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Video Games And Violence Essay

1707 words - 7 pages

Video games have positive and negative aspects. Acording to a study, those who spend hours and hours in playing ‘civic games’ were found to take more part in different community services like social work, politics or protests, as compared to those who never took interest in vidoe games. Hence video games are proved to increase one’s social interaction skills. The kind of friendship and ethics that are learnt by the young gamers while playing video games provide evidence that they are not completely harmful to our society. (Heins, 62)
The chief argument why video games are harmful according to the media: violence. These games apparently brainwash children into thinking that violence is okay and influencing them to go out and shoot their neighbors and puppies. But they are a falsely accused party. First of all we must consider this: video games are rated similarly to movies. These ratings are supposed to protect the kids. K for kid friendly, T for teen, M for mature and AO for adult just to name a few. Many video game stores, such as GameStop, forbid employees from selling M and AO rated games to people under seventeen and eighteen respectively. There are also sub-ratings. Some are as bad as "Blood and Gore" which means depictions of blood or the mutilation of body parts. There are many ratings to protect kids. They do work sometimes, but the ratings that are supposed to keep these violent games away from kids do not always work. The ratings prevent kids from buying the games themselves. The parents just buy the games for them. Many times the parents don't know what they are buying for their kids. The kids’ older brothers or sisters may just buy the games for them because they don't care what they see. If there is any uncertainty they have to ask for identification (Sternheimer, 15). So if little ten-year-old Jimmy wants to get Resident Evil 4 his parents have to buy it, and they therefore should be considered as responsible for Jimmy playing this M rated game as they would be if they served him scotch on the rocks. If parents of young children are buying their kids games they know are too violent for their age group, it is not the child’s fault that they are unable to handle it and think the violence may be okay. However for games played by the age group they were intended for, it is thought to actually be beneficial.
Violent entertainment is considered by many psychologists to have therapeutic or calming abilities (Heins, 9). This is due to it being used as a release. Is it not better to come home from a frustrating day at work and beat up a few baddies on Street Fighter II rather than throttle your boss to death? After an act of violence by a child or teen though, video games seem to be the easiest scapegoat for the media to grab onto. Many news reports focus on how the kid ‘liked to play video games’, overlooking or not even mentioning other factors that would have more understandably lead to the act, like social isolation, lack of a...

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