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Media Research Methods



Introduction

Media research affects the way users and other concerned persons perceive various fields of the media industry. Along with other industries, media research affects individual’s response on video gaming. Video game is a “state of the art” as far as technology and entertainment is concerned. Violent video games’ sales far surpassed correlated entertainment programs such as computer games. In the recent past, video games have been proved to cause negative effects on their users from both scientific and societal perspectives. Observers deem video games as a phenomenon that has the capability of changing attitude and behavior of the player. Advocates argue that such games act as expressive mediums.

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Contrarily, detractors view video games as something that is harmful to its users as it distorts their mind. This paper will evaluate how various media researches affect the way video games players perceive them. It will also evaluate how the researches affect the opinion of various governments on the games. In addition, it will be evaluated and assessed whether there will be percentage increase or decrease in the number of users as a result of the researches. Given that children seem to be affected by video games, it will be evaluated whether this age group is affected by the proliferation of negative conclusions based on the media researches.

Violent Video Games

Video games have become very popular especially in the developed nations. It is estimated that 97% of the US citizens who were between 12-17 played these game during the year 2008. Video game sellers collected an estimate of $11.7 billion domestically. However, it was estimated that out of the best 20 selling games, 10 contained elements of violence (Gentile 2003). Therefore, this made violent video games come under constant criticism. On the other hand, advocates of the video games argue that results of most of the researches are usually skewed. According to Gentile (2003), such results contain a lot of flaws. Supporters have found out non-existence of the relationship between social violence and video games that show violence and, therefore, no substantial effect on the users.

Nevertheless, most video games have been linked to the real violence. According to Park (2014), there are cases when it takes an approximate of 13 hours a week for an average player video games in the US to play them. In addition, the author claims, that children who are exposed to violent images most of the times manifest copy-cut tendencies. However, those who spend limited time in watching violence have high control capabilities. For instance, two students that acted violently in Columbine’s high school were linked to being exposed to playing too much of violent video games. Despite this incidence, video games playing has continued to grow indefinitely in the US. 90% of the US children, in estimate, play the games (Park 2014). The relationship between aggression and violence media has prompted various research bodies to investigate the issue. Government bodies have proposed a tax on violent video games to control the industry.

According to a research study that was conducted by Coughlan (2014), video games are proper ingredients of retarding moral maturity of teenagers. Violent video games weaken empathy of teenagers towards others. Therefore, teenagers who are used to playing such games lose sense that helps them differentiate what is wrong and what is right (Gentile 2003). Violent video games depicted inhumane activities such as maiming, killing, mutilating, and decapitating. Coughlan (2014) asserts that the teenagers who abuse violent video games playing need to be put under different social situations such as being engaged in charity work in order to restore their normalcy.

The facts that prove video games to be negatively affecting moral maturity of teenagers have brought various organs of the US government to action. For instance, the US senate ordained a law that restricted children who are below eighteen from accessing the video games (Makuch 2014). On the other hand, the research has not had huge impact on distorting perception of the potential customers given that over 95% of children still play the games (Makuch 2014). The incidence of high number of children still playing video games can be linked to the high number of parents or guardians buying these games at their children’s request.

The evidence of any link between murder and violent games’ playing has not been properly developed. According to Etchells and Chambers (2014), many researchers find themselves in dilemma whenever they try to investigate whether real violence may arise as a result of playing violent video games. It is also insinuated that violent video games increase youth’s propensity to commit suicide or murder (Anderson et al. 2007). However, there are no scientific proofs that ascertain that such video games lead into real violence.

Layton (2014) notes that great number of senseless massacres have occurred across the US and the world in general as a result of video games. However, upon investigation, one common factor is found to have led the murderers into committing such heinous acts: addiction to video games that are full of violence. For instance, there was a case of school massacre where a young man carried out a dreadful act. It was alleged that several first-grader students as well as six educators died. The unfortunate incident took place in Connecticut at an elementary school known as Sandy Hook (Layton, 2014). Another similar incident took place in Aurora, Colorado in a movie theatre. In estimate, 97% of Young Americans play these games (Layton, 2014). Thus, the aforementioned facts demonstrate that continuous and mass playing of violent games leads to massive rise of heinous criminal acts.

Violent media is very prevalent in the US, and it comes in form of video games. For instance, a game that is known as “Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare” is full of violence. The content of this game is full of elements of violence. The level of violence continues to increase prompting various bodies to be concerned about the impact of such violence on the players.

Researchers’ claims that video games make children become violent have not had huge impact on the users. In fact, this has led to the development of counter theory that aims at explaining the genesis of aggression when children are playing these games. According to Tassi (2014), the nature of violence among children has been connected to losing in the game. The claim that violent video games make children violent have been neutralized. Conversely, such countering and contradicting claims have reduced the level of adversity that could hit this industry. Children’s participation in playing these video games has reduced by a very small percentage.

Contrarily, others claim that violent people love violent media. They take the role of the aggressor. Therefore, they become active killers unlike in other forms of violence of media whereby viewers remain passive. In the end, the violence neutralizes players’ perception about violence, as well as its consequences. Instead of being punished, they end up being rewarded. Their increased scoring rate improves as they continue killing target enemies. However, the most worrying trend is the currently ‘state of the art’ which encourages proliferation of violent media.

A number of researchers view video games that depict violence as benefitting to the players. According to Vitelli (2014), such kind of media improves social, cognitive and emotional skills of youths. Furthermore, they improve their health and the general wellbeing. Video games portraying lot of violence offer young children a chance to test different scenarios of social life in the real world (Vitelli 2014). Moreover, the games enhance their capability to handle different conflicts that are real as they grow. Violence in the video games stimulates children’s brain thus enhancing their thinking capacity. The video games enable players to mingle with the system of the game in a manner that is not possible with other forms of entertainment such as the television or movies.

A group of researchers claim that video games have a positive impact on children in America given that they are addicted to playing. Positive researches pertaining to this industry boost the confidence level of users.

However, over a half of the video games being produced in the US are violent (Gentile and Anderson 2003). Moreover, the level of teens playing them has increased to 97% This has led to an increase in the amount of returns collected from sales of these video games to nearly $12 billion (Gentile and Anderson 2003). Turnover of such effects can be attributed to the positive researches that are conducted by various bodies. They can be said to be the ambassadors that have enabled flourishing of the violent media industry.

Summary

Despite the fact that some researchers claim violent media to be more beneficial than harmful,, there is still some conviction that its use needs to be regulated. In the process of playing, children’s fill with violent content to the extent that makes them violent in nature. Children are not able to control their anger compared to their adult counterparts (Anderson et al. 2007). The current ‘state of the art’ depicts proliferation of video games that are full of violence. Therefore, there is a need of enacting regulation laws that will help combat crimes that are related to this kind of addiction, such as banning children from playing them.

Media researches have brought consensus and confusion among users and producers of video games that portray lots of violence. There has been development of both positive negative results from various researchers. Despite the evidence that negative results surpass the positive ones, violent video games have continued to proliferate. It is estimated that over a half of youth in the US play video games on a daily basis (Gentile and Anderson 2003). On the other hand, companies that are responsible for production of video games have continued to create more of them.

Various government bodies in the US have realized the potential of positive results of research pertaining to effect of this industry. It seems that users lend more ears towards any positive comment on the violent video games. Despite the consequences being evident and clear, the industry has continued to thrive. As a result, government bodies such as the US senate have been prompted to enact laws that will govern the use of video games. They have prohibited children from buying them. Moreover, other bodies such as the health sector have raised an alarm to salvage the situation by claiming that these videos cause mental ill health.

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