VIDEO GAMES AND VIOLENCE
Videogames and violence
Videogames and violence
Moderntechnologies play an important role in the modern society. Theentertainment industry is one of the greatest beneficiaries ofemerging technologies. Among the technology based entertainment inthe modern world are video games. Majority of these video games havesuperhero actors who are involved in various violent acts. Youngchildren and youths always identify themselves with superheroes inthese video games. Some scholars have argued that the increased casesof violence among young people, including incidences of schoolshooting could be a result of a violent society propagated byviolence in video games and the media. However, statistics indicatethat between mid 1990s and late 2000s the sales of video games in themarket increased more than four folds, which coincides with an overseventy percent drop in juvenile murders and a fifty percent decreasein juvenile violent crimes. Nonetheless, almost all children aged12-17 years in the United States play video games. Although there arelaws that govern the sale or use of adult rated violent video gamesby children, the link between video games and violence among youthremains a contentious issue (ProCon.org. 2015). This paper looks atthe argument for and against the view that violent video games arethe main contributor to violence in youths.
Argumentfor video games contribute to violence in youth
Studiesin the recent past have reviewed that violent video games andviolence in youths are related. According to the grand theftchildhood report which was conducted in 2008, young boys who areinvolved in violent behaviors play more adult rated video games. Thereport indicated that out of all the boys sampled who played violentvideos about sixty percent of them were involved in violentbehavior. On the other hand, only 39 percent of boys who did not playviolent video games were reported to have violent behavior. Thisindicates that video games have a partial contribution to violentbehaviors. A FBI report in 2000 suggested that the increased cases ofschool violence and shooting can be attributed to the increasedpopularity of violent video games. Sociologists have argued that themain reason why video games contribute to violence among children isbecause they desensitize violence resulting into aggressive behavior.For example, in some of the video games, actors have multiple livesor disappear after being killed. Additionally, violent video gamesteach the children that violence is desirable and an acceptable meansof solving problems. Studies indicate that children who watch violentvideos or play violent video games have lower opinion on non violentstrategies compared to control group which play less violent videogames. Thus, the most violent kid is respected and honored by hispeers. It also results into low empathy and train youths to bekillers (ProCon.org. 2015).
Argumentsagainstvideogames contribute to violence in youth
Althoughthere is a perception that violent video games contributes toincreased violence among the young, statistics indicates that thereis no linkage between video games and violent juvenile crimes.Statistics indicates that as the popularity of video games in theUnited States increased, there was a massive reduction in the rate ofviolent juvenile crimes. For example, one study indicates that thenumber of juvenile murders reduced by seventy one percent between1995 and 2008, which coincides with an increase in popularity ofvideo games. Opponent of the link between juvenile violence andviolent video games argue that the link is causal and there is noreliable supporting evidence. For example, they argue that majorityof studies that link video games to juvenile violent have flaweddesign or confuse aggressive thought with aggressive behavior.Additionally, the studies link violent video games to arousal andaggressiveness because they compare these games with less excitinggames which are less likely to invoke memory in children. The lack ofcorrelation between violence and video game is very noticeable whendata from different countries are compared. For example video gamesare more popular in Japan compared to the United States. However,Japan has limited cases of juvenile crimes compared to the UnitedStates. Some people have argued that the decrease in violent crimesamong juveniles in the United States in the recent past can beattributed to the impacts of video games. This school of thoughargues that video games teach children about the consequences ofviolence rather than desensitizing violence (ProCon.org. 2015).
Violentvideo games are very popular among the youth and children in themodern world. Whether they contribute to the recent waves of schoolviolence especially school shooting remains a contentious issue.While some people argue that video games contribute to juvenileviolence, others have argued that this is based on wrong informationand statistics. In my view, although the role parental control invideo games is very essential, video games have very little to dowith juvenile violence. There is no statistical evidence thatincreased use of video games among children result into increaseviolent behaviors.
ProCon.org(2015). DoViolent Video Games Contribute to Youth Violence?web http://videogames.procon.org/