied, as only then can there be a comprehensive understanding of the correlating aspects.

With a steady rise in annual sales (Bruce D. Bartholow et al., 2005), a perplexing situation then unfolds, where an increased number of people, globally, come into contact with games (be they violent or non-violent). With the young and adolescent representing the highest percentage of players (Bruce D. Bartholow et al., 2005), society is then challenged by multitude of concerns as a result of this Technology; not only is there a possibility of desensitisation occurring after long hours of play, those of young age have a higher chance of susceptibility to perceptual influence as a result of the visual stimuli (Kostas A. Fanti et al., 2009). Conversely, society itself, in as much as it ostensibly appears the victim, may also contribute to the matter, if not to a greater degree than the video game itself.

3.   Literature Review

Contemporary Society

Modern society, with its various technologies at its disposal, is one which renders its inhabitants subject to a wide range of external influences (Ellul J, 1965/1973). For example, to take the Internet into consideration, M.L. Ybarra et al. (2008), have highlighted that, “Almost all youths now have online access, and this access may increase opportunities for children to be exposed to violence… therefore increasing the perpetration of seriously violent behaviour” (p. 929-930). Moreover, these new technologies, unlike the traditional media (TV), give children and adolescents new ways of playing games as well as access to more diverse forms of visually stimulating content than ever before (Media Violence Commission, 2012).

Realising that the Video Game itself is a product of society is of utmost importance since much of the condemnation games receive originates from those who fail to look at the matter from all possible perspectives (Kurt Squire, 2002). Perhaps a consideration of the moral degradation of society (Ramos et al. 2013) is needed as it is not only within games that individuals are exposed to that which is deemed negative. In support, further research (C. J. Ferguson & John Kilburn, 2010) has contemplated on whether particular journals have selectively published significant studies and while potentially ignoring non-significant studies. This issue has in fact even lead to more research (C. J. Ferguson, 2007) claiming that: The influence of VVGs on serious acts of aggression is minimal, and that publication bias appears to be a problem in this particular research field”.

Looking at the Characteristics

Designed to be entertaining, challenging, and at certain times educational, video games have come to establish a rather grand reputation among people all over the world (Bruce D. Bartholow et al., 2005). However, an interesting aspect which appears significant in the industry is the predisposition of many titles to include violence as part of their character. Similar claims can be raised about the film industry (films directed by Quentin Tarantino), as well as the internet (M. L. Ybarra et al.., 2008).

The Military Association

Furthermore, military simulations are increasingly becoming more dependent on gaming technologies while at the same time games themselves are becoming, visually, more realistic simulations (Kunal Puri & Rudy Pugliese, 2012). Previous studies have found strong connections between the military and the games industry, and documented the military’s increasing use of games and there technology as recruiting and military education tools (Marcus Shulzke, 2013). Some have proposed that there may even be a natural link between games and warfare (Walther, 2009). To delineate such a study would entail a pursuit of more evidence but from observation it would appear that there are elements of political propaganda in the matter–be it Black, Grey, or White[1] (Grossman & DeGaetana, 1999; Ellul, 1965/1973). What is also important to note is that though games themselves may be attributed a certain quantity of influence; some studies have found that there also exists a set of other possible factors which may be involved in determining subsequent behaviour (Christopher J. Ferguson, 2007; Ramos et al. 2013).


[1] This is in reference to the three main categorical types of propaganda.

4.   Discussion

The Influence on Behaviour

From infancy, the Human Being learns how to perceive, interpret, judge, and respond to events in the physical and social environment. Varying and innumerable types of internal knowledge structures are then developed. Commonly, these are based on active observation of and interaction with other people, fictitious and non-fictitious. And in effect, each distinct span of violent exposure is essentially one of such learning trials. As these internal knowledge structures are rehearsed, they become more complex, differentiated, and difficult to change (M. L. Ybarra et al.., 2008). Now, assuming an individual is subject to prolonged hours of exposure, it then becomes inevitable that behaviour will be modified with the progression of time leading to the establishment of a new normal within (Kostas A. Fanti et al., 2009).

