Violent video games: a translation to violent behavior?

By Ryan McLaughlin
January 26, 2013

Video games are a popular activity for both young and the elderly. In a video game, an ordinary person can quickly become a solider headed off to war, a professional sports athlete, a notorious street racer, and many other depicted fantasies.

Video games give people the access to hands on entertainment they can engage in that cannot be provided by television alone. In the United States in 2008, 97 percent of 12 – 17 year olds played video games. The amount of support the video game industry gets makes it possible for all these games to be created. While video games are very popular, some are more infamous then famous. Games like, “Grand Theft Auto,” have been blamed for causing school shootings and increased crime rates.

In games like, “Grand Theft Auto,” people can play in a modern day society with an unlimited amount of weapons and ammunition and do as they please. Millions of people have played the game and have caused mayhem in the cities the game takes place in. Although millions have played this game, what was performed during playing it normally doesn’t get carried over into reality.

Studies have been done concluding that violent video games do cause a temporary increase in aggression.

Although violent video games are often blamed for school shootings and bullying, there is not a substantial amount of scientific evidence to be able to link these tragic occurrences to video games.

Video games are given a rating on suggested ages for the players of the game. If younger children are able to get their hands on these games, even if video games are proven to cause a temporary rise in violence it would be more of a parenting issue in most circumstances. Children younger then the recommended age ratings shouldn’t be involved with the game.

Teaching a child right from wrong and what is real and what is not can be the difference between a game remaining a game or having the child combine realities.

The ability to depict what is right and wrong comes from maturity and the understanding of societies morals.

If a person cannot detach themselves from a video game and separate what is okay in the real world and what isn’t, obsessive amounts of playtime may be a cause.

Desensitization is always a possibility when seeing violence. If a person is desensitized from violence because of a video game, the person has taken what they have encountered in video games and grown used to it in a real world scenario.

If someone can’t draw the line between a game and the real thing they shouldn’t be playing the games. John Howard IV, a sophomore at Cabrini, said, “If anything, video games would cause less crimes because people can get out that kind of aggression and behavior on a game instead of in real life.”

Although many video games are violent by nature, there just isn’t enough evidence to justify the violent acts they are being blamed for. Violent video games can be a way for people to escape from reality and partake in violent acts and step away from the controller after, with a clean conscious.


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Ryan McLaughlin

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