Video Game Controversies

Topics: Video game, Video game controversy, Video game content rating system Pages: 1 (346 words) Published: June 25, 2013
Controversies over video games center on debates around video game content and the potential for it to negatively impact player attitude and behavior. Since the early 1980s, video games have become part of the political discourse with advocates emphasizing their nature as an expressive medium (protected under the freedom of speech laws of many countries), and detractors promoting various theories that video games are harmful for society and thus subject to legislative oversight and restrictions. Hundreds of video game and video game player studies have been conducted by a wide range of psychologists and government agencies with the aim of addressing the issue of harm. These studies have targeted possible links to addiction, aggression, violence, social development, and a variety of stereotyping and sexual morality issues. These studies have in turn been followed up by a number of meta-analyses. The results of these studies have been conflicting. Within the realm of aggression studies, some analysts have found that exposure to violent video games correlates with at least a temporary increase in aggression and a decrease in prosocial behavior (caring about the welfare and rights of others),[1] whereas others using similar analytical methods have concluded that video game violence is not related to engaging in aggressive behavior.[2][3] Potential positive effects of video game playing have also been proposed,[4] and some research has suggested that violent video games may even promote prosocial behavior in certain contexts.[5] Since the late 1990s there have been numerous highly publicized incidents where acts of great violence have been attributed to video game playing behavior in the perpetrator. Some commentators have argued that there is lack of substantive studies on the connection between video games and violence and that the video game industry has served as a fallback scapegoat for societal ills.[6][7][8] In response to concerns about video games, however,...
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