Video Games Cause Violence
Video Games Cause Violence Video game violence is an increasing problem in today’s youth with violence as one of the most popular themes. Games such as Grand Theft Auto and Call of Duty are among the most popular games and have been scientifically proven to have a major effect on teens. Many people try to argue that there is a difference in the effects between genders, however it has been proven wrong. Video games have the same effects as other forms of entertainment but do not get attacked like video games because the other forms are much larger than video games and have a much wider audience.
Violence in video games is a rising problem in the United States, causing teens to have less self-control and more emotional disturbances, requiring more attention from parents and the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB). Background Violent video games are gaining popularity around the world and are causing more and more problems among teen violence. Seventy-seven percent of people between ages 14 and 18 who took place in a survey reported that they play fighting or shooting games sixty-seven percent of the total time that they play games.
Rashawn Blanchard, author of “Video Games Do Not Cause Violence”, stated “violence in video games simply helps players find release from the frustrations in their daily lives. ” The survey also supported this with most people saying that it is just a game and that they play it to release their anger on something fake that cannot hurt anyone in the real world. They say it all depends on the person though; everyone is different and react to things differently. Younger players would be more influenced by the games, while older players would know what is fake and real.
The Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) rates all the games that are sold to the public. The ESRB rates the games among the content in the games, whether it is a learning games to teach younger kids or a game that you are a person working for the mob, killing people and earning cash to go pay a prostitute. Some people say that the ESRB needs to be stricter to stop younger players from playing more mature games, while others say the ESRB needs to be less strict because if the kid wants it the parents are most likely going to get it for them to make them happy.
The ESRB gives parents the ability to make decisions about the video games they choose for their families through the age and content ratings depending on the action in the game and what it allows you to do. One incident was on April 20, 1999, in the small, suburban town of Littleton, Colorado, two high-school seniors, Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris, enacted an all-out assault on Columbine High School during the middle of the school day. The boys’ plan was to kill hundreds of their peers.
With guns, knives, and a multitude of bombs, the two boys walked the hallways and killed. When the day was done, twelve students, one teacher, and the two murderers were dead. Klebold and Harris seemed to spend their time doing normal teenager activities. They worked together in a local pizza parlor, liked to play Doom (a computer game) in the afternoons, and worried about finding a date to the prom. For all outward appearances, the boys looked like normal teenagers. Looking back, Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris obviously weren’t your average teenagers (Rosenburg).
It is hard to tell if someone is being affected by video games until they tell someone or act out their plan that that has been influenced by the violent games. Another incident happened in Germany when Tim Kretschmer dressed himself in black commando suit and opened fire at random at the Albertville-Realschule school in South Germany, killing nine students and three teachers, before fleeing the scene. He would later shoot another person near a psychiatric hospital, before hijacking a car and forcing the driver to take him to the nearby town of Wendlingen.
Police eventually tracked him down and shot him dead, but not before a gunfight that claimed the lives of two more passers-by, and wounded two police officers. Germany’s already strict gun laws are being examined in the wake of this shooting, while politicians cluck about violence in the media and look at videogames as a possible cause. The country already has a reputation for banning outright any games that offend their censors, and a lot of material fails to (legally) make it to German gamers without heavy edits.
This latest murder spree is not going to help matters at all (Sterling). This type of actions could eventually spread to the United States and make it hard for game makers to make a violent game and cause them to lose prophet and go bankrupt having a small toll on the economy. The Effects of the Games Violent video games are significantly associated with: increased aggressive behavior, thoughts and also cause increased physiological arousal and decreased pro-social behavior (Anderson).
At the Indiana University School of Medicine, researchers say that brain scans of kids who played a violent video game showed an increase in emotional arousal and a corresponding decrease of activity in brain areas involved in self-control, inhibition, and attention. However what was not clear was what the MRI images indicate a lingering–or worse- permanent effect on the child’s brain, and what the effects longer playing times might have (Kalning). All of which are negative effects.
