Video Game Violence Essay, Research Paper
Doomed: Are Teens Taking Video Games to Far?
A sniper perched high in a eagle’s nest zooms in through his scope to the head of his enemy, pulls the trigger, the enemy falls to the ground headless. This is a image that is common in the world of war, and now in the world of video games. Teens all over the world have become completely addicted to first person fighting games. With technology as great as it is today game makers are able to designed games that are so real it is truly scary. Millions of teens ( mostly male) play games in which they walk around various levels picking up weapons and killing ruthlessly their opponent. In the same day, we have teens walking around schools killing classmates ruthlessly. As an avid video game player I admit I have played many of the “shoot’em up” games. I completely agree that these games are fun and tend to feed the male ego. I also have played games that are too violent. Games wherein enemies bleed everywhere and almost nonstop. Games that you can see the opponent’s facial expression before your shoot them between the eyes. I have even played a game in which there is a secret level that is modeled after Columbine. Do these violent video games influence teen violence?
Probably the first violent video game was Death Race, which spawned in the 1970’s. The object was to drive and kill as many pedestrians as possible. Early games such as Missile Command and Space Invaders both had to do with the destruction of the planet. (Violence, 375) With the onset of “Nintendo” the video game world exploded, going from one home console to a 6.1 billion dollar industry. In the 1980’s video game companies designed games for every audience but many had a similar plot of violence. In a 1982 TV Guide eighteen popular video games were reviewed, fourteen of them were violent. There has always been some sort of violence in games. In the 90’s two of the probably most influential video games of the decade were introduced. Doom, and Quake they were first person shooters in which you went level by level slaughtering your opponents. With the onset of the internet, the companies who made Doom, Quake and others made their games available for anyone to download trial versions via the internet. Along with downloading the video games, gamers where allowed to play other players across the world. Another huge game that had plenty of violence and gore in it was the arcade smash Mortal Kombat. The public finally realized how violent video games were when this game was released in 1994 for home consoles. The publics concerns led to congressional hearings in order to set up a rating system for video games similar to the rating system used in movies and television. ( 375) After the hearings a definant rating system was set on all games in order to prevent young children from viewing the bloody violence seen in games. The rating systems ranged from; “E” for everyone, “T” for teens and “M” for mature. Today violence is apparent in thousands of video games. The question now is, where does the American public stand on this issue?
If one where to utilize a search engine and look up the words “Teen Violence” they would find numerous articles, journals, and publications stating several opinions on the issue at hand. They all come down to two arguments: those that feel that video games directly correlate to teen violence; and those who oppose the idea that any video game or media tool could cause such actions in a young adult.
Proponents of the idea that video games could directly cause teen violence hold one core belief: video games encourage/promote teen violence directly, and that inherently violent children are only encouraged further by such intensely violent games. The American Medical Association (AMA), in a statement before a House subcommittee in 1994, stated this: “like violence depicted elsewhere in the media, video game violence has a horrifying potential to coarsen society, promote acts of violence against real victims, and desensitize children to the real thing” (“Violence…” 195). Their report mentioned some preventitive measures such as the previously mentioned rating system as well as the “inclusion” of statements warning players of the “real life” effects of killing fellow human beings. The AMA also added the following,
“ scenes should be incorporated into games in which the consequences of violent acts are depicted…such as an ambulance rushing the character to a hospital or cemetery, and other characters representing the family and friends of the injured or killed character crying and grieving” (195).
The AMA feels that such definitive “warning labels” could at least educate young teens about the horrors of killing live human beings, and assure them that such matters are not humorous. The rating system mentioned would help parents take preventive measures against the mere purchase of such video games; thus preventing some children from even coming into contact with such actions of violence.
On this same note, the Video Software Dealers Association has vowed to enforce the current rating system as a means of helping parents take preventative measures against the purchase of these games. The VSD opposes government regulation of video games and instead feels that parents should be the means of control and filtering (“Do video games…”). The Dealers Association has taken it into their own hands to avoid, what they feel a potentially harmful situation, of kids killing in games as well as even on the streets.
Another proponent of the idea that media and games cause teen violence is the American Pyschological Association. Countering claims that some children are merely “prone to violence”, the APA states that, “Violence is learned behavior, and it is often learned in the home or the community from parents, family members, or friends” (Do video games…”). It is APA’s belief that, in fact, the violence seen on video games can and are learned by those who play them. With such influences, it may be difficult to recognize the other side of this issue. Nonetheless, not unlike those who feel games influence teens, there are those who hold a strong conviction against the idea of any video games influencing young adults.
Those who oppose the idea of video games affect teen violence have the following main arguments: Other countries with similarly violent games do not show as much evidence of a higher level of teen violence; that if video games affect teens that tremendously than we must censor other materials; and finally, there is no factual, or “hard core” evidence to support the idea.
