Youth Violence and Video Games (World View Sociology Paper)

Topics: Violence, Video game controversy, Media violence research Pages: 6 (2257 words) Published: November 21, 2011
A problem challenging the world today is the scientific linkage to video games and violence in today’s youth. As the mother of a pre-teen boy I chose to investigate the surrounding evidence to educate myself and my peers on this seemingly growing problem which I believe connects violent game play with youth aggression. I hope to learn whether or not the games put out on today’s market need to be removed from the shelves and furthermore, I would like to know if they are teaching the children the wrong things and corrupting their minds at early ages. After review of the publication, Game On, a Harvard Health Letter, I discovered that the social and cultural ramifications of video games are of high debate upon many parents and adults. Games are played by people of all ages and sexes but the vast majority of “gamers” are teenage boys. This is worry some considering they are attracted to action games with bloodshed, violence and explicit content. In Grand Theft Auto, a best seller, the players sell drugs on the streets while shooting at gangs and buying prostitutes, what we in America consider violent behavior. Thirty years of research prove that media violence promotes aggressive behavior in young people however, due to the amount of additional underlying factors which can be ruled in such as substance abuse, cultural beliefs, abusive parents and innate personalities, it is very hard to establish a direct connection between the violence stemming from these games and other things. Through research of brain scans they have proven that thoughts of aggression and violent shooter games will activate the brain in a similar way however, directly showing a link to the games and violence in the real world has not yet occurred. Although some claim that games have real benefits it seems they are more so to promote aggressive behavior. With more and more people becoming addicted to the games, game “detox” has erupted to help the one in twelve young people affected by the addiction. Other health problems such as arm and hand strains and “Playatation thumb”, “Nintendotitis”, fatigue, headaches and lack of sleep are all results of playing video games. Parents need to know and understand their children, use rating systems and control settings on game consoles, keep gaming consoles out of bedrooms and most importantly offer alternatives such as board games or exercising to their children. The author states gaming does have educational uses with games such as Rise of Nations and Sim City and children with diabetes have been using the game Packy and Marlow to even understand there disease. What I have found in my research is that the statistics and facts are the same, however, the results are interpreted differently depending on what scientist or individual reviewed the information. I have noticed that the research is implemented by some groups in a bias way to fit the needs of the point they are trying to prove as in the article, Caution: Children at Play- The Truth About Violent Youth and Video Games by Duke Ferris who works for Game Revolution states, “There is no epidemic of youth violence in America”. Mr. Ferris goes on to say that all the talk of violence in video games is a lie manufactured by the media and that kids are killing each other less these days than in earlier years. With violent crime at a thirty year low his theories suggest that the most non-violent kids ever stemmed from the PlayStation Era. Mr. Ferris furthermore explains that aggressive people are attracted to violent games and that blaming violent games for the actions would be like blaming the opera for making people rich. He believes the media points out an X-Box every time one is within fifty yards of a crime scene. On the contrary, he does agree that Grand Theft Auto is in fact an adult game and should not be played by twelve year olds, hence the “M” rating for mature audiences meaning you must be seventeen years old to purchase it. He states 54%...
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