How do video games affect behavior?

How do video games affect behavior?

The growth of media has had an ever-expanding role in the lives of children, especially in terms of a child’s physical and mental health. Here, Michael Rich, MD, MPH, director of the Center on Media and Child Health at Boston Children’s Hospital, comments on media as a force that powerfully affects child development, health, and behavior. Paying particular attention to TV, movies, music, and video games, Rich offers perspective on common concerns over media and suggests ways to avoid the media’s negative effects.


  1. Danielle Keuss on October 31, 2019 at 5:41 pm

    We can not deny that there is a direct link between children’s behavior and playing violent video games and watching violent television. Just like Michael Rich notes in this video, a child can develop better soccer playing decision skills by playing soccer related video games. A child can also develop poor decision making skills and violent behavior by playing the violence driven games. It is ultimately up to the parent on enforcing what the child can or can not play and what is deemed acceptable behavior in their household.

  2. Rhyme Games - Puzzles, Jigsaws, Toys and More on October 31, 2019 at 5:41 pm

    What a great video. Thanks for the work you put into it! Keep it up

  3. Alexander Dalgliesh on October 31, 2019 at 5:41 pm

    They are games, if everyone who played a game rated higher than their age then the world would be in turmoil. You would have to have a brain disorder of some kind to do that.

  4. Hunter Avery on October 31, 2019 at 5:42 pm

    Everything controls your thinking and behavior on a subconscious level . . . and games (the vast majority anyhow) do reflect your imagination.

  5. The Real Batman on October 31, 2019 at 5:43 pm

    Thats odd i dont ever recall my thoughts being controlled by a game

  6. Alfredo Ornelas on October 31, 2019 at 5:46 pm

    this made me want to go play GTA

  7. domhamai on October 31, 2019 at 5:47 pm

    I disagree, a game has to reflect existing interest and imagination for the child/adolescent to wish to purchase it in the first place.

  8. YaBoiPigo on October 31, 2019 at 5:47 pm

    I played half life once

    There were no survivors

  9. Filips Andrejevs on October 31, 2019 at 5:48 pm

    2:18 wait what

  10. Lay.Z Anime on October 31, 2019 at 5:52 pm

    As a person who grew up in foster care, I will say this. One of the major things I did to cope was playing video games. It wasn’t video games that made me want to fight. It was real people in the real word. And I chose to play a video game instead of fighting. So it’s not going to brain wash us into thinking murder is ok, it’s not going to make us think hey I get rewarded for robbing a bank in game so I can do it in real life. Many people like myself have played video games as a coping skill because of the reality of our real life. It’s a escape. Wait? That’s bad? That’s not healthy? Ok so what about people who cope with movies and TV shows? What about people who cope by reading? They can escape to their false reality but we can’t? And then there are people who play video games as a hobby.

  11. Gerontogeous Hesperian on October 31, 2019 at 5:55 pm

    PG for disembowelling? Really?

  12. R. Cogburn on October 31, 2019 at 5:57 pm

    The outdoors as a child only occurs once. Gaming will be around forever. My son is five and his social skills are derived from my fathering ability and being with other kids playing. Would I introduce a video game? What for? So he is tech savvy as a teenager? A discussion can be made from both sides of the isle. I will wait to introduce video games. My son is only a boy once. The greatness that needs to be participated in can only be done off the couch. Gaming is to easy. Try reality instead.

  13. Andrew Santini on October 31, 2019 at 5:59 pm

    Gta 5 is life

  14. Kandibar K on October 31, 2019 at 6:00 pm

    What about when children play violent video games? When they are rewarded, don’t you think that they will be encouraged to do this in real life?! 

  15. Dylan Flynn on October 31, 2019 at 6:03 pm

    OK dude so now im gonna go grab an all powerful floating star grow to be 80 ft tall and step on people

    This is what gamers get out of this
    p.s. what about violent movies songs plays ect so stop blaming things you dont like if your gonna blame them blame them all -_-

  16. Ibraheem hamirani on October 31, 2019 at 6:03 pm

    I’ve got a question…if your killing something, that looks like a human, talks like a human, walks like a human, (usual aspects of a human), doesn’t that make U a killer or somewhat….cause ur killing something that represents human beings or totally looks like a human…..

