Playing video games does not cause violent behavior. Don’t get me wrong, some video games show horrific acts of violence. “A recent survey found that 92 percent of U.S. kids–ages 2 to 17–play video games, and their parents bought 225 million of them last year to the tune of $6.4 billion.” (Sider 79).What’s here to argue is that violent video games do not cause violence among children, but the blame for violence should be on the individual and people who should have taught the individual better. If kids are not able to see the difference between reality and fantasy, then they really can’t be blamed for committing acts they see in a game and then imitating, not fully understanding the consequences of doing it in the real world. Parents should be the overall deciders of what they want their children playing, watching, and doing.Order now
Being left with the right to raise their child in their fashion, parents should find out what the child is playing and limit or restrict them, so then parents can’t blame anything on video games if their kid commits a violent act. With video games as the new part of our pop culture, many adults find it hard to understand why children would want to spend so much time playing with these “idiot boxes”. With this lack of understanding comes fear, for, as humans, we fear what we do not know. So all that will come of this cycle is people will continue to play video games, something new in our pop culture will come and replace video games, and it will be radical for our pop culture and taken on as the root of all evil due to lack of understanding.
With the high rise in violent video games in the last few years, adults see certain acts of violence portrayed in some video games to be a cause of violent acts committed by kids. This is such an easy decision to make, lay blame on something that is new, something radical like violent video games. People don’t even take a look back and remember “Novels, films, radio, and television have all been accused of leading young people astray and inducing violent or antisocial behavior. The fuss about video games may be just another case of curmudgeons complaining” (Walling 1436). If they saw these then they would see a pattern and might not think of pop-culture as harshly. Unfortunately many people do not, and then they blame it on everything but themselves. These arguments are fueled by certain acts of violence; one main support is the Columbine schools shooting where the two kids had been avid players of the video game DOOM (a first-person shooter where you go through levels killing monsters).
People hear these arguments, but what they don’t hear is that Harris and Klebold had many personal problems, such as being harassed at school, neglected by parents, and family problems. These problems could have easily given them a warped view on fantasy and reality, and are usually completely overlooked by many people. This example and many more are the fuel for such organizations as MAVAV (Mothers Against Videogame Addiction and Violence), “While video game companies continue to market violence aimed at vulnerable children and young teens. And the newest absurdity, underground video game cultures which takes gaming to another level, tainted with online “clans”, singling out of people, hatred, racism, and sexism.” These groups seek a more governmental control of video games. “Video games are the topic on the surface… a convenient scapegoat for people who do not want to probe deeper into the problem of where the “ambition to kill” come from.” (Zarozinski). It’s easy to read something in the news and take in only what they tell you, but before you go forming extreme views on this subject make sure you know some background facts on those certain cases supporting your arguments.
Violent video games are not the problem with certain cases of youth violence today, but more of the individual being the result. “All work and no play make people dull”. Video games, these are play tools, used to waste time in a constructive manner. “Good games can do lots of things: fulfill a need for adventure and fantasy, help kids role-play and problem-solve. We’ve got to remember that games, while serious, are about play as well.” (Sider 79). Play is necessary for the development of healthy creative individuals, so how can play be harming our children. These problems are all about how much the individual is in touch with reality and knows what they are seeing and doing in the fantasy game land. What some of these games do is show violence (like many other forms of media do) over and over again desensitizing the youths of feelings of remorse while doing these play-violent acts in game.
Many of these games encourage play-violent acts, but as far as causing an individual to get off their couch and be violent, ha, these games cause more instances of laziness. Also, an individual is highly less likely to see violent video games in a negative way if the individual is not prone to violent acts, and/or they know the boundaries of fantasy and reality. “The effect may depend on individual characteristics, including age and mood before playing the game, as well as the characteristics and complexity of the game itself. Modern, more realistic games may have very different effects than earlier versions” (Walling 1436). These games, among other things like other forms of media, make up our pop culture, and as Thom Gillespie argues “Media in all forms can move people to consider things they had not considered before. But media cannot take over a mind and make anyone do something he’s not predisposed to do.”(Zarozinski). Basically stating, violent video games do not make youths violent unless they are violent to begin with.
