Video Games and Violence: Is There a Link?

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Jillian Marcus
Prof. Reitinger
Eng 121-115
23 Oct. 2012
Video Games and Violence: Is There A Link?
Society today surrounds itself in wraps of violence and gore. Popular action movies like The Dark Knight and The Hunger Games are driven by a sadistic taste for heroic kills and survival violence. Music such as rap and hip-hop focus on harassment and abuse. News stations don’t hesitate to present graphic depictions of victims from the latest serial killer. In a world where barbarity runs so rampant throughout the media, the question begs to be asked: Why are video games blamed for violent crimes? Video games have become very technologically and graphically advanced over the years. A game from the PlayStation console in the mid-1990s to early 2000s would not phase parents as the graphics in the game are primitive and unrealistic (as the technology was new). A game from the Xbox 360 console from the early 2000s to now would be very graphically advanced. The developers of modern games incorporate better character interaction, plot, action, and overall design, making the game more enticing and interesting to the player and engrossing the player in the universe of the game. This being addressed, many parents, teachers, and psychologists are concerned about how a couple elements of these games will affect the players. There are arguments that, because of how involved the players are in the game, playing violent games will: desensitize killing, cause social isolation, and evoke aggressive or violent behavior (Anderson). However, there have been positive outcomes from video games. Situational analysis, visuospatial cognition, resource management, perseverance, inductive reasoning, problem solving, strategy, and challenge acceptance are only a few out of many beneficial skills a child or adolescent learns from playing video games, as discussed by Christopher John Ferguson in his paper “The Positive and Negative Effects of Video Games”: Results from the current...
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