The second edition of Cognitive Monthly is now available. “Duke Nukem Comes to Dinner: Do Violent Games Make Violent Kids?” synthesizes and expands on our coverage of the impact of violent video games.
Whenever kids are involved in a violent crime, speculation about their upbringing inevitably takes center stage. Were they abused or neglected? Is there something their parents could have done to prevent the tragedy? Most recently, video games have been targeted as the possible root of the problem. But are video games really to blame for horrific massacres like the shootings at Columbine and Virginia Tech?
This month’s report considers the growing role video games play in our kids’ lives — and whether the playing violent games might really cause kids to be violent themselves. We assess the latest research on violent games and how it impacts kids. Researchers have found that playing some violent games does result at least temporarily in aggressive behavior, but games themselves are complex, and sorting out how they affect kids can be difficult.
Aggression and violence clearly aren’t the only ways games affect kids, so we also discuss research demonstrating how gaming can be beneficial. Do the benefits of gaming outweigh the many potential harms? We also describe how we’ve managed video games in our family, and offer some guidelines on how parents can approach gaming in their own homes.
Cover photo: Casey Fleser
Cognitive Monthly is an in-depth mini e-book that you can download and read on your computer, iPod, iPhone, e-reader, or any device that can handle a PDF. Each month we cover a different cognitive psychology issue. Although based on posts that have appeared in Cognitive Daily, it goes beyond what’s in the blog, synthesizing and incorporating interviews and other insights.