Violent Video Games In The Twenty First Century: The Truth

1750 words - 7 pages

“Public policy is being fashioned on an anvil of fear” (Kim 65). Fear is a form of societal control when harnessed for such a purpose; when abused, it sets moral (as well as immoral) panic to the public mass. When fear is harnessed for good intentions, as in religion, the fear of God and Hell promotes moral behavior. However, in the case of the Columbine Massacre, fear was spread like wildfire across the nation, catapulting it into the panic that would come to point fingers at any half-truth. The nation would come to see a cause for teen violence where there was none. Fear, in this case, would result in one of the many half-truths that are still heavily debated to this day. Although this half-truth regards video games resulting in teenage violence, the effects of video games on children and teenagers do not generally result in future adolescent violence problems.
The relation between teenage violence and violent video games covers an immense area for argument. A video game’s content is what makes it questionable, labeled as ‘violent’, or both. In fact, debates often center on provocative or objectionable material, such as full or partial nudity, criminal behavior, or violence. Video games have been studied for links to aggression or addiction, which for many, are the same. Children are looked upon as highly impressionable in relation to violence, and when video games are brought into the mix, assumptions are made that lead directly to violent adolescents. What happens when these assumptions are questioned? In a survey presented by the Entertainment Software Association in 2005, most sales were for video games rated E for Everyone. The second most amounts of sales made (32%) were for games rated T for Teen (Update: Video Games and Violence). Also, in a recent survey completed by the Kaiser Family Organization, approximately half of all eight to ten-year olds stated that their parents have rules about which video games they are allowed to play, and the amount of time they are allowed to spend playing the games (Report: Generation M2: Media in the Lives of 8-to 18-Year-Olds). When the assumptions mentioned afore are questioned, the facts start to present themselves.
Although children and teenagers spend a vast majority of their time each week playing video games, these games help them in unique ways, especially in the area of optical care. Professor of brain and cognitive sciences at the University of Rochester, Daphne Bavelier has proved through an intensive study that action (typically associated with violence) video game players improve their ability to perceive fine differences in contrast by fifty-eight percent (Sherwood). Bavelier sights options that would usually be required for such a change, like eye surgery – “somehow changing the optics of the eyes” (Sherwood). In the seven hours and five minutes children and adolescents spend every week (Report Generation M2: Media in the Lives of 8-to 18-Year-Olds) playing violent video games, on...

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