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Bad Effects of Violent Video Games

M stands for Mature, and is the second highest rating on video games today. Games that have been rated “M” by the ESRB (Entertainment Software Rating Board) are said to include bloody gore, extreme violence, foul language, and some instances of rape. Still, in many households children under the suggested age of 17 are playing these games. Why? Some people simply are not aware of the effects that these games have on people of all ages. The fact is: these games do affect the thinking of those who play them.
Violent video games have long been used to desensitize soldiers before going into combat. When someone sees something over and over again they often end up thinking that those things are normal. It didn’t take long before victims of the holocaust era concentration camps no longer flinched or shrank back at the sight of bloody and emaciated corpses. Theses people had seen corpses day after day and were no longer bothered by them. What about soldiers? Video games today are becoming more and more lifelike with animation technology advancing. Soldiers who played games where they killed their enemies over and over again with startlingly realistic graphics had very little trouble putting a bullet through another human on the battlefield. Obviously this was clear to the people training those soldiers. What about parents, what are you training your children for?
It has been proven that video games develop coordination, vision, attention, and find motor skills in children and teens. An anonymous writer on the Gocollege.com blog called Thomas wrote an article supporting the use of violent video games. In this Article Daphne Bavelier, an assistant professor in the department of Brain and Cognitive science at the University of Rochester is quoted as saying:

“People Who play these fast paced action games have better vision, better attention and better cognition…You become very good at adapting to whatever is asked of you.” (www.blog.Gocollege.com)

But do we want to create a society where are children are willing to adapt and join in killing people for pleasure when they are asked? What about other options that games such as Postal2 offer like setting people in fire alive, urinating on them, or sexually assaulting someone just for the pleasure of humiliating them? Theses games are not just teaching them to adapt to what is being asked of them. They are teaching our children to enjoy hurting and humiliating people. Today we do not ask live in a society where these things are required, but if the generations of our day are learning to enjoy those things it is very possible that they could grow up and choose to ask those things of future generations.

What about the argument that those games help youths to release stress and tension? In the past it was thought that having a punching bag for an aggressive child, or teaching children to punch or scream into a pillow would help children to release tension in a healthy way. it soon became evident to parents, psychologists, and counselors that this was a mistake. Why? Because when that punching bag or pillow was no longer available those children or teens still felt the need to release their anger through screaming and punching. When the things that are deemed “safe” to hit are not there, the reflexes that have been thought do not change. An angry person at the point of wanting to hit something is rarely capable of reasoning enough to consider the consequences of action they may take. Is not the same principle true of people who practice humiliating or hurting other humans to ease their pain and stress? What would the world come, to if every time a person got upset over finances or relationships they felt the need to burn someone or cut someone’s head off? Sure, video games appease them for a while, but what happens when those games aren’t there?

We all know that children have a very low capacity for appreciating delayed gratification. It has been proven that anything that give instant gratification to children can be addicting, and that addictions of any type in youths can impair that development of their brains. Video games can work in a similar way to smoking or pornography, in that both bring instant gratification. Receiving points or a high score for taking violent action can lead children to associate that instant gratification with violence, and could cause addiction. Of course, this idea could be compared to the good feelings associated with a job well done. The difference lies in the job that is being done. No one would object to a child who is “addicted” to cleaning their room, or winning a game of hopscotch because there are no major negative effects. The effects of addiction to violence, as you can see, are much more serious and harmful.

So parents, or even youths that might be reading this, do you want the future generations of our society to be people who are addicted to violence, and lacking self-control? No doubt those who support video game violence also claim to support peace. Let us hope that they will become better informed so that they can discontinue their course of “intellectual suicide”.



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