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Do Video Games Promote Violence Essay

There is much hype surrounding the launch of every new game system including Game Cube, XBox, Playstation 3 and all of their handheld portable equivalents. Affecting all sorts of people from children as young as age 4 all the way to 45 year-old adults, these video games have called for concern in our society regarding issues such as addiction, depression, and even aggression related to the playing of video games. A recent study of children in their early teens found that almost a third played video games daily, and that 7% played for at least 30 hours a week.

What is more, some of these games being played like Mortal Combat, Marvel Vs. Capcom, and Doom are very interactive in the violence of slaughtering the opponent. The video game industries even put signs like “Real-life violence” and “Violence level – not recommended for children under age of 12” on their box covers, arcade fronts, and even on the game CDs themselves. According to the online encyclopedia, Wikipedia, the Truth in Video Game Rating Act (S. 3935) was introduced by Senator Sam Brownback on September 27, 2006.

The act required that the Entertainment Software Rating Board, known as the ESRB for short, have access to the full content of and hands-on time with the games it was to rate, rather than simply relying on the video demonstrations submitted by developers and publishers. [1] The bill makes no considerations for modifications or mods for short, total conversions, user generated content, procedurally generated content, unused disc space, blocked/disabled out portions of code, player behavior in online games, and various other factors out of the control of the developers (such as how the player decides to play the unsaid game).

This bill was unacted upon during its original session and was reintroduced by Senator Brownback on February 14 2007 under the same title “the Truth in Video Game Rating Act” with a new session number (S. 568). As of March 2007, S. 568 remains in the Senate Committee. [2] In the game Goldeneye 007 bad guys who used to disappear in a cloud of smoke when killed no longer do so. Instead they perform an elaborate maneuver when killed. For example, those shot in the neck fall to their knees and then face while clutching at their throats.

Other games such as Unreal Tournament and Half-Life are gorier. In these games when characters get shot a large spray of blood covers the walls and floor near the character, and on the occasions when explosives are used, the characters burst into small but recognizable body parts. In spite of the violence, the violent video games are also the more popular games on the market. (2) When video games first came out, indeed they were addictive… owever, there seems to be a strong correlation now between the violent nature of games these days and the aggressive tendencies in game players.

On April 20, 1999, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold launched an assault on Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado, murdering 13 and wounding 23 before turning the guns on themselves. Although nothing is for certain as to why these boys did what they did, we do know that Harris and Klebold both enjoyed playing the bloody, shoot-’em-up video game Doom, a game licensed by the U.┬áS. military to train soldiers to effectively kill. The Simon Wiesenthal Center, which tracks Internet hate groups, found in its archives a copy of Harris’ web site with a version of Doom. He had customized it so that there were two shooters, each with extra weapons and unlimited ammunition, and the other people in the game could not fight back. For a class project, Harris and Klebold made a videotape that was similar to their customized version of Doom.

In the video, Harris and Klebold were dressed in trench coats, carried guns, and killed school athletes. They acted out their videotaped performance in real life less than a year later… (3) Everyone deals with stress and frustrations differently. However when action is taken upon the frustration and stress, and the action is taken out in anger and aggression, the results may be very harmful to both the aggressor and the person being aggressed against, mentally, emotionally, and even physically.

Aggression is action, i. e. attacking someone or a group with an intent to harm someone. It can be a verbal attack–insults, threats, sarcasm, or attributing nasty motives to them–or a physical punishment or restriction. Direct behavioral signs include being overly critical, fault finding, name-calling, accusing someone of having immoral or despicable traits or motives, nagging, whining, sarcasm, prejudice, and/or flashes of temper. The crime and abuse rate in the United States has soared in the past decade.

More and more children suffer from and are being treated for anger management than ever before. Now, one can’t help but to wonder if these violent video games are even playing a slight part in the current statistics. Playing violent video games like Doom, Wolfenstein 3D or Mortal Kombat can increase a person’s aggressive thoughts, feelings and behavior both in laboratory settings and in actual life, according to two studies appearing in the April issue of the American Psychological Association’s (APA) Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.

Furthermore, violent video games may be more harmful than violent television and movies because they are interactive, very engrossing and require the player to identify with the aggressor, say the researchers. “One study reveals that young men who are habitually aggressive may be especially vulnerable to the aggression-enhancing effects of repeated exposure to violent games,” said psychologists Craig A. Anderson, Ph. D. , and Karen E. Dill, Ph. D. “The other study reveals that even a brief exposure to violent video games can temporarily increase aggressive behavior in all types of participants. “


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