Video games form the social fabrics for children. Games of any kind occur as a form of social interaction. The basic concept of gaming is to create a link between people or computers and people. This concept is not limited to physically involving games but also to video games. The gaming experience and culture are founded upon human relationships with trust and bonding being the driving factors. Trust can be considered the driving factor because the players trust each other to observe the same rules and to sit and play the game to the end. Gamers end up as good friends regardless of who won the game (Silvern and Williamson, 2007). Children are seen to develop socially from the games and friends they make at early stages of life
Some early and current social cognitive models provide very useful backgrounds for understanding video games exposure to children. Social cognitive theory and Bandura learning theory (Bandura,1983) suggest that children can learn response behaviors by observing others. Bandura together with his colleagues performed classic experiments using Bobo doll paradigm and showed that children could learn violent behavior through observation of filmed and actual aggression (Bandura, 1961).
According to Huesmann (1998), person’s behavior is guided by internalization, acquisition, and behavioral scripts application. Scripts are known as a highly associated concept sets that guide social events perceptions and social behavior enactment. Children aged 6 to 10 years when exposed to excessive violence from media are more likely to get behavioral scripts that have violence and aggression. Regular rehearsals make aggressive scripts more frequently reachable. Several script theory features have been confirmed empirically, causing development of aggressive behaviors to the children. For example, violent game playing is known to raise the amount of violent behavior content in a complete story task (Bushman & Anderson, 2002).
Several models were developed, like general aggression model that Anderson and his colleagues developed to explain effects of video games on human feelings and development of aggressive behaviors (Anderson et al,2002).GAM incorporates several elements from many theories, to give a description of the person and environment interaction ( Bandura 1971,1973). These elements are, social learning and cognitive theory, cognitive Neoassociationist Model ( Berkowitz 1990), script theory (Huesmann, 1986), effective aggression theory (Geen,1990), social information-processing model ( Anderson and Bushman,2002; Anderson & Dill, 2000).
Research has shown that playing violent video games like Grand Theft causes the development of aggressive behavior in children. Results from experiments, longitudinal and cross-correlation studies show that playing video games contributes to the development of physical aggression. These effects occur in long-term and short-term settings, in both genders and different cultures, and mostly to the children. Aggressive behaviors lead to the production of hostility and irritating feelings (Swing & Anderson, 2010). (Barlett et, 2009) short-term effects of video games cause quick disappear of gameplay mood, but repeated media exposure can cause hostility development (bushman &Huesmann, 2006)
Playing video games, both nonviolent and violent ones, produces physiological arousal (Swing, Gentile, and Anderson, 2009). Anderson and his colleagues (Anderson et al, 2009) found that average violent games size on physiological arousal was r+ = .184, p < .01 meta-analysis. Indicators such as skin conductance, blood pressure, and heart rate were used to measure arousal in experimental studies. According to Flemimg and Ricwood (2001), nonviolent games like FIFA and Madden produce less arousal than violent games. Video games that are more realistic have shown to stimulate more aggressive and arousal thoughts when playing (Barlett and Rodeheffer, 2009). The presence of blood in Grand Theft and other violent games lead to hostility, higher arousal, and cognitions (Ballard & Wiest, 1996; Krcmar & Nowak, 2006).
Exposure to video violence can also cause desensitization development in children aged 6 to 10 years (Carnagey, Anderson, and Bushman, 2007). Desensitization is a process of emotion-related physiology reduction reactivity to violence. This effect can have harmful effects on the children such as aggression disinhibition; this effect can lead to likelihood reduction of helping a victim (Carnagey and Anderson, 2003).
Many studies have shown an undesirable association between the amount of time spent on playing video games and school performance of children. Video game play displaces time consumed on educative activities such as doing homework (Gentile et al., 2004).
Substantial research evidence has shown that video games cause the development of aggression and other aggression-related variables. Harmful effects of video games on children are the development of aggressive behavior, physiological arousal, cognition, desensitization and prosocial behavior (Anderson et al., 2007). These effects can have a greater impact on the children development especially those aged 6 to 10 years.