Does playing a video game make you prone to commit real-life violence? This question has been an issue since the very early 90's when violent games like Doom and Wolfenstein were released, but only in the last half a decade or so (mainly since the incident at Columbine, Colorado, 1999 when it was revealed that the teenage shooters were avid video game players) has it really come to the majority's attention. The key issue that both sides can't agree on is whether people should be allowed to play violent games or not. I think both sides agree that extremely violent video games should not be played by young children, who have a harder time separating reality from fiction; also, the media does indeed only report one side of the argument. There have been numerous studies claiming both that violent games correlate to real-life violence, and that there is little or no such correlation. The problem is that there is no concrete evidence of a causal conclusion between video game violence and real-life violence. If there was such a conclusion, both sides would likely be able to come to an understanding, but as it stands now, they are in a stalemate. Article 1: Report
In the article "Violence in Video Games," (Anonymous, found on 123helpme.com) the writer is adamant about the fact that violence in video games/music/movies is not to blame for violence in society. He/she believes that the violence in games actually decreases violent tendencies in individuals by allowing people to vent their frustrations without hurting anyone. Also the media is just latching on to the idea that violence in games promotes violence in real life to gain ratings, because it's an easy scapegoat. The media glorification of the psychopathic violence that sometimes occurs (and is supposedly related to video games) actually gives the perpetrators the attention they want.
The writer explains that people blindly believe that playing violent video games makes the player violent, but from personal experience he/she states that video games do not cause violence: "For me, if I am mad, playing such a [violent] game vents out my anger and I am no longer mad, and no one has been hurt." Also this applies to movies, and music: "If I watch a movie and someone gets killed, it is not going to make me go kill someone like in the movie
If I were to start listening to music with violent lyrics, it would not make me become violent at all. If I am violent in the first place and listen to violent lyrics, it is not the music's fault I was violent." Article 1: Evaluation
This argument is short, to the point, and is an argument to certainty. When reading the article, one notices that the writer uses many absolutes ("not to blame at all," "total opposite," etc.), and never uses any "probability" words (e.g. "may," "possibly," "could," etc.), except when such use favors his argument: "In videogames, it is sometimes possible to be a violent character." The selective use of this vocabulary clearly shows that the writer intends absolute certainty with this argument.
The writer also exaggerates and generalizes excessively to sway others to his point of view: "Music is just that, music, and nothing more. If I were to start listening to music with violent lyrics, it would not make me become violent at all." It is obvious that music can quite often inspire emotions such as joy, sadness, calm, suspense, or anger to name a few. Why is it so impossible that it could lead to violence? Such use of exaggeration is often used when arguing to certainty, because if you don't stop to think about if it is true or not, it is easy to believe such claims.
This article deals with the problem that people believe that violence in video games, music, and TV results in violence in real life. The writer is very quick to point out that people believe this, and this belief can be blamed on the media. It is a well known fact that the media will report on anything that will get them better...
References: Anderson, C.A., Dill, K.E. (2003). Video games and aggressive thoughts, feelings, and behaviour in the laboratory and in life. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 78(4), 772-790.
Anonymous. (n.d.) Violence in video games. Retrieved October 7, 2005 from http://www.123helpme.com/view.asp?id=14874
Bartholow, B.D., Sestir, M.A., Davis, E.B. (2005). Correlates and consequences of exposure to video game violence: hostile personality, empathy, and aggressive behaviour. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 31(11), 1573-1586.
Abstract retrieved November 27, 2005 from PsycINFO database
Bander, K. (1996). Violent video games and stimulus addiction. A family guide to media literacy.
Delamere, F.M. (2005). "It 's really just fun to play!" A constructionist perspective on violence and gender representations in violent video games. Dissertation abstracts international section A: humanities and social sciences, 65(10-A), 3986. Abstract retrieved November 27, 2005 from PsycINFO database
Newitz, Annalee. (2005). Gamers say social problems, not video games cause violence. Retrieved on November 19, 2005, from http://www.sfgate.com/cgi- bin/article.cgi?file=/gate/archive/2002/01/14/gameviol.dtl
Peck, Peggy. (2002). Brain cell victims of video violence. Science and Technology Desk. Retrieved December 2, 2002 from http://groups.yahoo.com/TYR/message/10821
Ray, Rachel. (2003). Violent video games. Retrieved November 9, 2005 from http://students.uta.edu/rm/rmr6124/pp1.html
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