Categories for Aggression

Video game controversy Essay

Video game controversy Essay

“In 2008, 298. 2 million video games were sold in the US, totaling $11. 7 billion in revenue. Six of the top ten best-selling video games included violence, with four of the games carrying a “Mature” rating recommended for persons aged 17 and older. ” However, violent video games are becoming a serious issue due to increases in bullying, violence toward women and school shootings.

Although, many individuals will claim that video games are just an easy accessibility to express oneself, there have been thousands of researches worldwide hoping to find the relations, threats, and even benefits transferred from violent video games to the gamers.

In fact, some of the “most focused on” studies force to claim that playing violent video games does present a threat to a user’s psychological health which leads the gamer to aggressive(dangerous) behavior, increases social isolation, and should be prevented from purchase by minors.

“Physical aggression” is defined as behavior intended to harm another person physically. Organizations such as the Journal of the American academy of Pediatrics, the American Psychiatric Association, and the American Psychological Association have actually been focusing on video games and the ties they have with physical aggression.

The American Psychological Association concludes that adolescents who play video games may become increasingly aggressive over time(Yee 454). Several other studies have come to identify a cause/effect relationship between dangerous aggression and violent video games.

Obviously, many gamers are not displaying much physical aggression personally while they are blowing the brains out of the “bad guys. ” However, as many researchers proclaim, “Exposing children and adolescents to violent visual media increases the likelihood that they will engage in physical aggression against another person”(Anderson 445). With that stated, as the gamer may not be exploiting physical aggression at the time playing the violent video game, that individual has a high risk of absorbing similar aggressive characteristics especially after playing the game repeatedly.

Along with an expected increase of physical aggression, many researchers believe that, “Media violence also produces an emotional desensitization to aggression and violence”(446). A gamer that is newly introduced to the genre of violent video games may become less sensitive or emotionally unresponsive toward violence as exposure to such genre increases and repeated game play occurs. According to James Gee, “Game players are active problem solvers who do not see mistakes as errors, but as opportunities for improvement.

Players search for newer, better solutions to problems and challenges”(451). Besides all of the negative opinions on violent video games and straight from the text, “A recent Texas A&M International study shows that violent games could actually reduce violent tendencies and could be used as a therapy tool for teens and young adults” (Greenberg 456-7). The majority of teens are students, occasionally have emotional stress, or just plainly need to relieve stress and to many the best way to do so is by pulling out the new Grand Theft Auto.

Violence portrayed in video games—similar to reality or not—is thought of to “help children with difficult feelings such as powerlessness and fear of real violence”(Greenberg 456). Similarly, with no direct relationship, cigarette smoking is not a sufficient cause of lung cancer; although it is a cause that is closely related. Physical aggression may be increased with the direct use of violent video games, just as the risk of being diagnosed with lung cancer increases for the individual who smokes a cigarette.

However, the list of risk factors in order to develop lung cancer stretches far beyond than just the cigarette; and even the one that does smoke may be in healthy shape for the majority of a lifetime. With that stated, video games are just one of many possible risk factors of physical aggression and may not exactly be supported with sufficient evidence to claim high levels of physical aggression resulted from violent video games. According to Anderson, “There are many causal risk factors involved in the development of a person who frequently behaves in an aggressive or violent manner.

There are biological factors, family factors, neighborhood factors, and so on”(446). But regardless of how many other risk factors are present in a youth’s life, playing a lot of violent games is likely to increase the frequency and the aggression, both in the short term and over time as the youth grows up(Anderson 446). No matter if the physical aggression in a gamer of the violent genre is extreme or does not seem to pose a serious threat, the physical aggression does exist and can risk increasing as the violent games are being played more.

Repeated consumption of violent video games “create more positive attitudes, beliefs, and expectations regarding aggressive solutions to interpersonal problems”(446). Youth are becoming to conclude that physical aggression is acceptable, and rather normal. Well over 100 experienced researchers, scientists, and scholars worldwide follow a statement which says: “Overall, the research data conclude that exposure to violent video games causes an increase in the likelihood of aggressive behavior. The effects are both immediate and long term.

Violent video games have also been found to increase aggressive thinking, aggressive feelings, physiological desensitization to violence, and to decrease pro-social behavior. ” Researchers and critics have expressed concerns about appropriate socialization and even addiction of young people who spend too much time alone, staring at a screen. Playing violent video games does present a threat to a user’s psychological health in which it increases social isolation. Before video games became such entertainment, more physical activity and social interactions with other individuals was a priority in search for easy entertainment.

According to the website, Buzzle, referring to socialization and video games, “Social isolation can be an immediate consequence of continuous and ceaseless gaming. People, especially children, tend to spend lesser time with their friends and others because they want to get back home and continue playing. This makes them aloof from others and so in the long-run lack abilities of social communication and develop a kind of anthropophobia–fear of human company”(Web). Children and teens may also come across confusion about reality and fiction.

Being addicted anything, including violent video games, can place a burden on one’s social life. The ability for frequent playing gamers to witness certain realities of the world become limited and the amount of individuals the gamer interacts with eventually decreases; which leads to social isolation. Almost 60 percent of frequent gamers play with friends. Thirty-three perscent play with siblings and 25 percent play with spouses or parents. Even games designed for single players are often played socially(Jenkins 451). With percentages fairly medium, social isolation does not look as if it is as big a factor as expected.

Although, gamers are not always socially interacting, social bonding makes up a major part of the controlled play. Many games, such as Call of Duty, allow access to a headset which allows individuals to socially interact with one another while playing the game. Also, about 40% of all user time on Facebook is spent playing social games, where Facebook is designed to socially interact with friends and family on a social networking site. According to Jane McGonigal, “Games make it easy to build stronger social bonds with our friends and family.

