Parents should be the final deciders of what they want their children playing, watching, and doing. Being left with the right to raise their child in their fashion, parents should find out what the child is playing and control or restrict them, so then parents cannot blame anything on video games if their child commits a violent act. With video games as the new member of our pop culture, many adults find it difficult to understand why children would need to spend so much time playing with these “idiot boxes”? “A recent survey found that 92 percent of U.S. kids–ages 2 to 17–play video games, and their parents bought 225 million of them last year to the tune of $6.4 billion” (Sider).With this lack of knowledge comes fear. As humans, we fear what we do not know. So all that will come of this cycle is people will continue to play video games. When something new in our pop culture comes and replace video games, it will be taken as the new root of all evil due to lack of knowledge. Violent video games do not kill people, people kill people.
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With the sharp rise in violent video games in the last few years, adults take certain acts of violence portrayed in some video games to be a source of violent acts committed by kids. This is such an easy decision to make, lay blame on something that is new, something radical like violent video games. As Walling puts it, there was a time when “novels, films, radio, and television have all been accused of leading young people astray and inducing violent or antisocial behavior. The fuss about video games may be just another case of curmudgeons complaining” (Walling). If they saw these then they would see a pattern and might not think of pop-culture as harshly. Unfortunately many people do not, and then they blame it on everything but themselves.
These arguments are fueled by specific acts of violence; one main support is the Columbine schools shooting where the two kids had been devoted players of the video game DOOM (a first-person shooter where you go through levels killing monsters). People hear these arguments, but what they don’t hear is that Harris and Klebold had many personal problems, such as being harassed at school, neglected by parents, and family problems. These problems could have certainly given them a warped perspective on fantasy and reality, and are usually completely overlooked by many people.
“Video games are the topic on the surfaceâ€¦ a convenient scapegoat for people who do not want to probe deeper into the problem of where the “ambition to kill” come from” (Zarozinski).
Violent video games are not the problem with individual cases of youth violence today, but the individuals and the socio environment which they live in. All work and no play make people dull. It’s easy to see something in the news and take in only what they tell you, but before you go forming extreme views on this topic like such organizations as MAVAV (Mothers Against Videogame Addiction and Violence),who believes that “While video game companies continue to market violence aimed at vulnerable children and young teens. And â€¦â€¦ singling out of people, hatred, racism, and sexism” (MAVAV), make sure you know some background facts on those cases supporting your arguments. Video games are fun tools, used to waste time in a constructive manner. “Good games can do lots of things: fulfill a need for adventure and fantasy, help kids role-play and problem-solve. We’ve got to remember that games, while serious, are about play as well” (Sider). Play is required for the development of strong creative minds, so how can playing be detrimental to our children. These problems are all about how much the person is in touch with reality and knows what they are seeing and doing in the fantasy game land.
What some of these games are designed to do is show violence (like many other forms of media do) over and over again desensitizing the youths of feelings of remorse while doing these play-violent acts in game. Many of these games encourage play-violent acts, but as far as causing an individual to get off their couch and be violent, ha, one should rather accuse the games of causing laziness. Also, an individual is less likely to be influence negatively by violent video games if the individual is not first disposed to violent acts, and knows the boundaries of fantasy and reality. “The effect may depend on individual characteristics, including age and mood before playing the game, as well as the characteristics and complexity of the game itself. Modern, more realistic games may have very different effects than earlier versions” (Walling). These games, like other forms of media, make up our pop culture, and as Thom Gillespie argues “Media in all forms can move people to consider things they had not considered before. But media cannot take over a mind and make anyone do something he’s not predisposed to do” (Gillespie, D’Igital). Basically stating, violent video games do not make youths aggressive unless they are violent to begin with.
Parental/Guardian participation in these matters is a must, for a child’s biggest role model, they should be there every step of the way. When involving themselves in video game playing they must always watch what game(s) is coming into their home and not be influenced by outside scare-tactics to close their inclination towards video games, whereby depriving their child of a very important aspect of their childhood. Some argue that violent video games should be regulated by the government, like cigarettes and how you can only buy them when you are 18 or older. Video games, violent or not, should ultimately be supervised and controlled by parent, we now live in a culture and time that believes the government is somewhat responsible for raising our children and not the parent. Companies nowadays are helping this cause by rating their games like TV shows: C (child), T (teen), E (everyone), M (mature), A (adult). “The video game industry is the only entertainment industry in the United States that voluntarily rates itself. This allows players and parents to judge if a game is appropriate” (Zarozinski). These ratings tell parents if the game is suitable for the child, so the companies leave it to the parents to determine what their children can play.
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If parents supervise, participate, and educate their children about these games, then the children shouldn’t be at risk. Violence from video games won’t make passive youths violent when they know the boundaries of fantasy world. Also if they haven’t been taught what is right and acceptable in our society, than one should blame their teachers (Parents, guardians, teachers, etc.) not the video game. Its common sense, if you don’t teach a child to speak, do you get mad at them for not talking? Parents, guardians, teachers, or anyone the child looks up to should be teaching this child how to live a productive life in the community. So that when that child enters into the fantasy world of video games, because of the Child’s upbringing, that child is still grounded in reality. Let’s say boy “X” lives with his parents; one day he buys a violent video game, takes it home and plays it. Now the boy is partaking in play-violent acts in a fantasy world. When the game is turned off, he must make positive choices based on what he has being taught and the environment that he has be raised in to either further or suppress violent tendencies.
Violence in video games does not cause violence in children. Many studies will go off on how violent video games will increase aggression in youths. Well sure, give a child a game and bring him/her to a level in the game they can’t pass, and they would get frustrated, anyone would. But that does not mean that child is violent it only speak to the competitive nature of human being. If it was so then every child that play violent video game would pick up a fire arm and gun down their school mates, as shown with Harris and Klebold. Other factors contributed to this behavior outside of the video games. These factors in the case of Harris and Klebold include being harassed at school, neglected by parents, and other sociological, physiological and psychological problems.
Clearly one can see that violent video games do not foster children to do violent things. According to Costikyan “They’re not a threat to public order (Video Games). . . What they’re doing makes them less likely to be a threat to public order. They’re getting their Jones — they’re satisfying their antisocial impulses in a completely harmless way” (Costikyan). Also, fun activity is required for a healthy child’s growth, and video games are a good source of fun. Although if a child is violent to begin with or can not make the distinction between reality and fantasy, violent video games may not be suitable for these kids to be playing. The individual should be to blame if he or she commits a violent act, and their parents should be the ones to find this out and crack down on it.
Parents should be the ones limiting the game play or overall just teaching the kids about what to take from these games and what not to. For video games do offer advantages to kids besides just play, such as fulfill a craving for adventure and fantasy, they can role play and problems solve, and even improve hand-eye coordination. So now you have seen the evidence on video game violence; I hope you will step a little out of the box, look in on this situation and laugh, and then find something more beneficial to go argue over. I leave you with the words of Don Strawser “There is no medium, no game, no movie, no book, no song, or TV show that is going to cause you to go out and kill people” (Strawer).
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