To further elaborate on the aforementioned aspect perceptual alteration; after long hours of exposure playing a game such as that of war, it is recognised as a possibility by some that the individual may become–by classical Pavlovian methods–conditioned through repetitive action. This gradual process may then lead to the instillation of conditioned reflexes on the part of the player (Grossman & DeGaetana, 1999; Anderson & Bushman, 2001). However, the evidence is inconclusive (Christopher J. Ferguson, 2007; Freedman, 2002).

In relation to the political

Recent use of gaming devices such as a replica of Microsoft’s Xbox 360 controller in military advertisements is one important ramification which requests attention (British Army Jobs advertisement, 2009). Much research has been carried out in the past which has clearly highlighted the irrefutable evidence of “civil-military cooperation” in the development of some games (M.T Payne, 2009). However, there have also been studies which have tried to show that the evidence provided is insufficient to show that this cooperation is problematic (Marcus Shulzke, 2013; Anderson & Bushman, 2001; C. J. Ferguson, 2010). Conversely, the use of gaming references in situations such as the aforementioned leads to divisive questions of political uncertainty and concern being raised.  If a game will show an unrealistic (clean or even visually impressive) version of combat, it then idealises a nations army, its culture, and inevitably war (Grossman, 2000) which then–through gradualism–penetrates the minds of the vulnerable leading to a possible state of susceptibility to the advertised content intended to shift individual opinion and ideological predispositions (Ellul, 1965/1973; Kostas A. Fanti et al., 2009).

Psychological Dangers

This representation of a manufactured idealistic image unto susceptible minds will with high probability–and little boundaries–lead to an alteration in behaviour and thought (Grossman, 1999; N. L. Carnagey et al., 2006; Kostas A. Fanti et al., 2009).

Moreover, if a nation’s Military leads itself on a path on which the use of entertainment becomes an asset in its search for new recruits, we inevitably begin to see the true manifestation of perceived content through individual and/ or group action (the use of America’s Army is a clear example).

This is further strengthened as tendencies of idolization and personification develop within players. The main hazard in this situation lies in the fact that personification by various media (negative or positive) inhibits personal, analytical reflection, standardises personal images, and transmits a false reality. The subject then does not see or experience the depiction in its true form but instead is at the mercy of a show performed by humanised (or dehumanised) stars or models that play a role (J. Ellul, 1965/1973).

The ideas promulgated through received entertainment may not change or penetrate an individual’s consciousness but may have unprecedented power to furnish elements of ideological content and belief. These ideas may then wed themselves to myth by the complicated mixture of ideas and sentiments by grafting immature irrationality onto what it perceived–the content of the game (J. Ellul, 1965/1973).

However, even with this evidence, it is important to also realise that some studies (C. J. Ferguson, 2007; Bruce D. Bartholow et al., 2005; Freedman, 2002) have revealed that issues such as family violence and innate aggression as predictors of violent crime were a better fit to the gathered experimental results than was exposure to video game violence. From another perspective it is possible to see that there is an influence produced by games (and other forms of entertainment for that matter) but it is fractional in contribution.

5.   Conclusion

Though widely accepted that exposure to violence in video games has been proven to predispose individuals on paths of decreased empathy and increased aggression, evidence has come to show that for individuals to pose a measurable threat to public health it takes more influence than that exalted by violent games.

Also, although researchers such as M. L. Ybarra et al. came to conclude that exposure to violence in the media is associated with concurrent reports of seriously violent behaviour across media, it is of great importance to note that these effects are short in duration and have the propensity to attenuate within little time (C. J. Ferguson et al., 2008; Kostas A. Fanti et al., 2009).

The unprecedented level of access to violent media in modern society is having an effect, a gradual and perverse effect at that. But what the information analysed also reveals is that the influence of violent content in video games alone is insufficient to negatively mobilise individuals. The influence does exist, but the percentage at which it does is rather minute–though never-the-less to be considered.

