Violent video games can lead to violent behavior

HASTINGS, Neb. (KSNB) – The type of video games kids play can impact who they become. Multiple studies have shown violent games can impact children by making them immune or numb to violence.

“Kids that are playing these first-person-shooter online things, they’re interacting with real people and I think that’s the big difference right there because there’s a lot of cuss words, racial slurs, et cetera because, again, you’re behind a computer or video game screen,” said Dr. Zachary Keller, a psychiatrist with CHI Health.

With more than half of all video games, rated by the Electronic Software Ratings Board, containing some form of violence — youth are at huge risk of being exposed to real world slander when they play online.

“Humans at that age is just not really designed to kind of handle all the stimulus right. All that dopamine, all that combat stuff. I think it’s very, and I don’t want to use the word triggering, but it definitely puts kids in a more irritable mindset,” said Keller.

The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated this notion as more children were isolated and in their homes than ever before. The length of the pandemic and restrictions was most apparent in kids.

“I had several patients that once they did become isolated, really that was their only motivating factor. Get done with school as quickly as possible or not schooling at all and just pretty much game all day and if parents are working it’s pretty hard to police that,” said Keller.

Dr. Keller recommended that parents and guardians should generally wait until middle school to expose kids to violate games or television shows, and also to monitor screen time on video games.

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