First things first, violent video games have proven to influence aggression, bullying, and fighting, however can indeed directly contribute to extremely violent behaviors. Violence in video games has been around as long as they have been around, and it has been proven that video games do indeed cause violence in children.
Violence in video games can directly cause violent behavior.
Violence in shooting games depicts extremely realistic violent actions, and as technology improves, so does the realism of the games themselves. More than in any other form of media, video games encourage violence the most, as the player themselves is the one who is committing the actions. From a youth’s perspective standpoint, monkey see, monkey do is a common psychological reaction. Unfortunately, in violent games, this can create a violent behavior in young adults and children.
Violent characters in video games can influence children.
Violent Characters depicted in video games has been proven to lead youth to mimic the actions and behaviors of these characters in real-life as a sort of acting them out. This not only reinforces violent behavior, but can also confuse children into being unable to distinguish virtual violence from real-life violence.
Violent video games desensitize players to real life violence.
Video game violence has proven time and time again to also desensitize players to actual real-life violence. A study found that after only 20 minutes of in-game violence can cause the player(or viewer) to become more desensitized by violent actions. It has also been proven that people who are more desensitized to violence are also more likely to commit violent acts. More details here :http://www.parenting.com/gallery/violent-video-games
Many perpetrators of mass shootings played video games.
One relevant example of this is the events that happened at the Columbine High School in 1999. The teenagers who engaged in the massacre of 13 students had frequently played violent video games. And it unfortunately does not end there. Time and time again, we see these mass shootings with similarities, such as James Holmes in the Aurora, the Colorado movie theater shooting, and Anders Breivik(who had claimed to use the game, ‘Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2’ to train for his actual shooting); all events of mass shootings all of who were avid violent video game players. In a FBI school shooter assessment, it had been claimed that a student who makes threats of violence should be considered more likely to actually commit the act if they spend an extensive amount of violent games.
In the end, it is clear that violence in video games can most certainly influence and cause youth to take aggressive actions. While video games are certainly fun and entertaining for kids and adults to play, it is important to realize the effects playing them for extended periods of time can result in. Engaging in a healthy amount of time in non-violent video games is ok, but at the end of the day, remember to entertain you and your children in ways that do not involve the media for a while.