Violence in real and virtual world

by Strawberry on April 21, 2017 - 12:29pm

       With the development and the increasing popularity of video games in todays society, the popularization of video games that mainly contain violence has opened up the debate for the affects of the violence in video games. Similar studies about this have been conducted in the past about the affect of violent media, such as television and movies, but with the rise of popularity of video games, this gives the researches a little twist since this time, the player is in control of the aggressive acts of the main character.  According to many different studies that were conducted, kids, both male and female, behaved in a more aggressive way after being exposed to violent video games. Reasons for this is because the population become desensitized to real life. Another reason is because the population becomes so accustom to use aggressive acts in order to complete an objective or in order to get satisfaction. According to a theological perspective of violent video games, violent video games are bad since it promotes violent and aggressive acts.

        A valid counter argument is that ever since the 1990’s, violent crimes in the united states has been on the decline. The current crime rate has been the lowest since 1970 (Cooke, 2015). Since the crime rate is on the decline, and violent video games are on the rise, there cannot be a correlation between both of them. Therefore, violent video games do not promote aggressive lifestyles and does not make the population more aggressive.

       A common misconception is society is that only boys play video games. Accordion to a recent survey, “upward of 84% of American teens (roughly 90% of boys and 75% of girls) play video games regularly (Funk, 1993; Walsh, 1999)” (Bartholow and Anderson, 2). The up rise of violent video games does not simply affect the boys of the population; it affects both sexes. In todays society, “most popular video games are extremely violent in nature, involving brutal mass killings as the primary strategy for winning the game” (Bartholow and Anderson, 2). This is important since players are rewarded for aggressive acts. Another aspect of aggression that was found is not only the level of aggressiveness the game is; but also the amount of time playing the game. “A study by Fling et al. (1 992) […] found that the more time young people play videogames, the more aggressive they are considered by their teachers and the more these young people think of themselves as behaving aggressively” (Wiegma and G. M. Van Schie, 1176). A very popular game called Call of Duty: Infinity Warfare when the game was released, the description of the game is “After a devastating attack on earth, as Captain Reyes, a Tier 1 Special Operations pilot, you must lead the remaining coalition forces against a relentless enemy, while trying to overcome the deadly, extreme environments of space” (Call Of Duty Advanced Warfare). This description enforces the point of using aggressive actions such as killing as a form of reward. The game is designed purposefully to make it seem as if the player is the ‘good guy’ while everyone that is being killed is the ‘bad guy’. This suggests that the young people knew that they were acting in an aggressive way but still acted the way they did. This shows that the kids had become accustomed to being rewarded for their actions that they do not see anything wrong in what they are doing.

       There are cases in history where movies have allegedly influenced violent acts to occur. An example of this is the movie written by Tarantino called Natural Born Killers (1994). This movie was about 2 serial killers that went on to kill pretty much everyone in the movie. According to the 2 serial killers in the Columbine School shooting, this movie influenced them to shoot up the school and even used this excuse in a lawsuit later on (Murashko). It is clear that movies have an impact on aggression and now with the up rise in video games, players have much more control over what the main character does and who he kills. A study by “Anderson and Ford (1986) found that students who played a very aggressive videogame showed more hostility and anxiety” (Wiegma and G. M. Van Schie, 1176). These results suggest that the students who had played the violent video games were constantly ‘on edge’ with the world around them and always anticipating the worst around them. Along with constant anxiety, the students were much more hostile when choosing a punishment for wrong actions performed by others. According to the teleological framework, which deals with the outcome of actions, the use of violent video game is bad for the younger kids since it promotes a violent lifestyle and desensitizes the real life.

       Even though the United States crime rate has been on the decline and is at the lowest point since 1970, multiple studies suggest that violent video games so in fact cause aggressive behavior. What can explain this decline in violent crime? There are many other factors that affect the crime rate such as economy, gun laws, current political powers, etc. The crime rate cannot simply be affected by one thing such as violence in video games. With the up rise of violent video games, there is a big discussion in the world abut how to address this issue and how to prevent our youth from being exposed to such games. I believe there is no solution, I believe that it is the parents responsibility to make sure and monitor what their kids do and what they play. The rating system for video games may not be perfect, but this still does not stop kids from getting games that are rated R.





Works cited:

Bartholow, Bruce D., and Craig A. Anderson. "Effects of Violent Video Games on Aggressive Behavior: Potential Sex Differences." Journal of Experimental Social Psychology 38. (2002): 283-90.

Call Of Duty Advanced Warfare. Print.

Cooke, Charles C. W. "Careful with the Panic: Violent Crime and Gun Crime Are Both Dropping." National Review. N.p., 30 Nov. 2015.

Murashko, Alex. "Columbine Story ‘antidote’ to ‘Natural Born Killers’." WND. N.p., 22 Oct. 2016.

Van Schie, Emig. M., and Oene Wiegma. "Children and Videogames: Leisure Activities, Aggression, Social Integration, and School Performance." University of Twente (n.d.): n. pag.


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