EQ: Do violent video games contribute to violence in youth? (Morgan-TOPIC 2)

EQ: Do violent video games contribute to violence in youth?

Background: Many children, ranging from ages 12-17, in the U.S., play video games. In 2008, the percentage for this age group that played video games was 97% of the U.S. children. These numbers created a stable gaming industry with a $11.7 billion revenue. With all the money that these video games are producing, they are selling many different games, many include violence. Also in 2008, it was shown that 10 video games out of the top-20 best-selling in the U.S. contained violence. This opens up the debate on whether or not violent video games increase violence in today’s youth. Those who oppose violent video games for youth stress that these video games are “desensitizing” the children playing and that it teaches them that violence is the answer to their conflicts. On the other side, some believe that there is no linkage between video games and social violence. They also believe because of this that the logic from those who oppose violent video games is “deeply flawed.” To counteract what the opposing side states, they think that video games that portray violence are a way for children to release their anger through the game rather than physically. The production and sale of video games is starting to rise at an astonishing rate and with every new game the graphics become more realistic and thus, “the debate over whether or not children should be exposed to violent video games continues.”

Claim: I believe that violent videos games do contribute to violence in today’s youth. Allowing children that are under the intended game rating are more likely to get confused between the gaming world and the real world. The misunderstanding of these two concepts has the children mimicking what they see or do in video games, in real life. Just as there are age restrictions to see movies, there should be age restrictions, that are enforced, for video games.

Support: Studies from 2009 have shown “that it takes up to four minutes for the level of aggressive thoughts and feelings in children to return to normal after playing violent video games.” Therefore: “Video games that show the most blood generate more aggressive thoughts. When blood is present in video games, there is a measurable increase in arousal and hostility.” It was also found in a 2000 FBI report that video games were on a list of contributors/behaviors contributing to school shootings. “Over three thousand peer-reviewed studies, produced over a period of 30 years documenting the effects of screen violence (including violent video games), have now been published… These data suggest very strongly that participating in the playing of violent video games by children and youth increase aggressive thought and behavior; increase antisocial behavior and delinquency; engender poor school performance; desensitize the game player to violence.” (Leland Yee, PhD. June 22, 2009.) In these violent video games it is often that the player repeats the same violent acts over and over again. With this repeated exposure to the violence it, “leads to general increases in aggressiveness over time.” (Craig Anserson, PhD. 2009.)



Filed under Controversial Issue #2

6 responses to “EQ: Do violent video games contribute to violence in youth? (Morgan-TOPIC 2)

  1. Justin Clements

    I find that your blog post was well thought out, however, I believe that young adults can release emotions through video games by yelling at 12 year old kids across the globe. Also, some studies have shown that trends in video games leads to less violence among young people.

  2. Matt M.

    There is a rating system that is enforced in video games in order to keep children who are too young to handle the content displayed in certain games from playing them. There is also no connection that has been found that proves that there is a direct link between violent video games and violence in those who play them.

  3. Judy Sanchez

    I don’t think that violent video games contribute to the violence of children. The rate of juvenile crimes have lowered as the sale of violent video games have increased. Many people who do play these video games know that it is just a game.

    • Morgan Gilberti

      I understand where you are coming from but it is shown that the rate of juvenile crime has gone down but it is only relative to the number of total video games sold — not violent video games in particular.

  4. Christian Encarnacion

    Although it is true that video games do indeed expose young children and that of young adults to streams of violence, there is no correlation between the violence, or rather aggressive behavior, displayed in children and young adults and their usage of violent video games. If one is to state that aggressive behavior and violence in the youth of today is directly a result of violent video game use, then they are seemingly leaving out the possibility of “lurking variables” that may also be contributing to the accused behavior. “Violent video games may affect the form of violence, but does not cause the violence to occur. Youth might model violent acts on what they have seen in video games, but the violence would still occur in the absence of video games.” ( “2008 CESA Game White Paper,” Computer Entertainment Supplier’s Association (CESA), 2008). Violent video games are not the only carriers of violence in society, and thus should not be the only variable used to explain violence in the youth of today.

    • Morgan Gilberti

      I agree with you that there are other causes of violence that I have not mentioned. Violent video games are not the sole cause of violence but like I have stated I do believe that it is a contributor. “According to child psychologist Michael Rich, children develop what psychologists call ‘behavioral scripts.’ They interpret their experiences and respond to others using those scripts.” This can be for any aspect of life, books, movies, music, etc. Many things around us today involve violence and I understand that there are other variables but the repetitive action/violence portrayed in video games, I believe, does contribute to violence in youth — but like you and I both addressed, it is not the only contributor.

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