  17. tigerjack399 on October 31, 2019 at 6:03 pm

    I disagree, I’ve been playing video game since I was a little kid many of them violent, half-life, Grand Theft Auto, and Doom just to name a few.

    not that long ago I stumbled across the filmed and very real video of the public suicide of politician Robert Budd Dwyer, I was very unnerved.

    the fact is in a healthy human being no amount of virtual violence, no matter how realistic or over the top, will desensitize you to the real thing.

  18. Mick Vang on October 31, 2019 at 6:05 pm

    As a regular gamer, naturally I will disagree to this video. I do however, see some of his points. I also will point out that many parents ALLOW their kids to play violent video games. ‘My son is 10, but this game is rated M18+… hmm.’ I’m not putting all the blame on parents, but just kindly reminding that parents are essential to these kinds of topics. I have no idea why they are commonly left out. Worse of all, many parents blame violence on the games they BOUGHT for their child. Now yes, acting violence out virtually can promote violence in reality, but the normally, the kid doesn’t know much better. That’s why they have parents. And just pointing out, flight simulators are EXTREMELY HELPFUL for the real world, thank you very much. Just because it was used for harmful purposes, does not mean it’s entirely bad. Do you want all the new pilots to fly without any simulation? Gee, why don’t you ride on with him then. As a 17 year old gamer, I actually think games have had both negative and positive effects on me. However, I believe that the positive outweigh the negative (at least depending on the kid). Sure, I’m not in the best physical condition, but I bet that expert that I could whoop him in a Chess game, or some other stratagy related board game.

  19. Benjamin gutierrez oriol on October 31, 2019 at 6:06 pm

    I played Mortal Kombat II since I was a kid, and I am totally peaceful, because I knew it was only a game and whatever I did in the game I suppose to do not do it in real life.

  20. spoonwitz on October 31, 2019 at 6:07 pm

    I just lol’ed

  21. maria makinen on October 31, 2019 at 6:07 pm

    I dislike n am not into any such games

  22. Gerontogeous Hesperian on October 31, 2019 at 6:07 pm

    Children using flight simulators to cause mass killings?

  23. Myles Frost on October 31, 2019 at 6:08 pm

    What game can you kill so.eone which isnt a 15+

  24. Pierre Hodges on October 31, 2019 at 6:10 pm

    Massive surprise: if a game is rated 18 then kids under the age of 18 should not be playing it. What a concept! Parents actually need to monitor what their kids are playing?! WOW!!
    This crazy idea is called BEING A PARENT!

  25. Dymeleon on October 31, 2019 at 6:12 pm

    Games are not the issue, violence in games are not the issue, boobs in games are not the issue, and the list goes on……. Humans are violent creatures we just like carnage and dramas. Just look at the gladiator games in ancient rome, now that was considered entertainment in those days along with guillotine executions in medieval times. The point is they obviously had way better video games back in the day

  26. bipsterdigicom on October 31, 2019 at 6:12 pm

    I have never done something bad and thought to myself I saw this in a video game

  27. Manjinder Kaur on October 31, 2019 at 6:12 pm

    If your permit me can I please use your video for my college website project.?

  28. Skye Smith on October 31, 2019 at 6:13 pm

    I believe he’s right in saying that these games are a great tool in teaching. It gives you hands on experience rather than just being told how to do something or watching someone else do it etc. But ultimately it comes down to the parents educating their children on what violence is and what it means. Just because the child is rewarded in the game for doing such violent acts its obviously important that child is taught that those types of rewards would not happen in a real life situation involving violence. 

  29. gonz8821 on October 31, 2019 at 6:13 pm

    I think we, as a society, are missing the point. Children develop an immunity to violence when playing these violent games. They are less likley to feel any emotion when violent acts are experienced in their lives. The subconscious part of the mind reacts differently in all people, but kids are not suppose to feel numb to those types of serious situations.