In relation to the youth, the introduction of the new gaming technologies today does of course exhibit various forms of influence, and the degree of affection is in itself increased due to age. Conversely, arriving on such ends only is rather limited and inconclusive since behaviour–and ultimately character in itself–is constituted by a confluence of factors in an individual’s environment. In fact, some studies (B. D. Bartholow et al., 2005; Paul J. C. Adachi & Teena Willoughby, 2011) found that trait aggression, family violence, and male gender were more predictive of violent crime than exposure to violent media.

Above all, it remains clear that care be taken in what individuals (especially those of young age) are exposed to as, in effect, each new generation is a casual victim of the way the previous generation was conditioned by it ways as well as the inheritor of the environment that results.

6.    References

America’s Army (video game) [Online] Available from: http://www.americasarmy.com/ [Accessed: 12th April 2013]

Anderson, C. A., & Bushman, B. J. (2001) Effects of violent video games on aggressive behaviour, aggressive cognition, aggressive affect, physiological arousal and pro-social behaviour: A meta-analysis. Psychological Science, Vol. 12, pp. 353-359. Available: SAGE Journals Online [Accessed: 22nd Febuary 2013]

Anderson, C. A, Berkowitz, L, Donnerstein E, Huesmann R. L. (2003) The Influence Of Media Violence On Youth. American Psychological Society Vol. 4(3) Available: SAGE Journals Online [Accessed: 28nd Febuary 2013]

British Military recruitment advertisement (2009) [Online] Available: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=KgMe7a4Ozmk [Accessed: 16th March 2013]

Bartholow B. D., Sestir M. A., Davis E. B. (2005) Correlates and Consequences of Exposure to Video Game Violence: Hostile Personality, Empathy, and Aggressive Behavior Personality and social psychology bulletin Vol. 31(11) pp. 1573-1586 Available: SAGE Journals Online [Accessed: 29th Febuary 2013]

Christopher J. Ferguson, Stephanie M. Rueda, Amanda M. Cruz, Diana E. Ferguson, Stacey Fritz and Shawn M. Smith (2008) Violent Video Games and Aggression: Causal Relationship or By-product of Family Violence and Intrinsic Violence Motivation? Criminal Justice and Behaviour, Vol. 35(3) pp.311-332 Available: SAGE Journals Online [Accessed: 11th March 2013]

Christopher J. Ferguson (2007) Evidence for publication bias in video game violence Effects literature: A meta-analytic review Aggression and Violent Behaviour, Vol. 12, pp. 470-482. Available: SciVerse Journals Online [Accessed: 17th April 2013]

Christopher J. Ferguson and John Kilburn (2010) Much Ado about Nothing: The Misestimation and Over interpretation of Violent Video Game Effects in Eastern and Western Nations: Comment on Anderson et al. Psychological Bulletin Vol. 136(2) pp. 174-178 Available: PubMed Journals Online [Accessed: 17th April 2013]

Douglas A. Gentile and Craig A. Anderson (2003) Violent Video Games: The Newest Media Violence Hazard.  Advances in Applied Developmental Psychology Available: Iowa State University Publications Online [Accessed: 18th March 2013]

Douglas A. Gentile, Paul J. Lynch, Jennifer Ruh Linder, David A. Walsh (2004) The effects of violent video game habits on adolescent hostility, aggressive behaviours, and school performance. Journal of Adolescence, Vol. 27, pp. 5–22. Available: PubMed Journals Online [Accessed: 18th March 2013]

England and Wales crime statistics (2012) Available from: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/116417/hosb1011.pdf [Accessed: 1st April 2013]

Ellul, J. (1973). Propaganda: The formation of men’s attitudes. (K. Kellen & J. Learner, Trans) New York, NY: Dover. (Original work published 1965)

Freedman, Jonathan L. (2002) Media violence and its effect on aggression: Assessing the scientific evidence. Toronto: University of Toronto Press. ISBN 978-0-8020-3553-0

