Why Video Games Have to Be Treated as Threat?

Topics: Video game, Nonviolent video game, Aggression Pages: 5 (1859 words) Published: February 26, 2013
Why Video Games have to be treated as Threat?
Today, thanks to technology, people have many different and new ways to entertain themselves. One kind of entertainment that is well-known is video games. They are very popular among boys and girls from the age of 12, and to men and women in their 30’s. In a survey released by The American Academy of Child & Adolescent found that “Ninety-seven percent of young respondents play video games. That's 99 percent of boys and 94 percent of girls, with little difference in the percentages among various racial and ethnic groups and incomes” (“Children and Video Games: Playing with Violence”, 2006) Video games were first introduced in the 1970s. By the end of that decade they had become a preferred childhood entertainment activity, and adults responded with concern about the possible side effects of the games on children. There are many genres of video games such as strategy, racing, action, adventure, etc. However, the content of some video games are really violent. This has created a bad reputation about video games. There has been many accusations over the years about the negative and sometimes destructive consequences among children and teenagers. Experiments have been conducted trying to find a link between video games and aggressive behavior. The media has been known to give video games a bad reputation. Despite these many accusations, I argue that video games are not as harmful as people say. Not all video games have violent content. There are many different kinds of video games with positive content. Today, video games are used to train soldiers in order to increase their abilities to react in different situations. In other fields, such as medicine, doctors use video games to increase their skills such as faster thinking, better hand-eye coordination, and the ability to solve problems under pressure. Most video games have a great potential to increase and improve human skills. In other words, video games should not be treated as threat. In the last two decades, experts have been concerned about the influence that playing video games can have on people’s behavior. Some studies have shown that violent games are associated with an increase in aggressive behavior, decreased social behavior, disrespect for authority and law, foul language, and obscenities. In this new era of digital entertainment, video games can be a bad influence. The increase in violent content in video games is a threat for human behavior. The new generation of video games has exposed the youth to an active participation on violent entertainment. In most cases, this kind of entertainment goes beyond anything available in movies or television. For example, on the famous game “Grand Theft Auto,” the main character is a criminal that spends his time destroying an entire city. Players are rewarded for killing innocent people, police officers and prostitutes using a wide range of weapons. These weapons can be guns, knives, swords, and bazookas. Grand Theft Auto sends all the wrong messages. These kinds of video games destroy all the good and positive things that can come from video games. Some studies have shown that video games have increased aggressive behaviors among kids and decreased their social behavior. The expert in this issue, Dr. Craig Anderson, has said that “Most of the bad effects of video games are blamed on the violence they contain. Children who play more violent video games are more likely to have increased aggressive thoughts, feelings, and behaviors, and decreased pro-social helping,” (Anderson, C, 2003). However, there is no evidence that playing video games will turn kids into criminals. In one of his studies, Adam Thierer, President of Progress and Freedom Foundation has shown that there is no link between video games and juvenile crimes as we can see in the next graph: Table 1: Sales of Video Games Compared to Youth Violence, 1996-2005

Note: Adam Thierer, "Video Games...

References: Anderson, C. (2003). Violent video games: myths, facts, and unanswered questions. American Psychological Association. Retrieved February 3, 2010, from, http://www.apa.org/science/about/psa/2003/10/anderson.aspx.
Beck, J. C., & Wade, M. (2004). Got game. Boston, Massachusetts. Harvard Business Press.
Children and Video Games: Playing with Violence | American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry. (2006). Retrieved January 30, 2010, from http://www.aacap.org/cs/root/facts_for_families/children_and_video_games_playing_with_violence.
Gee, J. P. (2003). What video games have to teach us about learning and literacy (1st ed., p. 225). New York: Palgrave Macmillan.
Marriot, M. (2005, February 24). We have to operate, but let 's play first. The New York Times - Breaking News, World News & Multimedia. Retrieved February 4, 2010, from http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9D07E0DB163DF937A15751C0A9639C8B63&sec=&spon=&pagewanted=1
Prensky, M. (2003, June 15). Really Good News About your Children 's Video Games. Retrieved February 5, 2010, from http://www.marcprensky.com/writing/Prensky%20-%20Really%20good%20news.pdf.
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