"The short answer is yes, video games do in fact influence the behavior of children, however not nearly to the extent that the media claims. Really everything in the media influences children in one way or another, and the truth of the matter is that there are way more things being aimed towards children that have far worse effects on children then pixilated violence. The worst these kids ever do is act out their video games during play, it’s no different than playing cops and robbers."
I have been involved in the videogame industry for 15 years, and I have been playing videogames for 30 years (some violent), so I have some experience in this area. This is a picture of my youngest daughter playing the Xbox 360 about a month before it official shipped in 2005.
I agree with most of his article, but my "short answer" would be NO. But like all absolute statements, there are always some qualifications.
If someone is already prone to violence, videogames might give a child ideas and tactics that they might not have thought of on their own. Same could be said of TV shows, movies, books, even stories told by friends and family.
Videogames can be something that a child uses to escape "the real world," just like TV, books, or hanging out alone in a bedroom. The truth is, I've seen my kids become more social as they play online. As they play even non-violent games, I see them planning strategies, learning teamwork skills, handling pressure, losing gracefully, and working together with friends.
Videogames are part of our culture, especially with our kids. If they're not playing them in your home, they're playing them at a friend's house. Rather than lumping all videogames into bad vs. good, it's best for parents to be mindful of what their kids are playing.
There are good tools parents can use, from parental controls on a game console (you can block games with certain ratings, or even limit the time kids can play per day or week), to watching what games your child is playing from their public or local gaming profile. You should even take time to play games with them, to get a good idea of what a game is like, and what your child is like when they're playing them.
The ESA (Entertainment Software Association) has come up with the ESRB ratings sytem, and they enforce it among game manufacturers and retailers. They also have some good tips for parents at their website, including A Parent's Guide to Video Games, Parental Controls and Online Safety (English).
Another great site for parents is What They Play, a great site created to help parents learn about every videogame their kids might be playing. They have a newsletter, and even a podcast. Check it out.