Carl David Ceder and I had our lunch discussion around this NYT article
We had similar thoughtsand supporting points, and what we came up with was a very fair and well-balanced view, in my humble opinion.
Carl David Ceder’s thoughts:
Violent video games at the very least increase aggression and desensitize its players to real-life violence. Carl said that he doesn’t know that they necessarily ‘teach’ violence, but they certainly don’t help by giving a sort of release or outlet as was claimed by a video game company’s CEO. It seems that anger breeds anger and that virtual violence encourages actual violence. Studies show the more a person would engulf himself/herself in the violent fantasy world of the video game, the more he/she would view the world around as violent and hostile and the more heightened his/her aggressive feelings and behaviors would be. While there are biological and psychological influences on aggressive behavior, the studies cited in our text also offer evidence that those who play violent video tend to be more hostile and physically aggressive (social-cultural influences).
In support of Carl, I shared:
I read the online results of an interesting study performed by psychologists at Iowa State University (http://www2.iastate.edu/~nscentral/news/06/jul/desensitized.shtml) on violence desensitization from video games. The study monitored the emotional response and heart rate of participants who played either violent or nonviolent video games and then were shown a 10-minute video of actual violence from TV programs and films. The results of the study showed that those who play violent video games “’get used to’ all the violence and eventually become physiologically numb to it.” Professor of Psychology Craig Anderson (who, incidentally is also mentioned in Module 58_ concluded: “In short, the modern entertainment media landscape could accurately be described as an effective systematic violence desensitization tool.” I couldn’t agree with him more! Whether it’s art imitating life or life imitating art—or a vicious cycle of the two, it seems that video games are getting increasingly violent and graphic and the violence in the world is increasing as well.
Our conclusion to the argument can be summed up in one word: Columbine.
To read more of my thoughts and reflections after my daily lunch with Carl David Ceder, check out this post, or this post, or this post. And please note, that my Car David Ceder, is not to be confused with this Carl David Ceder Small world, isn’t it? 🙂