Table of Contents
Videogame Violence: A Campaign Against It
Video Game Violence
My point of view
This is the beginning of the piece. It is the first section and serves to introduce the topic.
Videogames have been the subject of much criticism as their popularity has grown. Videogame violence as entertainment is considered vile by many. “Death Race”, a 1975 release, was one the first games to suggest violence. The small stick figures were supposed to look like “gremlins”, and when hit by a moving car, they would change into gravestones. (cite) The context and content of the game are laughable in today’s culture. Many people say that we have become desensitized by violence. Violence will remain a major selling point for games as technology advances and entertainment expands.
Psalm 11 says: “The Lord test the righteous. His soul hates evil and those who love violence.” The videogames can be seen as a form of entertainment, a means to relieve anger, boredom or frustration. Colossians 3:12-24 says, “Whatever you are doing, do it with passion, like you’re working for God and not men. You will be rewarded by the Lord for your hard work.” This verse can be interpreted many different ways. A person’s God-given talents are used to play a game, share their belief, and be proud when they reach professional status. Violence should not be promoted, but neither is it harmful to the society. “33 Bible […] games”
Videogame Violence Many anti-violence activists link violent videogames with gun control. Adam Lanza was armed with a Bushmaster XM15 E2S rifle in.223 caliber, a SIG Sauer P226 9mm handgun and a Glock 10mm handgun on December 20th, 2012. Lanza is credited with killing over 20 children. This will serve as a foundation for gun legislation in the U.S. Videogames were blamed by many groups for his violent outburst. Iowa State University’s Dr. Craig A. Anderson, a psychologist, said:
There are a number of factors that can lead to extreme acts like school shootings. These include feeling socially excluded, being bullied or not accepted by others. (Anderson)
Eric Harris (left) and Dylan Klebold (right) entered Columbine Senior High School, on April 20th, 1999. Their plan was to attack teachers and students. Written plans stated that the two men planned to murder over 100 students, mostly club and athlete members. Before they killed themselves, the two had murdered 13 people and injured 23 others. Eric and Dylan played “Doom”, a popular FPS game or “first person shooting” game, which was the first to be released. The US military was given this game in order to teach soldiers how to kill efficiently. The boy’s computer also contained a Doom game with two players. Both had unlimited ammo. They were unable touch or fight the players, who were killing the non-player characters (NPCs).
MAVAV is one small group fighting against violent videogames. The site contains controversial statements such as “Videogames Not Fun”, Videogames Not Fun”, and “Everything just a game for gamers”. These groups want to stop violence being used as entertainment. (“MAVAV”)
Videogames that are violent require players to be involved in the violence and play the games with them. The new game controllers encourage more physical interaction and the games become more interactive. This could lead to an increase in juvenile violence. Violent games cause players to believe that they can get a reward for inflicting pain on other people. Depending on how many kills or havoc you cause in a game, some games will reward you with new powers, weapons, and abilities. Videogames which reward violence tend to encourage aggressive responses and behaviors in players. Violence in videogames may make people less sensitive to it. (Layton)
In these games, you are given multiple chances to correct your mistakes. In a 2005 study, violent videogames were linked to lowered P300 brain waves. These are associated with desensitization towards violence and an increase in aggressive temper. The constant exposure of videogames to violence is thought to reduce empathy. Jeanne Funk’s 2004 study of 150 fourth- and fifth-grade students showed that violent games were the most common media to lower empathy. Empathy, or the ability for one to understand someone else’s feelings, issues and emotions is important to mental development, moral equilibrium, and to prevent aggressiveness. (Mosher) (“ProCon.org”)
Videogame Violence has declined in America as violent videogames have become more popular. Between 1995 and 2008 the arrest rates of juvenile murders fell by 71.9%. The arrest rate of all violent juvenile crimes has decreased by 49.3%. Videogame sales have tripled in the same time period. (Corriea). Brad Bushman, in his recent article “Does violent videogames contribute to shootings?” Bushman says:
There is no definitive answer to the question of whether videogames are responsible for violence. Alexis’ rampage was not likely caused by violent videogames. The games themselves aren’t innocent either. Recent reports have suggested that he was mentally ill with anger issues. Videogames are a likely factor. (Bushman), regarding the Navy Yard shooting by Aaron Alexis in November, 2013.
