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.)