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The Video Game Violence Controversy

Video games do not incite violence among minors. Minors can be defined as children that are stable-minded and not predisposed to violence. To incite, according to the Webster Dictionary, means to spur the action or urge on. Logically speaking, video games cannot incite violence unless it is already prevalent.

A recent study at Swinburne University of Technology tested 120 children aged 11 to 15 and revealed that only the children prone to worrying, neurotic behavior, and predisposed to aggression were likely to be violent after playing video games. Teenagers, or older minors, are exposed to violence everywhere. According to a US Secret Service study, only 12 percent of school shooters were attracted to violent video games, while 24 percent read violent books and 27 percent were attracted to violent movies.

Violence is something that is inherent in all human beings, and traces of it can be found anywhere. Thus, violent video games do not affect children that have not been predisposed to violence. In the most extreme situation, and also the most unlikely, video games will make violent children more prone to expressing their violent behavior, not causing or inciting it.

The affirmative side may argue with lab testing results, experiments, and studies, that video games cause violence. These must be ignored and disregarded because of the following: The minor’s experience of playing a video game at home, where it is regularly played, cannot be replicated elsewhere such as in a lab.

When being observed in a lab, one is not familiar with the surroundings, has a spotlight on him/herself, and is also being forced to play the game. The minor is not getting to choose the game, may not be playing with the same vigor for a goal he/she may want to achieve at home, or may not feel up to playing the game. In other words, the exact feelings of actually playing a video game at home can’t be replicated. Thus, results achieved in an experiment or study cannot and should not be taken into consideration.

The statement that video games cause violence is absolutely false, and is in fact the opposite. Video games actually promote minors socially and can serve as a fast way to relax and de-stress. After all, we buy games to have fun and not because we have feelings of hatred towards others. Video games are a form of entertainment and are synonymous with things such as listening to music, watching movies, reading books, sports, etc.

Such as with all the preceding, video games also do not have any long-term effects on personality and general nature. Our society is one where there are multiple stresses and many chances for aggression to develop; minors are not exempt from this. Various things such as school, peers, and sports, cause these types of feelings. Video games are a solution to that problem. By playing, children can take out their pent-up aggression in a way that doesn’t harm anyone; any violent thoughts are channeled into the video game, and by the time the children are finished playing, feelings of calmness and satisfaction replace the violent ones.

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User Comments
  1. pickles9

    On May 5, 2008 at 12:36 pm

    I’m glad somebody finally defended video games.

  2. Haley22

    On September 19, 2008 at 6:58 pm

    To ignore the fact that video games are violent and do cause violence within children is ignorant.You also made the comment that children are not ignorant. No one said our children are ignorant but the more something is made “ok” to someone even when they know its not they become immune to society not being able to choose the right path as they would if they had not been so made use to the violence, language and drugs. We can not control how a parent rasies a child.What we can control as inventors and “gamers” is make a product that will be a postive effect on the youth if it is going to apeal to a younger group so this problem does not occur with violence in our youth or the argument that it is in fact not violent either way it is a problem.

  3. junpei iori

    On December 16, 2008 at 1:22 am

    hey World of Warcraft is the BEST GAME EVER OK!!!!! there’s nothing wrong with video games – they don’t make you crazy! all you need to do is drink gamer’s energy and it’ll keep you going for at least five days! i don’t even need sleep! and namco museum! that’s the best man! the classics!!!!!!!!! you can’t beat the classics! i used to love dig dug but my old boyfriend minato said that i was always neglecting him :( WHICH WAS SO NOT TRUE OK!!! HE’S JUST TOO NEEDY!! i mean, i show up! sure…6 days later, but at least i show up! and he doesn’t even change the sheets! geez, how rde is that?! i always asked him to change the sheets but he won’t…and i’m busy playing my video games! jesus man i don’t need him anymore…as long as i have WoW my life is COMPLETE.

  4. Shauni

    On January 21, 2009 at 6:43 pm

    Honestly, people who try to blame violence solely on video games is grabbing for a scapegoat and isn’t trying to tackle the biggest problem- the human mind. We, as a people, are completely different, and process information differently as a result. An unstable being may be influenced by not only video games, but their enviornment, other sources of media, their upbringing, and, ultimately, their perception of all of the above.
    I’ve been an avid gamer all my life (literally, since the age of six, I’ve never been without a game controller) and I’m not a violent person, nor am I an isolated, paranoid, or emotionally and/or psychologically unstable being, but society will tell you otherwise- apparently, gamers are violent, emotionally void, mentally unstable mouthbreathers that can’t function in everyday life, but, really, only a small percentage of gamers have those symptoms, and it’s because of several other factors- not just the games that they play- that got them to where they are.

