Why Video Games Do Not Cause Violence

“Gruesome and grizzly video games that are now commonplace” A sentence that was created mainly to shift our focus from the real issue that causes violence. This blatant political blame is an evasion of the real reason behind barbaric behavior in our society. President Trump’s statement is a convenient cover-up that draws our attention away from poverty, limited gun control, and neglect. These perplexing issues have millions of studies that prove a positive correlation to violence but why would this ever come into consideration by politicians that eradicate truth with false statements.

We cannot assume that something might cause something else e.g. a reader who read zodiac will not automatically become a serial killer nor a player who plays “violent” games the next criminal. Me as someone who plays video games and perceives them as a hobby realized that there was nothing in the violent video games that I hadn't already seen on TV, therefore, should we attempt to ban the TV too? Or will the TV be the next cause of barbaric outrage? I see video games as a hobby with never-ending possibilities helping to shape and develop the minds of children, teenagers, and adults.

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While some leading mental organizations around the world suggest that youngsters should not play violent video games due to the fact they may result in aggressive behavior, there is not enough substantial analysis to prove this theory. When it comes to the little research on violence/aggression there are few ways in which an analyst can test the level of aggression.

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One way is the “competitive reaction time test” Participants compete with a person inside the subsequent room. They are told that both people need to press a button as speedy as possible once they see a mild flash. The first person to press the button gets to “Abuse” the other with a loud sound that they can turn up and hold for as long as they want. This test was designed to let the person win precisely half of the games. Even if the room was empty the participants who “abused” their opponent more harshly tend to be more aggressive. A study from 2000 used this test when pupils were chosen to play a video game for half an hour. Half were to play a game called Myst (not a violent game) and the other half was to play Wolfenstein 3D (violent game). They concluded that those who played the violent game turned the “abuse” dial for longer. From my perspective, there is an issue with the study as it focuses mainly on statistical evidence and does not tell us that the difference was only 0.16 seconds which is faster than the time it takes for us to blink.

What if violence is not the only variable that should be considered when studying the connection between violence and video games. Stating that video games are the sole reason for violence in teenagers/children is incorrect. I believe that the reason behind the difference in the level of aggression/violence in the studies concluded is that some games are a lot more difficult to grasp for some people and that aggression comes purely from the fact that people detest losing. A person who cannot complete a certain level in a game will get easily frustrated and this will lead directly to violence which was not caused by the violence within the game but by the difficulty of it. This is the important variable that the research missed out on. To prove this theory one of the studies from 2004 used a non-violent game and a violent game (“Glider pro” and “Marathon 2”) they failed to notice that the violent game required the mouse and more than 20 buttons whilst the non-violent game only need two buttons to play. A recent example of a game that suffused the gaming community with violence and aggression is “Getting over it” the irony here is that the game is far from violent but comical: it involves getting a topless elderly man that sits in an iron cauldron, on top of a mountain with the use of a hammer, the difficulty of the game was shown as one mistake resets the hardship of the current progress achieved by the player sending the old man plummeting down the mountain back to the start.

The level of competition in games that we play can easily ignite violence in us even if the game is not violent at all. I believe that losing a game of snake and ladders or even connect 4 against one of our siblings or friends is far more devastating and ferocious than dying to a horde of zombies in the walking dead. The point is that violent video games don’t seem that violent if we can get easily aggressive during the gameplay of a non-violent game. The main source of our aggression comes from the fact of defeat and when a game exceeds our competence it just adds fuel to the fire. I am not implying that violent video games are perfect and can be played by everyone, but everything has an age limit for a reason. Young people should not play games like battlefield 3 but at the same time, I would not recommend that young people should watch American Sniper until they grow up to understand it. I think that the media is a place filled with graphic violence but is not seen as an issue and is overlooked by those in charge just like stricter gun control in the US.

Video game income in different developed nations other than the USA like the United Kingdom and Japan aren't linked to the nation's weapon crime within the country. If we look at information from the “Mortal Combat” book when we correlate the amount of money spent on video games per 100,000 people to gun-related violence from the chart we can see that the USA has a substantially higher homicide rate by firearm than any other country by an extraordinary amount. The USA’s homicide rate is higher than 2.5 whilst the UK and Japan are a lot lower than 0.5 even when the amount of money spent by Japan is nearly twice as high as the USA’s. From this, we can conclude that violent video games are scapegoated in the political world. If violent video games did cause violence and crime, then Japan should be the leader in the gun-related homicide rate according to the statistical data. I believe that British people share the same habits, hobbies and even think similarly but one of the most prominent differences between us is the overall violence mainly caused by weak gun control.

How can we blame violent video games for violence in children, teenagers, and adults when media jampacked with violence is still overlooked by political figures? If our inability to deal with defeat makes us violent then every obstacle in life will accelerate aggression within us, we may as well stop trying to overcome them. If our next test that exceeds our competence makes us violent then why should we bother even sit it and not try to ban it? We need to understand that many variables come together to form violence. We cannot blame a hobby cherished by millions and turn it into a criminalistic taboo topic. If video games will still be a black sheep of hobbies does not change then it's unlikely that we will ever see a change in the perspective that people have of them. I strongly believe that violent video games will not turn us into so-called monsters but develop us mentally in a positive way, I see it as a platform to enjoy your time and socialize with people. American's don’t want action against video games but stronger gun safety.

Updated: Feb 02, 2024
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Why Video Games Do Not Cause Violence. (2024, Feb 02). Retrieved from https://studymoose.com/why-video-games-do-not-cause-violence-essay

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