As technology advances, new and creative forms of entertainment immerge from these advancements. One form that has grown immensely in popularity over the past dozen years has been video games. Taking form nearly four decades ago, video games have been one of the major embodiments of the growth of entertainment technology. Today, video games have taken many shapes, from the general PC and console games to special applications that can be found on social networks and even millions of cell phones around the world.
However, video games have not always been, and even today still aren’t, a completely accepted mode of recreation. These games have caused a large amount of controversy, dating back to one of the first games to come under fire back in the mid-1970s. The problem that certain groups in society saw with video games exploded with one of the more famous cases where a video game was brought to court over its contents in the early 1990s with the introduction of Mortal Kombat, one of the first household games that included blood. Even today, games continue to be criticized for characteristics that have been labeled as violent, sexist, or immoral and are blamed for instilling these ideas into those who play the games. However, these arguments do not have any merit. While video games may display actions and properties that have been deemed as cynical and detrimental, they do not cause significant negative behavioral changes in the players. It is the exact opposite: games have a positive effect on their players and the people around them.
Fears of violence in the media are in by no way new. All different forms of media have been attacked for their content, including television, movies, and music. Some of the earliest games, although by no way violent by today’s standards, were considered violent when they first appeared. Pac-Man and Super Mario Bros. were both labeled as violent when they were released simply because they featured the destruction of enemies (Kooijmans). However, there was little worry about the content of such games until graphics started to improve and games received a more realistic look. A major landmark was the creation of the game Mortal Kombat. Due to its realistic look added with being one of the first games to show blood and gore, Mortal Kombat came under extremely heavy fire, including court cases trying to restrain its contents. Although this did lead to Nintendo removing the blood from the NES version, it was judged that video games fall under the First Amendment like other forms of media, and are free to express whatever contents it wished. As graphics in these games improve and become more lifelike, the fear that this will negatively affect its players, both children and adults alike, have continued to increase, and today games are still a scapegoat and receive heavy criticism and false accusations.
A prime example for today is the recently released Bulletstorm, a first-person shooter that is known in the gaming...