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    Danger of Video Games (838 words)

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    Claims say that violence in video games are linked to violent behavior, aggression and massacres. In the article “The media on my mind: adventures in pop culture: video games, violence and a false premise” Harvey Roy Greenberg (2013) argues that violence in video games and violence in the media are not the cause for aggression or public massacres. But more so due to mental illness and gun laws.

    The author made three distinct points that stood out about the issue involving media violence, gun laws and mass shootings. He references a study by Christopher J. Ferguson who conducted an analysis of research projects. Ferguson supposedly proved that violent video games provoked aggression in youthful players, but he then found that the conclusive study was in fact flawed (Greenberg, 2013, p.1). Another point he made was that legal authorities and certifiable hunters should only carry single-shot guns; restricting the gun laws therefore, less homicides (Greenberg, 2013, p.2) He importantly mentioned how the United States’ course of mass shootings basically does not exist in countries all over the world where video gaming is taken very seriously and more so addicting (Greenberg, 2013, p.2). In this critique I will discuss my agreements and disagreements about the authors points, including research I have found to support my evidence.

    Firstly, Greenberg brings up Ferguson’s study of violent video games provoking aggression in youthful players that was proved wrong. But however, there have been many times where teenagers wanted to emulate such behaviors seen in video games. For instance, two teenagers from Tennessee shot at passing by cars and killed one driver. They told the police that they got the idea from playing Grand Theft Auto. (‘Did Video Game Drive Teens to Shootings?’, 2003). It is not the first time the game Grand Theft Auto has been linked to bouts of real-life violence. Video games are stimulating and can be a teaching tool, therefore I do not agree that video game violence cannot provoke aggression since there are some youths who it has influenced. In addition, this ties up with Greenberg’s second point, gun laws. How did the teenagers get ahold of the firearms? If gun laws were more enacted this incident along with other homicides could have been avoided which is something I completely agree with. If only legal authorities and certified hunters only carried guns, the teenagers would have had a harder time obtaining the firearm. Greenberg argues that “If you tote your legal gun into a bar, athletic event or problematic marriage, it will be easy for you to pull it”. This is a great point that I strongly agree with. If you know that the people who surround you might be carrying a firearm, would you feel safe’since people can own a legal gun it would be easy for them to use it in any instance.

    Lastly, Greenberg’s third point states that “Our cascade of Newtowns, Auroras and Columbines simply do not exist in nations across the world whose youth are devoted to video gaming. Even more ardent fans can be found in places such as Japan and South Korea” (Greenberg, 2013, p.2). Greenberg does not include evidence of why massacres do not exist in other nations, leading his statement to be questionable. From doing my own research I found that Japan, South Korea and Australia rarely have mass shootings because people are required to meet exhaustive standards in order to obtain a firearm. (Chan, T. F., 2018). This information clarifies the reason why other nations like Japan, do not have Sandy Hook-like massacres when they also play many video games. When looking at the typical massacres that happen in the United States it is because they have easy access to guns. This differentiates the reason why video games are not to blame for massacres.

    Finally, my conclusion is that violence in video games are not the reason for every mass shooting or aggression people may have. I say not for every massacre or reason of aggression due to evidence that showed people who have mimicked violent behaviors shown in violent video games. But for the rest, guns are more accessible in the United States compared to Japan hence why mass shootings are most likely to happen. The article itself was not straight forward and many of the authors arguments were not supported with much evidence to prove why his claims are correct. I would have found Greenberg’s article to be more engaging if he included more research, stats and evidence. Overall, the examples he gave were good and made me think of how other places in the world are more developed.

    References

    1. Did Video Game Drive Teens to Shootings? (2003, September 06). Retrieved from https://abcnews.go.com/GMA/story?id=124797;page=1
    2. Chan, T. F. (2018, February 22). Australia, Israel, Japan, and South Korea rarely have mass shootings – and the reasons are clear. Retrieved from https://www.businessinsider.com/how-other-countries-avoid-mass-shootings-2018-2
    3. Greenberg, R. H. (2013). The media on my mind: adventures in pop culture: video games, violence, and a false premise. Clinical psychiatry news, 41(2), 1-2.

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    Danger of Video Games (838 words). (2022, Apr 27). Retrieved from https://artscolumbia.org/danger-of-video-games-176210/

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