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The Problem Of Video Game Violence Is Exaggerated

1271 words - 5 pages

There is an ongoing debate about whether video games are corrupting our society and our children. Video games are not corrupting our society and this can be proven by analyzing the facts. People claim that video games contain obscene content, cause mental and physical health problems, and lead to violence.
The first reason video games are an issue is that many video games made today possess content that many people would consider to be obscene. The term obscene covers violence, profanity, and sexual images (obviously). Such videogames are usually branded with the M (mature audiences only) rating on the front of the videogame cover. This means that only players seventeen or older should be playing such games. However, many children around the ages of twelve and under are acquiring these video games as gifts or are purchasing the games themselves. Therefore, it can be assumed that the parents are purchasing M-rated games for their children, and that stores are willingly selling these young children M-rated games. As Paul Keegan says, parents are not following these ratings and stores are not enforcing them, thus allowing young children to view content that is considered obscene (6). Thus, if parents understand and follow the various video game rating labels, and if stores enforce the videogame rating system, then young children will not be as easily able to view mature material.
The second reason video games are an issue is that videogames have been linked to a variety of mental and physical ailments. The most common physical health problems tend to be arthritis from barely moving the fingers while using a keyboard or game controller, and a variety of eye problems due to constantly staring at the game screen. The most frequently occurring mental problems range from delusions to schizophrenia and becoming desensitized to violence. Keegan says that "repeated exposure to violent images can make people less sensitive to the effects of violence" (1). All of these ailments, both mental and physical, can and will occur in many people, but this statement only holds true if the player spends much of his or her free time playing video games. The essay “Violence and the Media: A Psychological Analysis,” shows how the number of hours spent watching a television program may be more influential than the nature of the program itself (Javier 4). While this statement refers to television, the same concept can be applied to the videogame medium. If a person plays video games for about fourteen to eighteen hours a day, then, yes, that person will develop both mental and physical health problems very rapidly. One example is my friend Bill. Bill has been playing video games ever since he was ten years old, and he used to play these games by sitting roughly three inches away from the television screen. He also used to play videogames for maybe six to seven hours a day. Since he played videogames in this manner, he developed a severe astigmatism in both of his eyes. He...

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