Computer games, the brutal, supposedly cool especially, are a test for parents: What should you allow your child? Where does the danger begin and when does the children’s deformation start?
The effect of computer games that glorify violence, which we have examined in several studies. The focus was on school performance and the personal development of children and young people. A study has been running in Berlin for two years, in which we accompany a thousand children up to the age of sixteen. Here we want to check whether the hypothesis is correct that too much media consumption in children leads to them getting fatter, sicker, more aggressive, and worse at school.
Study Links Video Game Use With Weaker School Performance
Initial Findings of Children Overexposed to Media Time
The initial findings show that children who are more exposed to media time often overweight and have worse grades than those who still do not have any devices. We have not yet started to measure aggressiveness because the children are too young for this.
But we did an experiment with identically composed groups of young adults. The result was that those who initially played table tennis had performed fifty percent better in the subsequent concentration test with light math problems than the comparison group, which had intensively engaged in a brutal computer game at the same time.
This confirms the hypothesis: very violent computer games have a problematic effect on school performance because the emotional impact of the games puts a massive strain on the children. What they have learned beforehand threatens to be forgotten in short-term memory. And after the computer game, the child takes a long time to be able to concentrate again.
It is no wonder that the groups of losers we identified at Pisa consistently spend significantly more time playing computer games than others: boys more than girls and lower-class children more than middle-class children. The Pisa losers consistently have more of their own devices in their rooms and use them much more often. The recommendation is therefore very clear: TVs and computer games have no place in the children’s room since the availability leads to much higher and more problematic content.
Is it true that youth violence increases through violent games?
There is no monocausal relationship from killer game or riot games like valorant (zaros boosting) to violence or even killing spree. It’s like smoking: chain smokers are 14 percent more likely to die of lung cancer later – but not every smoker dies. This is also about increasing risk: Children who engage heavily in violent games endanger their sensitivity to the suffering of victims. Brain research and psychological experiments have clearly shown that intensive playing leads to dulling effects and a decrease in empathy.
You don’t react to the real suffering of victims with the same sensitivity as if you read the brutality in a novel or watch it in a film. The fact that you personally slip into the role of the murderer, the torturer, the attacker alienates your own reaction. But even if aggressive computer games increase the likelihood that you will become a perpetrator of violence, there must always be other stress factors in order for violence to actually develop from an increased willingness to use violence, for example, violence in the family, social marginalization, the wrong friends or insufficient recognition.