Video games have taken a bad rap from many for the violent content they display. According to the American Medical Association (AMA), video games are not only violent, they are unhealthy. In fact, they are so unhealthy the AMA is targeting violent video games in a new campaign to promote healthier lifestyle choices among young people. What else is included with video games in this campaign? Indoor tanning and drinking, of course.
This campaign isn’t anything we haven’t heard before. The AMA desires better rating system labels on games and wants to get legislation passed to keep violent games away from minors. Of course, many of us who have witnessed heads rolling, limbs flying, and spines breaking in games such as God of War and Mortal Kombat may agree that these games, while enjoyable, many not be appropriate for those who aren’t even old enough to drive themselves to rent them. (Come on, do you really think Mom would drive you to Blockbuster if she knew you were going to spend the next thirty hours of your week slaughtering, mutilating and destroying virtual human beings?)
"Violent video games provide a forum for learning and practicing aggressive solutions to conflict situations," said psychologist Craig A. Anderson, Ph.D in a study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. "In the short run, playing a violent video game appears to affect aggression by priming aggressive thoughts. Longer-term effects are likely to be longer lasting as well, as the player learns and practices new aggression-related scripts that can become more and more accessible for use when real-life conflict situations arise."
To further understand the concern over violent video games, check out Dr. Anderson’s study at www.apa.com.