Violent Video Games
Video violence is a major problem in our society. When people are exposed to the violent world of video games, their perceptions of reality are changed from a world with consequence, to a world where consequence does not matter. USA Today Magazine states, that video violence is a major component in the desensitization of mankind (Video violence desensitizes the brain, 2006). Exposing children to the repetitive violence in video games serves as a conditioning for violent behavior. Whether or not the allies of video violence believe that exposure to violent games does not cause a more violent society, teach motor skills and develop excellent problem-solving skills (White, 2004), without looking at the consequences of these games, our society is at risk for increased acts of violence. The history of video games
It was not so long ago that the video game industry was not the billion dollar monster that it is today. The history of video games runs parallel with the development of computers and traces the advancements not only of technology, but also in the social and economical patterns of the United States over the last four decades. The first video game was patented in 1948, by Thomas T. Goldsmith. The game used eight vacuum tubes to simulate a missile firing at a target, controlled by four knobs. By the 1970's arcade machines and handhelds were added to already existing computer systems. This was known as "The Golden Age of Arcade Games." Atari was founded in 1972. Pong, the first successful arcade game, consisted of hitting a ball across a simulated tennis net. Pong sold 19,000 units the first year it was released. The evolution of games progressed, bringing more realistic graphics that appeared to be life-like. The figures in the games movements seem like that of a human being. The three dimensional graphics created a simulated world much like that of today. In the games of today, Eakes (2004) states players actively participate in the simulated murder of police officers, women, minorities and innocent bystanders. "The acts graphically depicted and include victims being shot, beaten to death, decapitated, burned alive, and urinated on. These games also present favorable depictions of prostitution, racism, misogyny and drug use" (Eakes, 2007). The days of simply hitting a tiny "ball" back and forth, where the only goal was to avoiding missing, are long gone. Research in the world of Violent Video Games
Video game violence effects the brain, not only by making murder or robbery seem acceptable, but as stated in, USA Today, also by effecting the regions in the brain that are involved with recognizing, remembering, rehearsing or activating aggressive behavior (Video violence desensitizes the brain, 2006). By repeatedly playing these games, the participant has lower-levels of empathy. The brain stores everything, including the visions that are seen in some of the games. Some of the more violent games are conditioning the brain over and over with angry, vengeful images that encourage negative even prejudicial thoughts. A game on the market at this time is called "Manhunt" in which the player has to murder or beat the opponent to death. There is no consequence for the "winner", only points and positive feedback. Until recently, violent video game research has mostly comprised of studies revolving around participants playing violent video games and then measuring the participant's responses when the participant is placed in different "real" world situations. The new studies now include the use of highly sensitive diagnostic equipment such as MRI to measure actual responses in the brain. These studies are much harder to refute. A recent study now has found that exposure to video game violence results in diminished responses mentally to real life violence or death (Phillips, 2005). Participant's brain waves were measured while playing violent videos using an EEG...
References: Anderson, C, Buckley, K, & Gentile, D. (2006). Violent video game effect on children and adolescents. Iowa: Oxford Press.
Eakes, P. (2004). Do you know what video games your children are playing? The Video Game Revolution. Retrieved June 20, 2007 from http://www.pbs.com
Jenkins, H. (2004). Reality bytes: eight myths about video games rebunked. The Video Game Revolution. Retrieved June 28, 2007 from http://www.pbs.com
Phillips, H. (2005, December). Violent video games alter brain 's response to violence. New Scientist. Retrieved June 9, 2007 from http://www.newscientist.com
Terdiman, D. (2005). Unlevel playing field for video games. Retrieved June 29, 2007, from http://www.cnetnews.com
Video violence desensitizes the brain. (2006, April). USA Today Magazine, 134(2731), 13-14. Retrieved June 3, 2007 from EBSCO database.
Walsh, D., Gentile, D., Walsh, E., Bennett, N., Rodideau, B., Walsh, M., Strickland, S., & Mcfadden, D. (2005). Tenth annual video game report card. National Institute on Media and Family. Retrieved June 10, 2007 from http://www.mediafamily.org
White, J. (2004, September). Defenders of the video game realm. Playthings, 102(8), 10-14. Retrieved ProQuest database.
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