With an increasing number of children catching on to the growing popularity of video games, the subject of violence in video games becomes a bigger issue in our culture. The Columbine shootings became one of the main events in our society that brought violence in video games into the media spotlight. Although the subject of violence in games had already been an issue, it was the event at Columbine that made this subject matter a global issue.
According to APA author Pam Willenz, “playing violent video games like Doom, Wolfenstein 3D or Mortal Kombat can increase a person’s aggressive thoughts, feelings and behavior both in laboratory settings and in actual life, according to two studies appearing in the April issue of the American Psychological Association’s (APA) Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.”
Studies such as the APA study are becoming more popular as people begin placing blame anywhere they can after events like Columbine take place. The Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) assigns ratings to video games to indicate the appropriate age group that the game is intended for and the content within the game. The ESRB sets these ratings to ensure that underage children cannot purchase certain games that are too graphic or violent.
No matter how many times individuals will place the blame of child violence on a video game freedom of speech is our natural right as an U.S. citizen. Video games are an art form and it is ultimately up to the parents to inform their children on what is ultimately real or just a fantasy world.
Brackin, A. L. (2011). UTD Computer Game Design. The Good/The Bad/The Ugly. Retrieved from http://www.computergamedesign.blogspot.com/2009/11/wk-1314-business-end-of-games.html
Jenkins, H. (2004). Impact of Gaming. Reality Bytes: Eight Myths About Video Games Debunked. Retrieved from http://www.pbs.org/kcts/videogamerevolution/impact/myths.html
Elizabeth, A. M. (2011). Health Tech. One week playing violent video games alters brain activity. Retrieved from http://news.cnet.com/8301-27083_3-57335738-247/one-week-playing-violent-video-games-alters-brain-activity/
Willenz, P. (2000). Press Releases. Violent Video Games Can Increase Aggresion. Retrieved from http://www.apa.org/news/press/releases/2000/04/video-games.aspx
Venables, M. (2011). Geek Dad. Violence in Video Games: It’s All Part of Growing Up. Retrieved from http://www.wired.com/geekdad/2011/09/violence/