Video Games and Violent Children

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Video Games and Violent Children
Brittany Hern
02/02/2011
Critical Thinking and Composition

Home video games, an industry worth $11 billion domestically that is now 30 years old, continues to be thrown into legal and moral debates regarding what age is deemed appropriate to participate. Video games, especially those deemed to be violent or rated “mature,” are at the center of the controversy. There are two sides to this debate. Video game companies and their supporters lead one side arguing that video games have no affect on children, and maintain that video games deemed “mature” are meant for those ages. The other side of this debate consists of psychologists and parents who argue video games are responsible for what they feel is a growing epidemic of increasingly violent and desensitized children.

Video game companies continue to assert that the ratings issued by The Entertaining Software Rating Board (ESRB) are to be followed and any results stemming from games being purchased against those ratings fall back on parents. There are five rating categories: Everyone, Everyone 10+, Teen, Mature, Adults Only. The ESRB rates every video game that is to be sold in the United States. Companies like Rockstar Games, which produces some of the most controversial video games, continue to maintain that their video games are produced for adults and are not marketed towards children. Rockstar developer Lazlow Jones was quoted in 2010 as saying “Our games are not designed for young people. If you’re a parent and buy one of our games for your child you’re a terrible parent...” This quote came after the backlash of the release of another Rockstar Games title that was attacked for being too violent for children.

Parents and psychologists agree the ratings are a first step in the right direction, but insist these titles should be pulled from shelves because the continuance of accessibility by children across America. Although the...
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