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Blaming Violence On Games: Is It Really Productive?

Video games are in the news quite often these days. Mostly, getting negative attention thanks to the Sandy Hook school shooter being a player of Black Ops II.

The criticism of games is nothing new.

- Violent videos games have always been a thorn in the flesh of those who see it as a motivator for violence in kids.
- Wasted hours playing games have been the source of arguments between parents and their children for many years.
- Social awkwardness has been attributed to hours of gaming instead of normal, social interaction.
- They teach teens the wrong values.
- Lower academic achievement
- Smaller attention span

However, the issue is far from settled. With a vast majority of young adults being raised playing video games, one has to wonder if the negative effects associated with video games is a stereotype based on a very small sample of bad cases.

Although creatures, like the Sandy Hook shooter, played violent video games, is that what led to the unbelievable tragedy? What does that say for the millions of other players of the same game who still have no issues with violence?

In my research, I have found that most of those who claim the negative effects of video games on young people are from those who have never really been involved in video games. This public outcry over video games usually totally ignores the positive effects video games can have on young people.

Positive Effects:

- Learning to follow instructions.
- Trouble Shooting
- Creative Problem Solving
- Hand-eye coordination
- Attention to visual detail
- Advanced planning and logistics management
- Multitasking
- Quick thinking and reaction
- Strategy
- Situational Awareness
- Reading, Math, and Science skills
- Perseverance
- Inductive Reasoning
- Memory Development
- Concentration
- Risks & Rewards Judgement
- Teamwork
- Learning advanced concepts at early ages

There is a huge list of benefits kids can get from gaming. The negative effects, in my opinion, are controlled by the parents and not necessarily the game content.

I remember as a kid playing cowboys and indians, I would get in trouble by saying things I shouldn't or being too gory. I remember hiding my fatality codes from my mom so she wouldn't know I was eating people's heads.

I've played a lot of violent games in my life. I've played a lot of hours on games that was basically wasted time. I don't struggle with anger, or violence, or too short of an attention span. I'm not too social awkward or unable to function in the real world.

I'm getting closer to 40 as the years roll by and I still love sinking hours of my week into video games when I have the free time.

With towns now trying to do video game buybacks, and some places introducing laws to ban violent video games, it seems to me we are losing focus on what really matters and instead blindly blaming the hobby of millions of people on the insane actions of a few, sick individuals.

There was violence before the xbox was ever conceived. There was mindless, sick individuals doing horrendous deeds before video games. If we take all of the video games out of the world and destroy them completely, there will still be violence.

As long as there are humans in this world, there will be violence and idiots who hurt those weaker than them for no reason. Is blaming a hobby, and spending thousands of dollars to combat a hobby really productive?
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About Ryan in Seattleone of us since 4:03 PM on 11.29.2012

About Me
I work in Redmond, WA, right outside of Seattle. Redmond is the home of Microsoft and is just a couple miles from Kirkland, where Google is.

I work at a new startup called Empower.me. We focus on keeping kids in school, doing really well in school, and preparing them for their lives.

We accomplish this by finding what they love to do and allowing them to learn through what they love. Everyone loves different things and is talented in unique ways. Why make everyone learn the same way?

We change that! We empower teenagers through their passions.

As Steve Jobs said, "The only way to do good work is to love the thing you do."


When it comes to gaming, my age starts to show. I was on the cutting edge back when Half Life came out. I loved that game. My friends used to network computers on a "hub" (long before they were called a switch) because our dial-up internet was too slow. Now, I'm older and slower, and so is my gaming.

Games I Play(ed)

Almost all Nintendo, Super Nintendo, Sega Genesis games.

Air Warrior Classic (AOL/Gamestorm)
Air Warrior 3 (Kesmai/Gamestorm)

Half-Life Multiplayer
Half Life / Day of Defeat (still play)
Half Life / Counterstrike
Half-Life / Team Fortress

Unreal Tournament

Quake 3

Age of Empires II
Age of Empires III (still play)

Lord of the Rings Online (still play)

Call of Duty Franchise Games

Assassin's Creed