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How Violent Video Games Affect Teenagers

1061 words - 5 pages

97% of teenagers play video games, including those that involve violent simulations. (Mick). Blood, victims screaming for help, and gunfire are completely normal to the average teenager. In a study conducted in 2004, teenagers that played video games for an extended period of time were found to be more hostile and prone to aggression. (Gentile, D.A, et al.) As the numbers of both online kills and real-life tragedies increase, several people and organizations have began to call for the end of violence in video games. One such organization, Parents Against Violence, are committed to “raising a voice against violent entertainment media and establishing a clear and compelling argument for sensible restrictions.”
As our technology continues to develop, gaming systems are being updated with the newest software and accessories. Many controllers now have the ability to vibrate, simulating the recoil of a gun. With technological advancements like these, it's easy to see why teenagers would want to experience the real thing. In the popular game, Call of Duty:Black Ops II, players win by killing others using realistic weapons. The teenager playing is also exposed to a variety of disturbing images, including people burning to death, torture, and rotting corpses. (Gudmundsen).
In the aftermath of the shooting rampage at a Washington Navy yard, video games were blamed as a factor for the tragedy. The gunman, Aaron Alexis, played several video games. He often played for up to 16 consecutive hours a day, which is a common sign of addiction. Along with a history of mental illness and anger management issues, this may have led to the shooting that killed 13 on September 16, 2013. (Bushman). This was not the first time video games were put under a microscope. In one of the most infamous school shootings, 26 people were killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut on December 14, 2012. In the investigation following the mass shooting, dozens of violent video games were found in the shooter's home. "[People heading the investigation] don't believe this was just a spreadsheet," a police officer later told the New York Daily News. "They believe it was a score sheet. This was the work of a video gamer, and it was his intent to put his own name at the very top of that list." After the shooting, Senator Jay Rockefeller proposed a bill to study the impact of violence in video games on children. "They believe that violent video games are no more dangerous to young minds than classic literature or Saturday morning cartoons. ...

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