Recent research by the American Psychological Association (APA) shows that exposure to violent video games increases aggressive thoughts and behavior and angry feelings among youth. In video games and interactive media, seventy-three percent of violent behavior goes unpunished. The APA believes that this will lead to a reduction in helpful behavior and an increase in physiological arousal in children and adolescents.
"Showing violent acts without consequences teaches youth that violence is an effective means of resolving conflict. Whereas, seeing pain and suffering as a consequence can inhibit aggressive behavior," stated psychologist Elizabeth Carll, co-chair of the APA Committee on Violence in Video Games and Interactive Media.
The APA recommends the following:
— Teach media literacy to children so they will have the ability to critically evaluate interactive media.
— Encourage the entertainment industry to link violent behaviors with negative social consequences.
— Develop and disseminate a rating system that accurately reflects the content of the video games and interactive media
Doug Lowenstein, president of the Entertainment Software Association, believes the APA disregarded credible research and analysis which challenges claims that video games cause aggression or crime.
"This resolution is hardly surprising since the APA has made it clear over a long period of time that it believes violent video games are harmful and thus justify enactment of unconstitutional restrictions on First Amendment freedoms," Lowenstein responded.