Should Video Games be the Blame?

Have people wondered, why does video games in general have a major impact in modern society? As stated, many humans enjoy these video games, notably the male demographic, for entertainment purposes; however, some would argue that violent video games, especially the first-person shooters (FPS), are the blame for the actions depicted in the game like deaths to young and old people in modern society. For example, the Call of Duty series and the Grand Theft Auto series are considered the biggest influence of controversies regarding shootings, crime, and more. On the contrary, others say that these games don’t affect them physically and mentally whatsoever, and they want to enjoy them together for their own pleasure. Video games were introduced back in the 1970’s such as Pac-Man and Pong had influenced many people to enjoy it to this day. When observing the causes of violent video games, people including government should act of arguing the consequences of playing these horrific games such as massacres, sexual conducts, and more. Video games in general have been sort of my usual activity since I was six years old, in the year 2000, and I didn’t have any common knowledge regarding gaming. As an example, I play mostly racing games because I enjoy real and fictional cars even in today’s standards. In other words, these games influenced me to drive carefully in real life such as obeying the driving laws. Despite that, I experienced a rated M for Mature (seventeen years and up) game for the first time with my cousin at his old house, and I was extremely terrified that these actions depicted in the game make me want to throw up and avoid it like the plague!

As a result, I absolutely despise these M-rated games and just stick to E for Everyone (ages seven and up) through T for Teen (ages thirteen and up) to this day. In this essay, I’ll discuss why violent games can cause major controversies in real life like shootings, sexual crimes, and more. However, some may argue that these games have no impact on them whatsoever, because it’s considered a fun activity for some and it didn’t affect them mentally and physically. First, violent games themselves could be considered the blame for depicting these actions from the actual game like Grand Theft Auto’s main purpose is to commit crime toward the civilians and the government. Second, others may consider of whether the people themselves are the blame instead of these video games themselves notably the previous shooting in the Parkland, Florida where Nickolas Cruz, who was the shooter of this massacre, played mostly M-rated shooting video games for the long time. Howard Cohen of the Miami Herald, in his article “”The Parkland Shooting Inspires School Leader to Campaign Against Violent Video Games””, explains Cruz’s quote by a neighbor, “”It’s was a kill, kill, kill, blow something up and kill some more, all day”” (Cohen). In other words, he played up to fifteen hours a day murdering people in the game with the weapons notably guns, rifles, and more. Lastly, the parents themselves could be the blame for their own children playing these games in the first place such as from poor parenting and monitoring. Despite this, some may disagree that video games are not harmful to themselves or others whatsoever, and they just want to play it for fun as a stress-reliever. To resolve these conflicts, I’m going to determine whether these violent video games should be the fault of causing major controversies to people like they’re in the game replicating these actions.

First, people blame the violent video games for their own controversies especially the cause many deaths to children, adults, and much more. As a result, the government, including President Trump, should act to restrict people from replicating these actions from the actual game notably stricter laws regarding M-rated games. For example, the infamous Call of Duty series is known for their violent gameplay of shooting enemies namely terrorists and Nazis. In addition, it’s also controversial to the public because it shows graphic images, racism, and more. For instance, the shooter Nikolas Cruz constantly played violent games, like the first-person shooters, nonstop for fifteen hours; as a result, he planned a massacre at the Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida on February 14, 2018 and shot over seventeen people, both students and staff combined, until he killed himself. Because of the constant hours of gaming, Cruz became super-possessive from all the shooting that he did in the game. When he arrived at the school, the shooter started shooting at these unarmed students and staff nonstop constantly until the police came to prevent him from continuing. What if the government restrict those violent video games in the first place? Patrick M. Markey and Christopher J. Ferguson, the authors of “”Teach Us to Fear: The Violent Video Game Moral Panic and the Politics of Game Research””, state the reasons why video games and real-world violence can “”link”” together and examine the moral of panics as well.

To demonstrate, both authors explain about “”a proposed bill would have changed all that: any retailer who sold an M-rated game (like an R-rated movie) to minor would have faced fines and community services”” (Markey and Ferguson 99). In other words, the bill would restrict consumers under the age of seventeen from buying these violent games. Both authors argue that “”violent video games affect the children’s behavior like from calm-to-aggressive…it’s like treating it as tobacco, alcohol, and pornography”” (Markey and Ferguson 99-100). Craig A. Anderson, the author of “”Violent Video Games Cause Aggression””, states why “”the exposure of violent video games have linked to forms of physically violent behavior, as well as other less extreme types of aggression”” (Anderson). In detail, he lists out the causes of video game violence: “”increases aggressive behavior, thinking, and emotions; increases physiological arousal, decreases prosocial behavior”” (Anderson). The addiction of these games causes people stress (both emotional and physical), combativeness, and health problems such as significantly gaining or losing weight, avoiding family members and friends, and affecting academic/work performance.