Parental involvement in these matters is a must, for a child’s biggest role model, they should be there every step of the way. When involving themselves in video game playing they must always watch what game is coming into their house and not be influenced by outside scare-tactics to close their mind towards certain games. What outside people are trying to say is that violent video games should be regulated by the government, like cigarettes and how you can only buy them when you are 18 or older. Video games, violent or not, should be restricted by parents. Companies nowadays are helping this cause by rating their games like TV shows: C (child), T (teen), E (everyone), M (mature), A (adult). “The video game industry is the only entertainment industry in the United States that voluntarily rates itself. This allows players and parents to judge if a game is appropriate.”(Zarozinski).
These ratings tell parents if the game is suitable for the child, so the companies leave it to the parents to decide what their children can play. If parents regulate, participate, and teach their children about these games, then the children shouldn’t be at risk. Violence from video games won’t make passive youths violent when they know the boundaries of fantasy world. Also if they haven’t been taught what is real and acceptable in our world, than aren’t the ones to blame their teachers (Parents, guardians, teachers, etc.)? Use common sense; if you don’t teach a child to speak, do you get mad at them for not talking? Parents, guardians, teachers, or anyone the child looks up to should be teaching this child how to live a productive life in the real world. When the fantasy world is brought into the picture these lessons should let the child know that certain actions in fantasy world are not appropriate in the real world, thus the separation. Let’s say boy “X” lives with his parents; one day he buys a violent video game, takes it home and plays it. Now the boy is partaking in play-violent acts in a fantasy world. When the game is turned off, he must make certain choices based on what he has learned in life to either further or suppress violent tendencies.
Violence in video games does not cause violence in children. Many studies will go off on how violent video games will increase aggression in youths. Well sure, give a kid a game and bring him/her to a point in the game they can’t pass, and they would get frustrated, come on anyone would. However not just anyone wouldn’t pick up a fire arm and gun down their school, as shown with Harris and Klebold had to have many personal problems before resorting to such actions. These problems included being harassed at school, neglected by parents, and family problems. Common sense should tell you that violent video games don’t cause children to do violent things. “They’re not a threat to public order(Video Games). . . What they’re doing makes them less likely to be a threat to public order. They’re getting their jones — they’re satisfying their antisocial impulses in a completely harmless way.”(Van Horn). Also, play is necessary for a healthy child’s growth, and video games are a good source of play. Although if a child is violent to begin with or can not make the distinction between reality and fantasy, violent video games may not be right for these kids to be playing.
The individual should be to blame if he or she commits a violent act, and their parents should be the ones to find this out and crack down on it. Parents should be the ones limiting the game play or overall just teaching the kids about what to take from these games and what not to. For video games do offer advantages to kids besides just play, such as fulfill a want for adventure and fantasy, they can role play and problems solve, and even improve hand-eye coordination. So now you have seen the argument on video game violence; I hope you will step a little out of the box, look in on this situation and laugh, and then find something more worthwhile to go argue over.
Walling, Annie. “Do Video Games Lead to Violent Behavior in Children?” American Family Physician 65 (2002): 1436
“The Video Game Factor, Teen Violence & the Blame Game” Brandweek (1999)
Gillespie, Thom “Violence, Games & Art – Part 1” Technos: Quarterly for Education and Technology (2000)
Gillespie, Thom “Violence, Games & Art – Part 2” Technos: Quarterly for Education and Technology (2000)
Dietz, Tracy “An examination of violence and gender role portrayals in video games: implications for gender socialization and aggressive behavior” Sex Roles: A Journal of Research (1998)
Collins, Glen. Video Games a Diversion or a Danger?. The New York Times, 1983.
Gerdes, Louise. Media Violence Opposing Viewpoints. Michigan: Greenhaven Press, 2004
Sider, Don. “Virtual Vice? This holiday season, some video games come wrapped in sex, gore and controversy. What can parents do?” Time, Inc 58 (2002): 79
Zarozinski, Michael. “Video Game Violence”
Louder than a Bomb! 12 Sep. 2001
Louder than a bomb! Software. 14 Feb, 2005.