ENG 152 Final Draft
Violent Games are Teaching Our Children to Kill
There is perhaps no bigger or more important issue in America right now than youth violence. Our children are being fed a dependable daily dose of violence-and it sells. The affects on children's behavior from violent video games is a newly, well-researched topic for psychologists. Violent video games are giving our children the practice and experience needed to act out these aggressive behaviors in the real world.
Alienated, disaffected youths, Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris, vent their anger to "get famous" by shooting up their school. On April 20, 1999 at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado, these two young men carried out a shooting rampage. They killed twelve fellow students and a teacher, as well as wounding twenty-four others, before committing suicide. It is considered to be the deadliest school shooting, and the second deadliest attack on a school in US History (DeGaetano 47). Both of these boys were drowning in a violent pop culture of bloody movies and video games. High on the morning of April 20, 1999, before the massacre, Dylan and Eric filmed their own "back story" videos, explaining their aims and motives. "It's going to be like f**king Doom!" Harris said on one of the tapes, referring to his favorite shoot-em-up video game. "Tick-tock, tick, tick
Straight out of Doom!" (qtd. in Steyer 70). These two young boys had played this game very often and were so used to the violence of killing innocent people with no remorse. They gained the experience and knowledge from this video game on how to kill other human beings while getting a sense of satisfaction. A direct link between violent video games and increasing rates of violence among children is right in your backyard with this chilling story. In Paducah, Kentucky a fourteen-year-old boy, Michael Carneal, steals a gun from a neighbor's house, brings it to school, and fires eight shots into a student prayer meeting that is breaking up. Prior to stealing the gun, he had never shot a real handgun in his life. The FBI says that the average experienced law enforcement officer, in the average shootout, at an average range of seven yards, hits with approximately one bullet in five. So how many hits did Michael Carneal make? He fired eight shots; ho got eight hits, on eight different kids. Five of them were headshots, and the other three were upper torso. The result was three dead and one paralyzed for life. Nowhere in law enforcement or military history can an equivalent achievement be found. And these from a boy on his first try. How did Michael Carneal acquire this kind of killing ability? Simple: practice. At the age of fourteen he had practiced killing thousands of people. His simulators were point-and-shoot video games he played for hundreds of hours in video arcades and in the comfort of his own home. His superhuman accuracy, combined with the fact that he stood still, firing two handed, and firing only one shot at each target, are all behaviors that are completely unnatural to either trained or "native" shooters, behaviors that could only have been learned in a video game. If you do not think these "games" resemble the real thing, you should know that the military and law enforcement communities use video marksmanship training simulators to supplement their training. And the most popular simulator the United States Army uses in a minor modification of a popular Super Nintendo game. Across America we are reaping the bitter harvest of this "training" as ever more kids are shooting other individuals that they have a grudge against. A horrific development in this is that rather than just stopping with their intended target, these kids keep firing- and a simple grudge turns into a mass murder (DeGaetano 4, 9, 74).
As a player in the video game your goal is simply to rack up the highest score as...
Cited: Steyer, James P. The Other Parent. New York: Atria Books, 2002.
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