Studies show that we like and trust someone better after we play a game with them—even if they beat us”(465). Even though Facebook is considered a social networking site, playing social games on the site does not exactly relate to the correct form of social interaction that is necessary to be correct. Also, just because you can talk through headset and socially interact; you are not exactly familiar with the individual speaking to you. In result, certain fears may lead to transformation in social awkwardness due to decrease of face to face contact in replace with a headset and other gamers sitting in front of their screen.

Games may make it easy to build stronger social bonds, however, adding an intense amount of violence can result in different mood changes in gamers due to personal opinions on acts performed by other gamers. With a change in social behavior; friendships, family members, peers and other individuals may diagnose a problem with the gamer and consider violent video games to be a direct result of social isolation. Is it considered constitutional if an American citizen gets limited rights under the First Amendment? Playing violent video games does present a threat to a user’s psychological health and should be prevented from purchase by minors.

However, Supreme Court judicial and other government officials have to decide if prohibition of violent video games to minors is interfering with the individual’s right to the First Amendment—which basically allows American citizens to have freedom of specific categories. The harmful effects on minors from playing violent video games are documented and seriously contested(Yee 454). States such as California are already attempting to make laws in which sell of violent video games to minors is prohibited just to protect children from the harmful effects of excessively violent video games.

Prohibiting the sale of violent video games to minors will assist in preventing unnecessary risk factors resulted from video games. As teens short of the required age cannot watch ‘R-rated’ movies, they should not be granted the ability to control a version of realism that is similar to “real-life” on a screen in front of your face. Within the First Amendment rights are rights of speech, press, and political freedom. “To strip First Amendment free speech protection from video games that ‘lack serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value for minors,”(Greenberg 455) is just absurd and objecting against one’s constitutional rights.

Besides preventing the sale of violent video games to minors just going against the First Amendment, some stores may stop carrying Mature-rated games. Game publishers might be afraid to finance them. Developers would not know how to avoid triggering censorship because even the creator of such laws do not seem to know(456). Government bureaucrats are not fully equipped to “divine the artistic value that a video game has for a 17-year old. ” Excitingly, many researchers believe that parents should gain more authority in the types of games or media the child absorbs or chooses to interact with.

Instead of the gaming industry being responsible for the outcomes of critic reviews, and research studies; the children’s parents should take much more responsibility on anything absorbed, taught, or knowledge received by child. The people allowed to limit minor’s free speech rights are his parents or guardian(s)(456). As stated by Yee, “I am hopeful that a majority of justices will agree that parents—not retailers or game makers—should determine which games are appropriate for kids”(454).

As Greenberg proclaims at the end of his passage, “Even when video games contain violence, and even when the players are minors whose parents let them play games with violence, picking up that game controller is a form of expression, and it should be free”(457). “It makes no sense to bar children from buying a picture of a naked woman but to allow them to buy video games that portray gratuitous torture”(Yee 454). There are several laws or rules that prevent us from reaching desired expectations due to physical reactions, age, and maturity level, to say the least.

If a minor is prohibited from the sale of pornography due to social morals and personal ineligibilities, then one should receive tougher access to the available consumption of violent video games. The prevention to contribute those games to minors is a hopeful act to will not only ensure that parents make such decisions, but will help protect our children in the years to come. Yee claims, “That since the government can ‘prohibit the sale of alcohol, tobacco, firearms, driver’s licenses and pornography to minors’ then ‘that same reasoning applies in the foundation and enactment’ of his law restricting video games.

There is a certain age until finally eligible to legally purchase weapons, alcoholic beverages, tobacco, sexual accessories, tattoos, and the list goes on. The more progressed and difficult the violent video games are becoming are being critiqued extremely precise, and actually portraying very similar to realistic visuals. With prevention of sales to minors, unnecessary confusion between psychological health in minors and violent video games will be limited and nearly eliminated; leaving open window of individuals that gain access to violent video games with prohibition to sell to minors.

Do violent video games present a threat to the gamers’ psychological health? Although several studies have left many conclusions unanswered; hundreds of researchers, scientists and scholars have worked together and individually to allow the correct information behind the true relationship of violent video games and the gamers’ psychological health. Playing violent video games does present a threat to user’s psychological health in which it leads to aggressive behavior, increases social isolation, and should be prevented from purchase by minors.

Works Cited Anderson, Craig A. “Violent Video Games and Other Media Violence. ” Writing Arguments: a rhetoric with readings. Ed. Lauren A. Finn. New Jersey: Saddle River, 2012. 445-6. Print. D’Silva, Roy. “Negative Effects of Video Games. ” Buzzle. 10 Oct 2012. Web. 2 Mar 2013. Greenberg, Daniel. “Why the Supreme Court Should Rule that Violent Video Games are Free Speech. ” Writing Arguments: a rhetoric with readings. Ed. Lauren A. Finn. New Jersey: Saddle River, 2012. 454-7. Print. Jenkins, Henry. “Reality Bytes: Eight Myths about video Games Debunked.

” Writing Arguments: a rhetoric with readings. Ed. Lauren A. Finn. New Jersey: Saddle River, 2012. 449-452. Print. McGonigal, Jane. “Be a Gamer, Save the World. ” Writing Arguments. : a rhetoric with readings. Ed. Lauren A. Finn. New Jersey: Saddle River, 2012. 464-6. Print. ProCon. org. “Do violent video games contribute to youth violence? ” ProCon. org. 29 Mar 2011. Web. 2 Mar 2013. Yee, Leland Y. “Parents Should be able to Control What Kids Watch. ” Writing Arguments: a rhetoric with readings. Ed. Lauren A. Finn. New Jersey: Saddle River, 2012. 453-4. Print.