Violence in Video Games: Adults Only! Three schoolboys were killed and five were injured at West Paducah Heath High School (Kentucky) in 1997. Michael Carneal, the criminal youth, was only 14 years old (Enotes.com n.p.).
According to his explanations, his experience of violence and weapon handling was picked up from video and computer games like DOOM, Quake, Mortal Combat and others. Mother of one of Carneals victim claimed that this incident was provoked by films, video and computer games as well as internet websites with the elements of violence. The families of victims brought an action against 25 companies including Nintendo, Sega and Sony Computer Entertainment. Their accusation was based on assumption that video games trained Carneal to take aim at objects and to shoot with no moral and ethical restrictions. In such a way the boy learned how to become a killer.
Two years later, two schoolboys, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold killed 12 classmates and on of the teachers of Littleton School (Colorado) (Ives n.p.).
After that the boys committed suicide. According to the results of investigation, the boys liked to play DOOM and Duke Nukem 3D. They often played deathmatch together. These crimes caused worry in the world community. Computer games like Resident Evil II, Unreal, Sanitarium, Wild 9, Grand Theft Auto and Carmageddon II were banned because of their low social meaning and extremely pernicious influence on the youth.
Six video games containing violence scenes were prohibited in Brazil upon the pretext that they propagate violence in real life. On penalty of 10,000 USD computer shops were prohibited to sell DOOM, Postal, Mortal Combat, Requiem, Blood and Duke Nukem 3D. Armed attack on cinema attendance became the reason for that prohibition. This attack was made by the student of University of Medicine during the film Fight Club under the impression after the game Duke Nukem 3D. Carmageddon was also prohibited because there the player had an opportunity to kill the pedestrians (including children and elderly people).
Violence is happening all around us and it is said that one of the biggest reason for teen violence, is because of playing video games. It is true that there are many games that due show or portray violence; however the intention was not to promote teens to doing more violence as they are rated for mature adults. Personally I believe that if parents were more active or aware of what games they are ...
In 2000 Singapore authorities prohibited the sale of Half-Life due to numerous parents complaint that children pay too much attention to the violent game. The same measures were undertaken in relation to Redneck rampage and Kingpin under the pretext that these games contain coarse words and plenty of violent scenes.
In 2001 Australian authorities prohibited Grand Theft Auto 3 because of scenes of violence and cruelty especially in relation to elderly and homeless people (GameSpot n.p.).
The company Take-Two Interactive Software was forced to create a special version of this game obeying Australian prohibitions. There are several points of view concerning violence in video games. First of all, those who work in game industry, consider that violence in video games imposes no threat to young people. This point of view is mainly based on fact that there is no sound scientific research that proves relation between aggressive behavior and violence in games. Secondly, they consider that young people are aware of fact that games, television and video games are only a fiction. Unfortunately, there is an error of judgment in relation to these opinions.
By now more than 1,000 researches were conducted by the leading institutions and professionals in psychiatry. All these researches come to conclusion that cause-and-effect relation between violence in video games and aggressive behavior of a certain group of children exists. According to medical researches, elements of violence in computer games can lead to development of aggressive feelings, reactions and behaviors in children because they provide a forum for learning and practicing aggressive solutions to conflict situations (Willenz n.p.).
Violent video games affecting children Video games around the world have become immensely popular, a multi-billion dollar industry. An industry which revolves around the wants and desires of children and teens. An industry with a creation of unique entertainment like no other. An industry that continues to grow rapidly. Hours and hours are spent each day by youths playing these games, but are they ...
Moreover, enduring participation in violence in computer games make the player less sensitive in relation to violence in the real life. It is difficult to claim that all these factors are the most important justifications of the fact that youths behavior becomes more aggressive and anti-social due to violence in video games. Family problems, influence of other children, free access to guns and many other factors also make its contribution into the problem.
Duration, strength and level of influence can vary depending on peculiarities of a child. However, negative consequences of this influence are incontestable. Children, who often face violence in computer games, are more inclined to treat violence as an effective way of problem solving. According to Craig Anderson and Karen Dill, violent-game players are more likely to report high levels of aggression and to have committed assaults or robberies (Motluk n.p.).
