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A Controversial Topic of Video Games as a Cause of Violence

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Words: 1678 |

Pages: 4|

9 min read

Published: Jan 28, 2021

Words: 1678|Pages: 4|9 min read

Published: Jan 28, 2021

For years, violent video games have been given the blame for immoral and shameful deeds like school shootings and massacres. Infamous researchers use fear to expand their greed; this behavior contributed to most of the panic by ill-informing the public without the perpetrators themselves suffering from their consumers’ blissful ignorance. Kreidler, a man that wrote many scholarly articles about the influence of the media, voiced on how scientific evidence can either support, challenge, or ill-informed how the media contributes to the individuals and the world. Cases such as Christopher Harris, a man that went on trial for the deaths of a family of five in 2013. Not only did the courts have forensic evidence against Harris, but they also had testimony from Harris’s own brother. To take the blame off Harris, the defense chose to blame the son of the family, Dillen Constant. This odd tactic was briefly overviewed because of the evidence an expert gave in court against Constant.

'Why Violent Video Games Shouldn't Be Banned'?

The expert declared that Constant was the lawbreaker because Constant was not doing good in school, had uncontrollable needs like attention deficit disorder, and last but not least, owned violent video games. Kreider expressed in one article, “The expert in question acknowledged that he was not a clinical psychologist, held no professional license, had not verified information given to him by the defense, and had not questioned Dillen’s surviving family or other witnesses”. In spite of the fact that some people can be ignorant of the harm they are committing by ill informing the public causing an uproar and panic; others like in this instance, use credibility to hold an advantage over the public and use it to benefit themselves or others.

This is one of many examples that prove sources we thought we could trust to keep the public safe and informed of disastrous phenomena can let their selfish insatiableness lust sway their judgment. Research, as you look up, are at two ends of a stick, most in between trying to figure out what went wrong with their data and others are so close to the end of the stick that comprehensions of the other side of research are out of the question. The confusion of what theories are true for violent video games has been discussed as a very controversial topic because of the public's concerns about the content in such games; however, more research and statistics show that many of these studies are flawed and are not researched enough.

Experts and researchers present claims about the public ́s mental capability and the users of the violent video games; statistics for the United States only, reveals that “1 in 5 U.S. adults experience mental illness each year, 1 in 25 U.S. adults experience serious mental illness each year, and 1 in 6 U.S. youth aged 6-17 experience a mental health disorder each year.” Usually, the arguments with this kind of evidence convey that people who cannot differentiate between reality and fantasy will not understand that violence in video games is not how reality is like and will act out on what they see, but most of these people will have parents or caretakers that can control what they play and watch. Limiting not only the confusion for the minor but also not giving misguided information to the minor such sources that parents and caretakers can use are Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB), reading the ratings of video games, limit minors access to video games by age and maturity, learn from other families and how they control their minors exposure, and finally, setting and keeping time boundaries for the video games. All of these devices are free for public use and are encouraged to do so, most are mandatory to show their intended audience and what qualities are in their product. This gives the parents even more control because they have the choice to decide if the game is still to mature for their adolescent. Although this does not help all the problems that come with being a parent or guardian, tools, as mentioned above, gives parents a clear conscious knowing what situations are exposed to their minors while playing.

One scholar article was written by Ryan Halls to evaluate the Schwarzenegger v Entertainment Merchants Association, a court case about whether states have the authority to have certain restrictions on minors’ freedom of speech by limiting the sale of violent video games. Hall reviews that eight states have tried to pass this legislation, but all were unconstitutional by the supreme court. Halls also went into detail a similar case study in the 1950s concerning the outrage from the public for the graphic comic books given to children and minors. Halls wrote in this article that, “Concerns were voiced that these comics would lead to a decline in public morals, an increase in violence and aggression, an increase in general lawlessness, and societal disrespect and deterioration”. These two cases share the similarity of the public being outraged for the exposure of certain situations shown to minors. In both cases, researchers voiced that violence whether in video games or comic books contributed to minors’ aggressive behavior which would lead to even more violent deeds both having the support and challenge of statistics and evidence.

