The Debate on Video Games and Violence

The debate over violent video games is a very difficult topic for me to make up my mind over. As an adamant lover of video games, I know that I have a bias opinion when it comes to censorship of violence in games. To me, blaming violence in children on the video games they play is not a fair statement. Although I do agree that children being exposed to violence in video games on a daily basis would be harmful, simply turning on the news every night would supply children with the same amount of violence in real life. Just as banning the news would be an unrealistic notion, the same can be said of completely banning all violence from video games.

As well, as an effort to prevent young children from witnessing extreme violence and gore, video game creators put specific ratings on their products in order to prepare the audience for the content they will be seeing. In fact, many of the more violent video games have specific ratings that do not allow children under a certain age to purchase the games themselves. Therefore, if a child who is younger than the recommended age range for a video game does acquire that game, it is likely that the parents supplied it to the child, which would not be the fault of the video gaming industry.

Overall, I believe that any regular exposure to something can be habitual-forming. I do agree that exposure to violence and gore in video games should be monitored by parents, as too much exposure can cause children to become influenced by the actions they are seeing; however, to make the claim that violence in video games is what is causing violence in children and that it should, therefore, be banned is unrealistic.

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3 thoughts on “The Debate on Video Games and Violence”

  1. Many processes of learning like classical conditioning and operant conditioning require experience, punishment, or direct reinforcement to learn. However, it is believed that some learning doesn’t need such matters. There is some proof that our behaviors do result from watching and imitating others. The idea of modeling proposes that we observe a task and are later able to mimic it. When we watch others get praised for an act we tend to want to do the same. That is why there is such a concern with violent games and the belief that children will become violent because they are able to repeat the actions they performed playing video games. Albert Bandura came up with this way of learning and says that it is present in all even at a young age children try to mimic parents facial expressions. My personal opinion is that it is inevitably up to a parent as to if and how much violence they let their child view in video games. You are right in the statement of saying games have just as much violence as the news, but the one difference is your not the one in the news that committed a crime however you can be the criminal in the game. Violent video games often reward you for killing another or earn you points or status by shooting to stay alive. This is telling the gamer that it is a good thing to kill and that the player in the game is rewarded for this behavior. Confusion can come when compared to the real world shooting is not a rewarded or a commended act. In fact it is frowned upon and teaching otherwise may result in children with aggressive behaviors and thoughts.

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    1. I agree that children shouldn’t be exposed to excessive amounts of violence. I do agree that a video game free world is unrealistic. Violence in video games should by regulated for children. I do think it is the parent’s responsibility. I do agree that the video gaming industry is not responsible as people of all ages play video games. Banduras social learning theory is based off children learning from watching and imitating others. In Banduras theory the child needs attention, needs replication, retention, and motivation. Children are more violent after seeing violent actions. I feel like in video games it is hard to tell the direct effects as they are heavy weapons. In bandura’s study they were shown a model beating up a doll as opposed to game a with virtualized guns. Gun violence today is a big fear. As I believe gun violence will not be increased because of video games I believe aggression will be.

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  2. I agree with you that banning all violent video games is unrealistic. That would just take too much. Constant exposure to the violence is a problem though. You can see that in the video from class with Bobo the Clown. Kids imitate what they see. While the maturity ratings are meant to limit that exposure, they really do not do their job. You are right when you say that’s not at the fault of the video game industry. They cannot control the fact that those parents do not care about subjecting their kids to that violence. But just because something isn’t your fault does not mean you should not do anything. I think an industry that big has the power to fix something like that. I’m not really sure what they should do but they should try something. They should make parents more aware of the possible effects of their children constantly playing these games. Like you said, parents should at least monitor how much their kids play those games and I think building that awareness could get them to do that.

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