Games and Violence

As technology becomes more advanced, the material that comes from it becomes more involved in many lives and has penetrated society as a whole. Video games especially have grown to be immensely popular and continues to expand into larger and more diverse audiences. Regarding video games, society should take careful consideration on the material that video games bring. Olsen, from the Journal of Adolescent Research, would have people believe that virtual violence can be beneficial. Regardless, violence in games is becoming more aggressive and immersive as ever. And as such, the effects of these violent video games are causing much concern over the behavior they influence and the material they ‘teach’ to young adolescence. As obvious video games appear to instigate violence and desensitize young adults, notwithstanding, these games are actually a beneficial behavioral moderator.

Certainly there is a strong correlation between violent behavior and violent video games. Many of these games have a wide variety of content that can range from shooting to sexual assault, from improper social remarks to total rebellion of humanity. Long has it been a sour reputation for video games and violence in the community. In fact, the Virginia Youth Violence Project shows that bullying has increased between 1999 and 2005, due to what they assume is result of violent video games. There certainly seems to be a correlation, but that is as far as it goes. For it is not causation, only a probable link. And when many shooting occur in schools, video games are referenced and brought to attention in consideration for these actions. It is even used by the FBI as behaviors to look into for school shootings. So, certainly the link is undeniable, yet the angle most looked at isn’t necessarily the correct angle.

The link actually infers that violent individuals are attracted to violent games, and not that they cause violent behavior. By choice people choose whether to buy violent games or not. They are not forced to by any ordinary means, and are not brain-washed to think otherwise. Likewise, their interpretation and intent vary from individual to individual. Many can recognize the difference between fiction and reality. And much of the answers, when asked why they play these games, are focused largely around the responses ”[They] help me relax” or “it helps me get my anger out.” Furthermore, video game sales have more than quadrupled from 1995 to 2008, while the arrest rate for all juvenile violent crimes declined 49.3% in the same frame of time.

Although this makes sense, this does not account for short-term aggression. Oftentimes, there is a behavioral cool down time observed from players who play violent video games. The often abrupt transition between video games and reality does not allow naturally these young adults to adjust back to normal. As always, players should be aware of their feelings and act responsibly enough to handle the challenges life brings. Though, for the mentally unstable, the feelings portrayed in games tend to linger more as the impact they have would be uncertain, logically. In the end, video games don’t make choices for people, people themselves choose for their own desires and pleasure.

So, it comes to the principle between choice and influence. They both play a role in the perception and reputation of the video game industry. It is true that violence portrayed in an interactive fashion may influence the mind and desensitize the user to the carnal nature of violent activity. And it is true that those with tendencies toward violence are more likely to buy violent video games than of those who resist violent behavior. And it would seem, that video games can diffuse the violent behavior in youth. Yet, these games can also leave an impression immediately after being immersed in violent behavior. However, the choice to engage in violent activities are simply that, a choice. All in all, people cannot decide the choices of others, but citizens can influence society for the better, and to educate about the consequences of inappropriate behavior.

More about this controversy at

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1 Response to Games and Violence

  1. spelee07 says:

    I have written several essays like this, but with such guidance, direction and instruction, I had never written one such as this. I am also incredibly passionate about video games, since I make games myself, and want to promote better values through them. One reason I chose this topic, is that most people perceive many things about video games, and much of them are misconceived. In particular, I have never bought a mature-rated game, and I am just as likely to produce one. Oftentimes, society and media reflect one another. Most speak as if video games brainwash people to engage into violence. But, violence is an age old thing, it has always existed. Certainly after having written this, I have been becoming more aware of myself and my writing style.
    I am especially careful about not including 1st person and informal addressing. But this time, with the help of peers, I was able to understand where I needed to be even more formal in my writing. Furthermore, I have been always passionate, but after this assignment, it has caused me to think and dig more into the controversy. Controversy can be extremely tricky and often will stir up hate and contentions. But surely, such materials as essays, help clear up confusing issues and bring the topic up front for analysis from the public. It also helps clarify the state of the peoples’ minds.
    My position should be clear enough, however, some may conceive false ideas about me. To elaborate, I tend to steer away from violence, especially unnecessary violence. Much of the population, as I understand it, are susceptible to trends and have notions that they are the correct path to take. In relation to the topic I chose, I found about the affinity of blood-lust and the desire to engage in violence for little to no reason. Though, to say, much of them satisfy this by playing more games featuring large quantities of violence. I did not address this directly, but I did address what these games may influence us to do. I find it incredible that people like to indulge such thoughts and behaviors.
    And of course, learning how to go about this writing couldn’t have been done alone. The chance for me to have my work evaluated by peers and the teacher really helped me understand my flaws and habits I have when writing. At first, I often have a steady stream of thought when writing out a piece. But because of this, I often make mistakes as I listen to my thoughts instead of making certain that the words in the essay flows as I would want it to. After rehearsing it to others I quickly found flaws that I was unaware of. I was aware of most of the informal writing, but what got me was the ability to use the right form of words. At the speed I wrote it the first time, I missed simple mistakes, such as missing ‘d’s and ‘s’s. Oftentimes, I procrastinate, and it is a poor habit of mine. I am even doing it now, however, writing at this pace helps me draw out my ideas and feelings without breaking the train of thought. In the future, I should plan ahead and allow myself more time so that I may be able to work out my writings and the mistakes that may come from spilling my notions.
    Oftentimes, I dread writing. But afterward and during, I feel invigorated and excited to put myself and my thoughts out into the world.

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