Video Game Violence has been a controversial topic for many years, dating back to even the most simple classic video games like Ms. Pac-Man, Centipede and Space Invaders, eventually pushing into more modern games like Grand Theft Auto V and Call of Duty: Black Ops. This investigation attempts to expand and analyze the idea that due to the historical trend of video game violence being accused of blame for seemingly related violent events, some of the research may be faulty. The way we look at video games and how we research their tie to violence could potentially need corrected. Within this investigation we will be looking very closely at how these tests were done, analyzing if they were valid, considering the people behind these tests and the general misconceptions people may have of video games and their impact on violence. Just about anyone in most modernized counties has heard the claim before, placing the blame on a video game, music or television for the violent acts seen in their youth today. Typically these trends seem to pop up when we are referencing school shootings, gang related crime and other domestic terrorist acts done by our youth. It is too easy to quickly blame something like a violent video game for their behavior. This investigation examines the actual statistics of these violent crimes and how they are tied to video games specifically.
Throughout history we have always be fearful of something that we do not understand, typically expecting the worst from it. The primary problem with video games and their users are that most of the non-users simply do not understand it. For example, many of our older citizens cannot fathom why a healthy able minded human being would actively play these violent video games. Psychologist Pacifique Irankunda in his article “Playing at Violence” explains how he was a child during the civil war in Burundi, and how it caused him to have a bias to violent media and the people who partake in anything related to it. Irankunda stated, “[he was] bewildered by the American lust for warlike video games” (54). In his article he continues to explain how “[he] thought that the boys who played the video games probably took drugs, that they were gangsters who pretended to be innocent” (Irankunda 60). Eventually by the end of Mr. Irankunda’s article, he stated, "Over the next few months, I realized I was wrong about Luke. He and my other dorm mates who liked playing violent video games weren’t gangsters at all. They were just young, inexperienced, innocent” (60). Luke, was the primary focus of attention of his article on video game violence. Now, you are probably asking yourself, “Why is Irankunda’s article so important to this investigation?” It shows how some people in our society have natural biases to video games either because of their own experiences or simply from lack of knowledge of the topic, and thus, a lot of money is funneled into research projects that are biasedly constructed by people who are looking for evidence to support that claim and look for a causational link, instead of just looking for the truth.
Many studies have been done over the years trying to link horrific events like school shootings and domestic terrorism. What we seldom hear about is all of the investigations and research that has shown that violent crime in teens has gone down almost fifty-percent from 1996 to 2005. While this drop in violence has happened, at the same time video game sales in 1996 hit a high of about 15 million units, to a staggering 45 million units in 2005 (Ferguson 33). Many articles have been published trying to shed light on not only more non-biased statistics about video game violence, but going as far as showing how past research on the topic has been funded by groups who are looking for specific results to favor their arguments against video game, and just media violence in general. In an article by C. J. Ferguson, entitled, “The School Shooting/Violent...
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