Video Games and Violence in the Society with Reference to the Sociological Theories

Table of Contents


Many claims have been made on both positive and negative consequences of electronic game playing, on the emotional, social, cognitive and physical development of children. Whereas others believe that they help in teaching the children the computer skills, literacy, and improving their performance skills, there are also potential harmful effects of the games that include passivity, aggression, addiction and stress.

Some may argue that the cultural values, availability of weapons and the exposure to unpunished models of aggression affect the personal attitude towards the violent behavior. This influences the individual’s acceptance and the learning of aggression as a form of emotional expression and also as a method of control over the others. The process may begin early in life through children witnessing violence in the home and/or through the media by being allowed access to age-inappropriate images on TV, video/DVD, computer games and the internet. This negatively impacts the children’s behavior consideration that many of the video games consist of violent cases. In my study, my main thesis was that violent content in video games was evident for the harmful effects on individuals and the society. To comprehensively understand this, one can craft a detailed, logical argument based on observation of a season’s worth prime time television programming and a deep analysis of the top ten best-selling video games. In my case, I will summarize an annotated bibliography of various authors and their work on video games and violence through the use of sociological theories.

The main Body

In the book, the author illustrates the actual experiences that one undergoes during viewing or when playing a video game through the use of emotions. He also relates the experiences of emotions with the expressions in an unusual film experience that comes from an intense emotional engagement. The author also describes the theoretical way of the emotional involvement in the video games, and finally the personal response to the films and the video games.

In the deeper context, the writer discusses more on the immediate emotional responses in the times of the activities. In this case, he illustrates the contextual explanation of the emotional responses which are dependent on the player’s imagination. The writer emphasizes the use of the cognitive emotion theory in the understanding of the many levels of emotional engagement in the game.

In the chapter on the media violence, the writer offers a brief history of the media violence and how it has been debated over time. First, he bases the issue on controversy which was later clarified after an extensive research. The writer makes use of a number of research reports to make his contribution on the topic.

In his work, the author defines the relationship of media violence on the television and video games to the individual aggressive behavior, though marked with criticism. The writer uses the evidence of the report from the joint statement on the impact of entertainment violence on children. The statement signaled the strength and unity of an emerging consensus about the effects of media violence. He also makes use of various literatures on the topic and the public health community-based research.

The writer concludes that the research and the summary of his various works show that “violent television and films, video games, and music reveals unequivocal evidence that media violence increases the likelihood of aggressive and violent behavior in both immediate and long term contexts.” This was clearly revealed by many of the research programs that the writer used in his discussion.

In this book, the author makes use of two sociological theories for his description.

By making use of the differential identification theory which states “that people need not interact personally with those on whom they model but they may choose models presented to them by the mass media,” the writer states that the very case applies to the video game players and they opt to become aggressive just as the characters in the media.

The writer also uses the differential association theory that states that, “people act in deviant ways because they were socialized to do so by a deviant subculture.” In supporting his argument, the writer states that most the deviant people including the extremist groups use the sites that are contained with the video games.

The writer argues that the mass media initiates certain acts of behavior that subtly influence the general values of the society and individual attitudes. He terms the manner of living for the regular video games players as very different from that of those that do not play due to the abundant exposure to violent actions. This is more effective in children due to their early age of adopting characteristics.

In the chapter five of this book, the writer illustrates the various sociological theories and how they are related to the society. By putting into consideration the biological and psychological theories and the influence of violence on each of them, the writer connects them to the sociological perspective. In this case, the writer was considering the young generation mostly the children and the influence of violence.

The writer uses the cultural deviance theory that assumes the children’s incapability to the commitment of deviant acts. As a result, he argues that the society surrounding the children and the immediate neighborhood, forces the acts for conformity. The writer also includes the strain theories that describe people as moral animals that commit crimes and turn violent when under great pressure. The writer relates the acts of children using the classical strain theory where he argues that one desires success or develops a particular behavior with respect to his legitimate ways of life and the society. Thus, a child who spends most of his time in the video games may easily turn to be violent and in case of failure in the desires of the society, the child may easily turn into crime to acquire the unattainable, which they may consider rightfully belongs to them.

Lastly, the writer explains the social control theory in relation to the marginalization and lack of bonding between the child and the society. He illustrates how the kids who lay video games become addicted and segregates them from the society. As a result, the children break their bond with society and the individuals are more likely to commit delinquency.

The writer emphasizes video games as a major cause of aggressiveness in children mainly the male boys who are the usual players. The writer makes use of the mass communication theories in explaining the correlation between violence and video games. Through the theory, the writer illustrates the dynamism in the ever-changing society, the changes in technology and how this changes the human beings.

He states that this theory is influenced by the mass media, the facets and characteristics, the ever changes in the audience and the evolving nature of the society. He clearly defines this using the four categorical branches of this theory including; the post-positivist theory that is based on empirical observation, the hermeneutic theory on the understating and interpretation, the critical theory on the changes and the normative theory that deeply describes the media system and the involved social system norm’s and ideals.


In all the reference materials, it is clearly indicated that the video games play a major role in the aggressive character of the players. It may even move a step further into defiant character. The effects are mainly observed among the male youth and children since they are the major players.


Ernest, M. (2006). The Lord of the Rings: Popular culture in the global context. Vancouver.

Jennings B., Mary Beth O. (2009). Media Effects: Advances in Theory and Research. Routledge Publishers. Abingdon.

Phyllis B. G. (2004). Hate crimes: causes, controls, and controversies. Sage productions.

Robert M. Regale, John D. Hewitt, Matt DeLisi. (2010). Delinquency in Society; Jones and Barkett Publishers. London.

Stanley J. B., Dennis K. D. (2009).Mass Communication Theory: Foundations, Ferment, and Future. Lyn Uhl publishers, Boston.

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