Guest host David Lazarus asked this question on the program last year, when the Supreme Court was weighing whether or not to uphold California’s ban on selling or renting such games to children. In June the court ruled that it was unconstitutional and that governments do not have the power to "restrict the ideas to which children may be exposed" despite complaints about graphic violence.
At the time, Lazarus was skeptical that his own young son’s behavior could be affected by violent video games. But a year later, he’s not so sure. Could his son’s behavioral changes be attributable to the increasingly aggressive video games he plays – or simply to the natural tendencies of pre-adolescent boys?
Is this a question you’ve asked yourself as a parent? Do you continue to restrict your child’s exposure to violent games, despite the Supreme Court’s ruling? Do your children seem more aggressive or violent after playing Resident Evil 4 or Grand Theft Auto?
Christopher Ferguson, Department Chair & Professor of Clinical Forensic Psychology, Texas A & M International