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 http://videogames.procon.org/