Originally posted by Vegemite
Do the video games cause the aggression or do aggressive children seek out the violent games?
It's both. Human nature has a violent aspect to it, by nature. Part of it is a survival mechanism. If you think at the microscale ... the
"violence" of a white blood cell engulfing an invading bacteria or virus is quite substantial, yet it is necessary to survive.
The same is true at the macro scale ... we need to periodically defend ourselves our our contry against invaders.
Capturing this sensation into a "game" is what these videogames do. However, I do agree, that the modern videogame is quite explicit compared to
the things we did when I was a kid (such as playing Wumpus, pac-man, donkey-kong, and Ultima V).
If you consider the plots of some of these games, they are just as violent (killing dragons and so on) as they are nowadays. Only, today, we actually
see a 3-D video of a sword cutting off a dragon's head complete with spurting dragon blood, and sound effects. Some people may even have 3-D VR
goggles for a fuller effect.
What we are getting to, is not the chicken or the egg, but the difference between reality and fantasy.
In ancient times, say the days of Homer, people would tell stories and act out famous battles, or fictional battles against their enemies. Their
children would likely take wooden swords and play out these fantasies.
Our children today have fancier toys ... however, the desire of Hollywood and computer animators to make things more "realistic" has gotten to the
point of ludricrousness. Do we REALLY need to see a super-slo-mo of someone's head getting chopped off like in Gladiator?
Do we REALLY need to see Duke Nuken running around the subterranean computer jungles blowing away "bad guys?"
I don't know, but that's the world in front of us.
Now, aggressiveness can be passed on in many ways.
Children with agressive parents tend to be more agressive. Children with very weak parents also can become agressive out of an opposite mechanism.
Children that are not supervised, and who do not communicate much or at all with their parents about these kinds of subjects, who are not taught what
a reasonable and acceptable manner is, may not know the difference.
It is these children that, when they see the videogames or movies, may enter a temporary state of a hyperactivity, when they might be prone to
carrying out violent actions.
If they do not have good influences in their lives to diffuse these emotions, they may turn to the dark side, like Vader.
If they have good parents that talk with them and calm them down, not beat them, or tell them to go rob a bank or sell some crack, then they will
learn the difference between good and bad.
Truth is it's about the community, the education, and the communication, not only the videogames.