The Causal link Between Games and Violence – Like Cigarettes and Lung Cancer

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Smoking Paediatricians, not to be mistaken for kiddy fiddlers, have apparently established an irrefutable causal link between media violence and untoward aggression in children.

The American Academy of Paediatrics claims that "The evidence is now clear and convincing: media violence is one of the causal factors of real-life violence and aggression," particularly outing the music industry for glamorising sex, drugs, alcohol, tobacco, and violence.

They do also take stabs at visual media – TV, movies and videogames – saying that  "the associations between violence on screen or in games and real life aggression are nearly as strong as the association between cigarette smoking and lung cancer."

Quite a shocking claim indeed, but don’t get too worked up about their claims though – unlike other advocacy groups they’re not militantly seeking an end to all violent media. Their recommendation, which I thoroughly agree with, is that parents pay a little more attention to the media their children are exposed to. What a shocker! Parents should take responsibility for their own children?

They do have some recommendations for the entertainment industry as well though;

  • Do not glamorize weapon carrying.
  • Eliminate the use of violence in a comic or sexual context.
  • Eliminate gratuitous portrayals of interpersonal violence.
  • The pain and loss suffered by victims should be shown if violence must be used.
  • Music lyrics should be made easily available to parents so they can read them before purchasing music.
  • Video games should not use humans or other living targets and points should not be awarded for killing.
  • Violent video games should be limited to age-restricted areas of arcades.

 

Read more, over at ABC News

Last Updated: October 26, 2009

Geoffrey Tim

Editor. I'm old, grumpy and more than just a little cynical. One day, I found myself in possession of a NES, and a copy of Super Mario Bros 3. It was that game that made me realise that games were more than just toys to idly while away time - they were capable of being masterpieces. I'm here now, looking for more of those masterpieces.

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