Blame Games: Does Violence In Video Games Influence Players To Commit Mass Shootings?

2475 words - 10 pages

Does the famous video game Pac Man influence its players to abuse the use of prescription pills? It may sound ridiculous, but that is how news media specializes in the alteration of false information. By arriving at conclusions without providing accurate research and facts to back it up, news media blames extreme video games for causing violence in our society. They ignore factors such as population, mental health, and home life as they quickly jump to conclusions that violence portrayed through media influences individuals to cause harm to others. The misrepresentation of violent entertainment by news media has successfully caused false judgments and opinions about violent video games.
The video game industry is one of the fastest growing economic sectors in America as it provides players with a source of challenging entertainment. Video games have become the most frequent form of media usage that is currently surpassing television. McGonigal reports that “Over 183 million Americans, mostly teenagers, play video games an average of eight hours a week” (McGonigal). Every video game must go through the rating process conducted by the Entertainment Software Rating Board before the game is released to the public. Anthony explains that “The ESRB independently applies and enforces ratings... adopted by the computer and video game industry" (Anthony). Video games that contain intense violence, blood and gore, sexual content, and strong language are recognized as extreme video games. These games attain the rating of the alphabetic character M, which stands for mature, meaning that it these games can only be purchased by adults of the age 18 or older. These M-rated video game genres include shooters, simulators, action-adventure, horror, roleplaying and the list goes on and on. Research has concluded that these extreme video games have both numerous positive and negative effects on the brain. It is no question that violence in media, such as video games and television, has an influence on today's society.
The relevance of violence in video games in the United States today is currently being discussed as a concerning topic in congress. Many people argue these video games influence individuals to commit crimes and lead to mass shootings. The arrival at a decision to ban the production and distribution of M-rated video games in America has come to a standstill. Research has proven that violence in video games has many positive and negative effects on the brain, but the severity of these effects does not compare to overall aspect of violence in video games. Ferguson admits “...there is not enough evidence to prove that violence in video games is directly related to aggressive behavior” (Ferguson, ). Because there is no proven evidence, congress is at a standstill on its decision to ban these video games until they are proven to have a negative influence on society. News media continues to persuade the masses about their opinion on the subject and most...

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