Rapid advances in technology three quarters into the 20th century have led to the advent of video games. As video games have evolved from dot matrix to full-blown animation, they have grown increasingly violent. This violence in said video games has crossed over and been inserted into the lives of our youth which has been brought to schools across the country. Many impressionable youth mimic and therefore, act out what they partake in on a daily basis, violent video games. Arguably, this had led to poor school performance and even worse, bullying in schools and cyberbullying by youth on social media. The perception is the limitation and/or elimination of video game violence will exponentially reduce the violence that has transcended to our schools that are meant to be a safe haven. “Gaming is a part of modern life whether we like it or not, 97% of US children play video games of one sort or another but the sad truth is that approximately 50% of these games contain violent scenarios that, when enacted, reward the player” (Anderson).
Cyberbullying has increasingly gained attention with social media being the mainstream source of communication. “Statistics have shown that 8% of students have reported being bullied at the beginning of the 21st century. It is now up to 25% of students reporting and cyber bullying is double that number at 50%” (King). When the online gaming factor is introduced, video games users, particularly youth, use hurtful, insulting and mean remarks to other online users. Bullying as a whole needs to really be a focal point at educational institutions as the results can lead to irreversible damage that can affect future relationships and communities. Victims of bullying can become retaliatory and intern become bullies themselves as they are transferring hurt, pain and emotional scars onto their subjects who can sometimes be a loved one not realizing that their victims are not deserving of such behavior just as they were not. This creates a vicious cycle that is a difficult one to break. Most bullies created often need counseling to aid in the turnaround in attitude that was caused by them themselves being bullied. Just as a person loves and cares, aggression and violence are practiced and learned as well. Another affect violent video games can produce is problems with schoolwork at the adolescent level.
“Researchers have conducted studies to find out whether violent video games lead to problems such as aggression, lack of empathy and poor performance in school” (Psychology Today). The core curriculum which includes reading, writing, math and science is controlled by the right cortex of the brain where required learning will become deficient. When the brain is extremely overwhelmed it is very difficult to process vital functions needed to maintain a stable mindset used in critical thinking. A large amount of youth who are online and playing video games for mass amounts of time, become addicted and can’t balance the time in which a young person needs to focus on studies. “Academic performance is declining as evidenced by 2015 and 2018 PISA scores. Children who continually fail are refusing to do schoolwork, come late from gaming into the night, or don’t come to school at all, preferring to stay at home in their virtual worlds where they don’t fail playing video game” (Rowan). Gaming is an unnecessary choice that can be avoided.
However, obtaining a wholesome education and higher learning is a requirement propelling youth to be productive member of society who can make a contributive impact on the future of this country. Video gaming whether violent or otherwise should be minimized to ensure a healthy and productive mind resulting in a prosperous educational future. Video game violence although not on the frontal lobe of society is a real problem. It should not be swept under the rug and should really be addressed. Exposure to violence through video games leads to youth becoming more accepting of violence and it triggers aggressive behavior. Whether a lack of production in school, bullying or cyberbullying the affects of this dilemma are a real issue. Acting like it doesn’t exist is almost as detrimental as the act itself. Our youth of today deserve proper guidance which includes decreased use of video of games as a whole. Thus the limitation and/or elimination of violent videos games will enhance school performance and will reduce violence in our school as well as social media. The future of our youth depends on mass intervention from parents or guardians to ensure a successful adulthood.