Videogame Violence: Justified or just an Excuse?

May 27, 2011
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Videogames were first introduced to me when I was about 10 years old. I got an Xbox videogame system for my 10th birthday. It opened up a brand new world for me. Whether I was flying, driving, or shooting my way through a game, it was always exciting. There was always a challenge and always room to get improve. As I got older, technology changed and videogames took a huge leap forward. By 2012, the worldwide gaming market will be worth 48.9 billion dollars. With technological advances, videogames are now lifelike. Violence is a big deal in the videogame industry these days.

Some videogames are indeed violent, but the Entertainment Software Ratings Board (ESRB) clearly rates those games as “M” for Mature for a reason. Games that are violent are intended for mature audiences capable of differentiating between fiction and real-life scenarios. There are videogames for all ages, so there is no reason that twelve year old kids should be playing “Call of Duty”. It is, after all, rated M for Mature. Don’t point to videogames first when an emotionally unstable immature child injures someone and blames videogames, because truthfully that child shouldn’t have access to Mature rated games in the first place. Parents, you have the power. Read about the games before buying them for children. Don’t go up in arms because of a curse word in a videogame if you say them in front of your child anyway. If you or your children are not “mature” enough to handle it then try the following gaming options. “E” for everyone. Or “T” for teen.

Videogames are not the only thing to blame for violence. Television shows and movies depicting violence do not get nearly enough attention as games do. Most likely because of the level of interaction implemented with video games. Movies use violence to set up suspense, get the point across, or just freak you out. Movies depict very violent and sometimes gruesome images, but if videogames do it, people get upset. Movies have loads of cursing and unsavory images you wouldn’t want your child to see, yet videogames catch all the flak.

Parents should stop blaming videogames for the violence when the only violent videogames are not meant for children anyway. Parents are in control. On the front of every videogame you buy there is a rating by the ESRB. This rating tells what content is in the game and what ages the game is intended for. Parents should use this as a guide before buying any videogame for their child. State laws have forbidden the sale of Mature rated games to minors, so if children are getting these games, parents are to blame.

Casual games are intended for all audiences. These are the games that parents should be buying for their children. Violent videogames are not the only videogames out there. There are games specifically designed for children and their parents to play together. Also in the casual games lineup are learning games and games for toddlers. Videogames can be used as a learning experience as well as a fun one.

Violent videogames are for mature gamers only. Not for children. The “M” rating is for ages seventeen and up, so children under this age should not play these games. Games are not just about killing. Many games have amazing narratives and arcing story paths for people to enjoy. The protagonist usually isn’t killing just for fun. Nine times out of ten the enemy is actually bad and the game makes you the hero.

Videogames are highly enjoyable if you take them for what they are instead of a mindless killing game. Most games are not. Games have very great stories and engaging game play to enjoy if you sit back, relax, and let the good times roll.

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