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Hackernoon logoWe’re on a Slippery Slope because of Games: Are Teenagers at Risk? by@marketing_devil

We’re on a Slippery Slope because of Games: Are Teenagers at Risk?

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@marketing_devilVladimir Malakchi

Marketing Expert

Cruel fights, bloody wars, mass genocides and this is not the whole list of merciless ways of how teenagers spend time playing computer games, bringing their parents to fits.

Outbreaks of aggression, depression, and even inappropriate actions are quite typical for a person who is just entering the puberty period, but sometimes teenagers get out of control:

A 17-year-old teenager threw a child from the viewing platform of the Tate Modern Gallery (London);

Two teenagers are suspected of killing three people and after that, they committed suicide (Canada);

5-year-old teenager beat the boy to death (Estonia).

And these are just a few cases and only this month. The study by the University of Iowa also adds oil to the fire, in which more than 100 thousand respondents took part. Experts believe that fans of violent games have an increased level of aggression. But is it interconnected? Experts cannot yet give a definite answer on how a sweet and kind child can stick a knife in the back of his teacher after a new level of his favorite game has passed.

Let's see if games are so dangerous, according to worried parents, or if the problem lies not at all on the surface.

Danger VS Safety

Pay attention to the graph that shows real data on the number of deaths from weapons in the main countries-consumers of video games. 

In addition to statistics, experts conduct psychological researches. For example, in Singapore, scientists for two years and with the help of 3 thousand people tried to find the connection between the cruel world of games and aggressive behavior. As a result, experts concluded that there is absolutely nothing in common between aggression in the virtual and real worlds. Interestingly, this study was conducted this year, but it doesn’t mean at all that the outbursts of teenage aggression didn’t bother experts before.

For example, in 2002, the behavior of 41 people was analyzed. All of them were involved in executions in US schools. Scientists found that 24% of criminals read books describing violent scenes, another 27% were avid fans of aggressive cinema, and only 12% of them were gamers.

Based on this study, it can be concluded that books are more dangerous than games, but that would be as stupid as the claim that the Earth stands on three elephants. 

The authors of the Grand Theft Childhood: The Surprising Truth About Violent Video Games and What Parents Can Do book, Lawrence Kutner and Cheryl Olson, argue that violent games not only do not provoke children to aggression, but even help to pour out negative emotions, develop the creative teenager’s side, and also form the social skills of the young player. The authors conducted a lot of surveys and made conclusions based on observations.

Kutner and Olson describe an interesting trend - boys who preferred to play games designed for ages 17+ behaved more aggressively twice: they were often seen in fights, hooliganism and poor school. The situation with the girls-gamers turned out to be even worse, but here's the paradox - the same behavior had those teenagers who didn’t play regularly. What does that mean? It seems to me that parents, teachers and social activists prefer to find the reason why teens behave like a crowd of protesters rather than focus on their education, not through reproaches but understanding.

The real reason for aggression

If you look at most cases of violence by adolescents, you can see that almost 70% of them spoke about their plans to commit illegal actions, the remaining 30% moved away from society, which should also have led to the idea that something went wrong. Blaming games, books or films for the fact that your child behaves aggressively is just a waste of the time that could be spent on analyzing the problem.

Why do few people ask themselves questions when they notice bad behavior or poor learning outcomes? But instead, the child or his lifestyle is blamed. Maybe you should take a closer look and see that in this way a teenager is trying to tell you that he has problems? It is important to note that the statistics of suicides after teenage crimes is constantly growing, and this only means the helplessness of a child who has accumulated a lot of emotions, because of which he went to extreme measures to take revenge on society.

Become friends with adolescents, try to perceive their problems and help solve them, even if they don’t seem to you as global as yours.

Tip of the day: play with your “troubled teenager”, develop your strategic skills and find ways out of difficult situations with the help of games. This will not only increase the teenager’s confidence in his parent but also create a comfortable emotional background that will sometimes extinguish foci of aggression. 


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