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Violent Video Games And The Human Psyche

1360 words - 5 pages

According to Valadez and Fergusion (2012), “The effects of violent video game exposure, both positive and negative, on various behaviors are still highly contested within academia and the general public” (p. 608). Violence in video games is often wrongfully perused as a topic of extreme criticism pertaining to an individual’s act of violence in today society. Examples of such would include the shooting that occurred in April 2007 at Virginia Technical College; where Jack Thompson and Philip McGraw asserted that violent video games were the ultimate cause of the tragic incident, but further investigation suggested that Seung-Hui Cho had never played any such games (Valadez & Fergusion, 2012). Since the early days of mankind, society has often enlisted the service of a scapegoat in the attempt to correct the unethical or immoral conduct of a few individuals; violence in video games is no exception to this type of social misconduct. Possibly, one may want to consider human nature and its unyielding desire to be competitively better than the next person; compared to an individuals need to be excessively violent regardless of visual representation of violence in the first place. Although many will argue the effect that violent video games have on the human psyche; the research is far too inconclusive for one to make an educated assessment of the provided information.
Over the past few centuries there are many incidents where society has found the needs for a scapegoat, although not specifically pertaining to violence in video games; one can see the recent attempts to blame something or someone else for the heinous acts of violence that have occurred. According to Fergusion (2008) the media and politicians are mostly to blame for the increasing attention that this subject has received; as the media tends to report a majority of negative stories versus positive stories, and politicians tend to use the issue in an attempt to deepen their personal persona. Fergusion (2008) goes on to say that scientists, media, and politicians often cause what he refers to as , “moral panic” a process of inflicting fear among the populous by suggesting the behavior, or moral decisions of a few individuals within the society have the potential to be a risk to the rest of the society in general. According to statistical research provided by Fergusion (2008), in 1996 roughly 75 million violent video games were purchased in the United States totaling an estimated 175 serious violent crimes. Comparing these numbers to 2005, there was almost 150 million more violent games sold, but yielded an estimated decline in violent crimes by 157 incidents. After a review of statistics published by C. J. Ferguson, it is hard to imagine that there is an actual relationship between violent games and violent crimes due to the staggering amount of violent games sold versus crimes that were actually committed. Statistically, this seems odd considering that eighty eight percent of adolescents...

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