The War on Video Games

For many years violent video games have been the scapegoat of many violent acts through the years. Many claim that the basis of a school shooting or any violent outburst is caused by the massive portrayal of killing in a digital world. When people who have never played a video game before watch someone else play a game, they may only notice the violence in it and think it is just a murder simulator. They do not notice the skill and strategy involved in winning a match or becoming a good player. Video games were not made to make people violent and they do not. Video games were made to do the opposite actually.

They were made to immerse you in a world where you can do things you can not do in real life that are either punishable or impossible. The real problem is the person’s mental state, there is even warnings for any kind of game and have all been rated differently by the Entertainment Software Rating Board . The ESRB is an american organization that assigns age and content ratings to consumer video games. It was established in 1994 in response to criticism of controversial video games with violent or sexual content.

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The media is quick to blame video games for such horrible happenings. News reports tend to blame video games after a shooting after given knowledge that he/she were avid players and played for hours on end causing them to lose track of reality and come to hurt others. However violent video games do not cause an increase in adolescent aggression . Video games do not only have violence going for them they also have such positive aspects such as, pushing your competence to the limit by forcing the player to master a certain skill to overcome the obstacles in the level. Video games also open up the world to many other gamers becoming a tool of social interaction. People can develop friendships with many others who may not live near and ultimately stray away from drugs and violent activities.

Many video games today have multiplayer mode that can be accessed through online allowing you to play and communicate with friends. The bottom line is such a creative platform should not be blamed for such happenings. This platform has given people many classic games growing up which also gives family time which opens up more relationships with one another . If you do not like violent video games there is always family friendly games that are rated E for everyone. There will always be good and bad games, but it is up to the consumer to set boundaries for their children if they disagree with the content or not. It’s hard to think of anything that has changed so rapidly and quickly as the video game media, aside from the technology itself.

Coming from something as simple as two rectangles hitting a square, to a full fledged interactive movie that can look as real as any Hollywood production, characters that make you care, a universe you will be immersed in, and a fun factor you can share with your friends and family. As technology has improved so has the level of realism that video games create. However there is something that has not changed something beyond what was mentioned, the ill view on video games. While video games have evolved to a legitimate art form and business, that employs thousands of people, the same argument is used to vilify videogames and the people that buy them.

Since there has been a surge in school shootings the debate of whether video games cause these outcomes has been brought to the limelight once again. The media claims that video games that have violent aspects to them are causing adolescents to lose sight of their world and come to the conclusion that video games and real life negative consequences have a correlation.When a particularly old generation does not use or understand something new it is very common for it to be blamed for a variety of social ills. Some will even make you believe playing Grand Theft Auto will want to make you go out and steal a car. Besides the violence in video games people turn a blind eye to the good a game can give you.

In the article “Anti-Violence Advocates Play Blame Game with Videos.” Kylie Adkins states, “In my own personal experience, videogames have helped me develop the most important relationships in my life. My mother, brother and I are all very close due to the amount we all spent playing together growing up. My brother and I developed a solid social group around video games that was only strengthened by the time we all spent playing together. Was there aggression sometimes? Sure, but there is a difference between aggression and aggressive thoughts.

Yes, we screamed and yelled over that race in Mario Kart or that mini-game in Mario Party, but did we come to blows over it? No, we just ran another race. ‘ Adkins speaks from experience she explains how she was not influenced by games. She also remembers how video games brought her family together and enjoyed her time with them. Even if they all got competitive they would never become violent with each other. Playing video games does not have to be hostile, you can develop friendships that can last you a lifetime.

Even if there was aggression they would battle it out in another match . This only proves that video games are source to develop your relationships with one another. So many people might play the same games as you and eventually you will become friends if you have things in common. This is a great aspect of video games so many people come together to play something they enjoy, interacting with others and being normal. In this world where sometimes technology reigns, video games are just another form of social media.

Massive Media outrage led to the creation of The ESRB in the united states and various other game rating systems across the world.Their sole purpose is to regulate and assign ratings to video games so that people who buy the games know what type of content they will be seeing. It’s important to note that video games have been attacked by many groups; Gun enthusiasts, NRA, religious folk, and even the government of the United States. President Trump held a meeting about mass shootings with top industry executives. He asked why these games are causing such behaviors and if there were ways to stop these things from happening. However he also said that video games are creating monsters.

