Top Pro & Con Arguments


Exposure to violent video games is linked to lower empathy and decreased kindness.

Empathy, the ability to understand and enter into another’s feelings is believed to inhibit aggressive behavior. In a study of 150 fourth and fifth graders by Jeanne Funk, PhD, Distinguished University Professor of Psychology at the University of Toledo, violent video games were the only type of media associated with lower empathy. [32]

A study published in the American Psychological Association’s Psychological Bulletin found that exposure to violent video games led to a lack of empathy and prosocial behavior (positive actions that benefit others). [65] [66]

Eight independent tests measuring the impact of violent video games on prosocial behavior found a significant negative effect, leading to the conclusion that “exposure to violent video games is negatively correlated with helping in the real world.” [61]

Several studies have found that children with high exposure to violent media display lower moral reasoning skills than their peers without that exposure. [32] [69]

A meta-analysis of 130 international studies with over 130,000 participants concluded that violent video games “increase aggressive thoughts, angry feelings, and aggressive behaviors, and decrease empathic feelings and prosocial behaviors.” [123]

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