Computer Games and violence is a topic that is very controversial in America. Like all other topics everything has its pros and cons. One of the most common criticisms of computer games is that they increase violent tendencies among the youth players. Parents are very concerned with their children playing violent computer games because they feel it influences their actions. Playing violent computer games can increase a person’s aggressive thoughts, feelings, and behavior according to studies.
For example, on April 20, 1999, 18-year-old Eric Harris and 17-year-old Dylan Klebold killed 12 students and a teacher in the Columbine High School Massacre. The two were allegedly obsessed) with the video game Doom). Violent computer games are said to be more harmful than violent television and movies because they are interactive and require the player to identify with the aggressor (Cochran). There has been several studies by groups such as The Harvard Medical School Center for Mental Health, The Journal of Adolescent Health, and The British Medical Journal have shown no link between Computer Game usage and violent activities.
One study did find an increase in reports of bullying. Research found that certain patterns of Computer Game play were much more likely to be associated with bullying than with major violent crimes such as school shootings (Griffiths). Computer Game environments are often based on plots of violence, aggression, and gender bias. A very good example of a computer game that contains all three of these things is the game Grand Theft Auto: Vice City. The game came under criticism of implying allegedly racist hate crimes.
The game takes place in “Vice City” a fictional Miami in 1986, which involves a gang war between the Haitians and Cubans (Bensely). Many computer games only offer an arena of weapons, killings, kicking, stabbing, and shootings that kids become so addicted to. Games like this can sometimes confuse reality and fantasy and may influence someone in doing something because they seen it done in a computer game. They have been seen as negatively affecting the players in terms of lack of social skills, inefficiency, obesity and laziness. After all, all violent computer games have a few things in common.
They all involve a constant hurting and killing of others. There is no punishment for the killings in the game so kids don’t see why it would be wrong doing it in reality. Instead of being punished players are actually rewarded with different achievements in the game (Olson 56-59). Although there are many disadvantages, playing computer games have advantages too. Even though computer games have always been infamous for their anti-social aspect and the violence that is shown in them, for example, it may enhance a child’s motor coordination.
It also allows the ability for kids to think quickly and analyze certain situations. These games are actually used in military training to help soldiers become used to the process of harming others (Griffiths). Computer games also introduce children to computer technology. It can give them practice in following directions as well as problem solving and logic. We always look for the negative views first in everything we do and miss on the positive effects of computer games. The negativities brought in by computer games are due to no restrictions in which the player plays.
Computer games are popular among children and the youngsters of America. If parents don’t limit the time for which a child is allowed to play a computer game or no supervision is ever present, the way in which the game is being played will have the not-so-positive effects of computer games show up. Children with an inferiority complex, lack of self-confidence are seen to be gaining help from playing computer games. Computer games have also been included in the therapy for children with such psychological problems. By playing computer games, a child gets a sense of participation and a sense of achievement.
In the long run it will eventually build his or her self-confidence. Children, after playing computer games, begin to feel excited about their lives and start feeling positive and enthusiastic. This enables them to defeat their psychological disorders to a certain extent (Olson). In conclusion I feel as if the positive effects outweigh the negative effects overall. Computer games are meant for a form of entertainment and if not controlled by a parent or guardian that’s on them. They should have the parental skills of knowing what their children are able to do and see depending on their age.
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