Violence in Video Games: Ryan McAllister

Violence in Video Games

In today’s society when a young person acts out in a violent way their actions may be blamed on playing video games that promote violence. For many video gamers they play violent games because they are so realistic in this generation of gaming. Realistic violence may be influencing violent acts that would otherwise be nonexistent. What I am trying to uncover through my research if there is a link between video game violence leading to real life violence and allowing it to be an excuse for misguided gamers.

Since violent games like Mortal Kombat and others have been around gamers have been drawn to the intensity and violence they bring. Violent games use to consist of a character dying by just disappearing and coming back to life but now there are games were the gamer is able to control someone with a gun and shot victims and see blood with other realistic features. Video games with this must action can lead to people becoming addicted to them and there are a few people that believe those that are addicted may at some point act like the character they are controlling in the game. Some experts believe that the anger seen in video games is a direct correlation to violence in the real world. There is known to be a link between video game violence and bullying. Though these ideas promote gamers bring violence they see from games to the real world they are just theories and there has been no actual evidence proving a direct correlation.
            Violence in video games is a huge seller and parents are the only ones who can stop their children from playing such games. Henry Jenkins of MIT, provides information on Studies done in recent decade’s providing evidence that youth violence has dropped during the past 30 years. This is important to note because of all the violent video games that have been created in that time taking away from the argument that violent games cause violence in society. Some also believe that people who are pre disposed to violence and play violent games are more likely to act dangerously than those who see it only in the game.

            Though no research up to this date has proven violence in video games has lead to real life violence it can be said that violent games put ideas in people’s minds. Violent video games undoubtedly put the idea of violence in the thoughts of gamers. Hopefully people can understand the difference between someone being murdered in a video and a real life murder.

This entry was posted in Spring 2011, Student Posts. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Violence in Video Games: Ryan McAllister

  1. Mike Ward says:

    Now even economists are getting into the debate. 😉

    Michael R. Ward, “Video Games and Crime,” Contemporary Economic Policy, 29(2) (April 2011) 261-273

    Finds crime falls with more video game play.

    Michael R. Ward, “Video Games and Adolescent Fighting,” Journal of Law and Economics, 53(3) (August 2010) 611-628

    Finds that the raw correlation between gaming and fighting is due to “selection bias.” Violent people play video games more.

    A. Scott Cunningham, Benjamin Engelstätter, and Michael R. Ward, “Understanding the Effects of Violent Video Games on Violent Crime,” April, 2011.

    Finds support for an aggression effect of violent video games leading to violent crime, but a larger “incapacitation” effect in which time spent playing video games diminishes crime.

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