Violence in video games leads to decline in emotional sensitivity to cruelty. In result of this, children are less inclined to help people in critical situations. Children start to perceive the world as a certain place where darkness, cruelty and violence reigns.
Besides, fear to become a victim also increases. This fear forces a child to adopt psychology of self-defense and lost in trust in environment. Violence in video games can lead to violence in real life. Children who often play computer games with plenty of elements of violence are more disposed to violent and cruel actions. Microsoft Corporation had to postpone new version of its Flight Simulator because of events of September 11, 2001. World press often claimed that terrorists used Microsoft Flight Simulator in order to master their skills.
This game was chosen because it contained high level of realistic details and allows making flights over New York and other American cities. All these stories witness that the reason of dreadful crimes committed by young people can be based on computer games, internet, television, and video games. The problem of violence in video games and its influence on development of personal qualities and mental health of children really exists. We can come to this conclusion while reading various medical researches conducted by American Academy of Pediatrics, American Association of Psychologists, American Academy of Children and Adolescent Psychiatry, American Medical Association, to mention a few. It is important to note that theme of violence in computer games is not examined separately from other means of audio-visual information like television, internet, etc. The reason is quite obvious: many TV programs and films contain elements of violence and interpersonal cruelty.
The Disturbing Trend of Virtual Combat in American Pop Culture INTRODUCTION A recent trend in video games today is virtual combat. What is the fascination that society seems to have with inflicting pain and how has this begun to effect children today? With the increasing number of news stories regarding out of control children being carted off in handcuffs from school as young as 5 years old, it ...
Despite of the fact that the industry of computer and video games undertakes all possible efforts to classify their production as harmless and educational content, many video games are too brutal for a developing mind. Getting acquainted with video games, we can confirm that children have many chances to face cruelty and violence during the game. During the game the child receives unconsciousness message that murder and violence is fascinating, entertaining and cool. Realistic details of violent scenes, scorekeeping, sound effects, off-screen voice commenting a players performance, and elements of competition make a child to feel more aggressive. Famous association of psychologists, APA, also came to conclusion that video games with elements of violence have negative influence on children and youth. According to the members of association, violence in games provokes aggressive thoughts, aggressive behavior and bursts of anger. According to APAs article, showing violent acts without consequences teach youth that violence is an effective means of resolving conflict (APA Website n.p.) Parents, teachers and psychologists should help children to make correct choice concerning video games and other media content.
They should help children to evaluate production of video industry correctly. Besides, the software developers can also make their contribution and reduce quantity of scenes of violence in computer games and other interactive media programs. References APA Website. APA Calls for Reduction of Violence in Interactive Media Used by Children and Adolescents. Retrieved November 17, 2006. http://www.apa.org/releases/videoviolence05.html APA Website. Willenz, P. Violent Video Games Can Increase Aggression.
Retrieved November 17, 2006. http://www.apa.org/releases/videogames.html Enotes.com Website. Video Games | Introduction. Retrieved November 17, 2006. http://soc.enotes.com/video-games-article GameSpot Website. Game: Grand Theft Auto III. Retrieved November 17, 2006. http://www.gamespot.com/pages/tags/index.php?tags= grand+theft+auto+3 Ives, S. Are We Turning Kids into Killers? Retrieved November 17, 2006. http://www.salsa.net/peace/videoviolence.html Keegan, P. Culture Quake.
Video games are bad for Children Stop the debate as to whether children who love playing video games should be encouraged to continue or should they be stopped. Several people think children need to play video games because they make them active, but still, numerous other people also believe video games are not good for children. Despite the fact that other people think video games are healthy for ...
Retrieved November 17, 2006. http://www.motherjones.com/news/feature/1999/11/qu ake.html Motluk, A. (2005).
Do games prime brain for violence? Retrieved November 17, 2006. http://www.newscientist.com/article.ns?id=m.