It is hard to disagree that most parents do not want to allow their children to play computer games, especially if they incorporate many elements of violence. Shooting and fighting animation attract many kids and teenagers, which makes it necessary for psychologists to explore the effects of such video games. While it may seem unbelievable and controversial, children who sometimes play fighting computer games can experience rather positive changes.
Development of Moral Compasses
The first beneficial effect of games that have elements of violence is that they help kids and adolescents develop their moral compasses. In other words, such games often judge the bad and emphasize the good, and their plots repeat the basic human ideas about right and wrong. Such a concentration on punishing or eliminating evil in any form allows children to learn that it is necessary to focus on the good in real life. Therefore, violent video games are a way to educate children engagingly.
Promotion of Social Skills
Another very valuable effect of these shooting and fighting games is that they assist young kids in developing their social skills. As noticed by Bowen, such games “strengthen a range of cognitive skills such as spatial navigation, reasoning, memory, and perception,” which is “particularly true for shooter video games” (10). Since this type of computer game requires quick thinking, it also fosters the ability to make reasoned but fast decisions.
Aggressive Emotions: Promotion or Ethical Release?
At the same time, the main argument of those parents who are against such video games is that they promote children’s aggression. This is partly true: kids with a predisposition to violent behavior or mental disorders can experience the negative effects of fighting video games (Hakala 61). However, researchers note that the latter allows mentally healthy children to release their negative emotions in an ethical way (“The Debate Behind Video Game Violence” 00:10:17). This is the third and extremely valuable positive effect of violent video games.
To conclude, one may say that the debate around this type of computer game will probably never end. However, parents are encouraged to assess the mental condition of their kids and make decisions based on their predisposition to aggressive behavior. If there is none, then playing violent video games from time to time will only have a positive influence on teenagers and their development.
Bowen, Lisa. “Video Game Play May Provide Learning, Health, Social Benefits, Review Finds.” Monitor on Psychology, vol. 45, no. 2, 2014, p. 10.
“The Debate Behind Video Game Violence.” YouTube, uploaded by CNBC, 2019.
Hakala, John. L. Violence and Video Games. ReferencePoint Press, 2019.