Violence in Video Games

Published: 2021-06-29 07:11:29
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Violence in Video Games

The myth that video games cause violent behavior is undermined by scientific research and common sense. According to FBI statistics, youth violence has declined in recent years as computer and video game popularity soared. Research does not claim that the increased popularity of games caused the decline, but the evidence makes a mockery of the suggestion that video games cause violent behavior. Indeed, as the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals declared: "The state has not produced substantial evidence that violent video games cause psychological or neurological harm to minors

Do Video Games Promote Violence?

Since video games first appeared on the market, parents and experts have been questioning how they will affect children in long run. More specifically, most wonder if the violence found in video games will translate to violence in real life. A number of studies have been done, supporting theories on both sides of this argument. However, when presented with the facts, one can see that video games clearly do have a bearing on violence in real life among children and even adult users.
Writer critic Chris Mercogliano, "Each year, young people view an estimated 10,000 acts of media violence. In addition, 22.4% of MTV's offerings portray overt violence, and in 80% of those highly attractive role models are the aggressors". Other statistics confirm that, media violence, include that which is found in video games, is very prevalent in the world today. More interesting, is the facts that although this prevalence is only increasing, violent crime rates do not correlate. The Economist reports, "During the period in which gaming has become widespread in America, violent crime has fallen by half. If games really did make people violent, this tendency might be expected to show up in the figures, given that half of Americans play computer and video games" (Breeding Evil). Generally, when two statistics as large as this have no correlation, one cannot conclude that they are in any way related. In other words, the violence that reaches consumers via video games is rising, but because the crime rate is not also rising, one cannot confirm their relationship.
One aspect of video games that critics of their violence regularly dismiss is their educational value. Even the most violent video games have educational aspects in specific instances. "Games are widely used as educational tools, not just for pilots, soldiers and surgeons, but also in schools and businesses. Every game has its own interface and controls, so that anyone who has learned to play a handful of games can generally figure out how to operate almost any high-tech device. Games require players to construct hypotheses, solve problems, develop strategies, learn the rules of the in-game world through trial and error" (Breeding Evil). Video games, violence included, can help employers teach workers to perform tasks in highly intense situations. They help to make the learning situation as real as possible in all conditions. "Here the researchers take care to note that the military is now finding that the use of violent video games to desensitize recruits to the idea of killing is a very effective training technique" (Mercogliano).

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