Do Video Games Really Cause Violence?

Do+Video+Games+Really+Cause+Violence%3F

Our society is changing rapidly. The increase of technology has led new developments, like video games, to have a massive influence on society. Video games are widely popular as around 67% of Americans play video games. To put that in perspective, that’s around 211 million Americans that are playing video games. Something this popular is bound to cause controversy, and video games have done just that. It is clear that there has been a spike in violent actions happening in America like the one in Odessa, TX just this past Saturday. Many people have turned to video games as the scapegoat and claim that the violent actions in these games have led to violent actions in real life. While it is easy to see how people could draw this conclusion, it is not accurate to assume that something like this could translate into the world in such a huge fashion. 

 

A 2015 report by the American Psychological Association reported insufficient evidence to link video games to aggression. They held a study that claimed that modern violent games had a link to violence tendencies in real life. Although they said it made the participants more violent, they admitted it did not seem to show that they had any delinquent tendencies. However, this study is argued to not be backed by actual research.  

 

Other reports however, have claimed that there is no correlation between video games and violence in our society. The Oxford Internet Institute from Oxford University has provided a study that says there is no reason for concern linking video games to violence. They conducted a study with 2,000 subjects, all 14 or 15 years of age in which they all played games rated by the ESRB rather than someone’s own personal opinion of what is classified as violent. They came to the conclusion that while these games may make an individual think in a slightly more violent way, they do not have any effect on the player’s real life actions. This does not mean that these games should be played with no supervision however. The online interactions such as trash talking and people being far more toxic and violent than the ESRB could predict can have negative effects on a child’s character. 

 

In the wake of a national tragedy, it seems easy to point to video games as a potential cause of these violent outbreaks. However, that reasoning is very misleading. While video games might not be the best influence to the youth, other things such as TV shows and social media are just as bad if not worse for youth. Looking at it from that perspective, putting the blame solely on video games for promoting violence in our society is harsh. Just like movies, video games have ratings on them that rates the recommended age for the product. It is up to parental guidance and proper management among the individuals to take care of themselves. While certain strides could be made to help limit the influence of video games, people should know what they are getting into when they buy the games. All in all, claiming that video games cause violence is very flawed and the President claiming it as a serious national issue is pretty extreme. While many studies claim there is a correlation between aggressive behaviors and video games, there is often a lack of credible evidence to back up these arguments. 

 

Sources

 

Azad, Arman. “Video Games Unlikely to Cause Real-World Violence, Experts Say.” CNN, Cable News Network, 5 Aug. 2019, www.cnn.com/2019/08/05/health/video-games-violence-explainer/index.html.

 

Barder, Ollie. “New Study Shows That There Is No Link Between Violent Video Games And Aggression In Teenagers.” Forbes, Forbes Magazine, 16 Feb. 2019, www.forbes.com/sites/olliebarder/2019/02/15/new-study-shows-that-there-is-no-link-between-violent-video-games-and-aggression-in-teenagers/#3cf053fd328e.

 

Crecente, Brian. “Nearly 70% of Americans Play Video Games, Mostly on Smartphones (Study).” Variety, 11 Sept. 2018, variety.com/2018/gaming/news/how-many-people-play-games-in-the-u-s-1202936332/.

“The Evidence That Video Games Lead to Violence Is Weak.” Psychology Today, Sussex Publishers, www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/ulterior-motives/201908/the-evidence-video-games-lead-violence-is-weak.