Violence In Video Games Essay

1271 words - 6 pages

“Video games are bad for you? That’s what they said about rock and roll.” –Shigeru Miyamoto. If you’ve ever seen or played anything that had to do with that short hairy Italian plumber with the mustache, then you can thank that guy. And while watching a dude stomp on things in a forest might seem like innocent fun, some disagree. Violence in video games has been a hot topic ever since they first came to be. There are generally two schools of thought, one being the “we just want to not get murdered by a crazy desensitized thing, and what’s best for our kids,” and the other being “Video games won’t turn you into a horrible, terrifying creature, and they aren’t even made for kids.” But whether or not you think they should be smote from the earth, I’m sure you can agree that this issue/apocalypse-bringing-spawn-of-Satan isn’t going down easy. And while the facts about video games being harmless, those facts being how they’re intended for adults and not kids, how they don’t affect people in a negative way, and all the other forms of violence in the media, are rather clear cut, some people still find it possible to disagree.
First off, we should define what today’s gamer looks like, because if we can identify who’s playing these games then we will also identify who they’re affecting (even though they’re not affecting anyone). In the Entertainment Software Association’s (ESA) annual report it was found that in 2012 the average gamer was 30 years old. They also found that a whopping 49% of respondents were female. This information definitely sets aside the long held stereotype of a thirteen year old middle class white boy being the only person who games, geekquality’s article “The Myth of the Average Gamer: 2012 Entertainment Software Demographics Deconstructed” they wrote: “While the ESA’s 2012 edition of ‘Essential Facts about the Computer and Video Game Industry’ does not disprove the existence of the above stereotype, it does indicate that the average modern gamer is a far cry from what you would expect after spending time on X-Box LIVE or a gaming forum.” And the age this year is down. In 2011, the average gamer was a ripe 37. Another point in the report showed that “shooter” games were only 18.4% of all the video games on consoles sold in 2011, and on the computer it was even lower, with a measly 13% of all sales. So with that information we can come to the conclusion that the majority of violent video games will not even come close to anyone under the age of a solid 17.
And speaking of 17, on the package of every game is a label by the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) that will have a CE, E, E10+, T, M, AO, or an RP. And while none of those labels spell anything fun, they are important. If a game is rated M, meaning that it “may contain intense violence, blood and gore, and/or strong language” than it is illegal for someone under 17 to buy it, and in a lot of stores they won’t sell it to someone who isn’t at least 18 because of their...

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