(Author’s Full Name)
Video games are the center of attention of the mass media nowadays. All different channels think of it as their responsibility to keep reminding everyone that playing video games lead to a person becoming violent. I, however, disagree with this school of thought. Blaming the video games for violent behavior makes the video game the exact cause of the violence while the act itself is just being considered a consequence. There have been studies and researches carried out to measure the amount of damage caused by video games. However, the results are still inconclusive. And the media has misled the people to believe that a link exists between violence and video games.
There have been studies that show that playing video games increase multiple sets of skills in children as well as adults. They help them think strategically, makes them a team player, people them make decisions on their toes. Video games help people think and decide fast. These are essential skills that a person requires for all his daily activities like driving, multitasking, etc. Another positive aspect of playing video games that I saw very appealing is that it challenges the player’s competence levels. Video games force the player to master a certain skill or overcome an obstacle to win in the game. No amount of formal education can help teach the strategic and leadership skills that video games teach so easily and effortlessly.
The boom in technology has enabled gaming companies to design online and networked games. This serves as a great social tool and eventually keeps children safe from drug abuse and violent behavior. Online video games have made a global community where there are no language, geographical or cultural barriers. People, from around the world, play together without any political interference or violence involved. Video games help a person how to socialize and plan strategies with a complete stranger. This is very helpful in the real business world where a multinational organization may employee many thousands of people from around the globe.
People argue that by playing violent video games, people become too desensitized to violent graphical images. They get immune and do not find it much disturbing in the real life. However, I believe that this is not the case. Even though the teaching ability of video games cannot be unforeseen, I think that the violent behavior can be caused by a number of multiple factors. Violent behavior cannot be linked to just one single factor of playing violent video games. Behaving violently indicates major psychological imbalances and need to be dug into deeper. People who behave violently often have a disturbing childhood. They might at some point of their life played a video game, but that does not mean that the video game is to blame.
Violent images in movies and news stories are more damaging to children and adult psychology because they involve real human beings as opposed of graphical characters of video games. Psychologists agree that the violent tendencies in children need to be diverted towards video games so that their aggression and stress is led out. This way they will not feel the need to behave violently in real life.
Another theory states that the video games have caused an increase in crime rates in the country. However, we observe that with the increase in the popularity of video games, crime rate has significantly declined. This does not mean that all gamers are violent and criminals. But aggressive individuals have the option to channel out their aggression through video games. People have been demanding the officials to reduce the violence in video games or simplify eliminate them. However, if such laws are imposed, then we might see an increase in crime rate in the short term.
I believe that the video games are a means of pure entertainment. Labeling video games to cause violence is not justified. Violent behavior can be caused by a large number of risk factors. I understand that the video games may be a risk factor, but it isn’t the boggiest risk of violent behavior. All psychologically sane people understand that the video games are a virtual world and the things that happen in a video game are ‘just a game.’ Also, people who want to play video games will play them whether laws are imposed or not. It is the same as any other prohibited thing. If laws are imposed making violent video games illegal, it will entice the players even more and increase curiosity in children.
Video games are a source of entertainment like another entertainment medium. If children are allowed to watch movies and surf the internet, then playing video games should be an option too. Therefore, the responsibility is of the parent to identify any behavior or psychological changes in the child caused by playing violent video games. There should be a limitation on the amount of play so that there is a natural balance of life.