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Video game controversies are societal and scientific arguments about whether the content of video games change the behavior and attitudes of a player, and whether this is reflected in video game culture overall.Since the early 1980s, advocates of video games have emphasized their use as an expressive medium, arguing for their protection under the laws governing freedom of speech and also as an educational tool.
A study by the Minneapolis-based National Institute for Media and the Family suggests that video games can be addictive for kids, and that the kids' addiction to video games increases their depression and anxiety levels.
Other biological theories of aggression and hurt have specifically excluded video game and other media effects because the evidence for such effects is considered weak and the impact too distant.
For example, the catalyst model of aggression comes from a diathesis-stress perspective, implying that aggression is due to a combination of genetic risk and environmental strain.
Results of investigations into links between video games and addiction, aggression, violence, social development, and a variety of stereotyping and sexual morality issues are debated.
The Entertainment Software Association reports that 17% of video game players are boys under the age of eighteen and that 36% are women over the age of eighteen, with 48% of all gamers being women of all ages.
They also report that the average age of gamers is 31.A survey of 1,102 children between 12 and 17 years of age found that 97% are video game players who have played in the last day and 75% of parents checked the censor's rating on a video game before allowing their child to purchase it.Of these children, 14% of girls and 50% of boys favored games with an "M" (mature) or "AO" (adult-only) rating.Since the late 1990s, some acts of violence have been highly publicized because the perpetrators had a history of playing video games containing violent elements.Some research proposes violent video game use correlates with a temporary increase in aggression and a decrease in prosocial behavior (caring about the welfare and rights of others), but these results have not been reproduced.Some scientists propose that particular conditions, for example antisocial personality disorder, may determine those who are most at risk of carrying out violent acts after playing video games.