Brandon Trissler, a video game reviewer for Console Domain, holds the belief that Japanese teen gamers who play first person shooters and other violent games, that are excrutiatingly more violent, seem to show no signs of youth violence(especially among their peers). Many think that it is due to our culture that teens aquire the need for violence. Trissler adds, “I don’t buy that. It is to easy to blame this type of senseless violence on death matches and BFG’s in video games…if these games inspire so much violence, why aren’t there more Japanese players acting in the same way? After all, the game culture there is even more violent than in the [United States]”( “Do Video Games…”). Trissler makes a good point: Could it be our culture that brings on this level of teen violence?
Another opponent, Henry Jenkins, director of comparitive media studies at MIT, argues that “violent video games alone cannot lead to violence.” He adds that if this were true and we tried to “clamp down on everything that triggered unstable people” then, “the Bible would be on of the first things we’d want to ban” (“Do video games…”). Jenkins attempts to point out that censoring the whole world is unrealistic and that if we must start somewhere, it might as well be the Bible; a book that holds as many acts of violence as some video games today. His conclusion: where do we begin the censoring?
One final argument would be that of a lawyer: where is the evidence? There is no clear, proven evidence that any video game has directly affected a teenager, and perhaps leading to an act of violence. For example, the incident at Columbine High School in Colorado: members of the media tried to link these shootings to media violence and namely, video game violence. It was thought that these boys have played so many shooting games like Doom and Quake that they were brainwashed and became “in love” with the violence they were involved with (Do Video Games…”). Regardless of all these findings it cannot be proven “beyond the shadow of a doubt” that these video games caused the shootings.
In my opinion, I think that American teens are in a struggle to find themselves in our culture today. Teens are in a endless pursuit to discover who they are and want they want. Young people walk a thin line with confidence issues and moral dilemmas. I think that many teens are just violent by nature and will do things on their own free will. I believe that video games along with other sorts of media just seem to encourage youth violence. In short, I do not think that video games facilitate teen violence, I just think that it stirs the anger instilled in some violent youths. In the future, I think that better parenting, stronger regulation, and maybe a slower production of violent video games will help those teens that are affected by violent media.
It is clear that there are established points on this matter. It is going to be solely up to the government, parents, and game companies to plan the attack of ending teen violence.
Ever since its advance, there has been a popular turn towards the electricity-powered hype known as "video" - motion imaging. As technology grew more and more advanced, electronics began its introduction to the American population at an earlier age. Consequentially, as violent outbreaks and incidents amongst younger people occur, a connection is made between these violent events and the violent videos and media that children have so become fond of (1). As electronic media becomes the scapegoat for all to blame, Congress and the government simultaneously seek to find a remedy for this 'disease' of the youth and public. As the government gets closer to finding a way to stop the violence in society, it hinders the freedom of its people by censoring children, others, and the media from that which they enjoy. Not only in television and movies, but in video games, and other forms of media, has the government laid its censoring hand.
Now, the debate at hand lies in whether or not media violence in video games directly connects to societal violence, and if so, what appropriate procedures should the government take; mainly, do the positive factors outweigh the negative factors in the censorship of video game violence?
Summary of Recommended Solution
Upon reviewing all aspects, research, and ideas, the question remains: should the government further regulate the media industry, and force it to limit its portrayal of violence? I feel that the Government should focus less on blaming and censoring media violence, and direct its attention more to showing parents how to handle their kids. The effects of violence in the media are questionable; however, the effects of parenting are obvious. Likewise with all people, race, shape, or form, there are only a selected few who will actually commit a heinous act of violence.Citation styles:
Games today, too violent. (2004, March 01). In WriteWork.com. Retrieved 20:29, February 24, 2017, from http://www.writework.com/essay/games-today-too-violent
WriteWork contributors. "Games today, too violent?" WriteWork.com. WriteWork.com, 01 March, 2004. Web. 24 Feb. 2017.