Grossman, D., Teaching Kids to Kill (2000) Phi Kappa Phi National Forum. Available from: http://www.killology.org/article_teachkid.htm [Accessed: 12th April 2013]

Kostas A. Fanti, Eric Vanman, Christopher C. Henrich, and Marios N. Avraamides (2009) Desensitization to Media Violence over a Short Period of Time, AGGRESSIVE BEHAVIOR, Vol. 35 pp. 179-187 Available: PubMed Journals Online [Accessed: 17th April 2013]

Kunal Puri and Rudy Pugliese (2012) Sex, Lies, and Video Games: Moral Panics or Uses and Gratifications. Bulletin of Science Technology & Society 32: 345 Available: SAGE Journals Online [Accessed: 22th March 2013]

Kurt Squire (2002) Cultural Framing of Computer/Video Games the international journal of computer game research, Volume 2, Issue 1 Available: Gamestudies.org Articles Online [Accessed: 17th April 2013]

Marcus Schulzke (2013) Rethinking Military Gaming: America’s Army and Its Critics Games and Culture, 8: 59. Available: SAGE Journals Online [Accessed: 11th March 2013]

Michele L. Ybarra, Marie Diener-West, Dana Markow, Philip J. Leaf, Merle Hamburger and Paul Boxer (2008) Linkages Between Internet and Other Media Violence With Seriously Violent Behavior by Youth. Paediatrics 122; 929 Available: PEDIATRICs Journals Online [Accessed: 16th March 2013]

Media Violence Commission (2012), Report of the Media Violence Commission (2012), International Society for Research on Aggression, Vol. 38, pp. 335-341. Available: WILEY Online Library [Accessed: 19th April 2013]

Nicholas L. Carnagey, Craig A. Anderson, Brad J. Bushman (2006) The effect of video game violence on physiological desensitization to real-life violence.  Journal of Experimental Social Psychology Vol. 43 pp. 489–496 Available: Iowa State University Publications Online [Accessed: 14th March 2013]

Paul J. C. Adachi and Teena Willoughby (2011) The Effect of Video Game Competition and Violence on Aggressive Behavior: Which Characteristic Has the Greatest Influence? Psychology of Violence Vol. 1(4) pp. 259–274 Available: APA Journals Online [Accessed: 10th March 2013]

Payne, M. T. (2009) Manufacturing Militainment: Video Game producers and military brand games In R. Schubart, F. Virchow, D White-Stanley & T. Thomas (Eds.), War isn’t hell, its entertainment: Essays on visual media and the representation of conflict (pp. 238-255). Jefferson, NC: McFraland. [Online] [Accessed: 16th February 2013]

Ramos, Raul, Christopher J Ferguson, Kelly Frailing, and Maria Romero-Ramirez (2013) Desensitization Comfortably numb or just yet another movie? Media violence exposure does not reduce viewer empathy for victims of real violence among primarily Hispanic viewers Psychology of Popular Media Culture Vol. 2(1) pp. 2-10 Available: APA Journals Online [Accessed: 1st May 2013]

Walther, B. K. (2009) War/ games: The art of rules and strategies. In R. Schubart, F. Virchow, D White-Stanley & T. Thomas (Eds.), War isn’t hell, its entertainment: Essays on visual media and the representation of conflict (pp. 256-272). Jefferson, NC: McFraland. [Online] [Accessed: 16th February 2013]

A look at Video Games and their influence

•March 4, 2013 • Leave a Comment

Video Games…

Though many out there disagree, while others agree, and the rest simply approach the issue with contempt and/ or rather justified apathy, the topic of video games and how they are negatively permeating the minds of our young–and some old–today is one I feel has not been given the proper attention that it deserves. I personally believe it to be a subject encompassing many fields and inevitably one requiring much time and dedication in order to properly review and clearly highlight the critical aspects of such in order to reach stronger and perhaps more rational conclusions.

