On whether video games lead to violence:
It’s very difficult to give a definite answer on this topic, mainly because there can be so may variables like what game is being played, how long and often, how old the player is, whether the player is predisposed to aggressive behavior, etc. Not to mention how new this field is, it’s only just recently that the first generation that is young enough to have grown up playing games, but old enough to have kids came into consideration.
There are some studies that have found a direct correlation between playing violent video games leading to more aggressive behavior. In playing the games, children become desensitized to the violent imagery, which usually makes them less disturbed about it and therefore deal more easily with it in real life. The games also make them more likely to use an aggressive answer to a problem, and that they’ll behave as they would on the video game when real-life conflicts arise. A lot of video games give immediate feedback and constant small rewards like points, or access to new levels or weapons, reinforcing the violent behavior.
Of course video games can some times be used be the media and politicians who need something to blame on an individual’s violent behavior, but when video games aren't about violence, they can easily be used to teach. Like for people who have a fear of flying, of spiders, or post traumatic stress disorder, therapists are starting to use tools like virtual realities for desensitizing. The games also make it easier for kids to remember information. There are also video games help diabetic kids learn how to take better care of themselves that were shown to decrease their diabetes-related emergency visits by 77 percent.
My personal opinion is that video games, for the most part do not cause violent behavior as long as they are properly handled. I wouldn’t allow games with realistic combat, like Grand Theft Auto, or World War II games, but would permit more cartoony...