Effect of Violent Video Games

Violence in video games has become a hot topic for people to dispute. As the popularity of video games has increased, so has the conversations. Arguments range from blaming these games for some of our countries worst tragedies involving violent acts to video games actually reducing crime rates and violence. Many studies have been done regarding both sides however, most of the studies about why they are a problem are flawed and embellished to get people to begin fights or arguments against fictional video games. These games are not the root of our issues of crime and violence in America. They are just something that is easy to blame so our country doesn’t have to deal with our other immense issues. Many factors contribute to why some of our worst tragedies have happened, but video games are not one of them. With the increased school shootings and the horrifying stories people hear about crimes committed in the U.S., people are quick to try and find one specific thing to blame even though that is rarely the case. They like to stray away from the big issue we may have as a society and blame the little things instead. People will make up anything to get people to take action in order to support their own personal beliefs and causes.

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There are hundreds of studies done for both the positive and negative sides of this issue. First, one of the main arguments people see as negative against violent video games is that people who have committed violent acts have a history of playing violent video games. On the surface this may make sense, but this is an invalid argument because almost all young men partake in playing video games, therefore the fact that people who have committed these violent crimes have also played video games is not shocking. Instead, it is to be expected but this is not enough to prove that they are linked with each other to have any significant relationship.

Many also argue that playing violent video games results in higher rates of aggression, violence, and bullying. However, sales of violent video games are constantly, significantly increasing, but the crime rates for violent juvenile actions have decreased immensely. For example, total US sales of video game hardware and software increased 204% from 1994 to 2014, reaching $13.1 billion in 2014, while violent crimes decreased 37% and murders by juveniles acting alone fell 76% in that same period. (Violent Video Games ProCon.org.) Another negative aspect people believe is that the more children play and pretend to be these violent characters in the games, the higher their chances are of practicing these same behaviors and struggling to differentiate their own reality from the violent fantasy world created. (Violent Video Games ProCon.org.) Contrary to this belief, due to psychological development, at age 7, children can understand the difference between virtual game violence and what violence in the real world is like. (Violent Video Games ProCon.org.) Children are exposed to all kinds of fantasy shows and movies growing up that go beyond video games. Therefore, identifying this as a reason for banning violent video games does not have much support. Studies have been done relating the importance of fantasy to childhood and how it is a positive aspect in life for youth. A quote from the toy company Fisher Price says “Pretending is more than play: it’s a major part of a child’s development. Fantasy not only develops creative thinking, it’s also a way for children to deal with situations and problems that concern them.” (Violent Video Games ProCon.org.)

Violent video games should not be banned because they are not a significant issue in our society. The U.S. supreme court has ruled since 2011, time and time again when these cases are presented to them that there is no research or evidence that these virtual games are what causes minors to act aggressively. (Ferguson, Christopher J.) Some studies have even gone to say that having these video games keeps kids out of trouble and are viewed as a positive. They are busy doing other things they’re interested in instead of being out and about getting into actual trouble. These games could also be used as an outlet for some of their aggression instead of pursuing violent acts in real life. (Scutti, Susan.) Furthermore, the number of young males who play these videos games is so large that the small fraction who go on to commit violent acts is almost nothing and insignificant. There are multiple different factors for why the kids who pursue violent acts pursue them but violent video games do not seem to correlate. However, all of the negative arguments fail to remember these factors exist. For example, there’s things such as physiological disorders, family issues, mental health problems, and bullying that are important contributors to why people pursue violent acts and crimes.

The media likes to dramatize events that occur to create worry or panic in parents and our society as a whole. The media likes to portray the idea that these video games containing violence are why we have any violent acts occurring by the youth in our country; even though scientists have disproved these ideas and theories multiple times. (Violent Video Games Should Not Be Banner.) By allowing these video games to be sold and disrupted we will get many rewards in return. For instance, the increasing sales of video games does nothing but good things for our economy. Another positive to keep producing these games is that it gives kids who may be aggressive an outlet for their aggression without harming anyone or themselves and getting into any real trouble. In addition, a study was done to determine the effects of these games on our brains and the results would shock most. The study stated that video games can be help stimulate and advance our cognitive abilities and the most effective type to do this is violent video games.

These effects aren’t just cognitive either, they can also improve our vision skills, create pro-social behavior and higher rates of life satisfaction. (The Globe and Mail) However, the same goes for these games as anything else, when it’s done in moderation the effects are greatest. These games have also been tested on older populations and results came back showing that they were increasing their working memory and attention span. All of this information has come from multiple neuroscience labs and various scientists. (The Globe and Mail) Scientific research has proved many times that violent videos games have no substantially negative effects on people who play them. This argument is supported across researches everywhere and it is even supported by the U.S. supreme court who has ruled many times that there is no evidence to support a case against these games. These games have to the potential to generate many good things for our society and are not responsible for the tragedies we unfortunately have experienced. Many personal factors are the reasons people engage in violent acts or crimes in our country. Trying to accuse these virtual games of causing our greatest issues in our society is just a way of avoiding handing a much larger issue.

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Effect Of Violent Video Games. (2019, Dec 18). Retrieved January 29, 2023 , from
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