Video Games: An Analysis of Violence in the Medium
Violence in the media has always been a hotly debated topic, but with the rise in the popularity of video games in recent years it has become a nationwide debate. The unfortunate string of school shootings in the 1990’s only fueled the fire as news slowly leaked of the attackers’ frequency of video game use. Suddenly psychologists and scientists everywhere were searching for answers to the questions of outraged parents: why are video games so violent, why do these games make my child violent? Many theories were spouted and continue to be the basis of the argument today. However, frequent video game users were at a loss to defend their love of the medium. Players everywhere were suddenly judged harshly for their love of supposedly violent video games. They had been playing them for years and felt no urges toward aggressive behavior, so what made them different? Video games as a medium are continually being targeted for violence and other inappropriate content. However, what most people don’t realize is that video games can be used for good. They can aide in both mental and physical education, and help to develop skills necessary in adults. Even games that are labeled inappropriate or violent help players hone fine motor skills. This paper explores both sides of the argument, focusing specifically on the pros and cons of video games and how to solve the issues opponents have with content.
Method to the “Madness”
The video games that opponents are most concerned with contain sexual imagery, violence, and strong language. Such games usually involve the player controlling a character in the virtual world and making real decisions for their character to behave aggressively. One theory about why this style of play is popular is summed up nicely by Dill (1998), who says, “Aggression catharsis is the idea...
References: Annetta, L. A. (2008). Video Games in Education: Why They Should Be Used and How They Are Being Used. Theory Into Practice, 47(3), 229-239. doi:10.1080/00405840802153940
Dill, K. E., & Dill, J. C. (1998). Video game violence: A review of the empirical literature. Aggression and Violent Behavior, 3(4), 407-428. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S1359-1789(97)00001-3.
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