Video Games – They are not making children violent therefor should not be banned. Since the development of video games in the early 70’s to the present time today, a great deal of change has been relevant to keep up with what would sell and what wouldn’t. In this generation, a popular trend in games tends to be a shooting/killing genre. Naturally as parents do, some do not believe this is fit for their children. If this is the case of not wanting your children to dive into such an intimidating atmosphere, it can be understandable, however, to blame a making of a video game and wanting to ban them on your children’s behaviour is pure laziness and not taking responsibility to what is your fault and not the games. It has been said in a 2008 study that young children who played a rated M (mature) context game, only 60% of them hit or bullied someone, whilst the 39% who did not play the rated M games were not violent in any way shown. Holding this argument that games make children more violent there for should be banned is ludicrous; it is a complete over reaction to blame a category of entertainment for all ages to the behaviour of a young child. There is evidence against the study that video games make children more violent; an example being the study of the Journal of Youth and Adolescence in 2013 (it is more accurate because we know the source from where the study came from) which say it does not make children aggressive. There were no reports on any bullying attempt nor any crimes committed. Children that have been labelled as a “vulnerable type” with attention deficit disorder or depression, say that rather than making them aggressive, it did instead make them more relaxed. This studied looked at 377 “vulnerable” children at the age of 13 and the results firmly show video games are not the cause of aggression. Christopher Ferguson, a psychologist professor from Stetson University who was part of this studied had this to say; “We found no evidence that violent video games increase bullying or delinquent behaviour among vulnerable youth with clinically elevated mental health symptoms,” With this solid proof that games are not making children more violent, it is high time reckless parents start really thinking about what games to get their child, rather than buying them a rated M game and then when they react to the violence they blame it on the game they bought. They’re could be any other solution to this i.e. behavioural problems. The game has a rating for a reason; so people who claim their children are becoming violent to the games do not buy them! Even if the child is too young to play these games why did the mother or father buy them in the first place? They can always take them back and get a refund. The argument of parents wanting to ban violent games for the safety of their children is selfish and irresponsible. Video games affect the children’s mind and make it more negative. I was once a child who played video games. Granted they were not as visually gory, however the frustration and anger at losing a game was still there. I believe me growing up to a young adult and not ever having the need to punch or kill something due to a game, is living evidence that games do not do anything harmful to the brain. In fact, instead of the brain getting excited, a UK Millennium Cohort Study showed that with 11,000 children participating to playing a programme, it instead improved hand-eye coordination, memory formation, and even helped dyslexic children read better. As well as this, games that only work if you work in a team, can achieve building up a child’s social skills and reduce anger. If however, a child does react violently after playing a video game, this could be the child’s behaviour that is perhaps triggered by the game. A larger issue would be the case if it were every single child reacted violently to a video game and therefore would have needed to ban games a lot sooner, however this is not the problem; some children may want to react violently after playing games as it could be an aggressive reaction that is part of their personality. Research on this case by Douglas Gentile from State University has this to say; “Aggression is multicausal. There are over 100 known risk factors for aggression; media violence is just one of them — not the biggest but not the smallest. The only way that anyone does something seriously violent is if they have multiple risk factors and limited protective factors for violent behaviour, and thankfully most of our children have a great many protective factors, can consume a lot of violent video games, and still never do anything violent.” So, if violent games could potentially cause issues for children, should parents really be focusing on banning games? Something that can not only be enjoyed by children, but by many wide arrange of aged adults? Or should parents of America start thinking about banning the real deadly cause of violence – guns. Games aren’t real – guns are. If children are in the very unlikely case, mentally affected by a game, what is the likely thing they will use? Perhaps not a knife as they need physical strength to use that, but what is often seen in the killing genre of games? Guns! So if parents are worried that a game will cause such effect to make their child use a gun, why don’t they focus on banning guns which are seriously dangerous, and not what can literally be called; a work of art. The tendency to forget that children are not unintelligent human beings and would eventually pick up the differences between a realistic graphics game and reality is just cruel. This can be realized at the ages of 6-9 that what they are playing is not a reality. The experiences of fantasies for children are important as it widens their imagination and intelligence. Video games have been known to increase the imagination of young children because when children enjoy a video game so much that they become passionate about it, they like to imagine that they are in that zone they just encountered. I believe the enjoyment of playing a character on a game then pretending to be that character is very healthy and fun for a child. In conclusion, the idea of banning games to “protect the children” is completely unnecessary and ridiculous. For many generations games have been a brilliant source of enjoyment and entertainment, the growth of popularity in games grows in every generation, for parents to feel children are “brainwashed” by them is, again, their own responsibility, as well as the fact children being affected by video games is very unlikely. To take away violent games is taking away a gigantic chunk of opportunities for dream jobs and developed ideas. The way to solve this problem is for parents to understand what they are buying their children instead of being pretentious and lazy about the entire “issue” at all.
http://www.forbes.com/sites/jordanshapiro/2014/02/09/violent-video-games-can-turn-kids-into-progressive-intellectuals/ http://www.techspot.com/news/54720-decade-long-study-claims-video-games-dont-affect-children.html http://metro.co.uk/2013/08/28/playing-violent-video-games-not-harmful-to-children-3940335/ http://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/11/27/psychologists_study_shows_violent_video_games_can_make_kids_smarter/ http://www.wired.com/geekmom/2012/11/violent-video-games/