For years now, professionals of different fields have been debating about violent video games and its effect on the gamers. This paper aims to outline the claims and counterclaims in the debate around video game violence. This paper supports the contention that concerns about video game violence are not legitimate. This paper examines the two main opposing arguments concerned with video game violence. First, it addresses the issues surrounding the debate around video game violence. Second, it examines the literature concerned with this issue. Finally, it discusses some cases related to video game violence like the Columbine High School massacre. Before proceeding, it is appropriate to define the terms video game and violence which are of central importance to this paper.
Video game is an electronic game that involves interaction with a user interface to generate visual feedback on a video device. The word video in video game suggests any type of display device. The electronic systems used to play video games are called platforms. The device used to manipulate the game is called a game controller. Video games characteristically use additional means of providing interactivity and information to the player.
According to Merriam Webster’s dictionary, violence means ‘exertion of physical force so as to injure or abuse.’ (Merriam Webster, 2011) Oxford dictionary also defines violence as a ‘behaviour involving physical force intended to hurt, damage, or kill someone or something.’ (Oxford Dictionary, 2011) However, the word violence is not limited to this definition. It can also be define as a tool of manipulation, probably used by governments or government officials worldwide. It can be a physical argument between two individuals to wars and genocide.
The main argument of the people involved in this debate of video game violence is that playing violent video games makes youth do violent acts such as murder and robbery. On the other hand, there has been a lot of research done that proves there is no conclusive link between video game usage and violent activity.
This debate all started when Eric Harris and Dylan Kleybold killed 12 students and 1 teacher in the famous Columbine High School massacre. Both of them are fans of the video game Doom, where Harris created additional levels that show more violence. After the massacre people started saying that this is the cause of their actions, together with the bullying they received in their school.
According to Dr. Craig A. Anderson, a professor of Psychology at Iowa State University, who wrote a book about violence in video games, stated that it is just like the debate and research about smoking and lung cancer. Researchers found no conclusive evidence that smoking actually causes lung cancer but Dr. Anderson said if you ‘combine all the relevant empirical studies using meta-analytical techniques it shows that violent video games are significantly associated with: increased aggressive behaviour,...