I am with you about violent video games, Gail, and was equally thankful when my grandson showed minimal interest in them. My daughter has done a good job of monitoring what he watches and plays, but he was introduced to the more violent games at the homes of friends. He was appalled. It shocked me that his friends’ parents allowed such games!
I definitely see a difference in the kids who are allowed to play the more violent games or the ones who play any sort of video games for long hours. Both show less compassion, have quicker tempers, and are less verbal, struggling to express themselves well with greatly reduced vocabularies. Certainly, this observation is not scientific and simply my own, but I can almost flawlessly pick out the violent video game players or the ones who play any games for long hours from others in a group.
After getting his first video game console when he was seven (superheroes — some violence but unrealistic), my grandson was enthralled and played as often and for as long as he was allowed. Even in a controlled situation, I noticed a difference in his attitude. When not playing, he withdrew to his room, argued with his sister more, and engaged in conversation less. Thankfully, he tired of the games, became interested in soccer, started spending more time with the family or outdoors, and returned to being a great conversationalist, and gets along much better with his sister.
Could all be coincidental but I don’t believe so!