Violent Games & Television and Child Aggression

In America today, 72 percent of children play computer and video games for an average of 9 hours per week while 82 percent watch television on average of 14 hours per week. While some of the games and television programs are educational and beneficial to them, there are those that have negative impacts on children’s life. Games that help children in solving problems and strategizing are a source of fun and creativity. Games that feature anti-social behaviors and violence have negative impacts on children’s behavior.

Television and games violence has a direct relationship to aggression among youth and children who watch it. This is because; children have a higher likely hood of imitating the actions of a character that they see and like in the games or television programs. In most violent games, the player is required to take the point of view of the perpetrator or shooter. Unlike another form of games that just requires passive observation, video games call for active participation. To master video games, a lot of repetition is required, if the game in question is violent, the repetition act as a rehearsal for violent behaviors.

Exposure to violent TV programs and games leads to increased physiological arousal. Blood pressure and heart rate increase when a person is playing a violent game or watching a violent program or movie. According to studies that were done by Sonya Brandy, at the University of California, when a person plays a violent video game, in this case, Grand Theft Auto, his blood pressure increases, emotions become negative and they have a hostile feeling. The results are very different when a less violent game is played, in this case, The Simpson: Hit and Run, when players remained calm with no negative emotions or hostile feelings.

Most violent games and TV programs feature the usage of alcohol and other drugs, those children who play these games or watch the programs have a permissive attitude toward the use of marijuana and alcohol. According to Brandy, “Video games not only influence aggression but might also influence attitudes toward risk-taking behavior” Brandy continues, “Media violence may predispose young people and adolescents not only to greater health risk behavior but also toward tension and conflict in their social interaction with other” The more time children spend watching television, the less time they spend with their peers and friends. This leads to social isolation especially common with children who have been exposed to a high level of violent TV programs. The increased aggression makes it difficult for these children to interact with their peers.

Violent TV programs and games lead to increased aggressive emotion, thoughts, and actions. Children who are exposed to violence tend to be louder and rougher especially when they are interacting with their peers. They also tend to see the world and everything else as hostile which usually leads to an unending argument with their parent’s teachers and always engage in a physical fight with their peers.

Increased cases of school shootings and other juvenile violence have been subject to high-level debates in congress, legislative bodies and government investigative bodies and results show a link between perpetrators and violent games. In this regard, parents need to pay close attention to what their children watch on television or the kind of games they are playing. There is a need for policymakers to come up with guidelines to give direction on what video games and TV programs are educational and what is harmful to children.

In the coming days, computers, videos games, and television will continue to be part of children’s diet. There are so many games and TV programs in the market, some of which are educational while others are harmful to children. Those media that feature violent scenes tend to affect children negatively by causing aggression in them. When children are playing these kinds of games or watching programs with violent scenes, there is a high tendency for them to imitate the characters leading to aggressiveness toward their peers, parents, and teachers. There is a need to control what children watch or the kind of game they play to reduce all negative impacts associated with violent media.


David Walsh, National Institute on Media and the Family: Video Game Violence and Public Policy, 2008. Web.

Funk B. and Buchman D. (2000) Preference for Violent Electronic Games, Self-concept, and Gender Differences in Young Children, American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, Volume 70.

Iowa State University (2007). How Violent Video Games Are Exemplary Aggression Teachers. 2008. Web.

TV and Video Game Violence Harm Kids, Archive of Pediatrics and Adolescent medicine, 2008. Web.

Van Schie and Wiegman O. (1997) Children and Videogames: Leisure Activities, Aggression, Social Integration, and School Performance. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, Volume 27.

Find out your order's cost