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Research on the topic of video games is an age-old discussion, alongside that of violent media such as television and movies, the result of which has produced thorough documented research ideas. Only a brief exposure to television scenes that promote violence or that have violent movie scenes will increase the level of aggression within an individual quite significantly (Bushman and Huesmann 223). Aside from that, the first video games appeared on the scene in the seventies, but the first violent models came out in the nineties starting with such games as “Mortal Kombat” and “Street Fighter.”

The games had applications to wound, maim, and kill the opponents. Ever since, the trend has not gotten any better. The main problem that faces advocacy against the themes in games is the violence of the very theme themselves. In America roughly, 59 percent of school going girls in the fourth grade and seventy percent of their counterpart males suggest they enjoy violent video games as their favorite. The other problem is the lack of parental oversight when selecting video games for their children. Most kids state that their parents do not check the ratings on the games they purchase for them as long as they are comfortable with the price range.

Thesis

Educational video games can be an educational tool used for teaching and motivation in the learning process. As long as the violence content is kept at a base minimum, then the game is more worth than a liability. Of course, this does not sell because the entertainment age prefers gore and violence to teaching and motivation because that is what school is for, so they say. Since the introduction of violence based games in the 90s, the number of children and even adults who participate in entertainment-based violence has skyrocketed. It is evident that videogames are a double-edged sword (Anderson 2).

The Columbine Case

The problem is quite serious it seems, and every few years there is an incident that happens most likely in an academic institution that where a few people are injured or killed. This jars the nation to the realization of the situation for a while before going about life and the unresolved issue in the same fashion as before. In this instance, columbine massacre was a big wake up call. Recently the American medical association was thinking about adding video game addiction to the list of mental problems. Nevertheless, they decided more research was necessary as parents needed to observe their children better.

The main issue in this context is not how the individual acts when they are playing the game mainly, but how they act when they lose their fix, so to speak. Individuals are thought by situations in life there are instances of loss, and they are taught how to manage in these instances. If it is an addiction then things may get out of hand. Jerald Block who is a research technician as well as therapist stated that Dylan and Eric who were responsible for the columbine massacre were suffering from withdrawal symptoms (Nizza 3).

Apparently, their parents had taken away their video game privileges, and they subsequently went on a shooting rampage in which they killed members from their high school. They relied on the world of the games to release their stress and rage. When this was no longer possible for them, it sent them into a tailspin. The findings published in the subsequent month in the American journal of forensic psychiatry were the result of a multitude of pages from the criminal investigation. Research on this topic exhausted most possible reasons why the two committed the murders.

Additionally, other officials from the gaming association have tried attempts at downplaying the situation to give themselves deniability. This is necessary in their process of ‘damage control’ so to speak. They came at the argument from the basis that a person warrants concern in whatever exercise they do to an excess. This can be gaming or watching TV or can translate to something more harmful such as drug abuse. The bottom line is that the problem in most of these cases has to do with the individuals themselves instead of the product. Thus, the person may have found another activity to overdo and maybe end up in the same situation.

This is typical of the blame game, but necessary for their position in the argument. There examples of games that would be classified as violent have gone through gaming evolution whereby the new products have become more graphic in their imagery and gore. Violence has taken on new dimensions and lost meaning completely. The first games such as ‘Mortal Kombat’ and ‘Streetfighter’ have gone through the ages. A game like ‘Hitman’ hit the shelves and became an overnight obsession. The emphasis on military-based games has also gained a lot of popularity.

Impact on Society

‘Black Ops-Call of Duty,’ is the latest in the gaming industry. It is based on Special Forces engagement with enemies of the state. The effects on the society would be better emphasized when looking at the generation that is headed into the twenties and thirties that came from the teenage years when violent games first hit the shelves. Most parents know very well the effect the games could have on their teenage children. However, most of them hide away their fears in denial hoping that it is just a phase in their children’s lives (Nauert 1).

Studies have been carried out on the medical effects that video games have on children and teenagers. Some of the studies involved brain function observation. There are short-term effects on the brain of those who have been playing violent versions of games than those who play less violent games. The nature of these games is addictive; therefore, the effect may be prolonged, and the mind might get used to a certain way of processing. This results in a certain personality type different from the original because of modification. When translated to a bigger scale, the negative effects are many.

Moral Differences

A portion of a generation that has an altered psychology because of gaming will constitute a very big problem. The problem is an increase in the number of crimes and the criminals in the society. All this is a factor of increased aggression, thus, crime rates as pertain robbery and murder are likely to be the affected elements. Video games, however, do not make the child a bad individual even if they are violent to begin with. They are responsible for the aggression triggers within the mind, and this is the problem.

Prolonged exposure and mixture of the right conditions in the environment and personality set will create a time bomb. Thus, there is no moral difference between the gamer and the non-gamer. It is only that the ‘violent games’, gamer is more likely to get into a confrontation. A study revealed that girls especially had changes in their personalities after exposure to violent video games. They were likely to play passive games and their activity stayed at the normal low rate compared to their male counterparts. The male children were likely to choose violent video games, and their activity in others was still high on its own.

On the other hand, they were more likely to choose violent games in the first place and yet this did not have an effect on the behavior as concerns aggression. The aggression was already a factor of their personality, so the games only fueled what was already there. Girls, although, exhibited an increase in their activity factors. The children also differ in the way they react to situations. Children react by an increase in violent play while older teens and college students may react by showing hostility indirectly through tests or by changes in their physical conditions like an increase in their heart rate (Griffiths 203).

Conclusion

Facing facts, though, the video game industry does not look like it is going anywhere any time soon with a billion dollar profit turnover. Having said this, they know they are in immunity spot like the tobacco companies; unavoidable. It will take a very clear-cut case to sue them in court and succeed let alone getting them to change policy on their games. However, there have been some success rates in the past due to legislation. It was in 2005 that California passed a law stating that violent game should have a label of ‘18 and Over.’

In this way, it criminalized the sale of violent games to minors under this age. However, the same law was struck down in court over proof issues. The problem was no definable link between violence in the real world and the tendencies gotten from playing violent games. About 97 percent of teens between the ages of 12 to 17 play video games in the United States (ProCon.org 1). A high percentage of the games in the top twenty games on the market are violent. Thus, popularity in this sector will be a strong wave to quell.

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