Desensitization to Violence essay

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In the article of Harding (2009) that appeared in the CNN, Dr. L. Rowell Huesmann argued that when a person was exposed to a lot of violence, the fear of violence in such a person was reduced by a certain percentage, depending on the content and level of violence. In other words, a person was completely desensitized in regard to violence. As a result, such a person was more prone to committing violent acts in the society as compared to a person who had not been exposed to violence. ‘Once you're emotionally numb to violence, it's much easier to engage in violence.’ Huesmann said (Harding 2009).

Similarly, Gaines and Miller (2008) argue that watching or rather playing violent videos not only desensitized a person in regard to violence but also trained him to be violent, and thus be in a position to commit real acts of violence (63). In reference to Coon (2005), this was as a result of the conditioning effect that was derived from experiments that have been carried out on animals concerning how they responded to certain stimuli in their environment (291). For example, if one was beaten for having done something wrong, normally he or she would cry. However, if this was done over a long period of time, the pain effect lost its effect on this person and he or she would find it normal to be beaten. Similarly, there was a conditioning effect in a person who played violent video games continually. At first, the person would be scared of cruel violence. However, as times went by, he or she shed off this fear and in most cases, would demand for an even higher level violent video games.

Video Games and Crime

The research also found out that there is a relationship between violence and crime. According to Gaines and Miller (2008), the rate of juvenile crime had gone up and this was associated with increased sales of violent video games (63). Whereas there was no direct proof that violent video games caused crime, there was an argument that crime and violent video games were correlated. This may be attributed to the fact that some of the heroes that were portrayed in these video games were actually villains who executed their criminal plans in a way that was appealing to video game players. Thus the imitating factor in this case too played a critical role in illustrating how children and young people could imitate both the character traits of good and bad heroes in violent video games.

Conclusion

The rate of violence among children and young has escalated in the recent past in the society across the globe. This is attributed to the fact that there is a growing sale of video games that contain violent images and scenes. As a result, children and young adults have either imitated violent behavior in these video games or have been desensitized on violence thus being prone to committing violence in their lives. Despite the fact that there were arguments from a few groups of people that violent video games had no long term effects on its players (O’Connor 2005), there was a growing concern over the rate of increase in violence and aggressiveness among children and young people in the society after the introduction of violent video games. Furthermore, research that has been carried out in the past revealed that children and young people who played violent video game were more aggressive than those who did not play these games. As a result, it can be concluded that violent video games cause behavior problems in the society and appropriate measures should be taken to ensure that this does not get out of hand.

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