Violent Video Games and Ethics

Essay by gm128University, Bachelor's March 2005

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Violence in video games and whether or not it influences people to act violently in the real world has been a topic of heated debate as of late. I can see how killing somebody in real life is unethical, but how can playing a game be unethical? I don't kill people in games. Killing means permanently ending someone's life; that doesn't happen in games. When I hit the reset button, everyone is alive again. I don't think violent games promote violence in real life, for most people are wise enough to know the difference.

I mean violence is all around us all the time and always has been; TV, movies, news, games and yes, even real life. So I don't think games can be singled out as the main culprit. Violence has existed for far longer than the advent of violent video games. It has existed for longer than violent movies or TV shows.

Young adults or full-grown adults have been fighting each other since the beginning of humanity. For most of human history violent entertainment was in the form of watching living people kill each other. Violence is part of human nature and I much prefer it to be confined to non-reality.

Children are a different matter, but this is where parental discretion comes in. I'm continually amazed at the kind of games children are able (and very, very keen) to play at such a young age and fully understand that what they do in the game is not something they would do outside of it. Is it still important for parents to monitor the playing or viewing habits of their young children? Absolutely.

All entertainment can not be geared towards young children, lest we end up with all Barney, all the time. At least we don't...