Video Game Literature Review
Violent video games are said to have a negative effect on those who play them, but there is also the debate that violent video games help those who play them rather than hurt them. There is a rating system that separates games into groups from games for everyone all the way to games that can only be bought if you're eighteen and older. The main questions with this rating system seem to be, "Where do we draw the line," and "Who draws the line?" All to often younger teens get their hands on the video games that are made for the eighteen and older crowd, but will the game actually have a negative effect on the teen, or will it help the teen by allowing them to vent some anger or make them feel good about themselves because they solved a difficult puzzle within the game.
As you may have seen there are many contrasting viewpoints, but before we explore the contrasting views on violent video games, we should try to understand our own views, and those of others who take positions that are different from ours, by reviewing some key insights. First we can start with the insights of a few different people who don't think violent video games are bad for teens. From there we can move to a couple of pieces that think violent video games are bad. To finish we will look at an article doesn't take a stance either way, but does provide some very good facts.
Greg Costikyan, also known as Designer X, is an American game designer and science fiction writer. Costikyan's career spans nearly all genres of gaming, including hex-based war games, role-playing games, board games, card games, computer games, online games and mobile games. Several of his games have won Awards. In Costikyan's argument, "The Problem of Video Game Violence is Exaggerated," he tackles violence in video games from many different angles such as video game advertising, the successful way to incorporate violence into video games, how violence is part of human nature, and the ignorance of the opposing viewpoint. When reading the argument it is easy to see that Costikyan's viewpoint is biased, but he does a good job of stating the opposition and then shooting it down with his own research, and he does not avoid certain questions just to prove his point. I think that Costikyan makes his best argument when he talks about the artistic use of violence in video games. He says that when people play video games they develop a rhythm, but when violence is thrown in it creates a dissonance which breaks the player's rhythm, which in turn makes the game that much more of a challenge. Costikyan sums it up best when he says, "Violence used artistically is effective; violence used crudely is vile."
Tom Kalinske is the former president and CEO of Sega America, Inc., and now works for Educational Technology, LLC. In Kalinkse's speech, "Video Games do not Cause Aggressive Behavior in Children," he makes some very good points on why people might think that video games are bad. Kalinske poses a very good point in his speech where he says, "Parents and educators who look casually at boys playing out fighting games are quick to condemn because the content of the games mirrors real societal problems. But to jump to the conclusion that game content leads to really inappropriate behavior is like speculating that students studying the Napoleonic Wars may lay siege to their neighborhood." Kalinske argues that parents fear technology because they have less of an understanding of it than their children, and those who think that kids will emulate the violence seen within the video games that they play have a very pessimistic view of kids. Kalinske also makes a very good argument about how video games can improve academic performance. He says that beating a video game takes more than good hand-eye coordination. It takes good puzzle solving, critical thinking, deductive reasoning, and problem solving skills, which all happen to be key skills for...
Cited: Costikyan, Greg. "The Problem of Video Game Violence Is Exaggerated." Video Games (2003) 25 Jan. 2007 .
Deutsch, David. "Playing Video Games Benefits Children." Video Games: Harmfully Addictive or a Unique Educational Environment? (1992) 02 Feb. 2007 .
Kalinske, Tom. "Video Games Do Not Cause Aggressive Behavior in Children." Violent children (2000) 02 Feb. 2007 .
Provenzo, Eugene. "Violence in Video Games Is a Serious Problem." Is Media Violence a Problem? (2002) 02 Feb. 2007 .
Saunders, Kevin. "Censorship Should Be Used for the Protection of Children." Censorship (2005) 05 Feb. 2007 .
"Video games and violence." Facts.com. (2007). Issues and Controversies. 25 Jan. 2007 .
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