Violent Video Games
There is much persistent debate throughout culture these days concerning video games. Common questions asked are things like ?Where should the lines be drawn in terms of content? and What audience, if any, is this appropriate for? As lawyers fight, bizarre crimes are blamed on video games, constant studies take place, and technology continues to evolve, the video game world continues to thrive and be extremely profitable. While there is near-constant focus on the supposed ?negatives? of games like simulated killing, drug use, or sex, most people, especially those completely outside of gaming circles, fail to acknowledge that gaming of any kind can possibly have positive effects on players. While increased hand-eye coordination is a common benefit attributed to gaming, one particular study conducted revealed a mixed bag of possibly positive and negative effects.
One study recently found that ?teens who play violent video games show increased activity in? emotional arousal and decreased responses in? self-control? (Study par. 1). The study was of 44 teenagers ranging in age from 13 to 17 years split playing two games, one a first person shooter, and one a car racing game. Those playing the shooter were reported to ?show more activation in the amygdala [in the brain], which is involved in emotional arousal, and less activation in the prefrontal portions of the brain associated with control, focus, and concentration than the teens who played the nonviolent [racing] game? (Study par. 4). This is understandable, as the situations presented in the games vary vastly. While in one the concept is to win a race, not a matter of life or death, in the other it is to defend yourself and country, presented in situations of a matter of life and death. Surely the shooter would invoke more emotional response. The loss of control, focus, and attention span may be attributed to a more intense adrenaline rush, likened extremely to the ?shell shock? experienced by soldiers in prolonged combat situations. Although the relationship is different, one may be able to perceive the sameness in the general ideas.
There is a ratings system that applies to all video games market, designed to keep minors from obtaining games that have been deemed inappropriate. There are six different ratings, ranging from EC (early childhood) to AO (adults only). In between are, ranging in terms of least violent to more violent, E (Everyone), E10+ (Everyone 10 and older), T (Teen), and M (Mature) (Game Ratings par. 3-6). Although the...