Violent Video Games Don't Lead To Increases In Violent Behavior

1472 words - 6 pages

A young, blonde woman stands with her fists raised. She shifts her weight back and forth, staying in constant motion. Her jaw is set and her blue eyes dangerous. She faces her opponent with no fear. Her fellow combatant is a skilled warrior and a member of a Shirai Ryu clan. He’s spent years mastering his own special style of martial arts. The woman observes him carefully. He’s muscular and, no doubt, fast. She cannot see most of his face, as a gold and black mask obscures it, but she can see his eyes. They’re merciless. She eyes the harpoon at his hip. He’ll probably go for that first and try to stun her with it. The cue is given and, sure enough, he grabbed his harpoon and aimed it at ...view middle of the document...

Game makers have ratings on the games to warn players (or parents buying the game) what exactly they’re getting into. It’s up to parents - and parent’s alone - to decide what is or isn’t too violent.

While anchormen and angry parents point fingers at video games for the source of all aggression in youth, studies show that the amount aggression video games cause is actually quite low. Christofer Ferguson, an associate professor at Texas A&M, studied video game violence and aggression in youth. He discovered that the effects the games had were “generally very low” and people were “overestimating the influence of violent games on aggression.” ( Jayson 3.) Instead, the main source of aggression was among peers, natural personality traits, mental disorders and, of all places, the home. Family life plays a huge part in a child’s behavior and while a violent game may add to aggression, it is not the main source and should not be to blame. For most, video games are relaxing. Eric Beaudoin, a twenty five year old graduate student in psychology says that he plays to relax and forget about his “dissertation, practicum, and clients and shoot some monsters.” (Jayson 2.) Gaming, no matter how violent, relaxes him enough so that he may deal with the people he faces everyday. However, it can be agreed upon by both sides of the argument that certain games are not healthy for certain age groups. A seven year old should not be playing or witnessing his seventeen year old brother play a game as violent as Bloodrayne or Call Of Duty. Most young children should not be exposed to violence at such a young age as it hinders their ability to develop empathy and increase their acceptance of violence. (Jayson 2.) Only mature gamers should be allowed to play games with more graphic content. A rating system was established a long time ago in order to assist parents in deciding if a game was acceptable for their ten year old.

Since its establishment in 1994, the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) has carefully been monitoring games. Formed because of the violence in games such as Mortal Kombat and Doom, the ESRB’s goal is to make sure the right age group is playing certain games. They broke their rating system into 4 categories: EC, E, T and M. EC would be the equivalent of a G-rating. E, perhaps the most common rating, is more like a PG rating where as T would be like a PG-13 rating. An M-rated game has the same content as any R-rated movie. The ESRB work diligently to go through each game carefully and make sure everything is age appropriate, or else it gets a big black and white “M” slapped onto the cover of the game. The ESRB does their job to make sure kids don’t play violent video games. It’s up to the parents to make the final decision on what is or isn’t appropriate content for their child. It seems that ignorant parents have ignored this rating system over the years. Parents don’t look up the games prior to buying and don’t...

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