Researcher, Michele Zorrilla, took a different approach from common experiments and tried to understand the gender roles of the characters in video games and how they affect the player through different means. Through her understanding, Zorrilla discovered that,

“On one hand, all participants, male and female, viewed violent images of males’ aggressive behavior and sexually exploitive images of females’ attire and poses as wrong because of the negative influences that these images can have on players’ attitudes and behavior”.

The research can be somewhat compared to the comic book crisis in the 1950s and how the characters in the comic books portrayed women in a derogatory way. These events and actions taken have shown what seems like the beginning of an endless blaming cycle throughout history. In today's society like in the 1950's people needed to put blame on something for the immoral acts happening all around them that they could not understand. In 1950 it was comic books in today's society it is violent video games. Both cases share the involvement of minors exposure to violence, trying to figure out how it plays into the minds of the players. An example of how history and modern society are connected is what Halls wrote in his article, “Many of the concerns that dominate the current video game debate were also expressed by Dr. Wertham in his testimony to the Senate subcommittee”.

Much of the research used for the violence in video games debate were people who wrote, spoke, and contributed their thoughts on comic books and their effect on a minor. One person would be Dr. Wertham, a forensic psychiatrist, that contributed to the comic book’s debate in the 1950s, Wertham than used this experience to further talk about the violent video games debate. Throughout history, people when in fear will try to put the blame on the most logical reasoning when they do not understand why the events happened; in this case, blaming comic books and video games can help people feel empowered and comprehend why someone would commit horrendous crimes like school shootings.“Considering that Dr. Wertham's testimony in Canada led to a ban on the import and sale of certain comic book titles, this seemed to be a reasonable step for the American comic book industry to take”. Foolish reasoning leads to foolish actions. When people are in a fearful state they become easy to persuade. When people start to hear that violence in video games is linked to aggressive behaviors actions start to take place to stop the problem at the roots.

The statistic shows that “More than 90% of U.S. children play some kind of video games; when considering only adolescents ages 12 - 17, that figure rises to 97%”. If so many children and minors play video games why are there not more school shootings or massacres? The statistical facts researchers claim of how many minors play video games does not match the statistics for school shootings. “Considering the vast number of children and youth who use video games and that more than 85% of video games on the market contain some form of violence…”. Many researchers and the media claim that people who commit crimes as such played violent video games.

The APA claims that 85% of video games on the market contain violence yet the percentage of crimes blamed because violent video games do not reach that percentage at all. News commentators often turn to violent video game use as a potential causal contributor to acts of mass homicide. The media point to perpetrators' gaming habits as either a reason that they have chosen to commit their crimes or as a method of training. This evidence shows that the blame for the crimes because the media and researchers do not match the statistical numbers to be even with the percentage of people who play video games. Violent video games are a common denominator in some of these people's lives that commit these crimes yet researchers and scientists still debate to this day what evidence is right and wrong. This back and forth with thoughts from scientists and researchers only help the public by confusing them and giving them misguided information.

Social media has played a major role in the controversies surrounding the debate of violence in video games. Both sides share similar ideas but with different results. These studies show their fallacies and flaws and give readers a better chance of understanding the results.

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People every day get misguided information, some very simple, other information can be that violence games are linked to aggressive behavior and most likely can be deadly or extremely brutal. Despite the fact that scientists, researchers, and the media will still debate among themselves over who is right, it is ultimately up to the parent(s), guardian(s) and/or adults in that child(s) life to determine what they deem appropriate for that child(s).

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Dr. Oliver Johnson

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A Controversial Topic Of Video Games As A Cause Of Violence. (2021, January 25). GradesFixer. Retrieved May 28, 2024, from https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/a-controversial-topic-of-video-games-as-a-cause-of-violence/
“A Controversial Topic Of Video Games As A Cause Of Violence.” GradesFixer, 25 Jan. 2021, gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/a-controversial-topic-of-video-games-as-a-cause-of-violence/
A Controversial Topic Of Video Games As A Cause Of Violence. [online]. Available at: <https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/a-controversial-topic-of-video-games-as-a-cause-of-violence/> [Accessed 28 May 2024].
A Controversial Topic Of Video Games As A Cause Of Violence [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2021 Jan 25 [cited 2024 May 28]. Available from: https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/a-controversial-topic-of-video-games-as-a-cause-of-violence/
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