In the process of growth, children practice what they see and try to mimic what they often see in the real life (Bergmeier, 2014). In studying psychology, the human brain is mostly influenced by sight more than any other senses of the body, and a good example is learning in kindergarten classes. In the modern world, students are exposed to explicit content that is mostly unfiltered in some cases while in other instances they are issued a warning that limits the view of children under the restricted age. Most television productions of today have extreme scenes that are harmful to the children hence the constant need to have warnings and prohibitive messages that notify the nature of the content that will be aired. The excessive violence, however, is what brings the most attention to the effects it may have on the young generation especially the children who are exposed to it. Although TV programs may have educational effect on people, the negative impact of TV and video games on children lies in the fact that violent scenes make children use violence as the most effective way interaction with people.
Adverse effects of TV and Video Games
Being exposed to TV and video games is part of children’s growing up, as these technological gadgets have become necessary equipment in most homes. According to Spigel (2013), the majority of modern families are TV users, and as a result of the extensive use of television, explicit content has also been rampant in filling the market. Children have been affected negatively with regards to their behaviors due to violent scenes and gaming characters. Most of kids are influenced to behave in a negative way, which affects their childhood and could extend into their adulthood. These negative behaviors include fighting in schools and public places as a form of conflict resolution or the event of disagreements of any nature. Fighting and quarreling are the most notable characteristic of children who are the victims of constant watching of TV and playing video games with violence as part of the scenes in these entertainment media (Spigel, 2013).
Violence and fighting
Most of the content on the TV and video games are contain some violent scenes as a marketing strategy videos and movie industry so as to attract more sales and money. Therefore, curbing violence on TV and in video games is almost impossible task to accomplish since the need to have such content for thrilling the end consumer of films and games. Kammerer (2012) argues that violence on screen is not the real depiction of real life hence it should not influence real life a lot. However, the kids are not aware of this analogy despite it being true.
Since the children interpret their favorite characters as superhuman beings that in real life would do what they do on TV and in video games. These violent acts are frequently practiced within the kids’ circles, children often play or imitate the violence activities or practice them, which may lead to accidents in most of the cases. The actors and characters of these violent acts are often trained well to perform the stunts which the kids try to repeat.
Another adverse effect on the behavior of children can result in the constant addiction to games and films with violence that the kids are exposed to (McLean & Griffiths, 2013). Most of the kids are hooked on watching and playing video games all the time and it affects their physical playtime. In most schools, kids use the average duration for breaks as their time to play been significantly impacted by the portable video games that children carry to schools. Kids are so hooked on games that most of them spend their class time to play the games instead of listening to their teachers.
Most of the children’s studies often deteriorate and have adverse consequences for their learning process (McLean & Griffiths, 2013). At school and during the extra study hours at home and in libraries children can play video games as a result they may fall into addiction for the thrill and the rush that they experience. Student performance is affected, and most of these students give up studying or become disinterested in having careers to better their lives.
Positive Influence of media
On the other side of the script, there are several positives that can be derived from the violence in the video games and TV that can assist the children. Children can be able to learn some of the self-defense techniques that they could use in the event they are bullied at school or ward off stalkers or intruders who meddle in their lives. By being able to defend themselves, kids will be able to have the first line of protection that will aid in ensuring they are safe and sound at all times. Kids will not be easy targets for offenders since they will be able to defend themselves as a result of learning and imitating some of the moves and fights that are depicted on TV and in video games.
Additionally, video games and TV programs that do not contain violence scenes act as recreational and entertainment media that help the children unwind from the fatigue involved in playing and studying. As the children are often occupied studying and other activities, watching TV or playing video games a little will not only helps them relax but also offers entertainment.
These video games and TVs also have some educational content that the kids can derive mainly in those that appear in the form of adverts and commercial breaks. Also, not all the content in the video games and TVs are focused towards violence and most just show flashes of these scenes to make the films more interesting. As discussed by Faith et al. (2012) most of children targeted content provides educational value that is useful for the young growing up minds of children.
Children of the current era have been influenced by the acceptance of entertainment media as watching TV and playing video games is a normal thing for many children and grown-ups. The portrayal of violence in these media has significantly affected the children’s behaviors as they may try to do what they see in these media. And as such it has ruined the core of the society as most of the children who are depended on to be the leaders and innovators of the future have resolved to violence and violent activities as a result. This does not mean that TV programs and video games should not be available for children but some of the content raises concerns over the benefits it brings to young generation. Finally, it is paramount to have most of the content with violence scenes censored for the purpose of building the children’s future in a positive light.
Children are prone to do what they see on TV or in video games (Rossman, Hughes, & Rosenberg, 2013). Hence most of the kids who are exposed to violence will lead a violent life and will use violence as a conflict resolution measure or as a way to solve their problems with others. In some instances, these video games and TV content will become so addictive that it will be all that the children want instead of spend time outdoors and build their lives both mentally and physically. Children need to have a balance of being exposed to technological media and spending time in classrooms and playing fields since it is a process of building their future positively.
To limit the excessive violence in the content that the kids are exposed to via TV and video games, parents, as well as media authorities and the government, should do censoring of explicit material that may have negative impact on children. For children are the ultimate representation of the society, children should grow in a socially and psychologically healthy environment because it is important to grow a generation of healthy, adequate and socially active people.
Bergmeier, H., Skouteris, H., Horwood, S., Hooley, M., & Richardson, B. (2014). Associations between child temperament, maternal feeding practices and child body mass index during the preschool years: A systematic review of the literature. Obesity Reviews, 15(1), 9-18.
Faith, M. S., Van Horn, L., Appel, L. J., Burke, L. E., Carson, J. A. S., Franch, H. A., … & Wylie-Rosett, J. (2012). Evaluating parents and adult caregivers as “agents of change” for treating obese children: evidence for parent behavior change strategies and research gaps. Circulation, 125(9), 1186-1207.
Kammerer, D. (2012). Surveillance in literature, film and television. Routledge handbook of surveillance studies, 99-106.
McLean, L., & Griffiths, M. D. (2013). The psychological effects of video games on young people. Aloma: Revista de Psicologia, Ciències de l’Educació i de l’Esport, 31(1).
Rossman, B. R., Hughes, H. M., & Rosenberg, M. S. (2013). Children and interparental violence: The impact of exposure. Routledge.
Spigel, L. (2013). Make room for TV: Television and the family ideal in postwar America. University of Chicago Press.