Violent Video Games Shouldn't Be Banned
Written by: Nick Lilleyman
Humanity has had many scapegoats for violent acts during all it's ages, as long as there is something a person doesn't like people will always find a source to blame. Video games have been under a lot of scrutiny over the last few years. Many people believe that they have harmful side effects, and that teenagers should not be allowed to play them. The effects of violence in the games are questionable; however, the effects of parenting are obvious. Likewise with all people, race, shape, or form, there are only a selected few who will actually commit severe act of violence. Their violence cannot be based on a primary source such as video games as it is the influence of their environment they live in.
There are a few main arguments people hold against violent video games, but a main one is that violence in video games leads to violence in reality.
Imagine a teenager playing a violent game such as Doom 2. Doom 2 involves characters walking around in a first person view engaging one another in combat with fictional weapons. Now imagine a child attempting to copy such acts? Will they dress up in futuristic clothing and walk outside with their newly found gun and being to open fire on everyone? Thinking such things is unreasonable as any child would be able to distinguish fantasy from reality and during game play the player has motives to shoot, as it is either them, or the enemy. But what motives does a child have to run around killing random innocents? None. Critics then use school shootings as an exsample where students are bullied to the edge and over and because of violent video games unleashed their anger in a hail of bullets, but why use violent games as a scapegoat when this violent behaviour could have been induced from other sources such as violent television shows.
People often blind sight the positive effects of some violence in video games. Many skills can be learned by playing them. Some such skills include problem-solving abilities, estimating skills, resource management, mapping, memory, quick thinking, and reasoned judgements. Many violent games also give incite into wars and the world itself. One game even teaches the player first aid skills such as resuscitation and then gives the player a test on these skills! They have also been seen to help build confidence in the ordinary child. Another potential positive is that video games allow for the development of hand-eye coordination. Video games also mimic social structure. Video games allow a means by which to establish hierarchies of skill and ability, and ultimately leadership just like in other areas of life. Video games can also be helpful in other areas. Children who have problems with attention, self-esteem, and boundaries are often helped by the gaming experience. Children that see themselves as failures also receive benefits from playing video games, as they provide the player with a sense of participation and excitement. I myself have gained a vast amount of knowledge from such games, even though education may not be the main point of the game a lot can still be learnt.
Worried parents believe bans should be put in place to prevent teenagers from obtaining violent video games. In their ignorance they are also taking away the right of an adult to purchase such games if a law were passed outlawing them. These people have to open their eyes and not target the companies that produce the games, or the shops that sell it, but themselves. Since it is it against the law to sell a person under the age of 15 years (Sometimes 18) violent video games are then acquired by parents for the children. It is not as if their child is holding a gun to their head forcing them to buy the game for them, so it is still the parents choice to decide if they want their child to play this game. If parents feel they need to judge the game they could always read the warning labels, read reviews or even ask the shopkeeper about the game. Seeing as restrictions are in place I find it befalling how some people can still manage to blame companies for giving out such violent games when they are the ones who purchase it!
Money should be put into educating parents. Not all kids are going to kill somebody, but who else to aid a child's path but their parents? A video game will not show right from wrong. A parent will. The parents should be there to realize, regulate, and stop any future violence from occurring. However, censoring and toning down video games should not be done, for everyone else may not respond to violence this way. Still the obvious issue remains, should the responsibilities of a parent really be placed onto the shoulders of a video game creator or onto the government's shoulders? I think not.
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