WriteWork contributors, "Games today, too violent?," WriteWork.com, http://www.writework.com/essay/games-today-too-violent (accessed February 24, 2017)
The Influences of Violent Video Games
Although video games are designed to provide fun and entertainment some people can be negatively affected by the violence or obscenity of some games. Most games are harmless for most people. Some people however are easily influenced by the games and allow the fantasy of the games to affect their reality. Some people are led to act out either violently or sexually because of the action in the video games. A second group is not influenced to act out. but simply becomes addicted to the games
and can not separate themselves from them. A third group consists of young children. who are not mature enough to understand the adult content of the games and are influenced negatively by it
Some people are prone to violence by nature. This may be why they are drawn to the violent video games initially. These people get so caught up in shooting and killing in the game that sometimes they are unable to distinguish fantasy from reality. There have been a number of stories in the news in recent years that blamed the violence of video games for someone murdering someone. robbing a bank. stealing cars or other violent crimes. Most people do not go to this extreme. but even those who do not become criminal can become more aggressive. become more inclined to road rage. or argue more with others
Although the first group. who are actually prompted to act out are more of a minority many more people are affected by the violence and intense action of these games. Some people tend to become so involved in the action that reality becomes too boring for them. This leads to an obsession with the game. This group loses touch with reality and gets so caught up in playing the game they can not function outside of it They forget to go to work or school and do not remember obligations. In very extreme cases they even forget to take time out to eat or sleep The need for the action becomes their whole lives
The third group negatively affected by the violent video games is made up of children who are much too young to be exposed to the violence and obscenity. Most violent and obscene games are labeled with parental warnings. but these are not strongly monitored. Young children can easily get and play the violent games. Children as young as five or six years old are playing the games with adult content. They learn how to steal cars. shoot people and commit armed robbery among other things The children usually are not able to go out and actually commit these crimes. but many become more aggressive with peers and act out at home
The incidents of video games turning into real world violence are rare enough it does not warrant taking them off the store shelves. but it is something people need to be aware of. Most of the people who are grossly negatively affected.
Not the Essay You're looking for? Get a custom essay ( only for $12.99 )
Custom Student Mr. Teacher ENG 1001-04 21 February 2017Violent Video Games
Video games are becoming one of the favorite’s children all over the world. Every child could like to behave or act like an artist or actor whose acts are violent. The behavioral patterns of children have changed to violence and wherever they do something or any activity, they do it with a lot of violence, imitating what they saw on the video games. The world is breeding a generation of children who are violent which therefore means that the world in a few tears will be full of a generation of violent people.
The minds of these children have also been changed and affected as the continued feeding into their minds with violent video games has made them to be different human beings all together. The sales of video games have grown drastically to a level which is alarming. The impact of excessive watching of the video games is clearly seen as to the way children are behaving and how they have been addicted to watching them. The hypothesis for this discussion could be “that the continued watching of violent games by the children has caused psychological problems in children and this has resulted to changes in their behavioral patterns.
” Allowing the children the watch violent video games is infact doing injustice to them because it is one way of destroying them morally, socially and psychologically. An immediate action has to be taken and that a remedy must be found to protect these children from getting too much exposed to watching violent video games. For the children to grow up and develop into responsible adults in future, parents have the responsibility to find out and know what their children are watching and then take the necessary action. No parent could wish his/her child to be become violent or in any way that is against the good morals.
The thesis should be supported because it is meant to protect the children from engaging themselves in watching violent video games that ultimately will influence them to change their morals and imitate bad ones. A research conducted by Anderson, C. A. & Bushman, B. J. (2001) on the Effects of Violent Games on Aggressive Behavior, Aggressive Cognition, Aggressive Affect, Physiological Arousal, and Prosocial Behavior concluded that the more children ere exposed to watching violent video games, the more there are likely to be affected psychologically .
This thesis will help the parents and the guardians to be alert to check on what their children are watching and if they notice a strange behavior by their children, then they should be in a position to find out why and take the necessary action. In their book Dill, K. E. & Dill, J. C. (1998). Video Game Violence: A Review of the Empirical Literature. Aggression and Violent Behavior, they argue that parents have a major responsibility of knowing what their children are doing and watching. Failure to do so will be followed by worst consequences that will be their own making.
The hypothesis will also give a background for further research on violent video games and their impact on the psychological development of the children. According to the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology on Video Games and Aggressive Thoughts, Feelings, and Behavior in the Laboratory and Life by Anderson, C. A. & Dill, K. E. (2000) they argue and urge that more research should be conducted in future to find out the psychological impacts on the children and more related issues should be brought in as the parents are the contributing factors to this issue because they also watch the violent video games with their children.
There are those whom may not agree with the hypothesis may be because they have not been able to gather enough evidence or may be they feel and think that children are too young to be psychologically affected by watching violent video games. Children mostly like watching violent videos which shows acts of violence that they later practice. Parents have not been keen to check on what content their children are watching, but they are the first ones to complain about the behavioral changes of their children which are deviant, rude and violent. Over the past few years, several studies (Creasey, G.
L. & Myers, B. J. 1986) have been carried on the psychological effects of violent video games on children. The majority of this research looked at the associations between video game use and the aggressive behavior and also on the effects of video games on school performance. Even though the video games are designed for entertaining, challenging and educational, most of them include the violent content. Recent research on video games indicates that as many as 89% of the games contain violent content and therefore, among the games that are purchased and played by the children contains violence.
