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How Violence in Video Games Affects People

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Words: 1388 |

Pages: 3|

7 min read

Published: Feb 9, 2022

Words: 1388|Pages: 3|7 min read

Published: Feb 9, 2022

Over the years as technology has gotten increasingly superior so has the quality of our entertainment. One of the fastest-growing entertainment markets in the world is video games. Most video games have implemented some violent behavior towards anything ranging from real-life players to innocent animals. In recent years, the video game industry has taken fire from the amount of violence that is put into games and then sold to an audience not intended for them. The backlash from not only parents but from people who are concerned that violent video games are impacting teens and young children is alarming. Teens and young adults are still learning and thus when they get a hold onto a game with violence, they become more susceptible to indoctrination. So, the answer is yes, violence breaks the wall of reality as it leads to outside anger and problems. It is because of how impressionable teens and younger children are that violence in video games does trigger emotions in real-world situations.

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

Although there are many who support the fact that violent video games do in fact play a major part in someone's mental status, there are those that believe that it’s just an easy and harmless way of venting sudden impulses. School shootings seem to be the breaking point for this topic as for example, the horrific shooting massacres at both Columbine in 1999 and Sandy Hook Elementary in 2012 the perpetrators were known to play video games regularly, despite others who frequently play games don’t want to harm anyone. Both aggression and video games are one of the most carefully studied and well known. More than 90% of children and when considering kids in the spectrum of ages 12 to 17, the number goes up to 97%. Considering all the children ranging from ages 8 to 18, about 85% of video games have some sort of violence contained within.

An example of a study found in an article from Frontiers in Phycology shows that the connection involving video games, but more violent games than not had a present like to an increase on children's behavior. But in which the capacity of playable factors determined the level of aggression in multiple scenarios being current beliefs on violent video games and family life. Time and time again more studies have concluded that rational thoughts are linked to aggression. According to Bandura’s theory (Bandura, 1989), Adolescence are much more molded on what the watch and hear. Therefore, adolescents are much more in control and can have unstable thoughts and emotions. Then, studies on family living found that the way parents teach and monitor their children could have a positive or negative effect on a child's wellbeing, and these such catalysts play a role in aggression throughout a child's adolescence years. While families with a positive atmosphere have fewer stressors and tend to yield less violent outcomes, children ranging from 8 to 15 years of age that live in household with more access to violence (TV, media) tend to show more signs of physical aggression.

So, let’s jump back to Newtown, Connecticut, where 20-year-old Adam Lanza killed 26 innocent people, out of all the casualties 20 of whom were children ageing 6 & 7 years of age. Were video games to blame? Well, after the police raided the Lanza household, a collection of computer games was found including the ever-popular Call of Duty and Grand Theft Auto. And others included more first-person shooters like Left for Dead, and Doom, and an unknown computer game called “School Shooter” in which you play as a character and does what the title says, go into school and start shooting other students. Out of these games, all the ones listed have an M rating from the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB). So, how does the ESRB rating system work? The ESRB must rate everything from apps to physical games (e.g., boxed). For anything to be rated by the ESRB, First, you need to fill out a questionnaire and this event makes up for violence, sexual content, language, controlled substances, etc. Second, they look at the game itself via gameplay and cutscenes. Then, once the first two steps are completed then a group of “professional” raters' debate on what the rating should be for the specific game. One they reach a verdict then ESRB staff overlook there work and ultimately grade the product. The rating categories consist of Everyone, Everyone 10+, Teen, Mature, Adults only and Rating pending, meaning that product has been advertised but not yet rated.

Video games have been with us for half a century, and they are getting too realistic. In the biography “Unplugged: My Journey into the Dark World of Video Game Addiction” by Ryan Van Cleave, he tells how a popular online game World of Warcraft plagued his life to the extreme that it was affecting his very way of life, even to the point of suicide. World of Warcraft is the largest PC MMO (massively multiplayer online) has an active player count of 12 million and growing, and grosses annually $180 million dollars and rising. GTA (Grand Theft Auto) one of the most infamous games on the market has been played by 56% of adolescence in the US and ranging from ages 8 to 18 years old and as media becomes ever more present the percentage increase. GTA has and EBSR rating of M17+. With that knowledge, I’m quite disturbed that not even a federally rated system cannot protect our youth. One thing is clear, children play video games on a scale that interferes with school, family life and with the individual at a psychological level. Some studies even suggest that a direct link is drawn from video games to physical aggression, attention, deficits, and the way children behave and perform in school.

We talked about aggression as being a common factor that leads from violent video games, but what about, for instance, school performance. It is studied proven that the more susceptible to video games and spend multiple hours at a time playing them, are you to have problems inside of school with some attention deficits. And it is simply common sense to think about that the time spent playing any type of video game takes away from doing homework, social events. In a study with 1491 children between the ages of 10 and 19 years of age, Cummings & Vandewater concluded that in adolescence reading and writing combined children spent 64 percent less time doing such activities. (2007) It is also a common denominator however that kids that are poorly equipped for school tend to steer towards video games to create a place at which they can pretend and be whoever they want to be.

In other studies, Gentile, (2009) found that children who are more involved in the games themselves they play are three times more likely to be diagnosed with ADHD or other cognitive deficits. It is due to these studies that conclude that videos games play a role in a child's attentional well-being. Although, while not all game impact the same as saying a game that is more involved, like FPS (first-person shooter) games. Take two famous video game one both side of the spectrum. Minecraft and Call of Duty, both of which have violence Call of Duty more so. As Minecraft has you thinking on things like “where to build my house”, and “I need to plant some food.” So, the study found that games like Minecraft vs. Call of Duty has a more positive effect on children with fewer effects on attention. 

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Although video games aren’t the only deciding factor on aggressive behavior, we can say that it does, in fact, play a crucial role in a child's life. As the facts state that playing violent videos games do not cause all who play to transpire to go and start violent crimes, it does, however, get to the people who are more susceptible to violence. It is with these few that the problem seems to arise again and again, how do we stop games from reaching these individuals. And if we know that violent video games are in fact the troubling cause for certain individuals, why do these gaming companies continue to “pump out” games that tend to mold onto our children then to cause them to alter the level at which plagues our youth? 

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How Violence In Video Games Affects People. (2022, February 10). GradesFixer. Retrieved May 28, 2024, from https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/how-violence-in-video-games-affects-people/
“How Violence In Video Games Affects People.” GradesFixer, 10 Feb. 2022, gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/how-violence-in-video-games-affects-people/
How Violence In Video Games Affects People. [online]. Available at: <https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/how-violence-in-video-games-affects-people/> [Accessed 28 May 2024].
How Violence In Video Games Affects People [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2022 Feb 10 [cited 2024 May 28]. Available from: https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/how-violence-in-video-games-affects-people/
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