Video Games do Not Cause Violent Behaviour in Children or Adolescents
From the beginnings of the industry, violence in video games has been an issue of discussion. From the pixilated weaponry in 'Space Invaders' to the myriad of weapons in 'Unreal Tournament 2003,' games have evolved over the years. Newer games are more real. Their environments are more immersive. Small details such as rain drops or a falling corpse are now realistically detailed in the games we play. Because of this, some people believe that this level of realism is desensitizing our kids and making them violent. Fueled by the school shootings of a few years ago, these people are calling for the censorship of video games and regulation of the industry by the government. Based on bad research and faulty logic, these people seek to squash the freedoms of adults because of a perceived danger to children. Freedom of speech, in the form of video games, should be preserved because it does not harm our children and it furthers freedom.
Despite the impressions given by those who support censorship, the video game industry does have regulations. It uses a self-regulating body called the ESRB or Electronics Safety Ratings Board. The ESRB rates games based on their content. Ratings start at ?E? for everyone, all the way to ?M?, for mature audiences 17 years or older. This rating system is two-fold: It informs consumers on the content of the game that they are buying, and it helps keeps inappropriate material out of the hands of children. Certain stores such as Wal-Mart and K-Mart now ask those who wish to buy an ?M? rated game to produce ID as if they were buying cigarettes. However, most people are under the false impression that most video gamers are children. ?Far from being pimply young boys, the average player is 28? (Yahoo! 4). So, what we have here is an industry that is split between children and adults. It is the job of the parent to research which titles they would like their children to play.
But what if a child gets a hold of one of these violent games? What about the child of the parents who do not care what their child watches or plays? Will that child...