So this is the age old question……. do video games create/incite violence in people?
I wanted to talk about this, mainly because I read something a few days ago about it, it is an argument that will never simply go away, the only way it will ever go away is through education, educating both parents and consumers.
Firstly I would like to say that this is a very controversial subject and anything I say is my own opinion, feel free to comment and share your opinions too, I very much enjoy debating about interesting topics such as this.
This is an argument that rears its ugly head far too often, usually after the release of a highly anticipated triple A game, for example one of the most recent ones being Grand Theft Auto 5, this is the one that is currently being slated, it is an 18 rated game and there is a very good reason for that, I have played this game and I am 24, there are parts of this game that even upset me, I’m not overly sensitive or anything like that but there are sections that even I thought were a bit much, I enjoy games and have played them for a long time, I play a wide variety of genres, including war games and games that some people would consider are for children and I have turned out perfectly well adjusted and fine.
Unfortunately these days we live in a society where people are always looking to blame others for their or other people’s actions and when it comes to violence in young people, games seem to be taking the brunt of that blame.
Despite the fact that it has been proven that video games do not create violent young people no one seems to be listening, especially parents, parents who don’t and will never play video games, most seem to have this idea that it’s just a game, how bad can it be and then go and buy an 18 rated game for their 10 year old, it happens, there are young children who play GTA5 you hear them online using language they shouldn’t even know let alone understand and who is to blame for this? not the video game companies, not the game itself, but the parents, why are they allowing their 10 year old child to play a game that is well known for violence, sex, drugs and bad language? Would they take them to an 18 rated film? Game and film ratings exist to stop children being exposed to things that are not age appropriate, people need to start paying attention to them.
Young children are like sponges, they learn from what they see, they copy the actions of others and if you give them a game to play that is not age appropriate and they then start displaying behaviour that is out of character, the sensible thing to do is remove the game and replace it with one that is age appropriate, teach them that their behaviour is not ok and things will be back to normal, but, if they were never given the game in the first place the problem would never have come about.
At the end of the day the parent is the one in charge, if the child asks for a game, don’t just go out and buy it, research it, read reviews both good and bad, watch game play footage on Youtube, it’s not hard to find out the content of a game these days, you can Google pretty much any game and get 1000s of hits with information about it, so don’t just blindly buy a game because they say their friends have it and it’s not that bad, go out, find out what the game is all about then make a judgement, you know your child better than anyone so make a judgment on whether you think they can handle it or not!
For video games to cause a person to become violent, the mentality has to already be there, the person has to be susceptible to that kind of behaviour and if that’s the case, violent games and films are nothing but a trigger, the person would have ended up behaving like that with or without video games or films. Anyone who is fully aware of the line between fiction and reality will never play a game like GTA where you can kill people for no reason and then, in real life walk out onto the street and kill someone, it just doesn’t happen, whereas someone who is mentally unstable and can’t distinguish between fiction and reality is more likely to do that, all the game or film does is plant the ideas into their heads, they don’t make them do it, they go out of their own accord and do it.
This is the very reason why parents should really be researching into the games that their children ask for, it’s all well and good parents complaining and saying that companies shouldn’t be making violent games and that they should be banned etc. but by that logic then surely everything violent should be banned, news stories about murders, wars, robberies. Films that are violent for no reason, and if that were to happen we would be living in a world where we feel we have to shelter our children from all the bad that goes on.
Video games are only going to become more and more real and for some people this further blurs the line between what is real and what is not, so do your children a favour, research what they ask for, it is not hard, you have the whole internet at your fingertips all it takes is a few hours to look into a game and make a judgement for yourself, stop being the friend and worrying what your kids will think of you and start being a parent and taking responsibility for how your child behaves.
As mentioned these are my opinions on the subject, however they are not just made up opinions that I have came up with without having any knowledge in the subject, i have spent a long time reading over articles of people claiming a video game made their child violent and reading other peoples arguments both for and against the case, I truely believe that the responsibility lies with the parents and that parents need to educate themselves more in the games their children are asking for before they go out and buy them.
In answer to the title of this post, in case you hadn’t gathered already, no I do not think that video games make young people or anyone in general violent, I think for that to be possible they have to already be mentally unstable and if that is the case games and films are nothing but a trigger to their behaviour.
Hope you enjoyed reading this, please feel free to share your own opinions on the subject.