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Violent crimes... What can be linked to the violent crimes? Violent video games have been said to have an effect to the attacker of Virginia Tech; the attackers in Columbine; and the sniper attacks in Washington D.C. With mediums of entertainment, there is an aspect that gets scrutinized. In the article “Don’t Shoot” by Amanda Schaffer, her thesis is that violent video games can be linked to violent behavior. She also discusses the positive effects about video games: they are stress relievers, they can help people overcome phobias and they can teach. The tone of this article though isn’t aggressive towards video games because she states that the evidence gathered is flawed. Three cases of research are used to try and prove the link to aggressive behavior and violent video games.

The first case looks at correlations between exposure and real-world aggression. The results show that the more kids play video games, aggressive behavior is detected. What about the kids who watch R-rated movies? Movies expose more graphic and sexual content than video games. Video games are too primitive compared to movies whereas the violence shown on movies and TV can be closer to real life.

The second case is shows as kids play violent video games, they become exponentially aggressive. Based on my experiences, as I matured, video games weren’t a big deal to me anymore. The research also states that kids “changed over the school year to become more verbally aggressive, more physically aggressive and less helpful to others.” It sounds to me like a typical kid growing up. There is no science to back up these two cases.

The third case does involve science though. They tested a nonviolent and a violent game to see how testers would react to losing. They also analyzed “differences in brain activation patterns using fMRI scans.” But the research is too complicated at the moment, so it’s invalid. But, like sports, video games are competitive, which causes the frustration for its players. Of course kids are going to get angry.

One thing I agree with is that video games are can relieve stress and can distract people from problems. Video games are important to me whenever boredom sets in. I come home and play them with my friends. Also, the video games can teach, all the simulator games are the closest thing to a real life situation (like in flight simulators).
Parents should monitor the kinds of video games their kids play. If the kids are getting into trouble, the parents should research the video games before they buy them and monitor the kid’s behavior as they play them. But, parents can be unfamiliar with video games because their generation wasn’t exposed to them when they were growing up.





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