Do violent video games increase aggression in the people who play them? If so
then video games could be responsible for much of the bad news we hear on television.
Are video games responsible for school shootings? Do producers of video games need to
tone down the violence? What will happen if video games become more and more violent
and realistic? On the other hand, are video games to blame at all for the increase of
violence in kids? When violence in video games started to increase, people started
noticing an increase in the aggression of their children as well. This brought about the assumption that the violence in video games has a large impact on the way children behave.
There is no correlation between violence in video games and aggression in the
ones who play them. Many people have conducted studies to find a link in violence in
video games and violence in the players. These studies started when video games first
became popular. All of the studies I have read about were either inconclusive or
inaccurate, or they showed positive effects that could even outweigh the negative
A major issue people see when discussing this topic is that children who play
video games often warp their sense of reality. The kids think that if they shoot a person in a game and nothing really happens then nothing will really happen if they shoot a person in real life. When video games first became popular, people may not have seen this as much of a problem because games were not very realistic. With the advancement of technology, however, video games are becoming more and more realistic. If video games become more realistic, children will forget what is real and what is simulated; a child seeing somebody violently murder another human being in a video game will have the same effects as seeing somebody murder another human being in real life. Witnessing these brutal acts of violence either will traumatize or desensitize them to violence. However, this is contradictory to the “Play is labile” theory (Schroeder 4), which will be discussed, in further detail.
Randy Schroeder cites from Johan Huizinga’s book Homo Ludens: A Study of the
Play Element in Culture four characteristics of video game play. These four
characteristics are “1. Play is for itself. It serves no external goal. 2. Play exists outside the scope of ordinary life. 3. Play operates within fixed boundaries of time and space, with its own set of rules. 4. Play is labile. Though it can completely absorb the player, ‘ordinary life’ can re-assert itself at any time” (3-4).
Huizinga’s first three theories are used to define video games. Standing alone,
they offer no evidence contrary to or in compliance with the theory that violence in video
games increase aggression. However, with the fourth theory, which I call the “Play is
labile” theory, all of these theories demonstrate that there is no correlation between
violence in video games and...