Before continuing, I would like to mention that my intention here is not to simply criticise games. Instead I want to allow people the ability to look at such a subject with an open mind, to apply what will be gathered in their future conclusions and thought on the topic, and not incline toward sides or premises on which thinking is based on direct-effect without thorough understanding of the bigger picture regarding the matter. My objective is also to look at the topic from a broader perspective. One that is irrespective of my background interests and/or associations, so aloft that I can enable the reader to acquire the ability to see, not just that which is in direct and immediate contact, but to see all related aspects clearly so that we can–at least begin to–identify the mechanisms and forces which shape the correlating issues we are facing.

The main topic I am dealing with here is that of violence and general behaviour modification that is experienced by a person participating in video games together with the psychological effect of motion picture and how the individual interacts and is affected by it.

When we look at events such as the recent Sandy Hook massacre or the preceding Aurora cinema shooting carried out by James Holmes in the United States, it is easy for some to simply arrive at, or experience an inclination toward a conclusion such as; “Adam Lanza had enjoyed violent games like Call of Duty and therefore must have been influenced to an extent by such”. Personally, I think there would be slight–but not complete–truth in this since, as psychological studies have shown that engagement in games of that genre in particular does provoke heightened levels of aggression within individuals.
To further elaborate; if a person gets used to a set of reactions–assuming games are played for prolonged hours–those actions have a tendency to become the norm. So long as everyday matters are stable in the individual’s life, proper mental compartmentalisation occurs by keeping them in remote areas of personal life. Different areas of reality can be kept separated, but if, for example, tomorrow there be some sort of tragedy, or perhaps anger, or aggression in that individual’s life, that could become a trigger that may mix up all these realities.

Perceiving the matter from a psychiatric point of view, we find that, for example, if a child–or anybody else for that matter–is initially ready to instigate an attack on another, then obviously a computer game is not to be blamed. He is ready to assault someone irrespective of what video game he plays–if any. Moreover, the murderers of the late 20th century for example did not play videos games and were not influenced by such in order to carry out their atrocities. So how then can one even contemplate at arriving on such an irrational conclusion?

What I believe we–well those who insist on games being the problem–are failing to see here is that there exist many factors in the equation before the problem of violence actually occurs. These are issues with which society in general suffers. Alternatively some may say that what is seen in games–and movies in general together with other forms of entertainment–is a reflection of what some are experiencing in their daily lives, a manifestation of reality in the virtual world. I would slightly agree with the former point as it is true that our society today does face many challenges, each of a varying degree.
However, I also think that this does not justify the need to reproduce such as they lend our youth especially to a world in which moral values seem not to exist. Worse yet, from personal experience it seems that some parents will not even restrict their children from playing such games. And being so young, naive, and highly credulous, these gamers of today (young especially) will no doubt be suggestible to the new ideas presented in these games, which could inevitably lead to a skewed perception of reality.
I would also like to say at this point that, even though this may be an actual possible effect of violent games, I believe the real damage takes place via paralysing gradualism and not spontaneity. So in effect (if my theory is close to being true) what we have today is an insidious problem, one whose results we will not begin–if we haven’t already–to see until later. It is also a concern of mine that, as a result of such a plethora of violent entertainment (not just games), some may have already began to see the gradual societal breakdown beginning at the microcosmic level. Unavoidably, I strongly believe this will lead to problems in the future encompassing many areas of human thought such as; moral relativity; desensitisation to violence and unjustified human suffering, and more.

To take the gamers themselves into consideration, though subject to bias as they may be, it is believed by some that such (as they would like to believe) unsubstantiated accusations are a mythical representation of games and act as a justification of concern by those whose children, for example, suffer from addiction, or lack of time management as a result of video games.
Once again I slightly have to agree here, only because this belief seems to me slightly broad and encompassing most games and not just those with violent content. In other words, my partial agreement comes with some concerns as there still lies more implications within the matter because there exists more evidence running counter to the above opinion especially when we consider the recent murder of 6 people in Russia by Dimitry Vinogradov on 7 November 2012. However right or wrong the claim may be, we are still faced with more evidence of another association between societal violence and games. It was later announced that Dimitry did play, or rather was a fan of, violent video games, notably the infamous Manhunt.
Now, if we were to take the aforementioned psychological perspective into consideration with respect to the individual’s condition (suffered from depression and was on medication) at that point in time, would that not lead to plausible criticism against violent games?