  30. Blake Davis on October 31, 2019 at 6:15 pm

    He said that terrorists sat in front of flight simulators which taught them to fly a plane into the world trade center towers.. then he relates it to kids playing shooting games implying that they are going to end up as killing machines. That is an awful comparison due to the fact that the terrorists were grown men and had an ulterior motive for using the flight simulators.

  31. Luis Garzon on October 31, 2019 at 6:20 pm

    I’ve played quite a lot of Skyrim, but idk shit about dragon slaying… i would shit myself if i saw one.

  32. Kyu on October 31, 2019 at 6:22 pm

    Nothing PG has disembowelling.

  33. Kenneth on October 31, 2019 at 6:22 pm

    Oh no, I played Virtual Chess! I’m gonna grab the pistol in my dads closet and kill people in a mall!

  34. Jak Mar on October 31, 2019 at 6:23 pm

    If that’s true then sometime in the future I will burn chains on to my arms and start chopping up people, monsters and Greek gods.

  35. CaptainSlow on October 31, 2019 at 6:24 pm

    This guy obviously haven’t played DOTA 2 yet. Worst behaviour and toxicity you’ve ever encountered. 

  36. The Real Batman on October 31, 2019 at 6:26 pm

    and killing someone in Call of duty is not the samething as taking someone life out of cold blood and feeling nothing. It doesnt happen like that.

  37. Rayan Zarei on October 31, 2019 at 6:26 pm

    This is a COMPLETLY biase opinion again first person shooters. This is pathetic and not true

  38. BrainDoge on October 31, 2019 at 6:27 pm

    had to stop at 2:20… is he blaming flight simulators for bringing the world trade center down? really?

  39. Xavier Ocasio on October 31, 2019 at 6:27 pm

    So if I play little big planet im gonna shoot a school full of kids?

  40. Commander Sheepherd on October 31, 2019 at 6:27 pm

    That is actually false. They do not control you in anyway and there is nothing that proves that. I have been playing video games for nearly 15 years and i have not felt any different in terms of psychological negativity. I would agree that violent video games tend to leave a bad taste in your brain but that is where the parents come into play. There is a reason why video games have a rating.

  41. Ambient Heat on October 31, 2019 at 6:27 pm


  42. Striker51z on October 31, 2019 at 6:29 pm

    They’re controlling your thinking and behavior huh? My question to you my good sir is how this is done and what are they changing your mind to be?

  43. HereChunk2 on October 31, 2019 at 6:30 pm

    @Salvador dordor nothing you say about video games is true

  44. Náhodný Kolemjdoucí on October 31, 2019 at 6:31 pm

    Saying that videogames make you more violent is like saying that paintball makes you more violent becuase in their core they are the same "We are Team 1 they are Team 2 and we have to win." It’s about cooperation and reliance on your team mates. The "violence" is pushed on the very bottom. "I was playing a video game before I killed that person." is only a safe way of defense in the court. It’s 21st century! Who haven’t played a video game in their life?

  45. Monojit Bhattacherjee on October 31, 2019 at 6:32 pm

    very nice

  46. demonpride1975 on October 31, 2019 at 6:33 pm

    lol i have a major issue where he says if you look down the barrel of a gun you will get better at it.NO you wont. it is a big difference. you wont get better at flying a plane by playing a simulator. this stuff takes real life training with said objects not a simulation. you may get an idea but you wont get better at it. apparently shooting a gun 500 yards takes real skill.

  47. Lalo Dominguez on October 31, 2019 at 6:36 pm

    because younger "experts" dont have nearly as much as experience as him. aduh..

  48. Mr.Koopaville on October 31, 2019 at 6:38 pm

    No this is wrong it turns us into squids

  49. arobbieBasel on October 31, 2019 at 6:38 pm

    subcontinental? As in underneath the earth? hmm

  50. Thomas Hetty on October 31, 2019 at 6:38 pm

    omg when is the media gonna move away from games i mean suriasly they blame game but not the parents like wtf um thats why there is a raiting for the game i hope they read this comment becuse i am pissed off by this trying to get rid of are hobby bucuse they whant evry one yo be the same i know what they should just lock us up in a cell so we are not able to do anything and also the are no proff for the vilonce that has happen becuse this is usely what happens they dont find out what happend

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