Running head: A CRITIQUE OF "DO VIDEO GAMES KILL?"
A Critique of "Do Video Games Kill?"
A Critique of “Do Video Games Kill?”
In the essay, “Do Video Games Kill?” Karen Sternheimer takes on the topic of media’s influence on teen and adolescent violence in America. She focuses primarily on video games, particularly the recently popular “first-person shooter” games (p. 204). With the debate still raging on, there is a history that reflects the same problematic issues that we face today. Sternheimer follows this debate through many topics, but the encompassing theme is that there are many underlying issues that are not being addressed due to the acute focus on a media outlet such as video games. She leads us on this journey by introducing us to a video game called “Doom”, and how its effects left a major impression on adults in the early 1990’s (p. 204). “Doom” is a first person shooter game that allows a player to act as the “killer”. The player’s point of view, while playing, is reflective of the actual vision that a “killer” may have as they attack their victims. Sternheimer suggests that this game, through exposure to the media and other adults, has created a disturbance that has demonized the game and those who play it. She refers to these people as “Folk Devils” (p. 204). With this impression left on many Americans it has become the only explanation to why school shootings and juvenile violence occurs. With the demonization of these video games, Sternheimer supports her stance that the focus on video games deters us from realizing the true reasons for this violence. She takes a very revealing look at how politicians use the stance against video games to keep their reputation in good graces with voters. “Regardless of whether any legislation passes, the senators position themselves as protecting children and benefit from the moral panic they help to create” (p. 205). Because it is such a passionate topic the press took full...
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