The makers and distributors of the Grand Theft Auto (GTA) game series have faced lawsuits repeatedly for its violent content and has been blamed for encouraging violence among teen over the years. As per The Guinness World Records 2008 and 2009, GTA is the most controversial video game with over 4,000 accusations of violence, corrupting gamers and relation with real life crimes. The reported cases of video game characters compelling adolescents to do wrong deeds are on a rise.
[Read: Does TV Endorse Violence]
Violence on Video Games
Video games with aggressive acts alter children’s behaviour. They see unreal things and pick the same. Child's aggression could also come in the form of loud thoughts and feelings, when they lash out at others with anger, jealously or with an intention to hurt. Social activities such as exposure to real world violence and family attitudes towards violence are among other factors that result in aggressive behaviour in children.
WHAT AACAP has to Say
American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry report explains that kids imitate what they see. The frequent viewing of violence cause behavioural shift in children. According to the report, children develop ‘cognitive scripts’ by virtual gaming. Moreover, increased engagement in video games could also be an indication of psychological factors in child’s life that manifest in the form of aggressive behaviour.
How Video Games Impact Kid’s Behaviour
“Playing video games is not bad if done in moderation. In fact it is a good recreational and fun activity which stimulates the brain. Also, playing some video games can enhance psychological skills such as attention and concentration, problem solving and visual-motor integration”, says Dr. Pulkit Sharma, Consultant Clinical Psychologist & Psychoanalytical Therapist.
What should be done?
There is no denial to the fact that viewing possibilities are endless, but there are games that make negative impression on the young ones. Parents should ensure and promote that their kids are playing informative or learning games. Moreover, they should make an attempt to keep kids engaged in extracurricular activities to reduce the amount of time spent gaming.
“If overdone, it can be bad for adolescents. When this happens, the adolescent starts using the game as a distraction to change his mood and becomes a video game addict. He finds it hard to control playing video games, neglects all other activities and slips into depression and rage if stopped from playing video games.”
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