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Are Violent Videogames The Trigger To Extremely Violent Acts?

1350 words - 6 pages

On April 20, 1999, two high school seniors walked into Colorado high school carrying AK47 rifles and opened fire. They shot dozens of people, killing 12 students and one teacher. School shootings had happened before, but this was a new scale of carnage. While searching for the reasoning behind this massacre, it was found out that the shooters had spent a lot of time playing violent video games. The question that has been asked by many is “Do violent video games cause violence in real life?” The answer is yes. They do cause violence in real life, but not to the extent publicized. Many different studies and experiments have shown varying results. Most say that violence in video games does cause violent behavior. However, it is too simplistic to create a direct link to violence because of videogames. If someone is able to fire on innocent citizens without any good reason, it would be uninformed to say that this was solely caused by violent games.

Over 97% of America’s youth play videogames, with many of the “most played” games showcasing violent content. And by a 2008 estimate, they are playing them for an average of 13.2 hours per week. The rise in dramatically violent games connects in some ways to the real world. Many studies show an association between violent games and violent behavior and have many people questioning the effects of illustrative violence on young minds and then again there are others, which conclude otherwise. Video games have only existed since the 1970s, so there is inconclusive evidence for or against their violent effects, than violence portrayed on television, and even those effects aren’t proven.

Video games and killings have been connected and publicized by the media since the 90’s. In 1997, 16-year-old Evan Ramsey brought a shotgun to his Alaska high school and shot four people, killing two. He vehemently played the sci-fi horror game "Doom," in which you have to shoot an enemy many times before it dies. Ramsey later explained he was “surprised to find that the rule did not apply in real life”(Layton). In many ways, it's the same argument we've heard for years about violence on television. Science has come to a general agreement that under certain conditions, TV does influence children’s behavior.

Some believe video games are more likely to affect behavior because they're immersive. People do not just watch video games; they ¬¬¬interact with them. The games are also repetitive and based on a rewards system, primary components of classical conditioning, a proven psychological concept in which behavioral learning takes place as a result of rewarding (or punishing) particular types of behavior.

Other physical links were revealed in a 2006 study at the Indiana University School of Medicine regarding brain activity. Researchers looked at the brains of 44 kids immediately after they played video games. Half of them played a nonviolent game, and the other half played a violent game. The brain scans of the violent-game...

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