Playing violent video games increases the aggressive behaviors of children, increases their aggressive cognitions, their aggressive emotions, their physiological arousal and decreases their prosocial behaviors. These effects have psychologically affected the children and completely changed their behavioral patterns. Parents do not often put limits on how much time the children are allowed to play video games and how often the same parents checked on the contents of the video games. Even a few of them check the video content and found it to be violent, on a few occasions could deny their children from watching them.
(American Academy of Pediatrics, American Psychological Association, 2000) Children have perfected the best ways to convince their parents to buy for them the video games they could like to watch. They even convince their parents that the video games they are about to watch are not violent, to which their parents just accepts without any further investigation. The parents have been victims of violence meted against them by their own children who have become violent through watching violent video games. Children spend most of their time, especially during holidays to watch video games at the expense of their educational studies.
The contents of the video games being played could certainly affect the relationship between the amount of their play time and their school performance. Children who use computers to play violent or non-violent video games perform more poorly in school, whereas those who use computers in performing school work performed better. This is clear indicator that excessive or continued watching of violent video games intoxicates the mind and changes the reasoning and concentration of children on educational maters (Dill, K. E. & Dill, J. C. 1998).
Teachers in various schools are raising concern on the changed behavior patterns of the children. They are saying that the children have become rude, brutal and bullies amongst the other children and to the teachers. The children feel superior and muscular enough to respond to any fights. The boys are the majority victims than the girls, though girls are also interested in watching violent video games but not as boys. Boys quite often harass girls using the techniques they have watched, liked and imitated. They feel that they are mature enough and can behave exactly like what they watched on the video games.
This makes them to forget that they are still young children whose minds have been tainted with violent materials (Van Schie, E. G. M. & Wiegman, O. 1997). Conclusion Children should not be allowed to watch violent video games when they are still young. This greatly affects their psychological development, changing their behavioral patterns. It is painful for parents and guardians when the children they are supposed to take care of become rude, violent, deviant and act as if they are criminals by dressing, way of speaking.
It is their responsibility to make sure that whatever material their children watch has the right material content and teaches good morals. If the children will experience psychological problems through watching violent video games, even their academic performance will go down. The acts of violence copied by the children will be of negative impact to them, hence we will in future have a society which will be violent. Something must be done through concerted efforts to rectify the situation before it is too late.
As children begin to see the world in aggressive terms and therefore begin to act aggressively, their personality changes to become more aggressive and hostile. These changes will result in increased opportunities for aggressive behavior, because of both changes in the individual’s personality and the changes in the situations the individual (child) is likely to get involved in as others react to the individual. This is all brought about by watching violent video games. Recommendations Several recommendations can be of great help and these include; the parents should play the video games with the children.
From this they will be able to know what their children are exposed to watch and how they will react to different features in the game, parents should know their children, in that if a child becomes aggressive after watching violent video games, they should stop buying such games regardless the child’s age, parents should talk with the children if they sense that their children are disturbed after watching a violent video game. This could be an opportunity for the parent and the children to discuss more deeply on the video games, the parents should set limits for watching the video games.
Infact they should censor the video games before the children watch them and the video game makers should be informed that the games they are making and selling for children to watch are more violent and bringing more harm to the children and so should make games that are children friendly. The teachers at school should also assist the parents in counseling the children who they discover that they have been victims of watching violent video games. If this has affected their class work, they should inform their parents so that they can look for a way forward together to help these children to return to normality.
American Academy of Pediatrics, American Psychological Association, American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, & American Medical Association (2000). Joint Statement on the Impact of Entertainment Violence on Children Anderson, C. A. & Dill, K. E. (2000). Video Games and Aggressive Thoughts, Feelings, and Behavior in the Laboratory and Life. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology Anderson, C. A. & Bushman, B. J. (2001). Effects of Violent Games on Aggressive Behavior, Aggressive Cognition, Aggressive Affect, Physiological Arousal, and Prosocial Behavior: A meta-analytic Review of the Scientific Literature.
Psychological Science. Creasey, G. L. & Myers, B. J. (1986). Video Games and Children: Effects on Leisure Activities, Schoolwork, and Peer Involvement. Merrill–Palmer Quarterly, 32 Dill, K. E. & Dill, J. C. (1998). Video Game Violence: A Review of the Empirical Literature. Aggression and Violent Behavior Lynch, P. J. (1999). Hostility, Type A Behavior, and Stress Hormones at Rest and After Playing Violent Video Games in Teenagers. Psychosomatic Medicine Van Schie, E. G. M. & Wiegman, O. (1997). Children and VideoGames: Leisure Activities, Aggression, Social Integration, and School Performance. Journal of Applied Social Psychology.