Video games not to blame for recent violent behavior

Video game violence relates to violent public rampage, some say. Video game violence gives me a non-violent source of
aggression release against my anger toward the public, I say.


With the recent release of “Grand Theft Auto V,” the subject of the psychological distorting abilities of video games comes to relevance once again.

Many argue that video games have a huge place in turning people into violent maniacs. With the recent shootings occurring at the Navy yard in Washington D.C., or looking back to the tragedy at Columbine High School, many cast video games as a stimulant to the shooters’ insane rampage.

Video games aren’t Freudian psych experiments made to alter the subconscious of aggression. They’re made solely for the purpose of entertainment and pleasure. While there is a slight change in attitude when I play certain games such as “GTA” or “Call of Duty,” these feelings only last a short time and do nothing to alter my emotional sanity.


Many studies have been conducted by psychologists on the so-called mental connections with real-life violence and video game violence, and they all have been inconclusive. In a New York Times article “Shooting in the Dark,” many of the studies showed probable assessment of only short-term changes in aggressive behavior for adults.


It is difficult, however, to argue that video games have no effect on behavior for the younger generations. Studies mentioned in many different publications such as and The Boston Globe have shown that certain adolescents and teenagers who play these games avidly show stronger aggressive behavior in the schoolyards and such other related places of socializing. But to blame this solely on video games is just going back to the “root of all evil” case that once blamed movies and Rock-n-Roll in past generations.


As with movies, there are reasons why ratings and age restrictions are placed on certain games. None of these game creators want 4-year-olds to be “killin’ bitches” in Vinewood. These types of games can obviously cause future problems with their psyche.


Children are raised by their environments. If their environments are tainted by aggressive behaviors, whether on the television or in the household, it will affect their mental state of mind.


There is one more area of study found in the Times article showing the connection of aggressive behavior and video game violence, the ratio of sales to a spike in violence. “The number of violent youth offenders fell by more than half between 1994 and 2010, to 224 per 100,000 population, according to government statistics, while video game sales have more than doubled since 1996,” according to the Times.


Who knows, maybe these so-called maniacs found killing innocent people on a screen more appealing than taking lives of real innocent people in the physical world.


I can’t say video games cause absolutely zero percent damage to one’s violent behavior. While it is unfortunate that maniacs who massacre dozens to hundreds of people happen to play these games, to blame video games as a main source of corruption is not the answer.


There are many factors that contribute to these mental outbursts. Focusing on video games as the primary source is wasting time and money on studies that need to be conducted in other fields.

Author: Rachel Keeney

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