Do Violent Video Games Make People More Likely To Be Violent In Real Life?
Violent entertainment will never go away just as porn never has and never will; the amount of dopamine released in the brain’s reward center is keeping these industries alive. The demand is too great and the profits too enormous for the entertainment industry to drop violence altogether. But this is exactly what needs to be considered if we want to help decrease gun violence in the United States and around the world.
The reality is that violent video games, movies and songs contribute to mass shootings. A child’s brain is like a sponge, soaking up every piece of information that comes along its way; especially entertainment. When you introduce a child to a violent video game, he or she unconsciously registers the sequence of events that occur in that video game; memories become consolidated faster than any exam that child will ever study for.
Even if a child who plays violent video games has no intention of ever picking up a gun, things happen in life which stir up a child or adolescent’s feelings, emotions and thought processes. Adolescence is the period of a person’s life where they identify more with their peers and less with their parents.
During adolescence, image and popularity are very important objectives. Some adolescents struggle with being accepted by their peers and start to experience anger, frustration, hateful thoughts, depression and even mental breakdowns.
And guess what comes back lurking into their lives when they start feeling anger towards their peers? Their unconscious mind suddenly floods their conscious mind with acts of violence it had previously registered from video games, movies and violent hip hop lyrics. An adolescent may actually retreat back to these forms of entertainment to get their dose or “fix” of bullets and armor.
What was once intended as being entertainment can sometimes turn into a reality. With so much anger and hatred boiling in vulnerable and fragile adolescents, they no longer are able to think clearly because their emotions are flooding their mind. In addition, their undeveloped and immature frontal lobes lack the judgement and reasoning required to prevent them from doing something catastrophic.
To believe that the only main solution is tighter gun regulations or the banning of guns is naive and a disservice to the people of the United States. So many factors play a role in gun violence in the United States:
- Under-treated mental illness and mental health stigma
- A culture fueled by the love for guns
- Violent entertainment
- An international black market which will never go away
- Hatred for other races, ethnicities and cultures
To remove violent entertainment from our society would almost be a shock for a large portion of the population who has engaged with these forms of entertainment for a long time. But in the long run, it would help developing minds focus on positive things such as education, sports and socializing rather than wasting countless hours glued to violent screens.
Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)