The Impact Of Violence In Movies And Video Games On Children

“A young Alabama man was charged in 2003 with murder after shooting two policemen and three other men. He blamed the violent videogame ‘Grand Theft Auto. Video games with violent content can influence the behavior of children and teens. Video games with violent content and other uncontrollable material are bad influences for today’s youth. Chicago became the first American city in 1907 to have a motion picture censorship board. A censorship panel creates concerns and questions for society. It is also a spark that ignites concern about violence in media. In spite of the fact that it has been more than 100 year since the first censorship board was established, there is still no censorship on violent media content. Rating systems are in place and there are recommendations for media that is violent. But parents ignore them to see what their children like. The parental control of children has declined, allowing them to be exposed to violent media which can harm their psychological well-being. However, some people feel that when media are restricted they lose their right to expression and free speech. Today, the debate between free speech and censorship to benefit today’s youth continues to be a hot topic. It is important that the government restricts certain content from the media to prevent violence. Violence has a negative impact on children’s feelings, behaviors and attitudes.

It is important that the government restricts specific content, to prevent violence in media. The reasons for this are the environment as well as time and money. Many parents ignore the rating system for movies or content made available to the public. The fact that parents don’t care what their children watch and the movie theaters don’t either shows how uncaring they are. Rating systems do not work to protect children against violence and inappropriate material. Children can access illegal websites which may cause future health problems. Violence can have a negative impact on a child’s health.

The American Academy of Pediatrics stated that the strength of this correlation is greater than the ones between calcium intake and IQ, lead ingestion, and sexually-acquired human immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) infection, and non-use of condoms. This is an association that clinicians accept, and one on which the preventive medicine system is based.

The media is full of violent content, but parents and children don’t realize it. This quote illustrates how violent media, when viewed by children at an early age, can have long-term and side effects. Violent media can be detrimental to a child’s future and lead to a life of failure. Video games that are violent will have an impact on health and education. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics there is a strong link between violent videogames and health. In order to prevent future health problems for children, parents need to be in control of their household and have discipline. Video game and movie producers are well-paid and will do whatever it takes to maintain their growth. The addictive nature of children makes violent content popular. Parents and guardians don’t worry because the marketing is so convincing. It is clear that the entertainment media has plenty of money to spend convincing politicians and the general public that they need not worry. Media industries use propaganda, bribes and other means to convince the public that violent videogames are harmless and won’t affect their behavior. False advertising and false news keep parents from discouraging their children to purchase violent content or video games. Money can make people do terrible things and even cause harm to children. Children are constantly exposed to violent content in the media, and the media industry will use the money they make from advertising to influence parents. Media industries are ruining children’s lives to prosper and build businesses. Government should be able to restrict certain content in the media because it is harmful for children’s future.

The government must remove violent content from media in order for today’s youth to concentrate on their studies, maintain a healthy way of life, and feel secure in their community. Today’s children are more concerned with a healthy life style. They must be able maintain a balanced lifestyle while watching the appropriate content. Nevertheless, certain content interferes with a healthy lifestyle for children. In 1982 “The National Institute of Mental Health” published a report on the effects of mass-media violence. This was due to the organization’s concern about the impact of such violence on children. Staff concludes there is a link between televised violent behavior and aggressive children. Media violence affects children’s psychological well-being. Video games that are violent can cause addiction in children, which results in a lack of focus and sleep. In addition to losing sleep, children become less attentive and lose their concentration. Video games, and other violent media, can distract from important life factors such as education. Children who are addicted to violent media can develop mental disorders that are very serious. Addiction to violent media can also put children’s safety at risk. The Australian Psychology Society reported that “Children who watch a lot on-screen violence tend to think and behave aggressively” and show less empathy toward victims of violence (Sheehan). Violence can affect a child’s behaviour, which puts the safety of him and other children at risk. Violent media can cause a child to change their behavior and attitude, which is dangerous for those around them. Children’s safety is in danger. To protect the society from mental disorders that can put others at risk, the government should limit violent media. Addiction results in a temper, a loss of thinking ability and can even change the person’s view on people and laws. This is best understood through education.

Parents want to ensure that their children receive the best possible education and prosper. Parents want success for their child, and to focus on the future. Children are less likely to study and be concerned about the future when violent content is present. Instead, they become more violent. The child will see the world differently when they are aggressive and behave differently. Many researchers began to study how violent stories can increase aggression in later life. Researchers who have studied violent behavior have found that violent media influences a person’s personality and education. Children are influenced by what they watch on TV and online. Children will mimic the behavior and attitude of violent characters. Teenagers are careless with their actions and how they affect the society. In order to make today’s young people successful, media violence must be curtailed. Parents and guardians must keep an eye on education, health and safety, as well as ensure that violent media content does not affect a child.