  5. doggy

    On February 17, 2009 at 11:34 am

    In the 1980s all of societies problems were blamed on video nasties now its the turn for video games. I love a violent game because I will never do those things in real life and appreciate the difference. Societies problems are because of lazy scum who cant be bothered to raise their children with decency.

  6. Brotagonist

    On March 4, 2009 at 8:57 pm

    Please don’t ever act like that again!

    And for those of us, where are lives consisted of nothing but school, games are a nice way to take a break from that.

    However I like how “violent” games get all the attention, while there is a game out there that involve high school teenagers shooting themselves in the head to summon things like Satan and Lucifer to do their bidding, yet it gets away with no controversy because it goes unnoticed.

  7. A Gamer

    On March 24, 2009 at 2:34 pm

    This whole thing with vidoe game violence is getting on my nerves. Iv`e been playinng games for at least 13 years if not more (I`m 20 if that matters here). Anyways, I`ve played the mortal combat games, I`ve put at least 120 hours in GTA Vice City when it came out. And after playing that games for that long, I DID not have a single thought of violence. I am glad that someone finallt defended the gaming industry for once. Its good to hear there are some people out there who care.

  8. 14 yr old gamer

    On March 29, 2009 at 8:51 am

    hello i am 14 and i play violent video games very violent video games. games were blasting the head off a herd of las plagus infected villages from europe is the goal and games were stealing and drug deals are the goal. i have played and completed every gta game from gta 3 onwards i have played mortal kombat for hours on end. every game i own is 15+ but i still play them i have ever since i can remember. people just look for a scapegoat in video games instead of admiting they were horrible parents or that gun control played a part in all this. people should try and look at the other aspects that cause violent acts in adolecents (yes im looking at you abusive parents) video games to me are a stress releiver a way to experience another world be witness to a post apocolyptic wasteland for example(not meaning i wish the world was a post apocolyptic wasteland), things i will never experience. and for another thing violence has always exsisted for instance what caused hitler to want to take part in the genocide of entire races im pretty sure it wasnt video games.

    anyone that thinks video games should be banned is stupid.
    try and focus on more important things people theres poverty and real wars in the world right now dont focus all your attention on a fairly new media that may be perceived as violent. i do not beleive that video games are murder simulaters. to me video games are a form of storytelling. storys that can make me shed a tear like any titanic or notebook style movie.

    why dont people try and stop things that are more associated to adolecent murderers like parent abuse and bullying.

    p.s metal gear solid is de best!!!!!!

  9. THE Queen of Owls

    On April 23, 2009 at 6:54 pm

    To say video game violence incites every ounce of violence in a teen who goes and shoots their school up is ridiculous. Children learn violence through experience, not through virtual fantasy. =/ It’s a parent’s fault if they give their kids M rated games, beat their child… or, even like mine did, push a negative view into their child’s heart and promote perfection. You can’t do that without a kid going bat****.

    I’ve played violent games, and I’ve never wanted to hurt anyone before.

  10. wolfman90

    On May 1, 2009 at 10:04 am

    regarding the second comment: The simple fact is graphic images in todays society are becoming more acceptable, its just the times that we live in, just to list a few: media coverage, music, television, etc. If your going to say [insert media type here] are the cause of violence then you might as well say the entire subculture of the American public is the cause for the violence, because video games and Media are here to say, because thats what sells, B****ing about it wont get you anywhere.

    addressing the topic: I’ve been a gamer since the NES, I’ve played every type of video game out there and not once have I had thoughts acts of violence. However that is not the real issue here, EVERYONE has violent thoughts at some point or another in their life (unless you’re a saint or something, which those who are probably reading this are not anyway)What matters is, how the individual deals with these thoughts.

    To the individuals supporting the counter argument: If you suggest that one individual committed a act of gun violence (which is the generic case) because he played to much GTA one would have to assume he was in an environment that supported the games environment. In other words, IF THE INDIVIDUAL DOES NOT HAVE ACCESS TO WEAPONS EASILY (EMPHASIS ON EASILY) then the negative thoughts would be exerted on the game and not his environment. IN THE EXTREME CASE that someone commits a homicide because of a video game, the general term to describe said individual is PSYCHOPATH.

  11. video gamer racer730

    On January 21, 2010 at 12:41 pm

    im 13 and ive played since i was 7 ive never thought of shooting anyone just cause i play a game doesnt mean im gonna run around with an m4 killing people. the govenment just needed to have an exuse for all the shootings and violince by the way check out the new dirtbike and 4wheeler law proposil for MA

