Violence in video games debate

Tonight @ 9PM ET on The Debate Hour Show
(Our guests couldn’t make Friday night.)

Do Violent Video Games Make Our Kids Violent?

This show will re-air: 8PM ET -Feb 2nd, 2007

Brad Bushman has a PH.D in Social Psychology and is a Professor at the
University of Michigan in Communication Studies and Psychology. He is a
researcher with the Institute for Social Research with a primary
research interest in: “What causes aggression and how to reduce it, violent
media, narcissism and meta-analysis.”

Duke Ferris is the founder of This gaming site
features a community, news, articles and opinionated reviews of some of
the hottest games to date. He wrote an interesting retort to some of the
claims that Brad and his colleagues address when it comes to the
effects of Video Game violence on our children.

This is guaranteed to be an informative and interesting program. Tune
in. This show will be pre-recorded on Monday, January 29th @ 9PM ET and
re-aired on the following Friday, Feb 2nd @ 8PM ET.

Thought y’all might be interested.


OK, I did my own unscientific experiment.
1 4 year old
1 copy of Lego Star Wars
1 copy of Dora the explorah Purple Planet

2 weeks of lego star wars- what did I get? A kid who swoops in smashing me with any object that can remotely be a lightsaber. Everything becomes a gun-sticks,silverware exc.
Remove Gamecube and playstation for a week. Everything calms down.
Put back gamecube and playstation- only games being played are Dora by him, and Guitar Hero II by me.
No smacking whacking or gunplay.
So does it have an effect? you betcha-at least in my house it did.

well, that’s a bit off the topic. Nobody is arguing monkey-see-monkey-do, but rather erosion of moral principles and whatnot. A 4-year-old is pre-ethical.


Do Violent Video Games Make Our Kids Violent?

I would say Grundy is right on target.

The should have got a social scientist who’s skeptical of the literature on violence and video games to take the other side (e.g., U of Toronto’s Jon Freedman). Bushman is Craig Anderson’s coauthor. I have expressed my opinion of Anderson’s work elsewhere on this forum.

You have to hand to Bushman for consistency. Not only do video games cause violence, so too does the Bible:

Hmm, I still don’t. Can a 4-year-old be “violent” in the way we adults are? Give a kid a stick, he starts whacking things, but for effect rather than malice.


I also think a firm “no” goes a long way to getting kids to realize that hitting and violence are wrong. This falls back to responsible parenting… sure, my daughter might give me a karate chop after watching Mulan, but when I say “don’t do that; hitting people isn’t nice” she stops. So sure, while a game might cause a kid to become more violent, it’s a parent’s responsibility to tell them it’s wrong. If the kid hits you and you just laugh, then you’ve got no right to say it’s a game’s fault.

This is a fairly well understood phenomenon. The earliest studies into the effects upon children of screen violence showed that kids would react to seeing violence by immitating that violence for a short time afterwards. If no longer exposed to it, they would find something else of interest very quickly. They couldn’t show any long term effects, so I don’t think your experiment shows that your kid is 0.05% on the way to becoming a Columbine killer because he played Lego Star Wars :).

you must not have a four year old- they do ‘get it’. they know when they are being mean. they also know very well, say chasing the cat around the house with a hockey stick is not ‘good’. Not that that happened…it was a whiffleball bat actually…

The firm ‘no’. yep it works. but what I’ve also learned having a very high spirited child is if you haven’t set a rule for it, that said rule does not exist yet. If I haven’t told him not to jump off the roof- well, that option is still open season to him. I’m not kidding. the outlandish stuff this kid has done…

I admit I was a bit shocked by the violent reaction to said game. I mean its legos…doesn’t seem to be a blown out shooter to me.But to him-it was his gateway drug. Violence is a touchy subject in my house- no guns allowed, exc , but on the other coin, I’m a martial artist, and i do play FPS’s and such- you bet your ass not when he’s around though.