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Does violence in video games elicit violent behavior?





xmRipper
The subject of violence in video games has been an issue in politics and news for quite some time now, but few people ever touch upon the basic facts. I took some time to write out my opinion on the subject and figured I might as well share it with you. It was a part of something else I was doing at the time, so it may seem to be worded awkwardly at first. Just bear with it.

Does violence in video games elicit violent behavior?

The subject is really a moot point. Major media outlets give too much attention to people who readily claim that video games are the major cause of violence in today’s youth without considering the fact that absolutely everything we see and hear will influence our behavior in some way. We are a product of our experiences, without exception.

The question, however, should be taken seriously because that is the only way we can overcome the narrow-minded ideas that surround it. Yes, violent video games, by themselves, make a person more likely to commit a violent act. Taken out of context, that last sentence sounds as if simply playing a video game will make someone more likely to start a fight or rob a bank; this, of course, isn’t true, which is why I added the qualifier “by themselves.”

To understand this concept further, imagine a society in which there is only one major source of input for morals and ethics. It wouldn’t be difficult to imagine a society living by Jesus’ teachings in the Bible to the letter, a society in which one book dictates all social interaction in a loving and caring fashion. But it would be just as easy to imagine a society that has warped ethics and morals such as the KKK in which a distorted version of the Bible is used to spread hatred and promote violence against minorities. This is the power and limitation of having only one major source of morals and ethics.

In the real world, personalities are a fusion of countless pieces of information: books, television, art, the internet, music, society, instinct, video games, to name some of the most pervasive. But none of them would mean anything if there was never a seed, or template, which a person builds experiences onto and extracts lessons from; it consists of the basic rules used to interpret the information we are given. The purpose of a parent is to provide such a template.

Thus, parents are the deciding factor in the conflict between taking information in as truth and taking it in only after comparing it to a provided template of ethics. If a child watches a news story about a mass murderer and wonders if that is proper behavior, it is nobody’s chore but the parent’s to teach that child the truth. Likewise, if a child plays a violent video game and learns that violence is a proper solution to most problems, it is ultimately and inescapably the parent’s fault for failing to properly educate their child. Parents must give children the proper tools to understand the difference between right and wrong, else the children will be lost in a sea of mixed messages.

Finally, we come back to the original question: “Does violence in video games elicit violent behavior?” The answer can only be Yes. As a piece of moral education along with the hundreds of other pieces of information we receive each day, video games are a small contributing factor to every action a gamer commits to. Whether it’s robbing a bank or saving someone from a car crash, video games played a part. The most important factor, though, isn’t whether the game taught sound morals, problem solving tactics, teamwork, perseverance, or simple hand-eye coordination (all of which can be found in most video games, by the way), but whether the gamer’s parents took the time to expand upon these benefits and stifle any deficits rather than leave their child to his own devices and assume that he will figure everything out on his own.
reddishblue
Don't copy past without using
reddishblue wrote:
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And the game forum would be better for this too http://www.frihost.com/forums/vf-16.html[/quote]
Traveller
Not only is this 100% copy/paste, it is also a duplicate of this topic.

-closed-
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