  12. The Thinking Man

    On February 24, 2010 at 2:27 pm

    Hi, I am a 25 y.o. male who has played video games his entire life. My fondest Christmas memory is when my father gave me and my brother our first Nintendo. My father passed away when I was 19, and so when I play video games I remember that big smile on his face when he saw how grateful my brother and I were to him and my mother for that gift. I treasure memories of learning how to beat the Legend of Zelda, and thinking dad was a genius for knowing how to do that. My father was a writer, his creativity and enthusiasm encouraged me, and video games are a reminder of that too. Video games in my life are a source of joy and social interaction. I am not overly aggressive or even introverted. I smile at people when I walk down the street.
    I have killed millions of people, I have gladly sliced and diced, blown up and shot foes with a whole plethora of weaponry… In video games. How many fights have I been in, in real life? One, and it wasn’t after playing video games. It was after a stressful day in middle school, and I was a poor fighter.
    I am currently in college and still a productive member of society, I have a wonderful girlfriend, I have 3 pets that I have never so much as spanked. I am happy, I am intellectual, I am fair, I try to be honest all the time. My dream is to one day make video games, and that’s why I have returned to college to further my education. To call such a thing a “Cancer to our society,” to quote Bill in the second comment, is radical, and hostile. I feel that the negativity that exists in our society is a result of the negativity that is expressed from the media and from terms like “cancer to our society.”
    Art expresses emotion, creativity is expression, video games are creative, and there is no fair way to argue that they are anything less than art. Artistic images are sometimes quaint, peaceful, joyful and vibrant, but art can also express anger, remorse, fear, or sadness. The ratings systems are in place, they are even stricter than those found in the film industry. Some would argue that the ratings can be ignored, and that kids can get their hands on these games anyway, but the same can be said of any mature art.
    I am further researching this subject as part of a project for school, and fully intend to give an unbiased report of the statistics that I find. I will practice consideration and integrity in my report, and take a responsible standpoint. All I ask, from those of you that are so outraged about the violence in our video games, is that we take time for consideration and be open to new insights, and not go up in arms at the slightest violation of our meanest principles. I welcome any debate, and am glad to have been able to air my thoughts.

  13. orange

    On March 1, 2010 at 2:17 pm

    i came here for school and all i did was save to my favorites and play with the pupperoni add

  14. Ryan

    On April 16, 2010 at 1:57 pm

    Video games should be allowed to have violent games they HAVE a RATING SYSTEM just because parents ignore this doesn’t mean it is the games fault for making their child agressive. Those games are meant to T(Teens) and M(Mature) and if ur a teen our a adult and ur getting agressive over a video game you have just been messed up in the head all along. People do crazy things and then blame things for something they had control over. Video games are not similar to drugs, drugs have actual effects they MAKE your body mess up video games DON’T you can choose to get off a video game and go do something else. Yes you can quit drugs to but after a little research it is about a 87% chance that you need help quitting drugs, while video games have a 5% chance that you need help based on 100,000 people. Thats only 5,000 people while drugs is 87,000 people. So for people who are saying video games are as addictive as drugs are wrong and i please ask people to research a little before they post bad comments ranting about smoething that is untrue. Just because video games may have messed up someone you knows life doesnt mean 86,999 other people have the same thing. Chances are only 4,999 people have and this is world wide.

  15. Jonathan Tapia

    On April 29, 2010 at 2:56 pm

    As a gamer myself, i don’t think that they increase violence. my friend is ranked in the top 100,000 players in the world in call of duty modern warfare 2 and he is one of the least aggressive friends i have. they only times he fights back is just for fun when people are messing around. my other friend who plays the game like twice a month loves to fight people. i don’t know why, but i’m assuming it’s because of the older people he hangs out with. a professor from MIT said “According to federal crime statistics, the rate of juvenile violent crime in the United States is at a 30-year low.” this is a little bit shorter than video games have been out which means juveniles were more aggressive before video games came out than they have been in the last 30 years. a study shows that most cases of adolescence violence if not from video games, but the child’s family lifestyle. Their parents did not do a good job making sure their kids know that video games are fake, and most kids get their violence from violent movies.

  16. scooby doo

    On May 4, 2010 at 5:24 pm


  17. Croadon

    On November 9, 2010 at 9:52 am

    Hey, I’m a 19 yr old gamer and I know FOR A FACT kids can’t buy M rated games, i get carded every time I try to buy one. I had 2 show them my ID when I went 2 buy Halo 3: ODST.
    There is NO WAY kids can get their hands on a violent game unless a parent/grandparent etc buys it for them. Oh, and M rated games, the most explicit games, only make up a small fraction of the game market in fact E-E10+ make up the majority of games sold so………SCHNNAAAAARRFF!!!

  18. Bob

    On February 17, 2011 at 11:44 am

    I play video games because they are entertaining, you should not compare them to rebuilding a car because most people would not have fun doing that. Yes you could spend your time better, but I would for entertainment rather play a video game which is from my view an interactive TV or book. For example, I want to play a game that is an epic fantasy, this could replace me going to a movie or watching television, not replace doing something that you should do such as homework or a job, so if your against video games your basicly saying all forms of entertainment should be banned, why is one form different than another?

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