Violence in video games has been a controversial topic for a long time, but the argument makes no sense. Numerous studies prove that the assumption of video games causing aggressive behavior is false. The actions of youth offenders are being blamed on video game violence, instead of other underlying problems that may be the real cause. Something that brings joy to children around the world, undergoes constant criticisms, and accusations of creating belligerent behavior. Violence in video games does not create aggressive behavior in children because research does not support a correlation, and aggressive behavior isn’t shown in other violent medias.
The first reason these accusations are false, research reveals no direct correlation between the amount of youth offenders, and the video games that are blamed for their crimes. Video games seem to be a shortcut, or an easy way out of these youth offenders problems, blame tends to be placed on something else like the idea of video games rotting the minds of children. According to recent video game sale charts “the number of violent youth offenders in the United States fell by more than half between 1994 and 2010—while video game sales more than doubled since 1996” (Kain). There has been research done on these types of games before, which proves there isn’t a tie between video games and the aggressive conduct accused. Dr.
Cheryl Olsen, professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School’s center for Mental Health and Media argues ” In 2005, just 12 percent of the video games sold were violent enough to bear an M rating… At the same time, youth crime is dropping precipitously” (Meeks). Secondly, other countries lack these behavioral issues , in video games, or with other forms of media. In the U.S. video game violence seems to be a very problematic topic, but not in other countries. In a 10 country comparison by the Washington Post, it states “Countries with the highest per capita spending on video games, such as the Netherlands and South Korea, are among the safest countries in the world when it comes to violence” (Kain).
Problems caused not by the video games, but by something else. Another point made is the fact that children have been exposed to violent media for years, and other medias did not have the same effect. According to Keith Feinstein, game historian and founder of Videotopia explains “If it wasn’t made by Pixar, you’re hurting someone for a laugh. There’s a general crudeness, a general meanness that creeps into culture, and that has nothing to do with video games” (Meeks). These have the same type of violence, but are not blamed.
This fictitious behavior only exists in the video games, and not in other medias with the same factors. Some critics may argue that “With violent video games- you practice being vigilant for enemies, practice thinking that it is acceptable to respond aggressively to provocation, and practice becoming desensitized to the consequences of violence” (Paddison). While this in fact sounds like a good point, the statement is false. Once again, the behavior problem does not apply with other types of media, or have any correlation to the violent behavior. Justice Antonin Scalia in the trial Brown v. Entertainment Merchants Association (2011) informs others that teens have been exposed to other violent media for years.
“from the gruesome Grimm’s Fairy Tales of the 19th century to novels on many high school reading lists today, such as Lord of the Flies” (Jacobs). Children have always been exposed to violence, so if video games are the problem, then so are fairy tales, TV shows, and social medias. No matter how much violence is said to be repeated, video games do not impact a child’s permanent behavior. Overall, children are not aggressive because of video games. Video game violence is a scapegoat used to blame for kids’ aggression. Research shows the opposite of most arguments and beliefs, so people must all take action before all this hard work used to make these fun games becomes pointless.
Stand up and save children’s entertainment, and maybe even join the kids in playing too.