November 22, 2009
Media and its Role in the Debate about Violence in Video Games
Computer games and the media- two words that remind us of one of the most
controversial topics of our time. Ever since Columbine or the Virginia Tech shooting the
broad public has been aware of this ongoing debate between players, scientists, the
entertainment industry and of course the media. Back then, those acts of bloodshed and
violence were blames on games like Doom or Counter-Strike which the shooters
supposedly played. In the following I will examine the role the media played after those
incidents and how it affected the consumer.
After the shootings in Columbine and Virginia Tech where teenagers went on a killing
spree in their school, we the consumer, have seen enraged experts in the studios of
every big television broadcaster placing responsibility for the shootings on computer
games with violent content. According to these experts, computer games raise the
readiness to commit violent acts. At the time, their claims seemed to be proven right by
a never ending supply of studies showing increased aggression in people playing video
games. In our fear, anger and sorrow after those shootings we were glad to have
something to blame, something that made us understand why those boys could commit
such horrible crimes and, most importantly, that it could be “cured”. But now, after the
hysteria has passed, scientists are introducing new, long-term studies. The results of
those studies: the complete opposite.
More recent statistics show that video games do not increase the willingness of the
player to commit violence but instead raises their stress and aggression level. Those
two completely different conditions are easily confused. Raised aggression levels
indicate that the player is undergoing a lot of stress which... [continues]
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