Video Games Do Not Increase Teen Violence

1435 words - 6 pages

In this day and age it seems as if America's youth is becoming more violent. Concern for those aspects in our society which influence violent acts has become an issue since the tragedy at Columbine High School on April 20, 1999. Many feel one aspect of today's society affecting our nation's youth in a negative manner is video games. Is this form of entertainment really a factor in teen violence? I think not. Video games are not to blame for increased teen violence.

According to the article, "Video Games and Children," by Bernard Cesarone, ever since the 1970?s, parents have been placing their children in front of televisions and allowed them to waste away the hours playing video games (31). As technology and a national surge in violent entertainment grows, so does the onset of violent video games.

A major concern about violent video games comes from the innocence of a child. The media easily influences children and teenagers. Kids dream of becoming professional athletes from watching their favorite sports stars on TV. Ad agencies strengthen this desire with ads containing slogans such as, ?like Mike, if I could be like Mike,? referring of course to Michael Jordan. Yet there is no concern that they could get seriously hurt from having the dream to be an athlete. In fact, most youth are encouraged to go out and play, and practice to get what they want.

For some reason, though, video games are approached differently. This is not a real life situation, but Joshua Quittner, author of ?Are Video Games really so Bad?? states the idea of one?s child controlling an electronic character whose objective is to steal cars and kill police officers is socially dangerous. Studies have shown that kids do not actually have illusions of doing these things (52). Kids do know that killing is bad. We all have morals implanted genetically; they just need to be strengthened through parental guidance.

Many kids do, however, act out scenes from movies and fights on TV. Is it therefore safe to say that because two teenagers go into the backyard and begin to kickbox after watching a kickboxing movie or begin to backyard wrestle after watching ?Raw is War? that they are so easily influenced by video games?

Royal Van horn showed in his 1999 article, ?Violence and Video Games,? a large stance on the issue is not one of influencing kids actions. David Grossman, a retired Lieutenant Colonel for the U.S. Army and former professor of psychology at West Point believes it is the desensitization parents should be concerned with. It is not in human nature to kill one another and for this reason soldiers must be trained to shoot on instinct (173). In fact, only one-fifth of all American soldiers in WWII ever fired their rifle (Quittner 52). For that reason, simulators similar to video games such as Doom and Quake have been used to train soldiers how to kill without thinking. This may be true, but the simulators used show real soldiers in...

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