Video game violence and young adults
Specific Purpose: To persuade my audience that video games do not promote violence among young adults.
Central Idea: As video games become popular among the youth, there have been controversies as to whether video games promote violent behavior.
1. Video game playing is one of my favorite pastimes. Recently, a friend of mine tried to discourage me from playing video games on the basis that I might develop violent behavior
2. In a bid to find out whether my friend’s concern was founded on factual inference, I did a research on the effects of video games on young adults.
(Transition: Let us begin by looking at trends in video games and the alleged effects on young adults.)
1. Recently, there have been rampant inventions of new and modern video game systems.
2. As these inventions advance, there have been several speculations on the effects of video games on young adults.
3. Most notably, there have been depictions of associated violence especially among young adults who are addicted to playing video games.
4. Several stake holders including politicians, religious organizations, parents and other organized social welfare groups criticize and frequently differ on the perceived effects of video games on young adults.
5. Like any other form of media, video games are often associated with violence, sexual themes, use of drugs, and change of social ethics among other vices.
6. On the contrary however, the vast majority of all video games has been rated as appropriate for all ages and do not contain violent content.
7. Video games have also been shown to have a number of benefits.
(Transition: Let us now look at the reasons why I believe video games do not promote violence among young adults.)
1. The most undeniable counterpoint to the dispute that video games do not promote violence among young adults is the fact that youth violence declined drastically in the 1990s around the same period that video games significantly gained popularity.
a. A study conducted by the U.S. Department of Justice Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Program, indicated that cases of violent crime among the youth declined considerably between 1994 and1999.
b. During the same period when youth violence was decreasing, the sale of video games increased by 50 percent[ CITATION Int99 \l 1033 ].
2. Apart from the United States, video games with violent content are also sold in other countries. Nonetheless, the cases of youth violence in these countries are much less than in the United States.
a. If video games resulted in violent behavior, the rates of youth violence in these countries would be expected to be at the same level as that in the United States. It is hence clear that the cause of youth violence does not lie on video games.
3. Most objective and practically sound studies that have been conducted on video games and violent behavior have not found a link between the two.
a. Most of the studies usually adopt unreliable measures of violence such as noise blast and relate them to expected outcomes.
b. Some of these studies lack concrete information since they do not track the young adults over long periods of time before making conclusions.
i. One such report is the 2004 US Secret service review on previous school based attacks[ CITATION Uni04 \l 1033 ].
ii. The report did not link or establish a relationship between playing violent video games and school shootings as many critics would expect.
iii. Instead, the report showed clearly different findings as only one-eighth of school attackers had showed interest in violent video games.
4. Some of the reports and studies have shown small correlations between violent video games and violence.
a. The correlation can be attributed to the fact that naturally violent young adults would prefer violent video gaming as a form of entertainment[ CITATION Ree086 \l 1033 ].
b. This suggests that the predisposed violent young adult would be violent with or without playing violent video games. Their violent nature is therefore not as a consequence of playing these games.
(Transition: Now let use look at how playing video games can be beneficial to young adults.)
1. Engaging in violent video games can help in taming young adolescents by providing a substitute for crude and rough games. Instead of expressing and causing real and physical harm to their colleagues in the field, they can express their aggression and violent skills over video game platforms.
2. It is also clear that playing video games often helps in reliving anger feelings and aggression among young adults.
3. Furthermore, video games enable young adults to learn to adhere to rules and the consequences of failing to follow the set rules.
4. They also learn and understand matters associated with violence such as wars, suffering and death which cannot be well demonstrated in the real world. Since the video gamers realize that they are only playing a video game, there are high chances that they cannot emulate the violence in real life[ CITATION Kir97 \l 1033 ].
5. Several studies have demonstrated that video game players have high concentration and increased attention span.
a. This is attributable to the fact that players must clearly learn the objectives of a video game carefully in order to successfully complete the set missions.
b. They also have to learn the best game control techniques, focus and master essential variables of the entire complex systems and be able to execute commands when required. All these skills require one to be analytical, flexible and have strong adaptability.
6. The 2008 convention of the American Psychological Association research indicated that some video games can improve the players’ agility and problem-solving ability[ CITATION Jen08 \l 1033 ].
7. It has been demonstrated that frequent video gamers develop mental aptitudes.
1. As we have seen, the perception that video games result in violent behavior among the youth is based on unfounded speculations.
2. It is evident that video games do not cause violent behavior in young adults.
3. In fact, they are beneficial to the youth and hence video game playing should be encouraged among young adults.
Interactive Digital Software association. (1999). Video Games & Youth Violence: EXAMING THE FACTS. Washington: INTERACTIVE DIGITAL SOFTWARE ASSOCIATION.
Jenkins, H. (2008, August 18). Study: Serious gaming boosts cognitive skills. Retrieved May 5, 2011, from FUTURE MAKING SERIOUS GAMES BLOG: http://futuremakingseriousgames.blogspot.com/2008_08_01_archive.html
Kirsh, S. J. (1997). Seeing the World through “Mortal Kombat” colored glasses: Violent video games and hostile attribution bias. Washington DC.
Rees, P. (2008, October 30). Do violent video games contribute to youth violence? Retrieved May 5, 2011, from ProCon.org: http://videogames.procon.org/#Background
United States Secret Service. (2004). THE FINAL REPORT AND FINDINGS OF THE SAFE SCHOOL INITIATIVE: IMPLICATIONS FOR THE PREVENTION OF SCHOOL ATTACKS IN THE UNITED STATES. Washington: United States Secret Service.