HOUSTON – Violence has always been a mainstay of American pop culture. In the 1980s, video games ushered in a new era of onscreen mayhem, allowing the player to control the chaos. There was little concern at the time since most were fairly kid safe.
Now, 30 years into the gaming revolution, that’s all changed. Gaming has become the number one earner in the entertainment world, raking in three times as much money as movies and music. Typically, the bloodier the game, the faster it flies off the shelves. Since most of these games are marketed to young people, the debate over virtual violence, and its effects on developing minds is in the headlines yet again.
The American Psychological Association has now joined the conversation releasing a study that found kids who regularly play violent games, exhibit more aggressive behavior than those who don’t. As to whether these games can lead to real life criminal violence, there just isn’t enough evidence to say. However, the APA does suggest violent video games could be a risk factor.