According to some studies, playing violent videogames as a replacement for roughhousing and other harmful games reduces violence in adolescents. Videogames that are violent allow young boys and girls the opportunity to express their anger or aggression without harming themselves. Others claim that violent videogames are a safe way for children to vent their anger. According to a study from 2007, 46% boys play videogames “to get their anger out,” and 62% do so “to relax.” It is not necessary that a short-term spike in aggression or arousal will lead a child to commit violent crimes. The violent crimes that youth commit are often modeled after videogames. But the violence can still occur even without the games. Videogames allow children and young people to experience laws, rules, consequences, and other aspects of violence in a controlled, safe environment. Violence, war, death and other issues can be explored in some violent games without real-world effects and consequences. (Whiteman)
This statement, while harsh at first glance, is true. Football is, in essence, a twisted version of fetch. The players are trying to hurt and damage the other side to reach a common goal. In the US, football is the most widely watched sport. Sports and other forms violence are often overlooked when video game violence is discussed. In its simplest form, wrestling is brutality. The aim is to inflict as much pain as possible on the opponent, until they submit, or harm them enough until their body falls apart and becomes unconscious. It is not a new form of entertainment; gladiators used it in the past. Violence is not a reason to shun these forms when discussing entertainment.
Most people worry about children and young people when they talk about violent videogames. As people age, they lose the old selves that they were and adopt new morals. First Corinthians chapter 13, verse 11 says that “When I became a man, I gave up childish ways.” As I grew up, I let go of my childish habits.” (“33 Biblical […]Games”) This is true also for violent videogames. The game will not harm you if it is played for pure entertainment. Violence, tragedy, or war can be presented in moderation. Children will take on some of the information.
Personal OpinionWhen it is brought up that videogame violence is ruining children, I become defensive. We both love videogames as entertainment, but only entertainment. I believe they are more than just a way to entertain, but can also be used for things such as: teamwork, puzzle-solving abilities, learning and teaching, and even reaction time. It is important to have good reaction timing, not just in games but in everyday tasks such as driving and sports. Skills in teamwork will help you build stronger relationships with your friends, help you work together as a group and excel at your job. The ability to solve puzzles can be applied in everyday situations and in solving problems. Videogames can also be a powerful teaching tool. It is easy to understand and it can capture students’ attention. This popular game, “Minecraft,” has been implemented in elementary schools.
I’ve played videogames most of my adult life. They are a great way to relax, have fun, and connect with friends. Videogames’ social aspects and their ability to bring together youth today far outweigh any “harmful” effects. Videogames provide entertainment, education, and competition. They are also a great way to earn money. Videogames are a lucrative and entertaining way to earn money.
I think that the statement “videogames increase aggression” is false. In the game you’ll be aggressive and strive to win. This is why you should be frustrated if there are obstacles in your way. It’s possible that the player appears aggressive while playing, but gamers know it isn’t true. The claim that “life will become a joke” is also made, but it’s not necessarily a negative thing. It may cause people to be more social and joking around, but serious issues will still be treated with respect.
When I hear about desensitization, I have an opposing view. To be desensitized is not to endorse violence. It’s merely to teach you how to deal. Soldiers must deal with violence every day, including death. Growing up, I’m sure they learned to cope. It allows the person to avoid overreacting or exaggerating a minor issue, such as a fractured bone or general blood. This is a good skill to have as a doctor, parent, or bystander at a murder or crime.
It is not necessary for me to engage in activism when the topic at hand is as simple as videogame violence. MAVAV seems to have little impact and is not necessary. They should not let their children play these games and they should not have any say in how other parents or mothers raise their children. If mothers feel they must deny their kids the social aspects and skills of video games in order to protect their child, then that’s their decision. Other parents shouldn’t be forced to do the same. MAVAV claims like “Videogames are not fun”, “Everything is just a game to Gamers”, or “Textspeak Linked with Violent Videogames”, are ridiculous when you consider their evidence. Textspeak and violent videogames are linked by the MAVAV. They claim that “Textspeak” is a process where words are shortened, numbers added to text messages to make them “cooler”. This form of texting is extremely annoying. It is enough to use the following example: “RU cmin out 2nite?” The deciphered version is “Are you going out tonight?”
ConclusionViolence is a major selling point for games, despite the fact that new research and results are released daily. There are many opinions expressed by researchers, based on data collected from various studies. Those against videogame violence want to demonstrate the negative psychological effects and major terroristic incidents. Aaron Alexis was an outlier among the gamers who like semi-violent interactive games. The psychological advantages of the pro violence side appear to outweigh that of the anti-violence.
In the Bible, God is said to hate violence and “hate the wicked” and those who love violence. Gamification is not a real game, but a form entertainment. If the player is deliberately committing violent actions in the video game, they should be discouraged from playing. It is not fair to those who enjoy games to try to eradicate all violence.
Some people might think that videogames are evil. Psalms 119:37 states “Turn me from looking at useless things, and give life to your ways.” There are arguments on both sides. Proverbs 22.6 states that when you teach a young child how to behave, they will never leave it. Videogames are best left to parents while the child’s young. It is important to instill good morals and create a child with a mature spirituality.