Violence in video games and the impact it has in human behavior. This has been a hot topic for decades now. It has been talked about more and more now that graphics, animations, and behavior in video games have become more realistic. The question is do these more realistic violent scenarios in games contribute to real life violence in society. The answer may be surprising to some. However, the media and supporters against violent video games need to relax and stop with the horribly one sided arguments.
Does violence in video games contribute to real life violence? The answer is yes. Yes, it does contribute to violence in society. How can someone argue this? There are people that admit they developed their murder plans, robberies, etc from actual video games they have played. When someone gets their plans from a video game, that is a contribution. Even if it makes up a very small percentage of people that commit crimes and mention a game helped them. If it was just one person in history, you would still have to say video games contribute to violence in society. In all reality the percentage of people that attribute their crimes to video games is rather low.
Here is the thing though. Video games are not the only medium people get ideas of violence from. Throughout history any story or entertainment can contribute to violence. You take music, movies, theater, etc. They all have accounts of people using scenarios to plan or commit crimes. Anything people use to generate ideas could, in theory, led to violence. There are people that murder others in the name of their god even. There will always be the wack jobs that cannot separate fantasy and reality. We cannot place blame on violent video games for people in general. If someone is stupid enough to copy a dangerous stunt or commit a crime from some form of entertainment, then they deserve what is coming to them. It is on them! We would have to ban any story in any medium to completely remove the contribution of violence. And even if that was somehow possible, people still talk and share stories. We would have to stop people from communicating with each other.
The media in general needs to just relax and stop placing blame on video games. I have been a gamer for over two decades and have played the violent of the violent games. Does that make me a minority of people that played violent games and it hasn't somehow infected my mental stability? No, I'm not the minority. Once a story "breaks" it's the medias job to discuss and bring national attention to it by adding drama to it. Katie Couric just recently spoke about this topic and got gamers up in arms. So Katie went to twitter to pose a question to gamers.
Passionate gamers upset w convo whether violent video games can contribute to v behavior. Tweet the positive side of violent v games? Thanx! - @katiecouric
Now I did reply to this on Twitter. However, I had to stop and think. Not because I was trying to come up with a good response but because how does one come up with a positive about violence? I believe that violence doesn't belong in our world. If I could get rid of all the wife beaters, murderers, rapists, etc in the world, trust me I would. This question is why Katie is good at her job. She has put us into a situation that we are trying to defend violence but also are trying to say why violence in games should stay. The answer to this question isn't "Here is the positive side of violence in video games...". The answer to this question is, why does it matter if it's violent or not? That is why there is a ratings system. If parents are up in arms about violent video games, then stop buying violent games for your children. They are NOT recommended to play and are NOT the demographic for the game. Be responsible people. Just because there is violence in video games doesn't make the video game industry evil or responsible for a rise in violence. Violent games do not contribute enough to crime to justify this much coverage over the topic.
I'm quite frankly pretty sick of defending video games at this point. The wold isn't going to collapse because GTA IV allows you to murder dozen of people in broad daylight. Violence is in our nature and it will continue to occur unfortunately. There will be more wars, bombings, shootings, etc. Some might be inspired by games/music/movies/television/books/theater and many more will not. There are more pressing issues that need national attention and all this effort to be to the main stage.
Leave a comment on what you think. I'm interested to hear from more of you. Thanks!