Violent video games encourage bullying among youngsters.


ISLAMABAD -- With no schoolwork to keep them busy, many kids are stuck at home, glued to their video games. And in the wake of the recent mass shooting in the US - where the gunman said he was inspired by the combat game Call of Duty - local experts have expressed their concern about the youngsters' gaming hobby.

While the experts say gun violence is a far-fetched incident in the UAE, they have raised caution on the ill effects of wanton exposure to video games, noting that these "have become more realistic, and violent games have become more diverse".

According to senior psychiatrist Sadia Tariq said: "When a child excessively uses violent video games, it normalizes what is otherwise considered aggressive.

It creates a pattern that can build up over time. Repeated exposure decreases the way we react to violent situations, thus creating a less sensitive response to brutality.

"To say that there is no direct correlation between violent video games and actual crimes is a flawed judgment that begs for more studies as longitudinal research is lacking - specifically, a study on the effect of habitual exposure that leads to later crimes, adding massacres in the civilized societies of the developed countries took place at the hands of the youth who spent much of their time in playing these violent video games', she mentioned.

Another well known psychiatrist in the capital Ajmal Bukhari emphasized that increased aggressive behavior and thoughts could increase social disorder.

"My theory is that the effect may not be short-term, but long-term," he underlined.

He also said violent video games have started to proliferate in the late 1990s, where games rewarded killing innocent bystanders and even children, using various tools and instruments, including knives, flame throwers, swords, metals, cars and baseball bats.

'My own children were mesmerized of violent video games with the strangers on internet which brought multiple behavior related complaints, they became grumpy with peers, rude with teachers and siblings, adding they developed a concept that beating and bullying the innocent folks around them...

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