Second, the people themselves are the blame for their own actions instead of the actual games itself. Greg Toppo of USA Today, in his article “”Do Violent Video Games Make Kids Violent? Trump Thinks They Do””, states that President Trump “”warns about the children’s exposure to violence in video games, movies, and on the internet”” (Toppo). He argues that these kids can be exposed to violent content from various forms of entertainment especially children eight years and older. Another issue that people are considered the blame is their addiction to that specific game(s) like they’re taking drugs, alcoholism, and Internet addiction. Tracy Miller of the NY Daily News, in the article “”Video Game Addiction and Other Internet Compulsive Disorders Masks Depression, Anxiety, Learning Disabilities””, states “”kids are the most vulnerable to video game addiction… and may become violent when their ‘drug’ is taken away”” (Miller). This is true that the “”drug”” used in the article as their “”live-saver”” from all the stress until someone, notably their parents or siblings, takes it away. As a result, they would become berserk toward their own parents and attack them to get their game back. If the children play more than the suggested number of hours, such as two hours a day, playing video games, then they’ll keep playing for a long time instead. In other words, it affects their overall behavior, causes social isolation from family members and friends, teaches wrong values, increases poor school performance, and damages their health from all that gaming he/she did. Miller argues that children may become physically and verbally abusive to themselves and others whether at home, school, or anywhere. From the same article, she also states that “”it can cause mental problems to themselves including anxiety, depression, and trouble forming healthy relationships toward others”” (Miller). Despite this, video games can be used as a stress-reliever, so they can relieve themselves from all that stress they have from school, work, etc.

Finally, the parents’ lack of responsibilities may cause the blame for their own children playing these violent games constantly. These responsibilities include monitoring their children, limiting their play time, and more. The Missourian Staff of the Northwest Missourian News, in the article, “”Poor Parenting to Blame Instead of Violent Video Games””, argues that most parents aren’t responsible to their own children when playing these violent games like their loafing around. For example, in the article, the Grand Theft Auto (GTA) series had “”stirred up a considerable amount of controversies over the years due to its incredibly violent and profane subject matter”” (Missourian Staff). Also, this infamous game had sparked to increase real-world violence such as the same Stoneman Douglas H.S. shooting in previous paragraphs. Henry Jenkins, the author of “”Violent Video Games Do Not Create School Shootings””, explains why video games are not causing young people to become school shooters. According to the article, he states that “”much video game play is social. Almost sixty-percent of frequent gamers play with their friends, thirty-three percent play with their siblings, and twenty-five percent play with their spouses or parents”” (Jenkins). This is true in modern society that most people play with their friends online frequently, so that they can “”enjoy”” the game as their past time. He also claimed that “”the media reformers argue that playing violent video games can cause a lack of empathy for real world victims”” (Jenkins).

In other words, the players do not care about others who lost their lives in a tragedy like the mentioned Parkland, Florida school shooting in the essay. Another reason why parents are the blame is that they buy their children, between seven and sixteen years old, an M-rated game, which is only for seventeen and up, regardless of age. According to the same article, the staff states that “”90 percent of the teenager’s parents don’t even check the back of the video game ratings before allowing them to buy games”” (Missourian Staff). Parents usually just buy the game without taking a gander at the rating from the back of the game box, whether E-rated through M-rated, regardless of their children’s age like a twelve-year old son playing Call of Duty even under the age restriction. Thankfully, the Entertainment Software Board Rating (ESRB) gives out the rating (EC (early childhood), E (everyone), E10 (Everyone ten and up), T (Teen), M (Mature), and AO (adults only)) to video games, so consumers can decide which game bests fit for a specific demographic. The organization benefits people that it encourages them to rightfully choose the game that’s best for them like the Mario games are considered family-friendly to the public. Without the ESRB, the public will be in great danger of increase mass shootings everywhere and children will be hostile to anyone even to their own families from highly violent video games. If the parents fail to monitor their own children regarding violent video games, then the kids would become disobedient, aggressive, and addicted to their own parents.

However, some people say that violent video games does not affect them whatsoever because they want to enjoy for their own pleasure. David Kushner, the author of “”Violent Video Games Do Not Cause Aggression””, claims that “”there is no connection between video games and violence whatsoever”” (Kushner). Both concepts (video games and violence) do not affect people mentally and physically whether they’re playing these games. In other words, they want to enjoy it for their pleasure regardless of how violent it is. However, he argues that the authors in his article claims their reasons for the relationship between video gaming and violence together. Eric Cain, the author of “”Violent Video Games Do Not Cause Violence””, declare his arguments of whether these games really ‘link’ to real-life violence that results in various crimes. For instance, by the University of Georgia in 1984, it claims that “”playing arcade games was linked to increases in physical aggression”” (Cain). The author argues that video games may not cause any aggression to anyone including the children and teens. On the contrary, in the “”Personality, Psychopathology, and Developmental Issues in Male Adolescent Video Game Use””, published by the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, claims that “”the arcade games have a ‘calming affect’ and that boys use them to blow off steam”” (Cain). In other words, it’s like a steamer where people can relieve themselves by playing these games, so they can get rid of all the stress from work, school, etc. Video games shouldn’t be blamed in the first place, because it’s meant to be a fun activity for most people not something controversial like violence, crime, and more.

In conclusion, violent video games in general have sparked many controversies to people everywhere from shootings, crimes, sex, and more. On the other hand, some people argue that these games don’t hurt themselves mentally and they should spend some playing these cursed video games from all that stress they have from work, school, and more. I would stand up to end aggression to people from playing these cursed video games for three reasons. First, people argue that violent video games are considered the blame for depicting many aggressive actions such as causing many deaths to children, adults, and more. Then, another reason why video games could be the problem for the public is blaming himself/herself notably addiction to a specific game for a long time. Finally, the parents are the blame for their lack of responsibilities to their own children like letting their sons/daughters buy an M-rated game regardless of their age. In my own opinion, I would say that violent video games are problematic to most individuals for various reasons: restricting M-rated games to seventeen years old and up (which already exist), preventing younger people, especially the young eight through sixteen years, from buying it, banning the game entirely for specific countries, and watching their children carefully when playing it. So, it’s anyone’s opinion to decide whether these violent video games be avoided like the plague, or they just want to play it whatever they want from a perspective view point.

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