Trump insisted, “Video game violence & glorification must be stopped,” Mr Trump’s tweet said, although decades of research have failed to find a link between gun violence and graphic violence in games. However, attendees at Thursday’s meeting said the President had sought to hear from both sides”(Wilts).Trump blames video games for school shootings, but blaming violent acts on video games is actually a complicated topic. He wants you to think about video games instead of the real problem behind this topic – Guns. Mr. Trump feels very strongly about violence in video games, but there is more to it than just video games. It is the type of people these kids are growing up with and the issues they deal with. To them video games are an outlet from the real world.

To say these kids are becoming monsters because of a few weeds in the garden due to the games is absurd. You can not judge a whole community of gamers because of the small percentage that retaliate and end up taking innocent people’s lives. This is not to say they were right in doing so of course they should pay for such a crime. However when the media blames it on the hours they spent playing first person shooter games and saying that adolescents will be desensitized to certain things is a lie. It is because they have easy access to guns in their homes or maybe even have some form of undiagnosed mental issues. People ignore the reality and rather blame it on something they do not quite comprehend all because a new generation enjoys it.

Always look out for the different ratings when purchasing a video game. Parents should always read the label if they plan to buy a game that is rated M for mature for an undeage child. If you think you will not be able to handle such content then definitely do not purchase it for your child. Which brings another underlying problem, mental health.

Parents need to see what they are purchasing especially if the child has mental health issues and can be easily swayed by events in a video game. The truth is no one wants to address these problems, so they rather let it be buried. No one wants to blame the parents for not doing their job properly . It is the job of parents to see what they are purchasing for their children. Many people want video games banned because the violent or sexual content. Yet video games are not what causes this and just like any outlet – video games are a form of free speech.

In the article, “Target Set on Video Games in Wake of Florida Shooting” by Alexandra Wilts, it is a known fact that, “In 2011, the US Supreme Court held in a 7-2 decision that video games qualify as protected free speech, and that California’s 2005 law severely restricting the sale of violent video games to minors without parental consent is unconstitutional”(Wilts). People know this law and when at a store, employees will not sell mature games to those who are underaged without a parent present with an ID. If parents cared to see what they were purchasing, video games would not be under fire. Many news networks want video games to be hard to be obtained. Therefore they portray them really bad .

Even though video games can offer so much for you whether it be new relationships or giving you the opportunity to become closer with someone and even immersing you into a whole new world video games do have negative consequences. For example parents should always be cautious with the ratings of video games and their child’s mental health .

They may give you friends online but sometimes you tend to immerse yourself in that world and forget about your real life relationships. “For instance, in the Singapore study, researchers found that those who spent a lot of time gaming had lower grades, worse relationships with their parents, and increased depression, anxiety, and social phobia. Douglas Gentile, one of the researchers from that study, says, “We’re starting to see a number of studies from different cultures— in Europe, the U.S. and Asia—and they’re all showing that somewhere around 7 to 11 percent of gamers seem to be having real problems”(Nakaya).

From The article Issues in Society: Are Video Games Harmful? By Andrea C. Nakaya . Nakaya has a lot of research set and studies of people gaming . There might seem like there is no negative outcomes of playing games. However you might lose friends in real life if you neglect your real life and become depressed. Research has been done to see if people actually get addicted to gaming just as people get addicted to gambling but there’s never anything solid to go from . Yet people tend to think they are addicted to games because they neglect their lives .

So maybe this is a negative for gaming since you may not experience all the beautiful things in life it has to offer . Go out there and enjoy your life instead of being cooped up and playing for hours on end. A few hours is fine set regulations for yourself. Spend time on your homework and with your friends and family. Do not let time pass you by because you were to lazy to interact with real people. Also look at ratings on a video game and make sure you buy the proper game suited for your child’s age . Yes games might give you some beautiful memories with your family if you are capable of having a good relationship with them, however if you distance yourself from other you might regret it.

Bottom line is video games are meant to be a creative platform that any one of any age can enjoy. They want you to relate to the main character and be awed by the scenery. They can increase your skills as you learn ways to perfect your gaming or even how to beat a level. You can learn valuable lessons and even meet new people , while expanding your real life experiences by enjoying gaming with your family. Video games do not cause violence and were not made to influence you in any bad ways. Overall video games are a great outlet for the young , yes they may have negatives but just like anything else people enjoy, it comes with positive consequences as well.

It’s best to know what content you are purchasing and how your children will react and grow up to it. Yet many have come to agree video games are just as amazing as movies and will continued to be blamed for violent acts . All you can do is enjoy your video games and not care what the masses have to say about the community because one gamer who shot up a school does not define the whole community and who you are as a person. As Andrew Smith said ,”People fear what they don’t understand and hate what they can’t conquer.”

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The War on Video Games. (2021, Jul 26). Retrieved from