On an extra note: Indeed it is true that video games do cause other implicit problems within society, but unfortunately my article is solely dedicated to the issues of violence within games and how they affect society at large, so it is by intention that I simply make that acknowledgement and say no more of the related issues.

Modification of behavior by games

Psychologically, games tend to be quite beneficial to the individual as they allow for active participation on their part with regards to task completion and more. The player is no longer in a state passivity as he would be if he was watching the television, but instead has the power to determine what will happen next at nearly every instance. Alongside this also comes the benefits of allowing people to apply their problem solving abilities within something they take much pleasure in, sometimes with friends and relatives.
As true though the above may be, our society still faces an issue which in many cases results in the alteration of an individual’s perception of reality, the most obvious being that of desensitisation to real violence, best example being that of war. From personal experience this seems to be the case when a person becomes exposed to the violent content for long periods of time.
Indeed war is much too violent for people to watch. Even too violent for those who partake in it, but the main issue here arises from the fact that our games don’t seem take this into consideration. In fact, we seem praise those types with highest forms of realism, and this has become the sad inevitable outcome of the industry today. That it cares more about the aesthetical factor and profits than it does about the future consequences is an understatement–maybe that is just the nature of our capitalist system, but let us not get too political.

I still would however, like to mention the fact that “complete” understanding of the issues mentioned herein does require a thorough and rather tedious examination of various areas within Politics, the Sciences,  and Economics  if we are to stand a chance in grasping the content analyzed at large.

Moreover, researcher Lt. Col. David Grossman has indicated in the past that for example the United States military has used video games in the past as a method to desensitize soldiers before deploying them onto the battlefield. Personally I think something such as this should immediately be raising questions with regards to the safety of violent games, especially when played over a long period of time. In as much as it is an implicit case, I would still like to mention the fact that if a country’s military can alternate to games (first-person shooters) as a method of training then surely that should be a signal to any thinking person that these things do cause profound damage on people (in society) irrespective of any justifications they may have.
As fun and engaging as they may be, time and time again evidence is proving that players are experiencing “a reduction in emotion-related physiological reactivity to real violence” when they do play violent games–most times unconsciously.

To say that “I wish I could say otherwise” is an understatement, but the evidence is just too much, I still do enjoy the playing–and making–of games of all kinds, be they violent or not, but I also believe that it is important and think it to be a moral duty for people to understand the effects not just on ourselves but on others who, perhaps, may be more susceptible to the content they are exposed to. And with the recent announcement of Next-Generation consoles only the future holds the answers as to how much society will be changed.
For the industry, the future of gaming looks bright, and for the players and consumers who feed it, what they will get is an unprecedented level of spectacular entertainment, and sadly too, an unfortunate bug, a bug so pervasive and so destructive  that when coupled with other–violent–entertainment may lead to problems on a grand scale. A troubling thought.

In brief, for gamers (core especially) the computer is everything, so much so that they can sometimes even earn money through tournaments and sponsorships. Some even meet their future spouses online, but for others games can take up too much of their time and affect family life. Psychiatrists and psychologists argue–and I imagine will continue–whether or not the human mind can be negatively affected by games.
Personally I believe that games themselves do not cause societal violence but instead are a fragment in a mass collection of entertainment which causes gradual behaviour modification. Above all, I think games serve as a wonderful and creative tool that can be used to bring people together in times of joy and happiness.

External References

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kG3owv6GFUo

http://english.pravda.ru/news/russia/09-11-2012/122755-violent_computer_games-0/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dave_Grossman_(author)

https://docs.google.com/viewer?url=http://www.psychology.iastate.edu/faculty/caa/abstracts/2005-2009/07CAB.pdf

http://www.theesa.com/facts/violence.asp