Evidence form brain scans in another test seem to support a connection between playing video games and activation of regions of the brain associated with aggression (Kierkegaard). In the test that Kristin Kalning observed, 44 teens were split into two groups with one group playing “Need for Speed: Underground” (non-violent) and the other group playing “Medal of Honor: Frontlines” (violent). The scans showed a negative effect on the teens who played “Medal of Honor: Frontlines” for 30 minutes. The same effect was not present for the teens who played “Need for Speed: Underground”.
In some cases the high levels of violent video game exposure have been linked to delinquency, fighting at school, and violent criminal behavior (Anderson), which would also support what happened at Columbine High School and in Germany. After visiting the Video Gamers Voters website I found many facts such as: Sixty-seven percent of American heads of households play computer and video games, which would allow these types of players to have more access to weapons. However people at the age old enough to be head of household would know what is right and what is wrong and would have less chances to do something bad.
The average game player is 33 years old and has been playing games for 12 years. With the average age being that high, it might lead to problems with the ESRB restricting younger players from playing more violent games and not damage the industry. Eighty-six percent of game players under the age of 18 report that they get their parents’ permission when renting or buying games, and 91 percent say their parents are present when they buy games. With the parents approving the games there would be less chances for a young player to play games over the age limit.
Thirty-six percent of American parents say they play computer and video games. Further, 80 percent of gamer parents say they play video games with their kids. Sixty-six percent feel that playing games has brought their families closer together. With the parents participating in the games with the children there would be more guidance for the children to prevent the violent behaviors and the parents could also explain the different things that might happen in the game. Thirty-eight percent of all game players are women.
In fact, women over the age of 18 represent a significantly greater portion of the game-playing population (31%) than boys age 17 or younger (20%). Which leads to PC Magazine saying that women have receive less effects than men, however they are not as likely to play a violent video game reducing the amount of violent video games sold. In 2007, 24 percent of Americans over the age of 50 played video games, an increase from nine percent in 1999. With a wider audience playing video games more people will understand the effects of the games and will work to prevent it.
Forty-nine percent of game players say they play games online one or more hours per week. With the online play it can not be controlled to what other people do or say to each other, maybe causing other players to get angry and want to release on something else. 97 percent of the people that participated in a survey at Pasco High School stated that they played online most of the time that they played video games exposing them to more uncontrollable violent behavior. After conducting a survey among 57 peers at Pasco High School, I found that 11 of those 57 did not play video games at all. 1 percent of the males that participated in the survey did not play video games. 75 percent of the males surveyed played violent video games with 71 percent playing them most, if not all, of the time. Among the ones that played the violent video games, 100 percent of their parents approved the games and bought the games for them. 31 percent of the females surveyed do not play video games. 53 percent of the females that play video games play violent ones. The females that played the violent games played them most of the time, with all their parents approving.
How to Solve the Problem One way of solving the problem is for the ESRB to become stricter. Most of the gamers do not want this to happen and think it should be less strict allowing them to play the games that they want to play. However with all the crimes committed by younger people being blamed on video games the ESRB might not have a choice and be forced to raise the age limits for the more violent games. Another is for parents to control the games the kids play and not allow them to play the more vulgar games.
Parents should not only know what the games are they should know what is in the games to see if they approve the games. If the parents just don’t care about the games the kids have more chances of being effected by the games and become more violent, making it partially the parents fault for not supervising their kids and allowing them to play the games. Another very unlikely thing to do is for the players to not play nearly as long as they normally would. This would reduce the effects on the players and still allow them to play.
With the kids not playing as long it would allow them to do other things such as homework or go outside and play giving them exercise, however it is not something that the players want because most are addicted to the games. Any of these would drastically reduce the violent behavior and most likely reduce other problems in society. Violence in video games is a mounting problem in our society and needs to be stopped. In order for things to change everyone needs do their part to solve the problem and stick to what they choose. Once this is done the society will be much better.