Restricting violent content would also cause the public to rebel and violate government laws. Some people think censorship violates the First Amendment. One such example is this: “But the federal judge ruled, in 2006, that depictions of violent content are entitled’ to full constitutional coverage’ and Louisiana’s law constituted an ‘invasion First Amendment rights’ by video game makers, sellers and buyers.” (“Media Violence”). Censorship does not violate the constitution because it’s about protecting young minds. Some content should be restricted in order to protect children’s education and the welfare of viewers. Many movies allow free speech, but some content needs to be limited in order for children to be protected. Free speech and freedom of expression must be regulated and controlled. It is important to use this right wisely in order to reduce violence on the internet. Scientists and researchers disagree with the idea that violence can change behavior, attitude, and feeling. Kutner & Olson say that playing videogames can benefit players in later life. The studies cited by the critics show that playing video games can help children make better decisions and that women are able to develop skills that will improve their performance as scientists, surgeons and engineers. The video game’s violence is the primary factor in causing teen aggression. Kutner and Olson may have been able to play a PG rated game, which could be beneficial and educational. Violence in video games or on the Internet can affect how a child perceives his/her environment. Video games can teach children to think like engineers. Not all violent video games should be banned. The media industry and businesses will be hurt by censoring violent content. Many in our community think that violence can be mistaken as entertainment, despite the fact that it is damaging to a child’s psychological health. Kutner’s and Olson’s criticism of these penny-gaffs (low class theatrical productions) and cheap publications is one example. The content of some entertainment shows can make it appear violent to viewers. Adults see violence as a thrilling thriller or action. Children, on the other side, will use the “entertainment”, which is the same as adults. To protect children and adolescents, certain content should be restricted to reduce violence. Because of certain factors that are important to children, including health, education, or safety, the government must restrict some content in order to eliminate violence. Video games that are violent can be addictive to children, and have negative effects on their mental and physical health. This is illustrated by the statement: “In 2001, The American Academy of Pediatrics concluded that violent video games were responsible for an increase of 13 to 22 percent in violent behavior among teenagers — a factor comparable to smoking which causes a 14 percent rise in lung cancer”. Quote explains how violent video game play can lead to aggressive behavior. Violence resulting from playing violent videogames is the equivalent of smoking. This is a very alarming statistic and it can be used to convince people that certain content should be restricted. Teenagers are more likely to be addicted to violent media. A teenager has a growing phase that is already marked by emotional and hormonal imbalances. Violence in video games, and in other forms of media, can have a negative impact on behavior. The health of children is one of the main reasons for censoring certain content.

Violence can also be used to manipulate safety. Social media and video game use by children and adolescents should be monitored. Michael Carneal was a student at West Paducah High School in Kentucky when he fatally shot his three classmates. He had watched The Basketball Diaries. The movie contains a scene where a character is dreaming of committing a massacre at the school. Children around a child who has been influenced to violence by media are also at risk. Three innocent children were killed by the movie that was shown to the child. This puts safety at school in danger. Violence can create an unsettling environment at school, where a child is supposed to feel safe. The shootings in the film are a fictional event. But children can see and learn. The children who died were killed because a young child was watching an R rating movie without supervision. Media violence is endangering the safety of both parents and school administrators. Media violence can also have a negative impact on the education of teenagers and children. Video games that are violent can lead to addiction, which makes it difficult for students to concentrate on exams or study.

Violence can affect the brain and hormonal balance of children. This can have a negative impact on their academic performance. A December 2011 study by researchers at Indiana University School of Medicine showed a link between prolonged exposure to violent video games and changes in the brain regions responsible for cognitive function and emotional regulation. It is clear that violent video game play and hormonal imbalances are closely related. Teenagers who are emotionally unbalanced tend to lose concentration and focus on their education. Losing concentration in academics can lead to a teenager’s failure. The most compelling reasons for censoring specific media content is to reduce violence, including education, safety and health. Children’s health and education are vital to their future success. Children would face a difficult future and many psychological issues if the government did not enforce the laws against violence in media. While some video games can be educational, most violent video games have violent content and should not be published. Parents and teachers should be very careful what they show children as it could have devastating psychological effects. The government needs to limit the violence that the media portrays in order to provide a safe, well-educated atmosphere.


  • jacobcunningham

    Jacob Cunningham is a 26-year-old education blogger and teacher who resides in the Pacific Northwest. Jacob's teaching and writing focus on the use of technology in the classroom, and he is a frequent presenter at education conferences around the country. Jacob's work has been featured on sites such as The Huffington Post, Edutopia, and TechCrunch.



Jacob Cunningham is a 26-year-old education blogger and teacher who resides in the Pacific Northwest. Jacob's teaching and writing focus on the use of technology in the classroom, and he is a frequent presenter at education conferences around the country. Jacob's work has been featured on sites such as The Huffington Post, Edutopia, and TechCrunch.